American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Bolivia, Araca and Choquetango Groups, Quimsa Cruz

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1988

Araca and Choquetango Groups, Quimsa Cruz. This expedition of Germans was led by Hermann Wolf and composed of Rudi Bülter, Georg Fichtner, Christian Griesshammer, Peter Hacker, Karl-Heinz Hetz, Widukind Langenmaier, Michael Lentrodt, Michael Magerer, Gerhard Rebitzer, Georg tom Felde and Christof Wittmann. They also invited five Bolivians to join them full-time: Juan Carlos Andia, José Camarlinghi, José Miranda, Javier and José Thellaeche. With them for part of the expedition were Juan Bustamante, Marcos Olivares and Rainer Müller. They were in Bolivia from May 24 to June 25. They were hosted by Hans Hesse, owner of the Hacienda Teneria, southeast of Illimani on the edge of the Quimsa Cruz range. There they divided into two groups. The larger party traveled by truck to Mocoya and then walked to Base Camp at 4300 meters in the eastern Taraj Umaña valley at the western end of the lake Chillhua (or Chilliwani) Kkota. They made a large number of climbs, most of them first ascents. These were in most cases difficult rock climbs on the excellent granodiorite of the region. The climbs follow: P 5050 (between P 5145 and P 5124 northwest of Mama Okllo) via north-south traverse by Hetz, J. Thellaeche, Wolf (also climbed via north ridge by Hacker, Miranda Bustamante, Olivares on June 10); Torrini Chico “First Wall” via west-east traverse (also climbed via west-northwest face by Lentrodt, Hacker on June 5) and “Big Wall” via northeast ridge by Bülter, Rebitzer, Lentrodt, Magerer, Olivares (also climbed via two different routes on northwest face by Hetz, Camarlinghi and Griesshammer, J. Tellaeche on June 2), both on May 31. 4th Mama Okllo Tower via west side by Camarlinghi, J. Thellaeche; Cerro Calsonani (5124 meters) via west face by Griesshammer, Hetz; Mama Okllu (5281 meters) via west side and south ridge by Bülter, Rebitzer (also climbed via northwest buttress by Griesshammer, Wittmann on June 10); P 5021 via southwest ice couloir by Lentrodt and via north ridge by Magerer, Wolf, all on June 1. Cerro Taruj Umaña (4852 meters) via northeast edge by Hetz, Andia, Wolf (also climbed via north-south traverse by Hacker on June 4); Cuemos de Diablo (5271 meters) via northwest side by Bülter, Rebitzer and via north-northwest face by Lentrodt, Magerer (also climbed via northwest face by Hetz, Camarlinghi, J. Thellaeche on June 4), all on June 3. P 5304 (northeast of the three towers) via west ridge by Bülter, Rebitzer on June 4. Cerro Torrini (5131 meters) via east face and southeast ridge by Hetz, Griesshammer; 2nd Mama Okllu Tower via northwest face by Lentrodt, Andia, Camarlinghi; P 5297 (middle of the three towers) via south side by Bülter, Rebitzer, Olivares; P 5110 via west ridge by Wolf, Hacker (also climbed via southwest face by Bülter, Griesshammer and via south face by Wolf, Hacker on June 8), all on June 6. Cerro Waillani (5193 meters) via southeast ice couloir by Lentrodt, Magerer, Rebitzer on June 9. 1st Mama Okllu Tower via north side by Bülter, tom Felde, Wolf; P 5104 (west of Mama Okllu) via north ridge by Hacker, Miranda, Bustamante, Olivares, both on June 10. 3rd Mama Okllu Tower via north side by Bülter, tom Felde, Wolf; P 5050 (south of P 5104) via west side by Magerer, Wolf and via north ridge by Bülter, Rebitzer; P 4800 (west of P 5050) via north ridge by Bülter, Rebitzer, all on June 11. The second group operated in the Choquetanga group. They established their Base Camp at the abandoned Carmen Rosa Mine south of the Abra San Enrique on the western end of the lake Kkota Khuchu. They apparently did not know that Japanese in 1968 had climbed both San Lorenzo and San Felipe. (The Japanese incorrectly identified the peaks and what they called San Lorenzo was actually San Felipe and vice versa.) The Germans made the following climbs: Nina Kkollu Chico (5199 meters) via west-north traverse by tom Felde, Wittmann on June 1. Nina Kkollu Grande (5352 meters) via west ridge by tom Felde, Wittmann, Miranda, Bustamante, J. Thellaeche on June 2 and by Fichtner, Langenmaier on June 9. San Lorenzo (5508 meters) via south ridge by tom Felde, Wittmann, Miranda and via east side by Fichtner, Langenmaier, J. Tellaeche on June 4. San Felipe (5330 meters) via south side by tom Felde, Wittmann, Fichter, Langenmaier, Miranda, J. Tellaeche on June 6. San Pedro (5590 meters) via north ridge by Wittmann and via west ridge by tom Felde on June 7. After the climbing in the Quimsa Cruz, the members had their eyes on the Cordillera Real, just to the north. Lentrodt, Magerer, Rebitzer and Wittmann were joined by Rainer Müller in an attempt on the south face of Illimani. They moved to the foot of the face on the 16th and set out on the 17th up an ice couloir that was up to 70° in steepness. They bivouacked at 5700 meters. There was an abrupt change in the weather and it was snowing hard by eight P.M. During the night spindrift slides kept covering their tents, so much so that Rebitzer died, asphyxiated. During the descent on June 18, an ice axe from which he was rappelling pulled out and Müller fell 150 meters to his death. Not knowing of these tragedies, Hacker, Langenmaier and Miranda climbed the standard west-flank route on Illimani. An attempt on Illampu failed 700 meters from the summit. (We are grateful to Herr Hermann Wolf for this information.)

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