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South America, Argentina, Mercedario, South Face

Mercedario, South Face. An Italian expedition originally had the west face of Mercedario as its objective. They were Alessandro Angelini, Giuseppe Angelotti, Carlo Barbolini, Gianluca Benedetti, Fabrizio Convalle, Bruno Nicolini, Giancarlo Polacci and Emilio Riccomini. The difficulties of the approach were considerable. They left Barreal, the last inhabited place, on January 10 but got to the foot of the south face at 3400 meters only on January 20. They reconnoitered to see if they could cross over the 5200-meter shoulder and descend 1000 meters on the other side to reach the foot of the west face but this would have been too arduous. They then headed for the left side of the icefall of the south face. On January 22 and 23 they carried to Advance Base at 4400 meters a half kilometer from the base of the face. Half of the group established Camp I at 5270 meters on January 26. After a snowstorm, while they moved up to Camp II at 6200 meters on January 28, the other half occupied Camp I. All were established at Camp II on a level spot below the foresummit on January 30. On the 31st Angelini, Barbolini and Benedetti reached the summit (6670 meters, 21,884 feet). There was no time for further summit climbs and the entire party withdrew.