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South America, Tierra del Fuego, Monte Sarmiento, West Peak, 1986

Monte Sarmiento, West Peak, 1986. Italians finally climbed the west peak of Monte Sarmiento. The east summit (2234 meters, 7730 feet) had been climbed by its south ridge on March 7, 1956 by Carlo Mauri and Clemente Maffei. Giuseppe Agnolotti led three expeditions, in 1969, 1971 and 1972, to try the west peak, but all were unsuccessful because of the frightful but typical weather and overhanging ice mushrooms. In early December of 1986, Daniele Bosisio, Marco Della Santa, Mario Panzeri and Paolo Vitali occupied Base Camp and carried loads to the foot of the climb despite very bad weather. On December 6, 1986, the four attacked the face, gaining 700 meters in a couloir and then climbed another 300 meters to the base of the west buttress. The weather was clear but the wind was strong and cold. After bivouacking on the spur, on December 8, 1986 they climbed the remaining 700 meters up the very difficult west buttress to the summit (2210 meters, 7251 feet).