AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

South America, Bolivia, Chachacomani

Chachacomani. Our expedition was composed of Eddie Boulton, Peter Delmissier, Steve Norris, Kevin Spooner, Bill Bays, Bill Wolf and me as leader. With five herdsmen from the Janko Khota region and 49 llamas, we approached the Chachacomani-Chearoco massif from the east in a strenuous three-day trek that took us over three passes that averaged 15,000 feet in altitude. We crossed into and ascended westward to its head below Chearoco a valley that rises from the town of Amaguaya. The natives informed us that they call it Chekap Kuchu, which means “Valley’s End” in Aymara. Base Camp was at 14,100 feet. We placed one of our three high camps at 16,400 feet two miles north-northeast of Chachacomani. Our first attempt on the northeast ridge failed, but two days later, on June 6, Boulton, Delmissier, Norris, Spooner and I climbed the entire northeast ridge to the main northeast summit of Chachacomani (6066 meters, 19,902 feet). We also traversed on to the slightly lower southwest summit. From camp, we crossed the crazily broken northeastern icefall, about two miles of weaving crevasse work in a maze of ice pillars, and then traversed the ridge over a couple of tricky ice pitches on the north face and on to the summit. Delmissier skied down the northeastern slopes. On June 11, Delmissier, Norris and I by a new route made the second ascent of a peak first climbed in 1962 by the British Reading University Expedition, which they called Dome 2 (5706 meters, 18,781 feet). Our attempt on the northeast face of Chearoco failed.

John Hessburg