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South America, Bolivia, Chachacomani and Other Peaks, Cordillera Real

Chachacomani and Other Peaks, Cordillera Real. Over the last decade, the American Alpine Institute has been climbing in the Chachacomani region. We returned from June to September in 1994. We have in the past approached from Lago Khara Kkota by four-wheel drive to the old Mina Natividad and Mina Santa Rosa, where we began a two-day walk to camp in the Echsococho valley. The old foot trail is now a road passable to Loro Kiriparque. This reduces the approach time to a moderate day. All climbs were done from a 16,100-foot camp between Chachacomani and the smaller 17,000-to 18,000-foot peaks to the east. We made two first ascents. Cerro Chura is a ragged peak (5715 meters, 18,750 feet) that lies to the east of Chachacomani and can be seen from anywhere on the east of that peak as well as from the summits of Cerro Wampa, Cerro Cocorico and Pico Elena. The first ascent was made by John Culberson, Joel Arellano and Bolivian Juan Chura via the exposed west ridge on moderate snow and ice. It is best reached after climbing Cerro Wampa. “Pico Elena’’ (5532 meters, 18,150 feet) is the peak seen on the right when crossing the first pass into the Echsococho valley from the new road. An initial attempt on the west ridge failed. I went back in August with Mike Chase, Julie Lawrence and John Liron and traversed moderate snow and ice with two steep sections on the east ridge, then dropped south and went directly up to the summit from the southeast. We named the mountain after Chase's wife. We also made two new routes. Culberson, Arellano and I, along with Bert Herrington, Ken Younge, Vincent Hill and Erol Ozsahin, climbed a very direct line up the east face of Chachacomani (6066 meters, 19,902 feet) and through séracs to the top. There was varied 30° to 60° climbing with a short section of steeper water ice in the final sérac band. It was a fun climb with possible objective danger from falling ice. We descended the northeast ridge and then the east face. We also climbed the west face of Cerro Wampa, which was a short moderate line to the right of the saddle between an unnamed peak and Cerro Wampa.

Brian Cox, American Alpine Institute