American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Argentina, Pissis

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1995

Pissis. After an approach from Copiapó, Chile, I crossed the border via the Valle Ancho Norte Pass (4672 meters, 15,328 feet; 27°24'32"S, 68°45'47"W). From there it is 50 kilometers to Base Camp at the bottom of the northern glacier of Pissis. I climbed solo an easy peak to the southeast (c. 6466 meters, 21,205 feet) from my second camp. On December 27,I climbed Pissis solo after several days of thunder and snowfall. The route followed a long scree slope to the east of the glacier, then easy ground under the middle peak before I reached the snow-capped western summit in ten hours. I measured an altitude of 6895 meters ±50 meters by GPS (WGS 84). The summit cairn at 27°45'17"S, 68°45'56"W contained evidence of an 1985 expedition (possibly Johan Reinhard’s) as well as an undated Argentine document. I only just made it back to camp as darkness fell. My vehicle returned the next day and we arrived in Copiapó the same evening. All GPS data quoted are actual readings. According to the Defence Mapping Agency report, these readings should be decreased by 20 meters for reduction to the local spheroid. There is also a small reduction in latitude and longitude of 1" and 2" respectively. The altitude of Pissis is therefore comparable to the Ojos del Salado (6885 meters) within the formal errors.

Sverre Aarseth, Alpine Club

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