American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Argentina, Cerro de la Coipita (or de la Lagunita), Cordillera de Colanüil

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

Cerro de la Coipita (or de la Lagunita), Cordillera de Colangüil. This range lies in northern San Juan province, parallel to the Argentine-Chilean border. The Cerro de la Coipita is the northernmost peak of the range. We were Swiss Raphael and Stéphane Joliat, Frenchman Jean-Yves Piffard, Argentines baque- ano (local hillman) Carmelo Martínez and I. On January 26, we passed through Angualasto with its interesting pre-Columbian ruins after making a check with the Gendarmeía Nacional (Border Police) because we were entering the Llanos de San Guillermo Provincial Park and Biosphere Reserve. At the nearby ranch of Rodeo del Toro, we met our baqueano. On January 28, we ascended the Quebrada del Molle in incredible heat but little humidity. That afternoon, we got to the Vega de los Médanos on the river of the same name. We finally entered the Arroyo del Fierro and camped at 3750 meters. On January 31, horses took us to 4310 meters. We continued on foot, but I got only to 4800 meters because of pain in my knees. The Swiss and French climbers climbed the east ridge and then the summit ridge to complete the first ascent of Cerro de la Coipita (5423 meters, 17,792 feet).

Marcelo Scanu, Grupo de Montaña Huamán, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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