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South America, Chile, Central Andes, Monte Pissis and Cerro Bonete Chico

Monte Pissis and Cerro Bonete Chico. On March 23, Greg Home climbed Pissis via the northwest slopes, a possible new route. Summit records of J. Reinhard, L. Gadenz et al. and S. Aarseth were found. Using a surveyor's hand level it appears the west summit is the high point of the multi-topped peak. GPS measurements were also collected on the summit and from a base station set up in Copiapo. Differential correction and averaging of 1015 positions determined the height of Pissis to be 6871.77 meters above mean sea level (WGS-84). The 1991 Argentine 1:250,000 topo map, Fiambala, 2769IV & III, lists a height of 6882 meters. One of the objectives of this expedition was to determine if Pissis might be the second highest mountain in South America after Aconcagua. Ojos del Salado has long held the number two position, with a current height of 6893 meters according to the Instituto Geographico Militar de Chile. It appears to retain its standing. Cerro Bonete Chico (6759 meters) was climbed alone by Horne five days later. Regarding the long standing confusion about Cerro Bonete Chico and Cerro Bonete Grande, it is absolutely certain the Chico is the higher peak by over 700 meters. Grande is only 5943 meters and it seems like just a large hill when situated between Pissis and Bonete Chico.

Greg Horne, Alpine Club of Canada