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South America, Argentina, North Argentine Andes, Chuscha Massif Traverse

Chuscha Massif, Traverse. This massif has many summits; the highest is Chuscha (5512 m). Chuscha means “breast “in Quechua. A group that included veteran Antonio Beorchia Nigris ascended Cerro Pabellón o Alto de la Laguna (4900 m) on February 3, doing archaeological work in the zone. Three members (Maria Constanza Ceruti, Alberto Casimiro Balderrama and Christian Vitry) began a traverse of nearly all the summits of the massif that same day, gaining the top of Mishi II (4900 m) and descending to the Abra (Col) Chuscha and camping at 4700 meters in doubtful weather. On February 4 they passed by some high altitude pre-Colombian ruins and reached Cerro Urpilita (5250 m). Before mid-day they were on the snowy summit of Chuscha. They continued to Chuscha Oeste I and Chuscha Oeste II (both 5300 m). They retreated, ascending once more Schusha and Urpilita, and after studied a pre-Colombian structure where a mummy was found at the beginning of the century. On February 5 they also climbed Ingamana (4900 m). Some days later, another group from Salta made a similar traverse. It must be stated that all the heights (except Chuscha) are approximate and that the names Mishi I, II, and III, Chuscha Sur, Chuscha Oeste I and II are provisional. They may be official in the future, when toponymical controversies are resolved.

Marcelo Scanu, Buenos Aires, Argentina