American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Bolivia, Cordillera Quimza Cruz, Various Ascents

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1998

Cordillera Quimza Cruz, Various Ascents. In early August, Thomas Miyagawa, Andrew MacAllister and I set up a base camp around abandoned miners’ housing in the Ataroma valley. On August 10 we climbed the two lower peaks of the Garciela group, P.5620m and P.5580m. The third and higher peak of this group we had climbed two years earlier from the adjoining Malla Chuma Valley. These two summits were reached by following the southwest ridge of the group and then ascending the west face of P.5620m and then the south face of P.5580m. On August 12 we made a direct ascent of the southeast face of P.5520 (5510m) with the final headwall reaching 65° on styrofoam-quality snow.

Andrew MacAllister and I then climbed Mt. Ataroma (a.k.a. P.5540m), the most prominent peak in the valley, by a direct route on the southwest face leading directly to the summit on August 15. This face also reached an angle of 65°, but had much poorer-quality snow than the previous climb, mixed with hard ice and a one-and-a-half meter bergschrund five meters below the summit. The lower glacier climbing involved swimming through steep waist-deep snow and an inordinate amount of postholing for this late time in the Bolivian mountaineering season.

Dakin Cook

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