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South America, Bolivia, Cordillera Real, Tres Marias Group and Chachacomani, Various Ascents

Tres Marias group and Chachacomani, Various Ascents. Britons Phil Amos and Adam Thomas spent three weeks in this area of the central Cordillera Real. The Tres Marias is a triple-peaked ridge east of the distinctive Chachacomani (6074m), a.k.a. “Chisel Peak.” Apart from some poorly documented expeditions organized by the American Alpine Institute, not a lot has been done in the area in recent years. On July 16, Amos and Thomas made the fourth ascent of the West Ridge (AD) of an unnamed peak (ca. 5500m), the northernmost of the Tres Marias. The route was 500 meters with rock up to 60°; the last 30 meters was ice up to 40°. They then continued to Wampa (ca. 5550m), the middle of the Tres Marias, by walking along the snow ridge linking the two summits, then descending to Base Camp via the col between the Tres Marias and Chachacomani. The pair got avalanched in dry snow and went 50 meters before managing to stop.

On July 19, they climbed a new route (TD, 12 pitches, 700m) on the south face of Coco Rico (ca. 5600m), the southernmost peak of the Tres Marias. They descended to the northeast and then to the col between Coco Rico and Pico Elena to the south. They then continued to the big col between Wampa and Coco Rico and down to Base Camp.

On July 21, they made the second ascent of the West Face (AD+, 400m) of Wampa (ca. 5550m). On July 23-24, they climbed a new route on the southeast ridge of Chachacomani (6074m), starting from the col on the normal route up to Chachacomani’s distinctive south face. They climbed three rock and ice pinnacles at up to 60°, crossed what looks like a snow dome from below, and then descended to a col at ca. 5750 meters, where they camped. This section of the route is believed to be a first ascent. The next day they continued by climbing Chachacomani’s Southeast Buttress (D). This route was described in the 1990 AAJ (p. 194) as rock at 5.7; the Brits found it to be 5.6. It took them seven hours to climb the 250 meters to reach the summit of Chachacomani. They then traversed Chachacomani’s summit ridge and descended a ridge off the west end of the ridge, rapping five times en route.

The two mention that the Achapampa area is not depicted on the 1962 Reading map as it appears on the ground. Negruni as marked is Warawarani; Rumca as marked is Chajowara. (Amos and Thomas plan to produce an updated map of the area.)

Yossi Brain, United Kingdom