American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Bolivia, Cordillera Apolobamba, Cordilleras Quimsa Cruz, Various Activity

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2000

Cordilleras Quimsa Cruz, Various Activity. In July, after a visit to the Cordillera Apolobamba, I joined Scotsman Russell Small and Australian Sam Maffett in La Paz for a trip to the Cordillera Quimsa Cruz. We took public buses to the village of Rodeo and backpacked up the jeep road to Laguna Altarani at 4850 meters. (The summit UTM [1000-meter] grid locations mentioned below are as shown on the Bolivian IGM maps “Mina Caracoles” and “Yaco.”) Russ and I climbed the previously unclimbed east ridge (PD) of Cerro San Luis (5620m) [678,000m E, 8120,400m N] by hiking around the north side of Laguna Altarani, then climbing northeast up a glacier to its head at the low point of the east ridge. We followed the ridge west on moderately steep snow and loose rock to the summit. We descended by the south and southwest ridges.

After an ascent of Cerro Santa Fe (5210m) [677,300m E, 8116,900m N] via the northeast ridge, Sam, Russ and I climbed a peak shown as “Cumbres Khasiri” [678,900m E, 8119,300m N] on the Yaco map (5410 meters on the map, 5320 meters by altimeter). This peak is 0.9 miles southeast of Cerro San Luis, and 1.3 miles east-northeast of Cerro Monte Blanco (Don Luis). We hiked around the north side of Laguna Altarani, and climbed the left side (AD) of a moderately steep (30-50°) glacier on the west face of the peak. This is a distinctive and attractive peak, which I had thought might be the “Altarani” of other expeditions, but there was no evidence of a previous ascent. We built a cairn and descended the south edge of the same glacier that we had ascended.

I returned to La Paz, while Maffet and Small climbed Gigante Grande (5748m) via the glacier north of Laguna Congelada and the south ridge, and Jacha Cuno Collo (5800m).

Craig Patterson

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