American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Bolivia, Cordillera Quimsa Cruz, Mocoya Valley and Eastern Taruj Umana Valley, Various Ascents

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2001

Condoriri Area, Various Ascents and Map Correction. The 2000 Cordillera Real Expedition from the Colorado State University Outdoor Adventure Program climbed a number of peaks in the Condoriri area, and made an ascent of a rarely climbed, but spectacular, glaciated peak. Our eight-person team was comprised of Rodney Ley (co-leader), Jim Davidson (co-leader), Roger Boyd, Aaron McEntire, Lawrence Pollack, Darrin Sharp, Rachel Steeves, and Shawn Zeigler. We first spent five days in the Condoriri getting acclimated by climbing several standard routes from a base camp at Laguna Chiar Khota (Black Lake). We climbed Austria (5000m), Tarija (5060m), and Pequeño Alpamayo (5370m) and made an unsuccessful attempt of Illusioncita (5150m). We then moved east over an unnamed 5000-meter pass just south of Aguja Negra and made camp at 4700 meters just south of Cerro Zongo Jisthaña (ca. 5140m). Our mule driver and base camp guard, both local Aymarans, said they had never seen any alpinistas climb Cerro Zongo Jisthaña, even though it is just two kilometers from an established trail between the popular Condoriri and Huyana Potosi climbing areas.

On May 25, we approached Cerro Zongo Jisthaña over moraine, and crossed the lightly crevassed glacier on its southern flank. At an elevation of about 5000 meters, we ascended the left-hand (western) edge of the glacial headwall on a long, narrow prow of consolidated snow (protected with pickets). After 120 meters of snow up to 60 degrees, we emerged onto a flat plateau. From here, a low-angle ridge of firm snow rose northward to the summit (5140m). We descended via the southeastern ridge of the glacier. Though we have found no published accounts of previous ascents, we did find a cairn on top.

Several peaks on the popular 1:50,000 topographic sheet of the Condoriri by Walter Guzmán Córdova are mislabeled. Cerro Zongo Jisthaña appears to be mislocated on the map and mislabeled as a non-glaciated peak four kilometers due east of Laguna Chiar Khota. It is more accurately shown on the recent (1999) 1:135,000 topographic map by Walter Guzmán Córdova as a glaciated peak that is four kilometers northeast of Laguna Chiar Khota.

Jim Davidson and Rodney Ley

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