South America, Argentina and Chile, Northern Andes, Argentina, Cerro Chepical, First Ascent and Cerro Fandango, Ascent

Publication Year: 2005.

Cerro Chepical, first ascent and Cerro Fandango, ascent. In February 2005 Antonio Pontoriero and I erected a camp on the southwest shores of the salty Laguna Brava (Fierce Lagoon). Nearby were Inca ruins, the Inca Trail, and a wrecked airplane that crashed transporting race horses some 40 years ago. When a horse of the region wins a race, it’s said that it’s “the son of the horse that fell from the sky.”

The weather was unstable, but on February 14 we ascended Cerro Chepical (4,646m, S28°23' 00.8" W68°55' 49.2"), a peak used as reference for many decades, although it was a virgin peak. On February 16 I ascended, solo, a summit known as Cerro Fandango (5,173m, S28°22'03.9" W68°58' 30.3") by its east face. On the top I found some Inca ruins, including a stone wall used to cut the wind. Behind the wall they made sacrifices and burned offerings. The next day, after a small snowfall, we left.

Marcelo Scanu, Buenos Aires, Argentina