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South America, Argentina and Chile, Central Andes, Chile, Punta Italia, Direct West Face

Punta Italia, Direct West Face. This fine mountain had its first ascent in 1934 by Italians Gervasutti and Binaghi. Some routes were established on the 4,863m peak since then, the last being completed on December 21 by Chileans Andrea Garrido, Valentina Rota, Rodrigo Ponce, and David Valdés. They established base camp on the moraine between the glaciers Mesón Alto and Loma Larga. From there it took four to five hours to reach Camp 1. From Camp 1 to the summit, the route (800m, D 35° 5.8) begins with 400m of 35° snow and ice to the base of the west face. It then ascends a chimney and a 20m dihedral of class II/III rock, before continuing up the 400m face, with eight rope lengths up to 5.8 and a final 70m of II/III to the summit.

Marcelo Scanu, Buenos Aires,Argentina.