Cerro Manantiales (5,100m), South Face, Direct a la Cubetera
South America, Argentina, Central Andes
In Mendoza’s Tunuyán region, Diego Molina and Fernando Martinez made an interesting exploration on the south west face of Cerro Nevado Manantiales during (austral) spring. From Tunuyán they went to Refugio Portinari and continued past Refugio Scaravelli (3,000m). They set up a base camp in an ancient ruined hotel at 3,900m. The general idea was to make the traverse of the massif, through the most difficult sections, reaching first a fore summit (4,700m) and then climbing across the ridge to the central summit. After a snowy approach they reached the southwest face and began with 500m of snow (55°), and then entered an icy gully (180m, 70-75°), which ended on mixed terrain on the south face. They continued for 100m in deep snow (60°) and retreated 100m below the fore summit due to snow conditions. They downclimbed and then made four rappels from Abalakovs. This was the first ascent of the south west face of this rarely visited mountain, and they named their route “Directa a la Cubetera” (700m, D, WI3 M2 60°). The mountain awaits an integral ascent to the main summit.