American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Chile, El Ermitaño and Peña Blanca, Northern Andes

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1968

El Ermitaño and Peña Blanca, Northern Andes. These two peaks were ascended by an expedition of the Club Andino de Chile. The group travelled from Santiago to Copiapó and turned east to cover the last 130 miles in a jeep along the international road to Argentina, reaching 13,800 feet in the vehicle. A camp was placed at'15,800 feet at the foot of both peaks and some days were spent in reconnaissance. On November 20, E. Koch, S. Kunstmann, C. Maier, E. Vien and Police Captain P. Rosende made the first ascent of El Ermitaño (20,145 feet) and the following day, Kunstmann, Rosende and Vien climbed also the northern peak of the twin Peña Blanca, which surveys put at exactly 6000 meters (19,685 feet). Since the individual peaks of Peña Blanca have no names, the climbers have proposed for the one they climbed the name of Boris Kraizel, the recently deceased president of the Federación de Andinismo de Chile. Weather was excellent in these high mountains surrounded by deserts. A glacier was found at 16,400 feet and nieves penitent es were common beginning at 14,500 feet. Both peaks are located just north of Ojos del Salado (22,590 feet), which is the highest mountain in Chile and at the same time the highest volcano of the world.

Humberto Barrera V., Club Andino de Chile

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