South America, Chile, Central Andes, Cerro Polleras, New Route
Cerro Polleras, New Route, Central Andes. This Himalayan-like mountain, on the Mendoza border with Chile, has not yet had a revised height. Estimates range from 6232 meters to 6295 meters; Chilean authority Dr. Evelio Echevarria states that it is 5947 meters. It was first ascended by Reichert in 1908 after his fourth attempt. In 1946 it was climbed by Argentines Huerta, Parra and González, in 1954 by Argentines Joos, Kark and Guajardo and in 1957 by Chileans Bión González, Tangol and Meier. All ascended the west route, the Argentinians approaching from Punta de Vacas and the Chileans from their country. Reichert tried to ascend the east route but couldn’t because of the difficulties of this ridge. In January, 1995, Martín Molina and Adrián Cangiani from Mendoza tried to ascend the route but only reached a subsidiary summit of 5000 meters, the high point reached by Reichert in his attempt.
In February, 1996, the same pair went to the east ridge once more, which has 45- to 70-degree ice with sections of rotten arsenic. Many rock towers break the ridge so the team was forced to go slightly to the north face. They also found penitentes and bergschrunds. The Base Camp was on the glacier’s base at 4200 meters, the first camp at 5000 meters, the second at 5500 meters on the ridge and the last one, a bivy at 6100 meters. The summit was reached on February 8, 1996.
Marcelo Scanu, Buenos Aires, Argentina