Climber James Kennedy and Mountain Trip lead guide Jesse Yon have arrived to the Catamarca province of Argentina to climb 22,293′ / 6,795m Cerro Pissis, the third highest peak in South America and the world’s second highest volcano. This is Mountain Trip’s first expedition to this large, inactive stratovolcano, so we’re looking forward to hearing more from the team about this secluded high peak in the middle of the Atacama Desert. The mountain can experience extremely cold temperatures and whipping winds, especially out of the south.
The peak was first climbed by two polish mountaineers in 1937, but due to its remote nature and high altitude, was not climbed again until 1985. The first ascent is commonly contested as the second ascent party in 1985 found no evidence left behind of the initial climb. Cerro Pissis has some of the largest glaciers in the area, and generally requires an ice axe and crampons to reach the summit.
The crew is headed to the small village of Fiambalá today, the jumping off point for their climb on the north side of the peak. The whole area is very arid, almost entirely lacking vegetation, with multi-colored rocks and very brightly hued glacial lakes.
The team has an adventurous approach to Cerro Pissis base camp ahead of them, to around 14,800′. We’re looking forward to receiving photos of this unique landscape when the team once they’re off the mountain and back to civilization.
While the team will attempt to call in updates via satellite phone as often as possible throughout the climb, keep in mind that “no news is good news” and many circumstances may prevent them from posting an update.