Los Picos 6500: 13 Andes summits in 43 days by Franco Nicolini and Franchini brothers
The first part of Los Picos 6500 expedition comprised of Franco Nicolini, Tomas Franchini and Silvestro Franchini has now come to an end. The Italian alpinists have climbed 13 of the 16 highest peaks above 6500 meters in the South American Andes and the final three will be attempted when weather conditions improve in Peru in September.
The first part of the Los Picos 6500 expedition has come ended pretty much as it had begun, namely at breakneck speed. In mid-March Franco Nicolini and the brothers Tomas Franchini and Silvestro Franchini had set out to climb the 16 highest peaks over 6500 meters in the South American Andes in a mere 60 days and just the other day the trio, often accompanied by young Michele Leonardi, bagged the 6543 m summit of Mount Sajama.
With this ascent - the 13th of their list - they have now climbed the mountains in Argentina, Chile and Bolivia. In order to climb all 16 the trio will wait until September when weather conditions should all them to summit the remaining three peaks in Peru: Yerupaja (6617 m), Huascaran Sur (6746 m) and Huascaran Norte (6768 m).
The startling 43-day alpine-style enchainment commenced in the best possible with, with a rapid ascent of the continent’s highest mountain Aconcagua (6965 m). This "warm up" was immediately followed by Tupungato and Mercedario, and then Cerro Bonete (6759 m), Incahuasi (6621 m), Nevado Pissis (6795 m) and Walther Penck (6658 m). Taking advantage of their acclimatisation and a moment where according to Tomas Franchini "everything went better than expected, everything ran smoothly", they then climbed El Muerto (6505 m), Ojos del Salado (6893 m), Tres Cruces Sur (6748 m) and Tres Cruces Central (6629 m), Llullaillaco (6739 m) and Nevado Sajama (6542 m).
The team has now returned to La Paz, where the expedition leader Franco Nicolini posted the following report:
"A big dream in the bag...... a dream has come true. In 43 days we climbed the 13 major mountains in the South American Andes above 6500 meters in Argentina, Chile and Bolivia.
As we’d foreseen conditions in Peru are not good (avalanche danger) and we will therefore postpone the ascents of the last three mountains to September.
This fantastic undertaking achieved with the great alpinists Silvestro and Tomas Franchini was also carried out with young Michele Leonardi, a loyal partner while we climbed the mountains and extremely patient during the long trips from one peak to the next.
An infinite thanks to the logistics team: Rolando Linzing, Guilermo Almarez and Marco Calamarro. @ Atk_bindings, CAMP, SCARPA, @montura @intermatica @visittrentino”
Llullaillaco 6739 m
1. Aconcagua 6965 m
2. Volcan Tupungato 6570 m
3. Mercedario 6701 m
4. Cerro Bonete 6759 m
5. Nevado Pissis 6795 m
6. Incahuasi 6621 m
7. Ojos del Salado 6893 m
8. Volcán Nacimientos - Walther Penck 6658 m
9. El Muerto 6505 m
10. Tres Cruces Sur 6748 m
11. Tres Cruces Central 6629 m
12. Llullaillaco 6739 m
13. Nevado Sajama 6542 m
14. Huascaran Sur 6746 m
15. Huascaran Norte 6768 m
16. Yerupaja 6617 m