Climber discovers high altitude Inca remains

British climber John Biggar made a historic discovery during his ascent of a peak in the southern Cordillera Occidental last month, when he came upon a site filled with Inca remains.

Biggar discovered the high-altitude ruins on the summit of Alto Toroni, a borderline 6000m peak which lies on the border between Chile and Bolivia and has no formal recorded ascent. A long yet straightforward climb from Chaviri saw John scramble largely over scree and boulders to reach camp at 4,800m, before pushing through the high snowline of the mountain, and climbing a western subsidiary ridge to the summit the next day. The remains were found atop the volcanic mountain and consisted of a large platform construction surrounded by firewood and animal bone, in addition to a cairn.

On his return, Biggar researched the Inca construction online but found no record of such remains on the summit. He then contacted Andean high altitude archaeologist and National Geographic Explorer, Johan Reinhard, who confirmed that ‘the site looked to be an important one.’


Photo Credit: John Biggar/ANDES

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