Bodies of Missing Climbers Found on Cerro Marmolejo

Yesterday, rescue pilots spotted the bodies of Ignacio Lucero, Raul Espir, and Sergio Berardo on the slopes of Cerro Marmolejo.

The threesome, who had been missing for a week, were lying on the snow and showed no signs of life. The climbers were located above 6,000m, separated by some 50 meters from each other, and apparently on the way down.

None of them made any signal, and the outside temperature was -15ºC, rescuers told Meganoticias.

A snowy cone of soft slopes and a caldera formation in front.

Cerro Marmolejo from the Chilean side. Photo: Wikipedia


Cerro Marmolejo is the southernmost volcano in South America but it is not often climbed due to its rough weather (especially strong winds) and remote location. It sits on the border between Chile and Argentina. Ignacio Lucero and his clients, all from Argentina, were on a summit push along the normal Chilean route, despite high winds.

A second guide and two other clients eventually retreated and returned home safely, but Lucero, Espir, and Berardo decided to continue. They last checked in a week ago, and Lucero’s tracker stopped sending a signal a day later.

Rescue services from Chile’s Special Forces Police and members of the National Disaster Response patrols remain in the area waiting for better weather, to go up on foot and retrieve the bodies.

Lucero was an experienced mountain guide and well-known in Mendoza’s climbing community. He had summited Aconcagua nearly 50 times and participated in many Himalayan expeditions.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.