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eAAJ Per u& Bol i vi a 2000– 2011

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List of Peru's Ranges and Peaks


List of Bolivia's Peaks and Ranges


Peru  Peaks  and  Ranges  in  the  AAJ,  2000–2011    

   

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How  to  navigate  this  ebook:   If  it  hasn’t  opened  automatically,  open  the  bookmarks  view  in  your  PDF  reader.   Identify  the  year  you’re  looking  for  from  the  list  below.     Click  on  that  year’s  bookmark.   Scroll  down  to  the  report  you’re  looking  for.  

Chinchey  Group:   2001  AAJ:   Palcaraju  Oeste,  South  Face,  New  Route,   Previously  Unreported.  

Cordillera  Blanca   2011  AAJ:   Artesonraju,  Southwest  Face,  variation.     Vallunaraju,  El  Gran  Mono.     Huantsan  West,  Les  Trois  Mousquetaires;   Huantsan  North,  Illusion.   Nevado  Quillujirca,  El  Sueno  de  los   Excluidos  and  La  Teoria  de  la  Gota  de   Agua.     Nevado  Ranrapalca,  La  Paliza  del   Ranrapalca.   Nevado  Rurec,  traverse.   Pucaraju,  Juego  de  los  Reyes  to  summit   ridge.   2010  AAJ:   Urus  Central,  El  Vuelo  del  Inca.   2009  AAJ:   Huaytapallana  I  and  Huaytapallana  II,  east   summit,  first  ascents.   Huascaran  massif,  unnamed  wall,  Entre   Boires.   Chopicalqui,  Burros  Eslovenos  to  Southeast   Ridge.   Nevado  Ulta,  Andinista–Rifnik,  to  summit   ridge.   Hatun  Ulloc,  Karma  de  los  Condores  Direct   (to  summit).   2008  AAJ:   Taulliraju,  north  face  to  final  cornice.   Nevado  Caraz  I,  Dos  Gringos  to  summit   cornices.   Chacraraju  Oeste,  Bouchard-­Meunier  (with   variations)  to  summit  ridge,  and   Alpamayo,  Chilean  variation.  

Nevado  Yanapaccha  Noroeste,  Hay  Que  Ser   Humildes.   Huascarán  Sur,  Turbera,  and  Nevado  Copa,   Mostro  Africano  to  southwest  ridge.   Apu  Wall,  Pararasapac  Inti.III,  Southeast   Face,  and  Contrahierbas,  attempt.   Quebrada  Ishinca,  rock  climbs.   Chinchey  Central,  Directa  Alberto  Vittone.   Yanamarey  Sur,  west  ridge.   2007  AAJ:   Pucahirca  Oeste,  attempt.   Taulliraju,  El  Centelleo.     Tocllaraju  (possible  new  route);  La  Esfinge;   Huandoy  Sur,  new  route  to  summit  ridge.     Chaupi Huanca, Qui Io Vado Ancora (to junction with Caravaca Jubilar). Cashan Este, Southwest Ridge. Huantsan Norte, The Wayqui Way. Huantsan Sur, Death or Glory. 2006  AAJ:   La  Esfinge,  Salida  desde  la  Oscuridad,  and   Waiting  for  Jurek.   Nevado  Ulta,  Toy’s  Band.   Nevado  Chugllaraju,  British  Route  to   summit  ridge.   Nevado  Chugllaraju,  west  face.   Cayesh,  Slo-­Am  Route,  and  other  activity.   Andavite/Chopiraju  Central,  Fight  Club.   Itsoc  Huanca,  Dominguerismo  Vertical.   Quebrada  Rurec,  Pietrorrrago:  Vaffanculo;   and  Itsoc  Huanca,  Libertades   Partecipacion.   Rurec,  Caravaca  Jubilar.   Shaqsha  Sur,  southeast  face.   Huaketsa  Punta,  Eder  Sabino  Cacha.   Cordillera  Blanca,  other  activity.   2005  AAJ:   Caraz  II,  Australian  Route  and  Salida   Directa  de  Los  Gordos.   Parón,  Bartonellosis  to  summit  mushroom.  


La  Esfinge,  Killa  Quillay  and  variation.   Yanawaca,  attempt.   Pisco  Este,  south  face  to  summit  ridge.   Chacraraju  Oeste,  The  Lord  of  the  Towers,   to  middle  summit.   Hualcán  Peak  5,350m  (Nevado  Libron),  east   ridge,  and  Huichganga,  south  ridge.   Hatun  Ulloc,  Karma  de  Los  Condores.   Oschapalca,  new  route  and  various  activity.   Jangyaraju,  south  face.   Huamashraju,  various  routes.   Cordillera  Blanca,  other  information.   2004  AAJ:   Nevado  Pucahirca  Norte  I,  The  Power  of   Perspective.   Nevado  Alpamayo,  tragedies.   Nevado  Quitaraju,  south  face,  clarification.   La  Esfinge,  Welcome  to  the  Slabs  of   Koricancha.   La  Esfinge,  southeast  face,  The  Furious   Gods.   La  Esfinge,  El  Diente  de  la  Esfinge.   Chacraraju  Este,  En  el  Alto,  el  Viento  sera   Nuestra  Recompensa,  to  summit  ridge.   Huandoy  Norte  and  Este,  Alexandra  and   Adam’s  Variation.   Huandoy  Sur,  11-­second  descent.   Chopicalqui,  significant  repeats.   Nevado  Ulta,  Personal  Jesus.   Nevado  Ulta,  west-­northwest  face.   Nevado  Copa,  South  Ridge.   Tocllaraju,  MGLA  to  Northwest  Ridge.   Churup,  correcting  the  correction.   2003  AAJ:   Alpamayo  to  north  ridge,  Sensations  of   History.   Taulliraju,  east  buttress,  second  ascent.   Santa  Cruz  Chico,  east  face  to  within  20m  of   summit.   Abasraju  to  summit  ridge,  Moonlighting.   La  Esfinge,  Variante  Checa.   Chacraraju  Oeste,  Jaeger  Route,  solo.   Pisco  Oeste,  Via  Traversiade.   Huandoy  Sur,  Crise  del  fe.   Nevado  Ulta  to  summit  ridge  cornices,   northwest  bowl.   Nevado  Ulta,  northwest  bowl,  attempt.   Nevado  Ulta  to  summit  ridge,  west-­ northwest  face,  solo.   Ocshapalca,  south  face.  

Milpocraju  to  summit  ridge,  Goulotte  Gau   Txoni.   Punta  Numa,  Hasta  Luego,  Zorro  (So  Long,   Fox).   Cordillera  Blanca,  clarifications  and   corrections.   Santa  Cruz  Norte,West  Face,  correction.   Tuctubamba,  Middle  Earth,  correction.   Caraz  II,  south  face  variation,  correction.   Artesonraju,  northeast  face,  correction.   Huandoy  Sur,  Oro  del  Inca,  correction.   Palcaraju  Oeste,  Tocllaraju  Sur,  correction.   Huamashraju,  west  face,  correction.   Churup,  496spa-­smos,  correction.   2002  AAJ:   Santa  Cruz  Norte,  west  face  attempt;   Pyramide  de  Garcilaso,  east  face  attempt.   Nevado  Quitaraju,  south  face.   Tuctubamba,Middle  Earth.   La  Esfinge,  Via  Gringos.   La  Esfinge,  Mecho  Taq  Inti?   Caraz  II,  south  face  variation.   Artesonraju,  northeast  face.   Chacraraju  Oeste,  south  face.   Huandoy  Sur,  No  Fiesta  Hoy  Dia.   Palcaraju  Oeste,  Ratz  Fatz.   Huamashraju,  west  face.   Chinchey  Group:  Shahuanca,  Cherup  II,  El   Roca  del  Cuyé  Loco.   Churup,  496spa-­smos.   Cashan  Este,  Mathi,  Matias.   Ocshapalca,Variante  Peruana.   Nevado  Kayesh,  Italian  Route  variation   attempt.   Punta  Numa,  So  Long  Fox.   2001  AAJ:   Alpamayo,  Ferrari  Route.   Huascaran  Norte,  Attempt  and  Tragedy.   Huandoy  Group,  Various  Ascents  and   Descents.   Huandoy  NOW,  North  Face,  Attempt,  and   Northwest  Face,  Solo  Ascent.   Nevado  Ulta,  Northwest  Face,  Attempt.   Paron  Valley,  Aguja  III  and  Caraz  I,   Attempts.   Paron  Valley,  La  Esfinge,  The  Riddle  of  the   Cordillera  Blanca,  New  Route.   Paron  Valley,  La  Esfinge,  Cruz  del  SUI;  New   Route.   Paron  Valley,  La  Esfinge,  Here  Comes  the  


Sun,  New  Route.   La  Esfinge,  Here  Comes  the  Sun,  First  Free   Ascent.   La  Esfinge,  Little  Fluffy  Clouds,  New  Route.   La  Esfinge,  Dion’s  Dihedral,  New  Variation   and  First  Free  Ascent.   La  Esfinge,  Lobe  Estepario,  New  Route.   La  Esfinge,  Todos  Narcos.   La  Esfinge,  1985  Route,  Rapid  Free  Ascents.   La  Esfinge,  Intuition,  New  Route.   SHALL  WE  TAKE  A  DRILL?:  The  riddle  of   style  in  the  Cordillera  Blanca,  La  Esfinge.   (Feature  by  Leo  Houlding)   2000  AAJ:   Alpamayo  and  Santa  Crux,  New  Routes.   Shaqsha,  South-­Southeast  Face.   Nevado  Rurec,  Brevete  Seguro.   Huantsán,  North  Face,  New  Route.   Ishinca,  Northwest  Face,  Magic  Mushrooms.   Churup,  Northwest  Face,  Primorska  Smer.   Pisco  West,  Southwest  Face.   Chacraraju,  East  Face,  The  Shriek  of  the   Black  Stone.   Chopicalqui,  West  Face,  Piece  of  Happiness.   Yanawaka,  Attempt  and  Possible  First   Ascent.   Rurek  Valley,  Unnamed  Peak,  Mission   Control.   Ranrapalca,  Scandinavian  Direct,  Solo.   Paron  Valley  La  Esfinge,  Dion‘s  Dihedral.   La  Esfinge,  East  Face,  Papas  Relleñas.    

Cordillera  Raura   2001  AAJ:   Cordillera  Raura,  Various  New  Routes.  

Cordillera  Chaupijanca   2004  AAJ:   Shicra,  west  face  and  southeast  ridge.  

Cordillera  Huallanca   2002  AAJ:   Nevado  Huallanca,  Koso.  

Cordillera  Huayhuash   2011  AAJ:   Mituraju,  west  face  and  other  activity.     2010  AAJ:   Puscanturpa,  Barne  Sua.  

2009  AAJ:   Puscanturpa  Chiquita,  Burro  Loco.   2008  AAJ:   Siulá  Chico,  west  face.   SIULÁ  CHICO:  The  first  ascent  of  a  huge  ice   wall  in  the  Cordillera  Huayhuash  of  Peru.   (Feature  by  Jordi  Corominas)   Pt.  5,740m  (“Siula  Antecima”),  naming   correction.   Quesillo,  east  ridge,  Electric  Lane,  to  near   summit;  Huaraca,  North  Ridge  and   Northeast  Face.   Trapecio,  Los  Viejos  Roqueros  Nunca   Mueren,  and  tragedy.   Puscanturpa  Este,  Stonehenge.   Historical  note  and  correction.   Climbs  and  Treks  in  the  Cordillera   Huayhuash  of  Peru.   2007  AAJ:   Rondoy,  attempt  to  summit  ridge  cornices.   Siula  Antecima,  Mis  Amigos.     Nevado  Quesillo,  Northeast  Face;  Nevado   Carnicero,  attempt.     2006  AAJ:   Yerupaja  Sur,  Furieux  Mais  Romantiques.   Trapecio,  Southeast  Face  Direct.   Puscanturpa  Sur,  El  Guardian  de   Pachamama,  to  top  of  rock  wall.   2005  AAJ:   Siula  Chico,  A  Scream  of  Silence,  to  summit   ridge.   2004  AAJ:   Nomenclature  in  the  Huayhuash.   Jirishanca  summary.   Jirishanca,  Suerte  to  East  Buttress.   JIRISHANCA:  A  climbing  history  of  the   Hummingbird  Peak’s  southeast  face,  Peru.   (Feature  by  Jeremy  Frimer)   FEAR  AND  LOATHING:  Alpine-­style   suffering  on  Jirishanca’s  great  southeast   face.  (Feature  by  Nick  Bullock)   TAMBO,  CHURROS  Y  AMIGOS:  One  crazy   adventure  on  the  southeast  face  of   Jirishanca.  (Feature  by  Didier  Jourdain)   Yerupaja,  Limitless  Madness  to  summit   ridge.   Puscanturpa  Norte,  various  activity.   2003  AAJ:   Jirishanca  Chico,  southeast  face,  Sweet  Child   of  Mine.  


Jirishanca  Norte  to  summit  slopes.   Tsacra  Grande,West  Face.   Siula  Grande,  Los  Rapidos.   Siula  Grande,  west  face  nearly  to  summit   ridge.   Puscanturpa  Norte  and  Nevado  Cuyoc.   2002  AAJ:   Nevado  Yerupaja  Grande.   Siula  Grande,  south  face,  Southern   Discomfort;  other  peaks.   Siula  Grande,  Noches  de  “Juerga.”   Central  Puscanturpa,  Insumision.   2001  AAJ:   Jirishanca,  East  Face,  Attempt.   Nevado  Cuyoc,  La  Face  B,  New  Route,   Previously  Unreported.     Puscanturpa  Norte,  via  Macanacota,  New   Route.   Puscanturpa  Norte,  Pasta  Religion,  New   Route.   2000  AAJ:   Siula  Grande,  West  Face,  Avoiding  the   Touch.  

Cordillera  Vilcanota   2009  AAJ:   Various  new  routes.   2007  AAJ:   San  Braullo,  West  Glacier;  Alccachaya,   South  Ridge;  Quimsachata  Este,  Via  de  las   Vizcachas.     Colque  Cruz  I,  I  Am  Dynamite;  Peak  Bethia,   possible  first  ascent.     Cayangate,  Satan’s  Legs;  Nevado  Chumpe,   Three  Chumps  on  Chumpe.     2006  AAJ:   Auzangate  Massif,  mapping  and  new   approach  route.   2005  AAJ:   Various  ascents.   Various  ascents  (2).   2004  AAJ:   Chumpe  (Jatunriti)  traverse,  Colquecruz  1   attempt  (Alcamarinayoc).   2001  AAJ:   Cordillera  Klcanota,  Various  Ascents,   Previously  Unreported.  

Cordillera  Central   2011  AAJ:   Huaguruncho,  Llama  Karma  to  summit   ridge.   Suiricocha,  Manon  Dos,Vicunita,  new   routes.   2010  AAJ:   Nevado  Vicuñita,  Last  Inca.   2006  AAJ:   Pariakaka,  Peru  6  Mil.   Tunshu,  Direct  Northeast  Face.   2005  AAJ:   Nevado  Llongote,  Lima-­Limon.   2004  AAJ:   Correction,  note  on  naming.   Yanashinga,West  Face.   Yanashinga,  Direct  South  Face.   Nevado  Huaguruncho,  Tancash.   2003  AAJ:   Cordillera  de  la  Viuda,  ascents.   Cordillera  Jatún  Chácua,  clarification,  and   Cerro  Janpari,  ascent.   Nevado  Llongote,  Los  Pecados  se  Rien!,  I-­ Célines,  and  Longue,  Haute,  et  Magnifico.   2002  AAJ:   Huarochirí, ��Nevado  Sullcón,  north  face;   Nevado  Vicuñita  Sur,  southeast  face,   southwest  face.   2001  AAJ:   Huarochiri,  various  first  ascents.  

Cordillera  Oriental   2007  AAJ:   Huarancayo  South,  first  ascent.     2006  AAJ:   Various  ascents.  

Cordillera  Vilcabamba   2006  AAJ:   Cordillera  Vilcabamba,  various  ascents.   2004  AAJ:   Nevado  Weqqe  Suruchi,  A  Life  Less   Ordinary.   Pumasillo  Group,  multiple  ascents.  

Cordillera  Yauyos   2010  AAJ:   Nevado  Ticlla,  southwest  and  southeast   face.  


Cordillera  Apolobamba   2008  AAJ:   Cordillera  Apolobamba,  various  ascents.   2004  AAJ:   Ritipata,  Palomani  Grande,  Palomani   Tranca  Central,  and  other  ascents.   2003  AAJ:   Ananea  Group,  various  ascents.  

Cordillera  Carabaya   2008  AAJ:   Chichicapac,  north  ridge;  Mamacapac,  first   ascent;  Cornice,  south  ridge.   2006  AAJ:   Cordillera  Carabaya,  various  ascents.          

Bolivia  peaks  and   ranges  are  on  the  next   page.  


Bolivia  Peaks  &  Ranges   2000–2011  

  2011  AAJ:   Cordillera  Real,  Illimani,  Deliver  Me.   Cordillera  Real,  Serkhe  Khollu,  Chamaka.   Cordillera  Quimsa  Cruz,  Monte  Rosa,  Minute   Men,  and  Saturno,  Plaza  Alonso  de   Mendoza.   2010  AAJ:   Cordillera  Apolobamba,  first  ascents.   Cordillera  Real,  Peak  Austria,  Caporales   Celtica.   Cordillera  Real,  Illimani,  Pacha  Brava.   2009  AAJ:   Cordillera  Apolobamba,  Huancasayani   Valley,  first  ascents  and  new  routes.   Chaupi  Orko,  Southeast  Ridge.   Illimani,  south  face  to  southwest  ridge.   2008  AAJ:   Khuchu  Mocoya  Valley,  ascents  and   exploration.   2007  AAJ:   General  information.   Cordillera  Apolobamba,  Palomani  Sur,  first   ascent,  and  various  new  terrain.   Cordillera  Real,  Pico  Schulze,  southwest   face;  Punta  5,505m.   Northern  and  Central  Cordillera  Real,   various  new  routes.   Chearoco  south  summit,  East  Pillar.   Illimani,  Phajsi  Face,  Inti  Face,  and  Puerta   del  Sol;  Pico  Layca  Khollu,  Acalanto.   Cordillera  Quimsa  Cruz,  Cerro  Sofia,  west   face  and  correction.   2006  AAJ:   Bolivia,  various  ascents.   2005  AAJ:   Cordillera  Apolobamba,  Cololo  (5,915m);   Chaupi  Orco  northern  summit  (6,000m);   Katantica  Central  (5,610m);  new  routes   and  repeats.   Cordillera  Real,  Overview  and  new  routes.   Cordillera  Quimsa  Cruz,  New  routes  and   information.   2004  AAJ:  

Cordillera  Real,  Condoriri  Group,  Ilusión,   Ilusión  Congelada.   Ancohuma,  Barrador  Intimo;  Pico  del  Norte,   C’est  la  Vie,  and  other  ascents.   2003  AAJ:   Pico  Gotico,  Via  del  Arco.     Cabeza  de  Condor,  La  Promenade  des   Braves;  Huallomen,  Duende  del  Diablo;  and   Illampu,  La  Conjuration  des  Imbecile.     Cordillera  Quimsa  Cruz,  The  Big  Wall,  The   AA  Crack.     Cordillera  Quimsa  Cruz,  Araca  Group,   various  ascents.   Cordillera  Quimsa  Cruz,  Various  ascents   and  descents.     2002  AAJ:   Northern  Apolobamba.   Chearoco  Valley.     Illimani,  Nada  es  Seguro.     Condoriri  Group,  Huallomen,  southwest   face,  Bon  Anniversaire  Annick.     Cuernos  del  Diablo,  north  face;  Gigante   Grande,  Via  Loco.     2001  AAJ:   Cordillera  Real,  Cerro  Ventanani,  Ruta  de   Los  Amigos,  New  Route  and  Cerro   Sancayuni,  West  Face  Hanging  Glacier   Route,  First  Solo  Ascent.   Condoriri  Area,  Various  Ascents  and  Map   Correction.   Cordillera  Quimsa  Cruz,  Mocoya  Valley  and   Eastern  Taruj  Umana  Valley,  Various   Ascents.   Taruca  Umana  Valleys,  New  Routes,   Previously  Unreported.   Taruca  Umana  Vallqv  and  Cerro  Auchuma,   Various  New  Routes.   Southern  Cordillera  Quimsa  Crux,  Various   Activity.   2000  AAJ:   Cordillera  Real,  Various  Activity,      


164

The American Alpine Jour nal, 2011

Peru The online version of these reports frequently contains additional photos, maps, topos, and extended text. Please visit  aaj. americanalpineclub.org

Cordillera Bla n ca Artesonraju, Southwest Face, variation. On June 13, Michael Sanchez Adams (Chile) made a probable new variation (900m, D+ 70–80° M1/M2), solo, to the classic Southwest Face route. He began at 3 a.m., believing that he was on the classic route but he actually was farther right, on the rock band where there are no known routes. He climbed a 350m 70–75° couloir to reach a rock ridge with hard snow and pitches M1/M2. Then, at 5:30 a.m., he traversed left under the characteristic hanging serac. In the final difficult (80°) section he self-belayed 45m, 50m, and 60m pitches. Finally he reached the summit (6,025m) at 3 p.m. and began the long descent.

Sergio Ramírez Carrascal, Peru Vallunaraju, El Gran Mono. Peruvian climbers Beto Pinto, Rolando Morales, and Steven Fuentes left Huaraz at midday on July 8. After a twohour drive to Llaca Valley at 4,300m, they walked toward Vallunaraju’s (5,600m) south face. One-and-a-half hours in, they found a small cave under a boulder where they bivouaced. The next morning El Gran Mono, on the south face of Vallunaraju. Beto Pinto they set off for the glacier at 2 a.m. The initial ascent included 50–60° sections and was challenging due to an abundance of loose snow. After three hours they reached the wall where they found a difficult section of rock with hard ice in the cracks, which took six hours for two pitches. The first pitch was aid (A2) and the second was rock climbing at 6a, with lots of loose snow that they had to clean in order to place protection. The situation worsened as the clouds descended upon them, reducing visibility, and it began snowing heavily. They then climbed a series of 80° and 90° pitches. Finally, after 17 hours of climbing, at 7 p.m. they reached the summit and then rappelled the normal route on the west face. El Gran Mono (300m, 70–90° 6a A2).

Sergio Ramírez Carrascal, Peru


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Huantsan West, Les Trois Mousquetaires; Hu ant s an No r t h , Illusion. From the Rajucolta Valley on July 20, Beto Pinto, Rolando Morales, and I crossed the moraine onto t he g l a c i e r, navigated extensive crevasses, and camped at approx i m at e l y 5,100m. The next day, carrying little, we approached the bottom of the face. Les Trois Mousquetaires, on Huantsan West. Sophie Denis It was a mess. Hipdeep snow made trail-breaking a challenge and increased the crevasse difficulties, but we finally crossed the bergschrund and began climbing the south face of the west ridge of Huantsan’s west summit. A nice couloir, 50–60° with deep snow and loose rocks, steepened to 70°, 80°, and 90°. At the end of the last pitch, we tunneled through a hanging mushroom, continued to the summit at 7 p.m., and endured an open bivouac. We called our route Les Trois Mousquetaires. After resting all day, on July 22 at 8:00 p.m., we started climbing to Huantsan’s north summit. We passed some crevasses and climbed three easy (50°) pitches, then continued past some loose rocks and up a couloir of good 70–80° ice to pass a big mushroom on the ridge. We summited Huantsan North after 12 hours of climbing, named our route Illusion, and descended to our previous night’s open bivouac. Illusion, on Huantsan North. Sophie Denis

Sophie Denis, AAC Nevado Quillujirca, El Sueño de los Excluidos and La Teoría de la Gota de Agua. In the Rurec Valley, called by many climbers the “Little Yosemite” of the Andes, an Italian expedition opened two new routes on Nevado Quillujirca (5,040m; Quillujirca is the local name, a.k.a. Huantsán Chico or Shaqsha). The team installed base camp on May 6, with a main objective of Punta Numa’s west face, where in 1997 a Spanish team opened the first route on the impressive granite wall. Due to unfavorable weather, the Italians decided on Nevado Quillujirca instead. On May 11, Roberto Iannilli and Andrea DiDonato


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climbed 300m up to a large shelf where they installed bivouac equipment and then returned to base camp, leaving fixed ropes. The next day, they returned to the bivouac with Ivo S c ap p at u r a , b ut b a d weather held until May 15. Scappatura returned to base camp due to health problems, but DiDonato Climbing on El Sueño de los Excluidos. Roberto Iannilli and Iannilli continued climbing the southeast face on muddy and vegetated El Sueño de los Excluidos (right) and La Teoría de la Gota de Agua, with cracks. After three bivouacs the advanced camp on the vegetated shelf. Roberto Iannilli on the ascent and another on the descent, they opened El Sueño de los Excluidos (1,340m, VII/VII+ A2, 25 pitches, May 11–18). Around the same dates, Luca D’Andrea and Massimo Massimiano climbed the south face of the same mountain, calling their line La Teoría de la Gota de Agua (800m, VII- A2). The route shares the same initial 300m as El Sueño, and does not reach the summit.

Sergio Ramírez Carrascal, Peru

Cordillera Huayhua sh

The Spanish climbing on the west face of Mituraju, with Está el Barrio Que da Miedo on the left (ending at the ridge). Equipo Español de Alpinismo

Mituraju, west face and other activity. The Equipo Español de Alpinismo (Spanish Alpine Climbing Team) installed base camp at Jahuacocha lake - Gocha Cutan (4,066m) on May 20. From there they crossed a dangerous glacier and carried their equipment to high camp (5,000m) on the plateau beneath Rondoy, Mituraju, Jirishanca, Yerupajá Chico, and El Toro. Conditions in most of the mountains last May were very dry and dangerous, with falling rocks and many crevasses. The brothers Martín and Simón Elías (director of team) attempted a new route on Yerupaja Grande’s (6,634m)


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southwest face/ridge, reaching 6,200m. Afterward, Alex Corpas, Silvestre Barrientos, Mikel Bonilla, and Simón Elías tried the first repeat of the 1985 Joe Simpson - Simon Yates route the west face of Siula Grande (6,354m), also reaching 6,200m. On June 5, on the west face of Mituraju (5,750m), Barrientos and Corpas established Está el Barrio Que da Miedo (750m, MD+ 90° M5 V5) to the summit ridge. The next day, Bonilla and Dani Crespo also climbed high on the west face, calling their efforts Pim Pam Toma Cornisazo (MD+ 90° M5 V5). Both attacks were made from the TAM glacier in one day each. Later in July, in the Cordillera Blanca, Crespo and Bonilla died while attempting a new route on the west face of Chacraraju (6,112m). Beforehand they had climbed the Bouchard route on the same mountain, and also, with David Bautista, made the first almost-free (one pendulum) ascent of Papas Rellenas (650m, 6c A3) on Cerro Parón (a.k.a. La Esfinge, 5,325m), freeing the A3 section at 7b.

Sergio Ramírez Carrascal, Peru

Cordillera Central Huaguruncho, Llama Karma to summit ridge. Tony Barton and I returned to the Quebrada Huaguruncho after a two-year absence. Our objective was the first ascent of the southwest face of Huaguruncho (5,730m), by the same line we had attempted in 2008 with Olly Metherell. Barton had also previously visited on three other occasions between 2003 and 2006. We initially planned to acclimatize by climbing the S-couloir of Huarancaya Sur, which had appeared icy and viable in 2008. But conditions were far more dry in 2010, so, instead, we acclimatized on an unclimbed ridge on the rock peak Yanacocha (5,150m), on the south side of the valley. On July 27–28, we got most of the way up the ridge, including the likely first ascents of two sub-peaks, until a huge overhanging chasm barred our way and we aborted about 150m below the main summit. After a couple of days of rest at base camp, we attempted our main objective, the southwest face of Huaguruncho. We were largely successful, climbing the face (but not to the summit), and calling our route Llama Karma (1000m, 24 pitches, ED 90° V[UIAA rock]). We left base camp on July 31, reached the ridge atop the face on August 3, and the next day downclimbed and rappelled the far side, in the direction of the 1956 first ascent ridge and toward the Matthews Glacier until reaching the valley floor. On August 5, we continued hiking down a long valley, up over a high pass next to Huarancaya Sur, and back to the valley of our base camp.

Tom Chamberlain, U.K.

Llama Karma, on the southwest face of Huaguruncho. Tom Chamberlain


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Suiricocha, Manon Dos, Vicunita, new routes. Over the course of a week in the Cordillera Central in late May, Beto Pinto and I opened t h re e ne w l i ne s of difficulty MD+. The north face of Suiricocha (5,495m) had nine pitches, finishing with The new routes on Vicunita, Manon Dos, and Suiricocha. Sophie Denis a steep (80°+) pitch of ice and loose rock. The west face of Manon Dos (5,500m) was short, about three pitches of 70–90° ice, but with bad snow, avalanche danger and giant crevasses. Last, we climbed the west face of Vicunita (5,538m), seven pitches including a crux 60m pitch of mixed climbing to 90°.

Sophie Denis, AAC

Bolivia Cordillera Real, Illimani, Deliver Me. At the end of July, Florian Hill (Austria and Germany) and Robert R auch (B olivia and Germany) began climbing new ice, rock, and mixed terrain below the gableend of the southwest ridge of Illimani. The initial passages were threatened by large, broken seracs and had ice to 90°, difficult mixed climbing, and rotten 5th-class rock. Above, they joined much easier terrain on the Sanchez-Mesili southwest ridge route, and endured The start to the new route on the south face of Illimani, by Florian Hill and an unplanned bivy after Robert Rauch. (Inset) Hill traversing low on the route. florianhill.com 17+ hours and about 1,000m. Four days after beginning their climb they reached the main summit (south summit; Pico Sur, 6,439m). Their route gained approximately 1,600m vertical and 6km length. They descended the normal West Ridge


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route in another two days. The climbers’ individual accounts of the climb differ in many other aspects.

Compiled from correspondence with Florian Hill and Robert Rauch Cordillera Real, Serkhe Khollu, Chamaka. From our base camp on the glimmering shores of Sirki Khota Lake, Robert Rauch, Stefan Berger, and I spotted a logical line on the southwest face of 5,546m Serkhe Khollu, which is the main summit of the Florian Hill high on Illimani. florianhill.com Serranias Serkhe and Murillo, situated between Mururata and Chacaltaya. On June 10, in total darkness and sub-zero temperatures, we searched for access to its base. Not even three meters wide, the icefall soared vertically upward. We sorted our gear, racked up, and stepped into unknown terrain. On the second pitch, the ice surprised us with poor quality, and every swing of our picks at that altitude felt like hard work. On the fourth pitch, Chamaka, on the southwest face of Serkhe Khollu. Anoththe ice tube unexpectedly ended, forcing er route, Durch das Nasenloch, by Austrian climbers, has climbed on the face, but it largely disappeared with us onto sparsely protected mixed terrain been glacial retreat. florianhill.com with brittle ice. Happiness lit-up our faces as we reached the next ice tube, and we climbed faster—a good thing, as the sun illuminated seracs overhead. But we managed to escape the danger zone. Pitches of 75–85° glacier ice followed, and we climbed quickly. In the last two pitches leading to the summit ridge, the glacier steepened again but Stefan led us through with confidence, and we crested the ridge after ten hours of climbing 600m of ice and mixed terrain. The descent, not technically challenging but littered with crevasses, led down to a scree Robert Rauch leading off on Chamaka, Serkhe field that again called for surefootedness and Khollu. florianhill.com concentration. We donned our head torches and continued back to base camp. So near the equator, the transition from day to night happens without twilight. Our new route, Chamaka (Aymara for darkness), began and ended in moonless darkness.

Florian Hill, Austria-Germany


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Cordillera Quimsa Cruz, Monte Rosa, Minute Men, and Saturno, Plaza Alonso de Mendoza. The northern fringe of the Quimsa Cruz comprises Bolivia’s stash of alpine granite. North of the mining town of Villoco, spires and gendarme-protected ridges occupy the sky between 4,000m and 5,000m. Josh Garrison and I visited this area twice between May 1–10. The information we’d collected online and around La Saturno from the west: (1) Camino de la Luna y del Sol (Calisaya- Paz before our trip suggested Pratt). (2) Plaza Alonso de Mendoza (Garrison-Phillips). Everett Phillips that some of the best climbing was located one ridge north of Villoco in the Mocoya Valley. We completed two new routes there. In our first stay we climbed Minute Men (350m, III 5.8) to the top of Monte Rosa’s (4,710m) south face. The route begins on slabs rising from Laguna Blanca’s northern edge. It trends right on mossy splitters (mostly 5.4/5.5) before moving back left to the ridge at the top. After that, weather closed in so we returned to La Paz to recharge. We returned three days Josh Garrison climbing Plaza Alonso de Mendoza, Saturno. later to climb the west buttress Everett Phillips of Saturno. The sketchy guidebook I got in La Paz lists Saturno at 5,011m, though the seemingly more reliable report from the 2007 Imperial College group [AAJ 2008, pp. 238–239; their full report can be found online—Ed.] puts it at 5,340m. It is obviously the tallest peak around. From the base of the formation, we easily followed parallel crack systems (5.7/5.8) to the top of the buttress in seven pitches. Though we were unable to find any record of previous climbs on the buttress, we found two pitons with slings on pitch one, and a sling on pitch six. Many route possibilities exist on the features we were climbing, though we thought it unlikely that our line had been taken to the summit before. From the top of the buttress we traversed down a narrow bridge of loose rock to the summit pyramid. The final 150m consisted of vertical rubble, taking us five more pitches to finish Plaza Alonso de Mendoza (580m, IV 5.9) at the summit. We reached the talus at midnight after six hours spent rappelling the mountain’s north face, and were back in camp two hours later.

Everett Phillips, Intervale, NH


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Urus Central, El Vuelo del Inca. After hiking to an advanced camp (4,900m) in the Ishinca Valley on October 16, Beto Pinto and Eric Albino began climbing the south face of Urus Central (5,495m). The initial 360m had loose snow and mixed climbing, to 80°, along with falling blocks of ice. They passed this section in two hours and continued on hard 70° snow for another six 60m pitches, reaching the summit at 12:30 p.m. They descended a ridge, with three rappels, and returned to camp by 6 p.m. El Vuelo del Inca (360m, MD+ 6a M5 70–90°).

Nevado Rurec, traverse. From June 8 to 10 two Spaniards, Eloi Callado and Joan Sole, and I traversed the twin summits of Nevado Rurec (5,696m) from the east. We originally wanted to climb the south side of Huantsan from a base camp beneath the southeast face, which we approached from Chavin in two days with burros. Our climb went up the east face of Huantsan’s south ridge to its crest at ca 5,600m, where we bivied. Then, however, rather than continuing up Huantsan, we The line to the crest of Huantsan’s south ridge, from where Buhler, Callado, and Sole headed west over the twin sumheaded west over the summits of Rurec and mits of Nevado Rurec. Carlos Buhler descended north into the Quebrada Rajucolta, then went on to Huaraz. Our cook brought our gear, with arrieros, from our base camp back to Chavin and then Huaraz. I don’t think anyone had traversed Nevado Rurec from east to west before. It wasn’t so much a spectacular route, but more of an extended alpine traverse.

Sergio Ramírez Carrascal, Peru

Carlos Buhler, AAC

Cordillera Blanca

Nevado Ranrapalca, La Paliza del Ranrapalca. The south face of Ranrapalca (6,162m) ca 6km wide, with rock, ice, and snow rising for 750–850m. Peruvian mountaineers and guides (AGMP-UIAGM) Eloy Salazar Obregón, Octavio Salazar Obregón, and Eric Albino (aspirant guide) started in the Cojup Valley on August 26, proceeding until a fork of the valley brought them to a spot below the face, where they camped at 4,800m. The next day, in bad weather, they scouted a possible route. The glacier leading to the base was in horrible condition, with fragile ice, huge crevasses, and delicate ice bridges. After feeling confident about their route, they returned to camp. Surprisingly, the weather improved, so they ate a light meal, tried to sleep, and at 11 p.m. began their attempt. Early on August 28 they crossed a bergschrund and, a few meters higher, another, at ca 5,150m. The first 240m had loose 50–60° snow, which they simul-climbed. They then belayed 40m of mixed climbing and resumed simul-climbing on hard snow for 240m, reaching hard ice near the top of the face. After an overhanging final passage, they entered an 80° couloir that in 120m led directly to the ridge. On the ridge they hiked to the summit, which they reached at 6:30 p.m. They descended the 55° east face and returned to camp, completing the ascent in 20 hours and the descent in nine hours. La Paliza del Ranrapalca (850m, ED 50°–90°/95°).

Urus Central’s south face, with El Vuelo del Inca. Americo Serrano

Pucaraju, Juego de los Reyes to summit ridge. In July, Nate Farr and I with the support of the AAC’s McNeill-Nott climbing grant attempted a new line on Caraz II, but were stopped by loose, overhanging rock down low. We returned to Huaraz, disheartened and without a mission. Adam French came to town The southwest face of Pucaraju, from left: Mururoa, Adam et Eve, and renewed our spirits with Choose Life, Hotline, Princesa au Petit Pois, and the new route, Juego pictures of the southwest face of de los Reyes, with the arrows showing the descent. Marcus Donaldson Pucaraju (5,320m), in the Yanamara subrange. Nate and I hopped a ride to Lake Queracocha and in half a day’s hike were bivied in a cave 2,000' below the face. As we hiked up on July 26, much of the face appeared covered in unconsolidated snow from a wet winter. However, a thin white line seemed to snake nearly unbroken all the way up the sunnier right side of the face. Game on! The first pitch was 60m of sustained thin ice and mixed climbing on a three-foot-wide ice ribbon. The friable rock offered uncertain protection, so we took belays whenever we could on the succeeding pitches of névé, ice, and rock. Steeper and more delicate mixed climbing, up to M6, in the upper couloir culminated in a narrow chute filled with classic Andean sugar snow. Upon reaching the ridge, we downclimbed and rapped the south ridge and a snow couloir to the climber’s right of our line. Juego de los Reyes (300m, 5.8 WI4 M6) ascends the first corner system right of a major slab bisecting the southwest face.

Sergio Ramírez Carrascal, Peru

La Paliza del Ranrapalca, on the south face of Ranrapalca. Eric Albino

Marcus Donaldson, Portland, OR, AAC


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Urus Central, El Vuelo del Inca. After hiking to an advanced camp (4,900m) in the Ishinca Valley on October 16, Beto Pinto and Eric Albino began climbing the south face of Urus Central (5,495m). The initial 360m had loose snow and mixed climbing, to 80°, along with falling blocks of ice. They passed this section in two hours and continued on hard 70° snow for another six 60m pitches, reaching the summit at 12:30 p.m. They descended a ridge, with three rappels, and returned to camp by 6 p.m. El Vuelo del Inca (360m, MD+ 6a M5 70–90°).

Nevado Rurec, traverse. From June 8 to 10 two Spaniards, Eloi Callado and Joan Sole, and I traversed the twin summits of Nevado Rurec (5,696m) from the east. We originally wanted to climb the south side of Huantsan from a base camp beneath the southeast face, which we approached from Chavin in two days with burros. Our climb went up the east face of Huantsan’s south ridge to its crest at ca 5,600m, where we bivied. Then, however, rather than continuing up Huantsan, we The line to the crest of Huantsan’s south ridge, from where Buhler, Callado, and Sole headed west over the twin sumheaded west over the summits of Rurec and mits of Nevado Rurec. Carlos Buhler descended north into the Quebrada Rajucolta, then went on to Huaraz. Our cook brought our gear, with arrieros, from our base camp back to Chavin and then Huaraz. I don’t think anyone had traversed Nevado Rurec from east to west before. It wasn’t so much a spectacular route, but more of an extended alpine traverse.

Sergio Ramírez Carrascal, Peru

Carlos Buhler, AAC

Cordillera Blanca

Nevado Ranrapalca, La Paliza del Ranrapalca. The south face of Ranrapalca (6,162m) ca 6km wide, with rock, ice, and snow rising for 750–850m. Peruvian mountaineers and guides (AGMP-UIAGM) Eloy Salazar Obregón, Octavio Salazar Obregón, and Eric Albino (aspirant guide) started in the Cojup Valley on August 26, proceeding until a fork of the valley brought them to a spot below the face, where they camped at 4,800m. The next day, in bad weather, they scouted a possible route. The glacier leading to the base was in horrible condition, with fragile ice, huge crevasses, and delicate ice bridges. After feeling confident about their route, they returned to camp. Surprisingly, the weather improved, so they ate a light meal, tried to sleep, and at 11 p.m. began their attempt. Early on August 28 they crossed a bergschrund and, a few meters higher, another, at ca 5,150m. The first 240m had loose 50–60° snow, which they simul-climbed. They then belayed 40m of mixed climbing and resumed simul-climbing on hard snow for 240m, reaching hard ice near the top of the face. After an overhanging final passage, they entered an 80° couloir that in 120m led directly to the ridge. On the ridge they hiked to the summit, which they reached at 6:30 p.m. They descended the 55° east face and returned to camp, completing the ascent in 20 hours and the descent in nine hours. La Paliza del Ranrapalca (850m, ED 50°–90°/95°).

Urus Central’s south face, with El Vuelo del Inca. Americo Serrano

Pucaraju, Juego de los Reyes to summit ridge. In July, Nate Farr and I with the support of the AAC’s McNeill-Nott climbing grant attempted a new line on Caraz II, but were stopped by loose, overhanging rock down low. We returned to Huaraz, disheartened and without a mission. Adam French came to town The southwest face of Pucaraju, from left: Mururoa, Adam et Eve, and renewed our spirits with Choose Life, Hotline, Princesa au Petit Pois, and the new route, Juego pictures of the southwest face of de los Reyes, with the arrows showing the descent. Marcus Donaldson Pucaraju (5,320m), in the Yanamara subrange. Nate and I hopped a ride to Lake Queracocha and in half a day’s hike were bivied in a cave 2,000' below the face. As we hiked up on July 26, much of the face appeared covered in unconsolidated snow from a wet winter. However, a thin white line seemed to snake nearly unbroken all the way up the sunnier right side of the face. Game on! The first pitch was 60m of sustained thin ice and mixed climbing on a three-foot-wide ice ribbon. The friable rock offered uncertain protection, so we took belays whenever we could on the succeeding pitches of névé, ice, and rock. Steeper and more delicate mixed climbing, up to M6, in the upper couloir culminated in a narrow chute filled with classic Andean sugar snow. Upon reaching the ridge, we downclimbed and rapped the south ridge and a snow couloir to the climber’s right of our line. Juego de los Reyes (300m, 5.8 WI4 M6) ascends the first corner system right of a major slab bisecting the southwest face.

Sergio Ramírez Carrascal, Peru

La Paliza del Ranrapalca, on the south face of Ranrapalca. Eric Albino

Marcus Donaldson, Portland, OR, AAC


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Cordillera Huayhuash Puscanturpa, Barne Sua. From June 27 to 29, Spanish (Basque) climbers Mikel Bonilla and Aitor Abendaño climbed the north face of Puscanturpa via a variation to the 2000 French route, Macanacota (AAJ 2001, p. 284). They began up a diagonal crack with a succession of unstable blocks. (A carabiner is visible 10m from the base.) The next pitches ascend grooved rock and cracks to a big ledge. Pitches 5–10 increase in difficulty, through dihedrals, overhangs, and chimneys, before a 10m traverse joins the route to Macanacota, which it takes to the summit. The team left bolts and pitons on their variation. They descended Macanacota by rappel. Barne Sua (750m, 7a+). Sergio Ramírez Carrascal, Peru

Cordillera Central Nevado Vicuñita, Last Inca. In late January, Peruvians Beto Pinto, Steven Fuentes, Roger Lliuya, and Darío Yucra, students of CEAM (the official mountain guiding school of Peru), made camp at Lake Paccha (4,600m), below the southwest face of Nevado Vicuñita (5,550m). They began at 3 a.m. on the 27th and at 6 a.m. reached 120m of unstable mixed ground below a hanging glacier. Above, a 100m, 60°–90° ice couloir took two hours and was the most difficult part of the wall. A 50°, 120m wall with loose snow then led to the north ridge. Following the Last Inca, on Nevado Vicuñita. Beto Pinto north ridge they reached the main summit at midday. The next day they descended to the village of San Mateo and named the route Last Inca (400m, MD+ 6a 65–90°). Sergio Ramírez Carrascal, Peru

Cordillera Yauyos Nevado Ticlla, southwest and southeast face. Ticlla (5,897m) is highest nevado of the Cordillera de Yauyos (east of Lima), located in the Reserva Paisajistica Nor Yauyos Cocha and accessed from the town of Miraflores (3,600m), whose residents call the peak “Cotoni.” French climbers Jean Francois Fillot, Sylvain Mellet, and Nicolas Whirsching trekked to a pass at 4,750m and continued to Lake Huascacohca (4,200m). They went north toward Ticlla and made base camp at 4,600m, close to a little unnamed lake. To reach the bottom of the southwest face, they

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climbed the very left side of rock bands and, at 4,900m, traversed just under the seracs to the right. They reached the glacier, passed the bergschrund on the right, and climbed directly toward the rock bands close to the summit. At 5,550m they climbed over a cornice onto the southeast face, 100m below the summit. Most of the route was 45°–50° and was done unroped. The southeast face is continuous 50°–55° Nevado Ticlla, with the route of ascent (left) and descent. snow from 5,400m to 5,850m and then Sylvain Mellet becomes easier. The climbers, who made the climb on May 8, perceived the overall difficulty as 900m D. Nicolas and Sylvain then skied the southeast face (500m, 50°–55° continuous), while Jean Francois downclimbed it to 5,750m, but became ill and could not continue. His teammates and the Miraflores people worked together to rescue him. Also, all three climbed and descended on skis the north face of Ranrapalca, in the Cordillera Blanca. Sergio Ramírez Carrascal, Peru

Bolivia Cordillera Apolobamba, first ascents. From the village of Pelechuco, we (Daria Mamica-Galka, Jakub Galka, Wojciech Chaladaj, and Marcin Kruczyk) hired five mules and trekked to the Huancasayani Valley. To the best of our knowledge the valley had been the target of two previous expeditions—German in 1998 and New Zeland/American in 2008. Thanks to materials and information obtained from James Dempster, a member of the latter expedition, and a copy of Paul Hudson’s map, presented by Royal Geographical Society, we identified summits and made rough plans. A three-day trek took us over three passes above 4,500m. About two km before Puina we turned west into the Huancasayani Valley and continued for several more hours, reaching a perfect base camp (4,600m) on the edge of a side valley falling from Coquenzi, 2–3 hours from Lusuni Pass. After two days of acclimatization, we attacked our first target—the probably unclimbed, unnamed four-summit ridge, which we called Trata Tata, falling to the north from Pacasqua Mukuku (ca 5,050m). On July 19 three of us (Jakub, Wojciech, Marcin) climbed the second highest summit in the Trata Tata massif, following the northwest ridge from the lowest pass, which is easily accessible from both sides (rock difficulty II, with several pitches up to V; very loose rock). We returned to camp via the east face, with two rappels and a three-hour walk. Two days


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Cordillera Huayhuash Puscanturpa, Barne Sua. From June 27 to 29, Spanish (Basque) climbers Mikel Bonilla and Aitor Abendaño climbed the north face of Puscanturpa via a variation to the 2000 French route, Macanacota (AAJ 2001, p. 284). They began up a diagonal crack with a succession of unstable blocks. (A carabiner is visible 10m from the base.) The next pitches ascend grooved rock and cracks to a big ledge. Pitches 5–10 increase in difficulty, through dihedrals, overhangs, and chimneys, before a 10m traverse joins the route to Macanacota, which it takes to the summit. The team left bolts and pitons on their variation. They descended Macanacota by rappel. Barne Sua (750m, 7a+). Sergio Ramírez Carrascal, Peru

Cordillera Central Nevado Vicuñita, Last Inca. In late January, Peruvians Beto Pinto, Steven Fuentes, Roger Lliuya, and Darío Yucra, students of CEAM (the official mountain guiding school of Peru), made camp at Lake Paccha (4,600m), below the southwest face of Nevado Vicuñita (5,550m). They began at 3 a.m. on the 27th and at 6 a.m. reached 120m of unstable mixed ground below a hanging glacier. Above, a 100m, 60°–90° ice couloir took two hours and was the most difficult part of the wall. A 50°, 120m wall with loose snow then led to the north ridge. Following the Last Inca, on Nevado Vicuñita. Beto Pinto north ridge they reached the main summit at midday. The next day they descended to the village of San Mateo and named the route Last Inca (400m, MD+ 6a 65–90°). Sergio Ramírez Carrascal, Peru

Cordillera Yauyos Nevado Ticlla, southwest and southeast face. Ticlla (5,897m) is highest nevado of the Cordillera de Yauyos (east of Lima), located in the Reserva Paisajistica Nor Yauyos Cocha and accessed from the town of Miraflores (3,600m), whose residents call the peak “Cotoni.” French climbers Jean Francois Fillot, Sylvain Mellet, and Nicolas Whirsching trekked to a pass at 4,750m and continued to Lake Huascacohca (4,200m). They went north toward Ticlla and made base camp at 4,600m, close to a little unnamed lake. To reach the bottom of the southwest face, they

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climbed the very left side of rock bands and, at 4,900m, traversed just under the seracs to the right. They reached the glacier, passed the bergschrund on the right, and climbed directly toward the rock bands close to the summit. At 5,550m they climbed over a cornice onto the southeast face, 100m below the summit. Most of the route was 45°–50° and was done unroped. The southeast face is continuous 50°–55° Nevado Ticlla, with the route of ascent (left) and descent. snow from 5,400m to 5,850m and then Sylvain Mellet becomes easier. The climbers, who made the climb on May 8, perceived the overall difficulty as 900m D. Nicolas and Sylvain then skied the southeast face (500m, 50°–55° continuous), while Jean Francois downclimbed it to 5,750m, but became ill and could not continue. His teammates and the Miraflores people worked together to rescue him. Also, all three climbed and descended on skis the north face of Ranrapalca, in the Cordillera Blanca. Sergio Ramírez Carrascal, Peru

Bolivia Cordillera Apolobamba, first ascents. From the village of Pelechuco, we (Daria Mamica-Galka, Jakub Galka, Wojciech Chaladaj, and Marcin Kruczyk) hired five mules and trekked to the Huancasayani Valley. To the best of our knowledge the valley had been the target of two previous expeditions—German in 1998 and New Zeland/American in 2008. Thanks to materials and information obtained from James Dempster, a member of the latter expedition, and a copy of Paul Hudson’s map, presented by Royal Geographical Society, we identified summits and made rough plans. A three-day trek took us over three passes above 4,500m. About two km before Puina we turned west into the Huancasayani Valley and continued for several more hours, reaching a perfect base camp (4,600m) on the edge of a side valley falling from Coquenzi, 2–3 hours from Lusuni Pass. After two days of acclimatization, we attacked our first target—the probably unclimbed, unnamed four-summit ridge, which we called Trata Tata, falling to the north from Pacasqua Mukuku (ca 5,050m). On July 19 three of us (Jakub, Wojciech, Marcin) climbed the second highest summit in the Trata Tata massif, following the northwest ridge from the lowest pass, which is easily accessible from both sides (rock difficulty II, with several pitches up to V; very loose rock). We returned to camp via the east face, with two rappels and a three-hour walk. Two days


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later we reached the unclimbed west peak of Coquenzi (5,150m; its main summit was climbed by both previous expeditions) via the southwest ridge and descended via the German route, after a rappel from the summit. The most serious problem with this AD climb (glacier to 70°, rock/mixed to M4) was extremely fragile rock. Our third aim was the possibly unclimbed Nevado Losoccocha Trata Tata, from base camp. Marcin Kruczyk on the western ridge of Kura Huari, on the Peruvian side (5,100m). Two of us (Wojciech and Marcin) climbed and descended it on July 23, following the shepherds’ and smugglers’ path to Lusuni Pass, then crossing a glacier and scrambling the east ridge. The whole climb is easy (F+, 20–40° glacier, rock I-II) but unpleasant due to poor rock. After a rest day, we focused on the 5,000m Coquenzi West, as seen from Trata Tata. Solid line is unclimbed, unnamed summit on the main ascent, dashed the descent. Marcin Kruczyk ridge extending south from Kura Huari. We ascended it on July 25, via the east face, encountering difficulties of AD. We christened it La Indigna, due to its inconspicuous figure. An easy rock face led to a chimney (M3), then a glaciated couloir (70° max) to a pass (which separates La Indigna from FAE 5 [climbed and named by the Ger- Looking northwest from Trata Tata. (KH) The Kura Huari massif, on mans]), from which we summited which several spires have been climbed by the two previous parties in the area (close-up photo on p. 190, AAJ 2009). (I) La Indigna. with a single, easy (M2) pitch. Due (3) & (5) FAE 3 & 5 (1997 German expedition). (CW) Coquenzi to a strong wind, snowfall, and dif- West. Wojciech Chaladaj ficult climbing, we did not climb the 7m rock monolith crowning the summit. On the last day of our stay, three of us (Jakub, Wojciech, and Marcin) repeated the German route to the summit identified in their report as FAE 3, finding easy terrain. On July 29 we returned to Pelechuco, and a few days later, back at El Carretero hostel in La Paz with a bottle of wine, we considered our expedition a success. [A map and other photos are posted at aaj.americanalpineclub.org] Marcin Kruczyk and Wojciech Chaladaj, Poland Cordillera Real, Peak Austria, Caporales Celtica. Paddy Englishman, Paddy Scotsman, and Paddy Irishman (Jim Osborne, Rob MacCallum, and I) arrived in La Paz in one piece but subsequently fell apart when we reached base camp in the Condoriri Valley. A heady cocktail of AMS, gastroenteritis, mild HAPE, and chronic trots got us off to a flying start. As we recovered, in July

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we made several attempts and ascents, including what we believe to be new route on Peak Austria (5,320m). It has a beautiful buttress—La Fortaleza Buttress (Fortress Buttress)—that offered a welcome change from snow-plodding, and MacCallum and I put up a superb rock route on its eastern arête. The line had lots of character, 350m long, V Diff, alpine grade AD, climbing ribs, towers, and a ridge crest, all on quality sedimentary rock, with a dramatic backdrop of the Cabeza and surrounding peaks. Naming the route was the hardest part. We settled on Caporales Celtica—caporales being a tra- Caporales Celtica, on the eastern arête of La Fortaleza Buttress, Peak Austria. Gerry Galligan ditional Bolivian dance performed by African slaves in the court of the Spanish Conquistadors. Celtica being our version. Gerry Galligan, Ireland Cordillera Real, Illimani, Pacha Brava. Lionel Terray, French idol of the 50s, wrote about Illimani’s huge south face: “The human being who succeeds in climbing this frightening and steep wall isn’t born yet.” Decades later the French Alain Mesili and the Japanese Giri-Giri Boys ascended several serious routes on the southeast wall. The south face is a challenge, it’s dangerous, it’s a great game, it’s the longest face in Bolivia’s Andes. It’s 12km wide, up to 1,400m high, and very complex. [This face is around the corner, to the left, of the “southeast face” shown on p. 237, AAJ 2007 (called “south face” in the 2007 report).] Even villagers living in Pinaya, below Illimani’s west side, don’t know about the remote south side, other than that it exists. So I made an orientation trip: three days of perfect loneliness. Shortly after my exploration I returned with Porfirio Chura. He is a young Aymara born below Illimani, and one of a few Bolivian extreme climbers living in La Paz. At 3 a.m. one day in mid-August, we started to climb. At sunrise we were high up the face, mostly simul-climbing 60–75° ice, with mixed passages connecting the icefields, on a wall with no end. Every step was is clear and simple, life in its purest form. A steep but short icefield above a crevasse was the crux: 8m of overhanging ice (115°). At midday thick fog enveloped us, but, almost blind, we continued up. As soon as we left the south wall and traversed west we left the fog and our doubts behind. “This wall is a bitch,” said Porfirio. “It was a bitch,” I answered with a smile. The long traverse to Illimani’s south summit and the descent, westward near the Bonatti Route, stole the whole afternoon. At nightfall we passed Puente Rotto (base camp for the normal route to the south summit). Forty minutes later we reached Pinaya. Here we spent the night with Porfirio’s sister and her family, in the tiny adobe hut where he was born. Pacha Brava, “couraged grass,” is a tough pioneer plant that grows where no other plant could survive: between rocks and in the poorest traces of soil. We search for happiness in simplicity, and Pacha Brava makes a good symbol of that. Robert Rauch, Germany and Bolivia


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later we reached the unclimbed west peak of Coquenzi (5,150m; its main summit was climbed by both previous expeditions) via the southwest ridge and descended via the German route, after a rappel from the summit. The most serious problem with this AD climb (glacier to 70°, rock/mixed to M4) was extremely fragile rock. Our third aim was the possibly unclimbed Nevado Losoccocha Trata Tata, from base camp. Marcin Kruczyk on the western ridge of Kura Huari, on the Peruvian side (5,100m). Two of us (Wojciech and Marcin) climbed and descended it on July 23, following the shepherds’ and smugglers’ path to Lusuni Pass, then crossing a glacier and scrambling the east ridge. The whole climb is easy (F+, 20–40° glacier, rock I-II) but unpleasant due to poor rock. After a rest day, we focused on the 5,000m Coquenzi West, as seen from Trata Tata. Solid line is unclimbed, unnamed summit on the main ascent, dashed the descent. Marcin Kruczyk ridge extending south from Kura Huari. We ascended it on July 25, via the east face, encountering difficulties of AD. We christened it La Indigna, due to its inconspicuous figure. An easy rock face led to a chimney (M3), then a glaciated couloir (70° max) to a pass (which separates La Indigna from FAE 5 [climbed and named by the Ger- Looking northwest from Trata Tata. (KH) The Kura Huari massif, on mans]), from which we summited which several spires have been climbed by the two previous parties in the area (close-up photo on p. 190, AAJ 2009). (I) La Indigna. with a single, easy (M2) pitch. Due (3) & (5) FAE 3 & 5 (1997 German expedition). (CW) Coquenzi to a strong wind, snowfall, and dif- West. Wojciech Chaladaj ficult climbing, we did not climb the 7m rock monolith crowning the summit. On the last day of our stay, three of us (Jakub, Wojciech, and Marcin) repeated the German route to the summit identified in their report as FAE 3, finding easy terrain. On July 29 we returned to Pelechuco, and a few days later, back at El Carretero hostel in La Paz with a bottle of wine, we considered our expedition a success. [A map and other photos are posted at aaj.americanalpineclub.org] Marcin Kruczyk and Wojciech Chaladaj, Poland Cordillera Real, Peak Austria, Caporales Celtica. Paddy Englishman, Paddy Scotsman, and Paddy Irishman (Jim Osborne, Rob MacCallum, and I) arrived in La Paz in one piece but subsequently fell apart when we reached base camp in the Condoriri Valley. A heady cocktail of AMS, gastroenteritis, mild HAPE, and chronic trots got us off to a flying start. As we recovered, in July

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we made several attempts and ascents, including what we believe to be new route on Peak Austria (5,320m). It has a beautiful buttress—La Fortaleza Buttress (Fortress Buttress)—that offered a welcome change from snow-plodding, and MacCallum and I put up a superb rock route on its eastern arête. The line had lots of character, 350m long, V Diff, alpine grade AD, climbing ribs, towers, and a ridge crest, all on quality sedimentary rock, with a dramatic backdrop of the Cabeza and surrounding peaks. Naming the route was the hardest part. We settled on Caporales Celtica—caporales being a tra- Caporales Celtica, on the eastern arête of La Fortaleza Buttress, Peak Austria. Gerry Galligan ditional Bolivian dance performed by African slaves in the court of the Spanish Conquistadors. Celtica being our version. Gerry Galligan, Ireland Cordillera Real, Illimani, Pacha Brava. Lionel Terray, French idol of the 50s, wrote about Illimani’s huge south face: “The human being who succeeds in climbing this frightening and steep wall isn’t born yet.” Decades later the French Alain Mesili and the Japanese Giri-Giri Boys ascended several serious routes on the southeast wall. The south face is a challenge, it’s dangerous, it’s a great game, it’s the longest face in Bolivia’s Andes. It’s 12km wide, up to 1,400m high, and very complex. [This face is around the corner, to the left, of the “southeast face” shown on p. 237, AAJ 2007 (called “south face” in the 2007 report).] Even villagers living in Pinaya, below Illimani’s west side, don’t know about the remote south side, other than that it exists. So I made an orientation trip: three days of perfect loneliness. Shortly after my exploration I returned with Porfirio Chura. He is a young Aymara born below Illimani, and one of a few Bolivian extreme climbers living in La Paz. At 3 a.m. one day in mid-August, we started to climb. At sunrise we were high up the face, mostly simul-climbing 60–75° ice, with mixed passages connecting the icefields, on a wall with no end. Every step was is clear and simple, life in its purest form. A steep but short icefield above a crevasse was the crux: 8m of overhanging ice (115°). At midday thick fog enveloped us, but, almost blind, we continued up. As soon as we left the south wall and traversed west we left the fog and our doubts behind. “This wall is a bitch,” said Porfirio. “It was a bitch,” I answered with a smile. The long traverse to Illimani’s south summit and the descent, westward near the Bonatti Route, stole the whole afternoon. At nightfall we passed Puente Rotto (base camp for the normal route to the south summit). Forty minutes later we reached Pinaya. Here we spent the night with Porfirio’s sister and her family, in the tiny adobe hut where he was born. Pacha Brava, “couraged grass,” is a tough pioneer plant that grows where no other plant could survive: between rocks and in the poorest traces of soil. We search for happiness in simplicity, and Pacha Brava makes a good symbol of that. Robert Rauch, Germany and Bolivia


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Peru CORDILLERA BLANCA Huaytapallana I and Huaytapallana II, east summit, first ascents. I first spotted the climbing potential at the top of Quebrada Rajaruri, southwest of the Huandoy Group, in 2006 while on a day trek with my wife. In 2007 Jim Sykes and I made the first ascent of Huaytapallana I, by its northwest face. The climb gave varied and adequately protected climbing for 11 pitches on excellent granite no harder than 5.8, with most of the climbing significantly easier. I returned in 2008 with Oliver Metherell and Jim to try to climb Huaytapallana II. On July 19 we tackled the mountain’s west face, finding excellent rock but some runout climbing. After seven pitches we were short on time and made a rising traverse to the northwest ridge, which we followed for another pitch before reaching an impasse in the form of a large gendarme. We made three rappels to the bottom of the face, and, although we finished on the ridge, it was an excellent quality climb, albeit sparsely protected at times. Copout, (560m, 10 pitches, TD+ E1 5a or 5.9 R/X). Jim headed down, but on the 24th Oliver and I started at dawn on the east ridge of

The Huaytapallana peaks, showing from left: Northwest Face, Last Exit, Copout. Anthony Barton

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Huaytapallana II. After an easy introductory pitch the climbing got interesting, and soon we arrived at an enormous wedged block on the col, to the right of a large tower. A narrow chimney led to the top of the block, where a steep flaky wall brought us to a perfect belay perched on the edge of the east ridge. The next pitch was the crux and the best pitch—perfect granite with just enough gear. The rest of the ridge was delightful, exposed, and airy but not too difficult. On the summit (the slightly lower east summit, 5,025m), as with the previous year’s climb of Huaytapallana I, we found no evidence of prior passage. A short scramble back the way we came brought us to a large terrace from where four rappels took us to the foot of the face just left of our previous rappel descent. Last Exit (375m, 7 pitches, TD E1 5a or 5.9R. We have just scratched the surface, and many interesting objectives remain, some on the equally interesting-looking opposite side of the quebrada. The beauty of this area includes ease of access, perfect camping, and wealth of opportunity for moderate to difficult new routes on perfect granite in a gorgeous setting. ANTHONY BARTON, U.K. Huascaran massif, unnamed wall, Entre Boires. From July 23 to August 9, after seven days carrying loads, acclimatizing, and fixing the first 200m of the route, Youri Cappis (from Switzerland but living in Catalonia) and I climbed a new route on a rock triangle along the east face of Huascaran Norte. It seems that this was a virgin wall; we found no information about other routes. Youri had no big wall experience and had never used ice axes but wanted to experience the joy of living high on a wall for days, without any connection to phones, radios, or people at our BC. From ABC at 5,200m, accessing the base of the wall at 5,350m was dangerous due to serac avalanches from between the two Huascarans. We spent 18 days (17 bivouacs) on the wall, climbing capsule-style with three wall camps: at pitches 5 (5,500m), 10 (5,750m), and 14 (5,950m). Although we had sunny moments, not one day was entirely good. We almost always had heavy fog and some snow, hence the name Entre Boires (Inside the Fog in Catalan). Intense cold froze our water bottles and caused us much trouble. On several days Youri stayed in the portaledge while I soloed pitches. The first part of the route had many roofs. The middle part, with snow and ice to 80°, was extremely laborious when hauling and rappelling with haulbags. The final wall was very overhanging and our route here direct, but the rock quality was Entre Boires, with Huascaran Norte rising above. Baro-Corominas photo


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Peru CORDILLERA BLANCA Huaytapallana I and Huaytapallana II, east summit, first ascents. I first spotted the climbing potential at the top of Quebrada Rajaruri, southwest of the Huandoy Group, in 2006 while on a day trek with my wife. In 2007 Jim Sykes and I made the first ascent of Huaytapallana I, by its northwest face. The climb gave varied and adequately protected climbing for 11 pitches on excellent granite no harder than 5.8, with most of the climbing significantly easier. I returned in 2008 with Oliver Metherell and Jim to try to climb Huaytapallana II. On July 19 we tackled the mountain’s west face, finding excellent rock but some runout climbing. After seven pitches we were short on time and made a rising traverse to the northwest ridge, which we followed for another pitch before reaching an impasse in the form of a large gendarme. We made three rappels to the bottom of the face, and, although we finished on the ridge, it was an excellent quality climb, albeit sparsely protected at times. Copout, (560m, 10 pitches, TD+ E1 5a or 5.9 R/X). Jim headed down, but on the 24th Oliver and I started at dawn on the east ridge of

The Huaytapallana peaks, showing from left: Northwest Face, Last Exit, Copout. Anthony Barton

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Huaytapallana II. After an easy introductory pitch the climbing got interesting, and soon we arrived at an enormous wedged block on the col, to the right of a large tower. A narrow chimney led to the top of the block, where a steep flaky wall brought us to a perfect belay perched on the edge of the east ridge. The next pitch was the crux and the best pitch—perfect granite with just enough gear. The rest of the ridge was delightful, exposed, and airy but not too difficult. On the summit (the slightly lower east summit, 5,025m), as with the previous year’s climb of Huaytapallana I, we found no evidence of prior passage. A short scramble back the way we came brought us to a large terrace from where four rappels took us to the foot of the face just left of our previous rappel descent. Last Exit (375m, 7 pitches, TD E1 5a or 5.9R. We have just scratched the surface, and many interesting objectives remain, some on the equally interesting-looking opposite side of the quebrada. The beauty of this area includes ease of access, perfect camping, and wealth of opportunity for moderate to difficult new routes on perfect granite in a gorgeous setting. ANTHONY BARTON, U.K.

Huascaran massif, unnamed wall, Entre Boires. From July 23 to August 9, after seven days carrying loads, acclimatizing, and fixing the first 200m of the route, Youri Cappis (from Switzerland but living in Catalonia) and I climbed a new route on a rock triangle along the east face of Huascaran Norte. It seems that this was a virgin wall; we found no information about other routes. Youri had no big wall experience and had never used ice axes but wanted to experience the joy of living high on a wall for days, without any connection to phones, radios, or people at our BC. From ABC at 5,200m, accessing the base of the wall at 5,350m was dangerous due to serac avalanches from between the two Huascarans. We spent 18 days (17 bivouacs) on the wall, climbing capsule-style with three wall camps: at pitches 5 (5,500m), 10 (5,750m), and 14 (5,950m). Although we had sunny moments, not one day was entirely good. We almost always had heavy fog and some snow, hence the name Entre Boires (Inside the Fog in Catalan). Intense cold froze our water bottles and caused us much trouble. On several days Youri stayed in the portaledge while I soloed pitches. The first part of the route had many roofs. The middle part, with snow and ice to 80°, was extremely laborious when hauling and rappelling with haulbags. The final wall was very overhanging and our route here direct, but the rock quality was Entre Boires, with Huascaran Norte rising above. Baro-Corominas photo


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Peru CORDILLERA BLANCA Huaytapallana I and Huaytapallana II, east summit, first ascents. I first spotted the climbing potential at the top of Quebrada Rajaruri, southwest of the Huandoy Group, in 2006 while on a day trek with my wife. In 2007 Jim Sykes and I made the first ascent of Huaytapallana I, by its northwest face. The climb gave varied and adequately protected climbing for 11 pitches on excellent granite no harder than 5.8, with most of the climbing significantly easier. I returned in 2008 with Oliver Metherell and Jim to try to climb Huaytapallana II. On July 19 we tackled the mountain’s west face, finding excellent rock but some runout climbing. After seven pitches we were short on time and made a rising traverse to the northwest ridge, which we followed for another pitch before reaching an impasse in the form of a large gendarme. We made three rappels to the bottom of the face, and, although we finished on the ridge, it was an excellent quality climb, albeit sparsely protected at times. Copout, (560m, 10 pitches, TD+ E1 5a or 5.9 R/X). Jim headed down, but on the 24th Oliver and I started at dawn on the east ridge of

The Huaytapallana peaks, showing from left: Northwest Face, Last Exit, Copout. Anthony Barton

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Huaytapallana II. After an easy introductory pitch the climbing got interesting, and soon we arrived at an enormous wedged block on the col, to the right of a large tower. A narrow chimney led to the top of the block, where a steep flaky wall brought us to a perfect belay perched on the edge of the east ridge. The next pitch was the crux and the best pitch—perfect granite with just enough gear. The rest of the ridge was delightful, exposed, and airy but not too difficult. On the summit (the slightly lower east summit, 5,025m), as with the previous year’s climb of Huaytapallana I, we found no evidence of prior passage. A short scramble back the way we came brought us to a large terrace from where four rappels took us to the foot of the face just left of our previous rappel descent. Last Exit (375m, 7 pitches, TD E1 5a or 5.9R. We have just scratched the surface, and many interesting objectives remain, some on the equally interesting-looking opposite side of the quebrada. The beauty of this area includes ease of access, perfect camping, and wealth of opportunity for moderate to difficult new routes on perfect granite in a gorgeous setting. ANTHONY BARTON, U.K.

Huascaran massif, unnamed wall, Entre Boires. From July 23 to August 9, after seven days carrying loads, acclimatizing, and fixing the first 200m of the route, Youri Cappis (from Switzerland but living in Catalonia) and I climbed a new route on a rock triangle along the east face of Huascaran Norte. It seems that this was a virgin wall; we found no information about other routes. Youri had no big wall experience and had never used ice axes but wanted to experience the joy of living high on a wall for days, without any connection to phones, radios, or people at our BC. From ABC at 5,200m, accessing the base of the wall at 5,350m was dangerous due to serac avalanches from between the two Huascarans. We spent 18 days (17 bivouacs) on the wall, climbing capsule-style with three wall camps: at pitches 5 (5,500m), 10 (5,750m), and 14 (5,950m). Although we had sunny moments, not one day was entirely good. We almost always had heavy fog and some snow, hence the name Entre Boires (Inside the Fog in Catalan). Intense cold froze our water bottles and caused us much trouble. On several days Youri stayed in the portaledge while I soloed pitches. The first part of the route had many roofs. The middle part, with snow and ice to 80°, was extremely laborious when hauling and rappelling with haulbags. The final wall was very overhanging and our route here direct, but the rock quality was Entre Boires, with Huascaran Norte rising above. Baro-Corominas photo


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variable—really good or really bad. Some of the rock was like flour. Above the rock spire (6,150m) we wanted to make an alpine attack on the summit of Huascaran Norte, but weather and black sugar ice made it impossible. We climbed 970m, with 800m of vertical gain, with difficulties up to 80° 6a+ A3. Rockfall from the middle section hit the base of the wall, cutting our fixed ropes. [They removed all of their fixed ropes—Ed.] But the route is pretty safe due to the big roofs and the overhangs. The climbing was difficult and complex but even more complex to descend. SÍLVIA VIDAL, Spain

Chopicalqui, Burros Eslovenos to Southeast Ridge. On June 26 Matic Obid, Pavel Ferjancic, Jernej Arcon, Vladimir Makarovic, and I (all Slovenian) approached the east face of Chopicalqui via the Quebrada Ulta, as described in Brad Johnson’s Classic Climbs of the Cordillera Blanca. This special part of the Cordillera Blanca has beautiful lakes and mountains, no people, no base camps filled with tents, and no pollution. At 2 a.m. on the 28th we left our tents at Chopicalqui: (1) Southeast Ridge (Clarbrough-Wayatt, 1969). (2) Burros 5,000m. Because of a toothEslovenos (Ferjancic- Glescic-Makarovic-Obid, 2008, no summit). (3) East ache, Jernej didn’t come. After Face Direct (Johnson-Pohmajevich, 1988). (4) East Ridge (Arizzi-Chappaz- three hours we reached the Desmaison-Vagne, 1982). Matic Obid face. We started left of the East Face Direct and climbed 100m of 50° snow, followed by 100m of rock on the left side of small couloir. We then angled slightly left to avoid rockfall and climbed 400m of 50-70° snow. For orientation, there is a big tower on the ridge, and we stayed to its left. The last 50m to the ridge was mixed climbing. The route ends on the Southeast Ridge route at 6,000m. Because of deep snow on the ridge we did not go on the summit and descend the normal route, as planned, but rappelled our route (12 60m rappels on pitons and snow pickets). From tent to tent we needed 21 hours. Burros Eslovenos (600m, M5 50-70°). MITJA GLESCIC, Slovenia

Nevado Ulta, Andinista–Rifnik, to summit ridge. On July 18, after two failed attempts in 2006 and 2007, Slovenian Viktor Mlinar and I made the first ascent of Nevado Ulta’s south face. The whole climb took four days from Huaraz. The first day, after crossing Punta Olimpica pass (4,950m) in an old bus, we descended to 3,885m where, at a bridge before the town of Pompey,

Andinista–Rifnik, the first route on Nevado Ulta’s south face. Aritza Monasterio

we started the approach hike to the moraine camp. The next day we entered the long and wild glacier, negotiating snow and deep crevasses with full packs. We reached high camp next to a tall rock pillar (5,110m). On day 3 at 5 a.m. we approached the south face, crossing a loose snow slope and two bergschrunds. After climbing a slope of 60° we found the first part of the steep wall in good condition, with a pitch of 80°. We continued up icefalls to 90-95° to complete the 650m south wall and reach the summit ridge at 5,800m. The road to the summit looked too dangerous, so we did eight rappels back down, and around 5 p.m. returned to our high camp. Andinista–Rifnik (650m, MD+/ED VI/4+). ARITZA MONASTERIO, BASQUE, as told to SERGIO RAMIREZ CARRASCAL, Peru

Hatun Ulloc, Karma de los Condores Direct (to summit). In the Ishinca Valley in late July, Brady Robinson and I free-climbed the excellent Karma de los Condores (IV 5.11+, Crill-Gallagher, 2004) and extended the route to the summit of Hatun Ulloc (ca 14,500'). We spent several days climbing up and down the gully to the right of the formation to access and clean the upper tower, rappelled the striking summit ridge, and found outstanding climbing on perfect granite. We placed one protection bolt to avoid a 25' ledge fall on 5.11c face climbing and then redpointed the upper pitches. While at least one party had climbed to base of the final rock step, we found no sign of humanity on the upper pitches or at the top of the tower. [In 2005, Andy Wellman and James Woods repeated Karma and continued along the upper tiers, where they reported dirty and vegetated cracks, rock to 5.9R, and estimated their retreat as being from within 60m of the summit—Ed.] After returning to the base we fixed three ropes, and when the weather cleared we blasted the entire route. We freed all 14 pitches (some gear pre-placed on Karma’s crux roof pitch). The harder pitches were well protected, while some 5.9 and 5.10 pitches had significant run-outs. DAVE ANDERSON, AAC


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variable—really good or really bad. Some of the rock was like flour. Above the rock spire (6,150m) we wanted to make an alpine attack on the summit of Huascaran Norte, but weather and black sugar ice made it impossible. We climbed 970m, with 800m of vertical gain, with difficulties up to 80° 6a+ A3. Rockfall from the middle section hit the base of the wall, cutting our fixed ropes. [They removed all of their fixed ropes—Ed.] But the route is pretty safe due to the big roofs and the overhangs. The climbing was difficult and complex but even more complex to descend. SÍLVIA VIDAL, Spain

Chopicalqui, Burros Eslovenos to Southeast Ridge. On June 26 Matic Obid, Pavel Ferjancic, Jernej Arcon, Vladimir Makarovic, and I (all Slovenian) approached the east face of Chopicalqui via the Quebrada Ulta, as described in Brad Johnson’s Classic Climbs of the Cordillera Blanca. This special part of the Cordillera Blanca has beautiful lakes and mountains, no people, no base camps filled with tents, and no pollution. At 2 a.m. on the 28th we left our tents at Chopicalqui: (1) Southeast Ridge (Clarbrough-Wayatt, 1969). (2) Burros 5,000m. Because of a toothEslovenos (Ferjancic- Glescic-Makarovic-Obid, 2008, no summit). (3) East ache, Jernej didn’t come. After Face Direct (Johnson-Pohmajevich, 1988). (4) East Ridge (Arizzi-Chappaz- three hours we reached the Desmaison-Vagne, 1982). Matic Obid face. We started left of the East Face Direct and climbed 100m of 50° snow, followed by 100m of rock on the left side of small couloir. We then angled slightly left to avoid rockfall and climbed 400m of 50-70° snow. For orientation, there is a big tower on the ridge, and we stayed to its left. The last 50m to the ridge was mixed climbing. The route ends on the Southeast Ridge route at 6,000m. Because of deep snow on the ridge we did not go on the summit and descend the normal route, as planned, but rappelled our route (12 60m rappels on pitons and snow pickets). From tent to tent we needed 21 hours. Burros Eslovenos (600m, M5 50-70°). MITJA GLESCIC, Slovenia

Nevado Ulta, Andinista–Rifnik, to summit ridge. On July 18, after two failed attempts in 2006 and 2007, Slovenian Viktor Mlinar and I made the first ascent of Nevado Ulta’s south face. The whole climb took four days from Huaraz. The first day, after crossing Punta Olimpica pass (4,950m) in an old bus, we descended to 3,885m where, at a bridge before the town of Pompey,

Andinista–Rifnik, the first route on Nevado Ulta’s south face. Aritza Monasterio

we started the approach hike to the moraine camp. The next day we entered the long and wild glacier, negotiating snow and deep crevasses with full packs. We reached high camp next to a tall rock pillar (5,110m). On day 3 at 5 a.m. we approached the south face, crossing a loose snow slope and two bergschrunds. After climbing a slope of 60° we found the first part of the steep wall in good condition, with a pitch of 80°. We continued up icefalls to 90-95° to complete the 650m south wall and reach the summit ridge at 5,800m. The road to the summit looked too dangerous, so we did eight rappels back down, and around 5 p.m. returned to our high camp. Andinista–Rifnik (650m, MD+/ED VI/4+). ARITZA MONASTERIO, BASQUE, as told to SERGIO RAMIREZ CARRASCAL, Peru

Hatun Ulloc, Karma de los Condores Direct (to summit). In the Ishinca Valley in late July, Brady Robinson and I free-climbed the excellent Karma de los Condores (IV 5.11+, Crill-Gallagher, 2004) and extended the route to the summit of Hatun Ulloc (ca 14,500'). We spent several days climbing up and down the gully to the right of the formation to access and clean the upper tower, rappelled the striking summit ridge, and found outstanding climbing on perfect granite. We placed one protection bolt to avoid a 25' ledge fall on 5.11c face climbing and then redpointed the upper pitches. While at least one party had climbed to base of the final rock step, we found no sign of humanity on the upper pitches or at the top of the tower. [In 2005, Andy Wellman and James Woods repeated Karma and continued along the upper tiers, where they reported dirty and vegetated cracks, rock to 5.9R, and estimated their retreat as being from within 60m of the summit—Ed.] After returning to the base we fixed three ropes, and when the weather cleared we blasted the entire route. We freed all 14 pitches (some gear pre-placed on Karma’s crux roof pitch). The harder pitches were well protected, while some 5.9 and 5.10 pitches had significant run-outs. DAVE ANDERSON, AAC


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CORDILLERA HUAYHUASH Puscanturpa Chiquita, Burro Loco. From July 10-13 Patrik Barjak and I climbed a new route on the north face of a small virgin tower in the Puscanturpa Sur massif. We called the route Burro Loco (Crazy Donkey) and the 5,066m tower Puscanturpa Chiquita. The 300m route has seven pitches (UIAA 6+, 8-, 8-, 4, 5, 8, 2), plus easy climbing to the summit. We placed 11 bolts at belays and seven on the pitches, and used fixed ropes. Big Camalots are needed for pitch three, and the descent is down the route. During all four days the weather was snowy and windy. The route is nice crack climbing in solid rock, with some slabs. VLADO LINEK, Slovakia

CORDILLERA VILCANOTA Various new routes. On October 4, from a base camp at Alcacocha Lake (4,600m), students of the Casa de Guias de Huaraz made five new routes on three mountains. On Nevado Qampa (5,500m; also named Jampa or Maria Huamantilla) Johan Zárate and Alberto Hung established YAS Gael (150m, III 65°), leaving camp at 2:45 a.m. and summiting at 9:05 a.m. They climbed the southwest face and the long ridge to the summit. Raul Laveriano, Willy Alvarado, Beto Pinto, Claudio Luylla, Roger Lluylla, and Steven Fuentes started for Nevado Pucapunta (5,490m; Hatunpunta on some maps) at 2 a.m., but had to wait two hours before crossing the glacier due to fog. Finally they started climbing the south wall of the west summit. Near the start was a 3m section of hard ice and mixed. They continued on hard snow, climbed through a difficult section of hard ice, and reached the sugar-snow ridge that took them 30m to the summit. They descended via the east ridge, navigating crevasses until reaching the col between the Pucapuntas and doing some rappels to gain the crevassed glacier and the moraine. Magno Camones (360m, MD 65°). At 3 a.m. three teams set off for new routes on the 350m north face of Nevado Mariposa (Santa Catalina, 5,808m). They all met on the summit. The routes: EL.JHG (MD III 80°, Melesio Escolástico–Marco Luylla), Almita (MD V 80°, Dario Alva–Flavio Mandura), and Denia (MD V 60°, Miguel Gamarra–Willy Huamán). SERGIO RAMÍREZ CARRASCAL, Peru

The new routes on Nevado Mariposa’s north face: (1) EL.JHG. (2) Almita. (3) Denia. No other routes are thought to exist on this side. The peak to the right is also called Mariposa. Alberto Hung


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Bolivia Cordillera Apolobamba, Huancasayani Valley, first ascents and new routes. After receiving the AAC’s McNeill-Nott Award and funding from the New Zealand Alpine Club, James and Sarah Dempster (N.Z.), Aaron Gillespie (N.Z.), and I explored the remote Cordillera Apolobamba in northern Bolivia. Based on months of researching and interviews with Bolivian mountain guides, agencies, and locals, we concluded that the extreme northern edge of the Apolobamba in the Huancasayani Valley offered the best opportunities for first ascents and new routes, though it’s hard to be certain, and good maps and ascent histories are difficult to obtain. We encourage anyone with additional information about this area to contact us through www.home inthehills.co.nz/apolobamba/ or alexalexiades@gmail.com. We intend to use the website as a resource for future expeditions. We met in La Paz, traveled to Pelechuco, and reached our base camp at 4,600m in the Huancasayani Valley on June 29. The next day Aaron scrambled from the saddle between it and Coquenzi up fair quality 5.6–5.8 rock to a peak we called Rumi Mukuku (5,010m). The next day, though feeling sick and weak, I accompanied James and Aaron on a new route up Coquenzi (5,270m). The Southeast Face involved AI3 (up to 70°) and a 4th-class scramble to the summit. We traversed the peak and descended an even steeper face, on the west side (in Peru). The following day we carried bivy gear to our first advance base camp, near a glacial lake at 4,900m. In the morning we took a direct line up the glacier between FAE 8 and FAE 2 (FAs: 1997 German team) through the icefall to the North Ridge of FAE 8. The icefall was AI3+/AI4 followed by a glacier plod to the penitented ridge (AI2 60°). The Germans reported this peak at 5,300m, while our two altimeter watches and GPS showed ca 5,700m. After a rest day we headed past Paso Lasani along the north ridge of Chaupi Orco/FAE 2 to an amazing bivy at 5,200m. The next morning we continued along the ridge to the summit of FAE 2 (5,890m) and then traversed to the summit of Chaupi Orco Norte (5,997m). Next, on

Kura Huari massif from the west: FAE 3,6,7 (1997 German expedition), (KN) Kura Huari North, and (PN) Punta Nott. Alex Alexiades

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Kura Huari (5,300m), we traversed a mixed face (M2/M3) to a hanging glacier (up to 70°) and traversed steep ice and loose rock to the final summit col. From there James and Aaron took a direct line to the north summit (likely first ascent) on 4th class-5.5 rock, while I ascended an extremely loose 5.2 gully to the south summit. During the descent James and I climbed another peak on the Kura Huari massif, also a probable first ascent. We named it Punta Nott (5,260m) in memory of Sue Nott, whose legacy made our expedition possible. This route was easy 5th class up steep rock with great holds to a knife-edge summit. Our final climb was a probable first ascent by Aaron and me, of a peak we called Pakaska Mukuku (5,380m), via the east ridge. We scrambled up slabs to a snow-covered col at ca 5,200m, then climbed excellent rock with a beautiful 5.8 pitch in a dihedral, then 4th- and 5th-class rock to the summit.

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Peak FAE 8 (on left; two routes ascend the opposite side) and Pakaska Mukuku. The east ridge of PM finishes on the upper right skyline; everything else in this image is likely unclimbed. Aaron Gillespie

ALEX ALEXIADES, AAC Chaupi Orko, Southeast Ridge. From May 15–20 Raymundo Condori, Osvaldo Cortez, Andreas (a journalist from Poland), and I traveled toward Lake Suches. Heavy snow stopped us on a secondary road two mountain passes before Flor de Nevado Mine, so we hiked for three hours with heavy loads. At the head of Lake Suches we forded a river to camp in a nice grassy spot at 4,700m. For many years we had considered trying a route in this area, but there are almost no maps and little information. I planned this trip with a couple of rough possibilities in mind, but it was basically a one-shot attempt, in alpine style, with no support. The next day we continued toward the mountain, staying high on the left side of the valley and arriving exhausted at the shores of Chucuyo Lagoon (5,056m). This beautiful, remote dead-end valley has superb mountain views and the colorful lagoons contrast with the green bofedales (tundra-type grass of the Andean highlands). That day we saw several herds of deer and vicuñas, a lone fox, and even puma footprints. On day three we approached snowline to the south of the main peak, avoiding an avalanche-prone option in favor of scrambling on washed rocky slabs to the upper glacier, which seemed connected to the southeast ridge of Chaupi Orko (the highest peak in the Apolobamba, elevation uncertain, but 6,075m on our GPS). By following this route, we were playing an “all in” poker game, with no alternatives if we ended with a deep valley splitting our route. We continued into the unknown toward two black pyramids, and after five hours set our high camp


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Bolivia Cordillera Apolobamba, Huancasayani Valley, first ascents and new routes. After receiving the AAC’s McNeill-Nott Award and funding from the New Zealand Alpine Club, James and Sarah Dempster (N.Z.), Aaron Gillespie (N.Z.), and I explored the remote Cordillera Apolobamba in northern Bolivia. Based on months of researching and interviews with Bolivian mountain guides, agencies, and locals, we concluded that the extreme northern edge of the Apolobamba in the Huancasayani Valley offered the best opportunities for first ascents and new routes, though it’s hard to be certain, and good maps and ascent histories are difficult to obtain. We encourage anyone with additional information about this area to contact us through www.home inthehills.co.nz/apolobamba/ or alexalexiades@gmail.com. We intend to use the website as a resource for future expeditions. We met in La Paz, traveled to Pelechuco, and reached our base camp at 4,600m in the Huancasayani Valley on June 29. The next day Aaron scrambled from the saddle between it and Coquenzi up fair quality 5.6–5.8 rock to a peak we called Rumi Mukuku (5,010m). The next day, though feeling sick and weak, I accompanied James and Aaron on a new route up Coquenzi (5,270m). The Southeast Face involved AI3 (up to 70°) and a 4th-class scramble to the summit. We traversed the peak and descended an even steeper face, on the west side (in Peru). The following day we carried bivy gear to our first advance base camp, near a glacial lake at 4,900m. In the morning we took a direct line up the glacier between FAE 8 and FAE 2 (FAs: 1997 German team) through the icefall to the North Ridge of FAE 8. The icefall was AI3+/AI4 followed by a glacier plod to the penitented ridge (AI2 60°). The Germans reported this peak at 5,300m, while our two altimeter watches and GPS showed ca 5,700m. After a rest day we headed past Paso Lasani along the north ridge of Chaupi Orco/FAE 2 to an amazing bivy at 5,200m. The next morning we continued along the ridge to the summit of FAE 2 (5,890m) and then traversed to the summit of Chaupi Orco Norte (5,997m). Next, on

Kura Huari massif from the west: FAE 3,6,7 (1997 German expedition), (KN) Kura Huari North, and (PN) Punta Nott. Alex Alexiades

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Kura Huari (5,300m), we traversed a mixed face (M2/M3) to a hanging glacier (up to 70°) and traversed steep ice and loose rock to the final summit col. From there James and Aaron took a direct line to the north summit (likely first ascent) on 4th class-5.5 rock, while I ascended an extremely loose 5.2 gully to the south summit. During the descent James and I climbed another peak on the Kura Huari massif, also a probable first ascent. We named it Punta Nott (5,260m) in memory of Sue Nott, whose legacy made our expedition possible. This route was easy 5th class up steep rock with great holds to a knife-edge summit. Our final climb was a probable first ascent by Aaron and me, of a peak we called Pakaska Mukuku (5,380m), via the east ridge. We scrambled up slabs to a snow-covered col at ca 5,200m, then climbed excellent rock with a beautiful 5.8 pitch in a dihedral, then 4th- and 5th-class rock to the summit.

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Peak FAE 8 (on left; two routes ascend the opposite side) and Pakaska Mukuku. The east ridge of PM finishes on the upper right skyline; everything else in this image is likely unclimbed. Aaron Gillespie

ALEX ALEXIADES, AAC Chaupi Orko, Southeast Ridge. From May 15–20 Raymundo Condori, Osvaldo Cortez, Andreas (a journalist from Poland), and I traveled toward Lake Suches. Heavy snow stopped us on a secondary road two mountain passes before Flor de Nevado Mine, so we hiked for three hours with heavy loads. At the head of Lake Suches we forded a river to camp in a nice grassy spot at 4,700m. For many years we had considered trying a route in this area, but there are almost no maps and little information. I planned this trip with a couple of rough possibilities in mind, but it was basically a one-shot attempt, in alpine style, with no support. The next day we continued toward the mountain, staying high on the left side of the valley and arriving exhausted at the shores of Chucuyo Lagoon (5,056m). This beautiful, remote dead-end valley has superb mountain views and the colorful lagoons contrast with the green bofedales (tundra-type grass of the Andean highlands). That day we saw several herds of deer and vicuñas, a lone fox, and even puma footprints. On day three we approached snowline to the south of the main peak, avoiding an avalanche-prone option in favor of scrambling on washed rocky slabs to the upper glacier, which seemed connected to the southeast ridge of Chaupi Orko (the highest peak in the Apolobamba, elevation uncertain, but 6,075m on our GPS). By following this route, we were playing an “all in” poker game, with no alternatives if we ended with a deep valley splitting our route. We continued into the unknown toward two black pyramids, and after five hours set our high camp


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turns opening tracks in snow sometimes hip-deep. When we finally arrived at the main summit, dehydrated and exhausted, we could not believe our luck with the weather and our choices. There is no good information about new routes in Bolivia, so we cannot be certain that this route had not been done before, but we could not find any record of it, and locals who live in the valley confirmed that no “gringos” ever entered the side valleys that lead to the southeast ridge. I have climbed most of the big mountains in Bolivia, but never have I been surrounded by so many big snow-capped mountains; really, the Apolobamba is a hidden treasure. JAVIER THELLAECHE, Bolivia

The Southeast Ridge of Chaupi Orko. Javier Thellaeche

Illimani, south face to southwest ridge. After acclimatizing in Peru’s Cordilleras Huayhuash and Blanca, and a short trip to Huayna Potosi (Bolivia), Yvonne Koch and I planned to try a new route on the rarely visited western sector of Illimani’s south face. [This face is west of the Southwest Ridge (Dowbenka-Ziegenhardt, 1983) that forms the left skyline of the south face shown in AAJ 2007, p. 237, and is thus hidden from view in that photo—Ed.] After a drive from La Paz, we met our porters between Mina Venus and Punta Tojran Pata. Three more hours brought us to our base camp at 4,790m in the moraine north of Mina Urania. After some exploring we started our climb on July 21 at noon, after a porter took our gear that we wouldn’t need during the climb. We reached the border of the glacier at 5,000m and climbed its eastern side (up to 40°), then over a serac (up to 80°) with a rappel down the other side to a bivouac at 5,400m. The next day we crossed the steep glacier to its western side, in order to take a gully rather than seracs. We followed the gully (up to 60°), with ca 12m waterfall ice (WI2 to WI3). At 5,600m the gully widens and becomes more like a firn face (60°). Due to increasing darkness, we bivouaced there at 5,760m. The next day we reached the west-southwest ridge at 5,900m, over firn (up to 70°) west of an articulated gully that we avoided due to rockfall. We were tired, and the weather cold and stormy, so we descended instead of following the ridge to the summit. We had to climb down firn faces (60°) and a short section of rock (UIAA II) and rappel one serac, two pitches of waterfall ice, and 8m of rock, before we reached the path to Pinaya. ANDREAS BAYERLEIN, Germany

View from Chucuyo Lagoon. Javier Thellaeche

on the ice at the foot of the second rocky pyramid. The next morning we started before sunrise, negotiating the top of the upper glacier and the descent to the south glacier in the dark. The day’s first light warmed us at a pass with a superb view, surrounded by huge glaciers that the sun colored with yellowish and orange tones, and an endless sea of clouds toward the Amazon basin. We could not help feeling touched and close to tears. We continued following the southeast ridge, split by several huge bergschrunds, taking


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turns opening tracks in snow sometimes hip-deep. When we finally arrived at the main summit, dehydrated and exhausted, we could not believe our luck with the weather and our choices. There is no good information about new routes in Bolivia, so we cannot be certain that this route had not been done before, but we could not find any record of it, and locals who live in the valley confirmed that no “gringos” ever entered the side valleys that lead to the southeast ridge. I have climbed most of the big mountains in Bolivia, but never have I been surrounded by so many big snow-capped mountains; really, the Apolobamba is a hidden treasure. JAVIER THELLAECHE, Bolivia

The Southeast Ridge of Chaupi Orko. Javier Thellaeche

Illimani, south face to southwest ridge. After acclimatizing in Peru’s Cordilleras Huayhuash and Blanca, and a short trip to Huayna Potosi (Bolivia), Yvonne Koch and I planned to try a new route on the rarely visited western sector of Illimani’s south face. [This face is west of the Southwest Ridge (Dowbenka-Ziegenhardt, 1983) that forms the left skyline of the south face shown in AAJ 2007, p. 237, and is thus hidden from view in that photo—Ed.] After a drive from La Paz, we met our porters between Mina Venus and Punta Tojran Pata. Three more hours brought us to our base camp at 4,790m in the moraine north of Mina Urania. After some exploring we started our climb on July 21 at noon, after a porter took our gear that we wouldn’t need during the climb. We reached the border of the glacier at 5,000m and climbed its eastern side (up to 40°), then over a serac (up to 80°) with a rappel down the other side to a bivouac at 5,400m. The next day we crossed the steep glacier to its western side, in order to take a gully rather than seracs. We followed the gully (up to 60°), with ca 12m waterfall ice (WI2 to WI3). At 5,600m the gully widens and becomes more like a firn face (60°). Due to increasing darkness, we bivouaced there at 5,760m. The next day we reached the west-southwest ridge at 5,900m, over firn (up to 70°) west of an articulated gully that we avoided due to rockfall. We were tired, and the weather cold and stormy, so we descended instead of following the ridge to the summit. We had to climb down firn faces (60°) and a short section of rock (UIAA II) and rappel one serac, two pitches of waterfall ice, and 8m of rock, before we reached the path to Pinaya. ANDREAS BAYERLEIN, Germany

View from Chucuyo Lagoon. Javier Thellaeche

on the ice at the foot of the second rocky pyramid. The next morning we started before sunrise, negotiating the top of the upper glacier and the descent to the south glacier in the dark. The day’s first light warmed us at a pass with a superb view, surrounded by huge glaciers that the sun colored with yellowish and orange tones, and an endless sea of clouds toward the Amazon basin. We could not help feeling touched and close to tears. We continued following the southeast ridge, split by several huge bergschrunds, taking


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Peru CORDILLERA BLANCA Taulliraju, north face to final cornice. In late June Micah Retz and I set off to the beautiful Taulliraju (5,830m), wanting to climb a new route. After watching the direct southwest face avalanche a few times, we headed over the west col with a few days of food and fuel. The remote and seldom-visited north face had not been climbed by a new route since 1979. We placed camp ten minutes’ walk below the face on the immense Taulliraju-Puchirca Glacier. There are only two other routes on the north side of the mountain, and only one climbs the entire north face proper. The original Terray route (500m, MD A1 60°, 1956) climbs the left side of the north face for a few hundred meters, then quickly gains the northeast ridge. The Bajan-Busch route (600m, V 5.9 AI4 95°, 1979) roughly starts on the original route, but takes a straight line to the summit on the left side of the face. Looking at the face straight on, it was easy to decide where we would climb. A perfect ice runnel at mid-height on the right side of the face ran for at least 400m. Guarding the bottom of this runnel was a 60m vertical rock wall, and above the runnel were vertical and overhanging passages of water ice along the summit bulges. We started at 7 p.m. to ensure good conditions, as we knew these upper ice sections would be the crux. I took the first block of climbing to about mid-height, then Micah took over to the top. I quickly reached the crux rock band. Difficult mixed climbing led to a high-quality vertical granite band that went at 5.10 and finished with a desperate mantel in crampons. In the mixed runnel, we switched leaders. That section went quickly, as we placed virtually no protection through the 70°-85° sn’ice. We could usually belay from rock anchors on either side of the runnel. Little pro through overhanging bulges of water ice made the climbing bold as well as difficult. Two pitches Micah Retz doing battle on Taulliraju’s summit mushroom. David Turner

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below the summit the sun came out and complicated things greatly. The ice no longer was cold and hard, which made climbing and placing screws difficult. At the top, at 8 a.m., neither of us was willing to surf out onto the last few meters of the unstable cornice. We decided to rappel our ascent route, mostly on threads and pickets, instead of one of the unfamiliar lines. The descent took four hours. The 650m route required 18 hours roundtrip from our glacier camp at 5,000m. The route went at 5.10 WI5 M6, but conditions change with Peruvian climbing, making grades difficult to peg. We were lucky to have a heavy snow- and ice-pack from the previous winter, as I have seen photos of this face when it was almost entirely rock. We also attempted the first ascent of Taulliraju’s corniced and highly technical west ridge. We believe this to be the first attempt. Although we climbed half of the ridge in one long day, we had to rap off due to dangerous snow conditions. At one point I punched through the ridge, and when I pulled my legs out of the holes, I could see blue sky beneath! This ridge will be climbable during a season with a low snowpack; the heavy winter, which enabled us to climb our north face route, shut us down on this one. Thanks to Black Diamond and Casa de Zarela of Huaraz for their help with this trip. DAVID TURNER, AAC

Nevado Caraz I, Dos Gringos to summit cornices. On July 13, 2006, Slovenians Rok Stubelj and Arcon Jernej climbed the south face, to the right of the West Ridge, of Nevado Caraz I (6,025m), to directly beneath the summit. In nine hours they reached the summit cornices, which prevented them from reaching the West Ridge. They took six hours to descend in 15 rappels. They named what they climbed Dos Gringos (800m, TD 90° [max] 55°-65° [avg]). ANTONIO GÓMEZ BOHÓRQUEZ (SEVI BOHÓRQUEZ), Andesinfo, Spain, AAC

Chacraraju Oeste, Bouchard-Meunier (with variations) to summit ridge, and Alpamayo, Chilean variation. On a July 19 acclimatization climb, Felipe González Donoso, Felipe González Díaz, and I made a Chilean variation (MD 90°) to the 1988 Cacha-Parent route on Alpamayo’s southwest face. [Editor’s note: Moraga originally reported that their variation was to the 2002 Escruela-Tain route (400m, ED 95°), as shown on pp. 138-139 of Cordillera Blanca scholar and AAJ correspondent Antonio Gómez Bohórquez’s book, Cordillera Blanca Escaladas. Bohórquez reports, however, that he mistakenly credited Escruela and Tain in his book, and that the first ascent of this line belongs to Peruvian P. Cacha and Canadian S. Parent.] We attacked the wall by a runnel right of the Cacha-Parent and then traversed left over an arête to follow another runnel just below the huge snow cornice on the summit ridge that threatens the classic Ferrari route. We summitted Alpamayo (5,947m) after 6.5 hours. On July 22, from high camp below Chacraraju Oeste (6,112m) Donoso, Juan Henríquez, and I reconned the approach to the intimidating south face and assessed the magnitude of the challenge. The wall only grew taller and more vertical as we came closer. We returned to camp to sleep for a few hours before the start of what would be the most demanding adventure of our lives. The next day we started climbing in alpine style, with each of us leading three-pitch blocks, while the other two followed free climbing. We found mixed sections with thin ice


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Peru CORDILLERA BLANCA Taulliraju, north face to final cornice. In late June Micah Retz and I set off to the beautiful Taulliraju (5,830m), wanting to climb a new route. After watching the direct southwest face avalanche a few times, we headed over the west col with a few days of food and fuel. The remote and seldom-visited north face had not been climbed by a new route since 1979. We placed camp ten minutes’ walk below the face on the immense Taulliraju-Puchirca Glacier. There are only two other routes on the north side of the mountain, and only one climbs the entire north face proper. The original Terray route (500m, MD A1 60°, 1956) climbs the left side of the north face for a few hundred meters, then quickly gains the northeast ridge. The Bajan-Busch route (600m, V 5.9 AI4 95°, 1979) roughly starts on the original route, but takes a straight line to the summit on the left side of the face. Looking at the face straight on, it was easy to decide where we would climb. A perfect ice runnel at mid-height on the right side of the face ran for at least 400m. Guarding the bottom of this runnel was a 60m vertical rock wall, and above the runnel were vertical and overhanging passages of water ice along the summit bulges. We started at 7 p.m. to ensure good conditions, as we knew these upper ice sections would be the crux. I took the first block of climbing to about mid-height, then Micah took over to the top. I quickly reached the crux rock band. Difficult mixed climbing led to a high-quality vertical granite band that went at 5.10 and finished with a desperate mantel in crampons. In the mixed runnel, we switched leaders. That section went quickly, as we placed virtually no protection through the 70°-85° sn’ice. We could usually belay from rock anchors on either side of the runnel. Little pro through overhanging bulges of water ice made the climbing bold as well as difficult. Two pitches Micah Retz doing battle on Taulliraju’s summit mushroom. David Turner

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below the summit the sun came out and complicated things greatly. The ice no longer was cold and hard, which made climbing and placing screws difficult. At the top, at 8 a.m., neither of us was willing to surf out onto the last few meters of the unstable cornice. We decided to rappel our ascent route, mostly on threads and pickets, instead of one of the unfamiliar lines. The descent took four hours. The 650m route required 18 hours roundtrip from our glacier camp at 5,000m. The route went at 5.10 WI5 M6, but conditions change with Peruvian climbing, making grades difficult to peg. We were lucky to have a heavy snow- and ice-pack from the previous winter, as I have seen photos of this face when it was almost entirely rock. We also attempted the first ascent of Taulliraju’s corniced and highly technical west ridge. We believe this to be the first attempt. Although we climbed half of the ridge in one long day, we had to rap off due to dangerous snow conditions. At one point I punched through the ridge, and when I pulled my legs out of the holes, I could see blue sky beneath! This ridge will be climbable during a season with a low snowpack; the heavy winter, which enabled us to climb our north face route, shut us down on this one. Thanks to Black Diamond and Casa de Zarela of Huaraz for their help with this trip. DAVID TURNER, AAC

Nevado Caraz I, Dos Gringos to summit cornices. On July 13, 2006, Slovenians Rok Stubelj and Arcon Jernej climbed the south face, to the right of the West Ridge, of Nevado Caraz I (6,025m), to directly beneath the summit. In nine hours they reached the summit cornices, which prevented them from reaching the West Ridge. They took six hours to descend in 15 rappels. They named what they climbed Dos Gringos (800m, TD 90° [max] 55°-65° [avg]). ANTONIO GÓMEZ BOHÓRQUEZ (SEVI BOHÓRQUEZ), Andesinfo, Spain, AAC

Chacraraju Oeste, Bouchard-Meunier (with variations) to summit ridge, and Alpamayo, Chilean variation. On a July 19 acclimatization climb, Felipe González Donoso, Felipe González Díaz, and I made a Chilean variation (MD 90°) to the 1988 Cacha-Parent route on Alpamayo’s southwest face. [Editor’s note: Moraga originally reported that their variation was to the 2002 Escruela-Tain route (400m, ED 95°), as shown on pp. 138-139 of Cordillera Blanca scholar and AAJ correspondent Antonio Gómez Bohórquez’s book, Cordillera Blanca Escaladas. Bohórquez reports, however, that he mistakenly credited Escruela and Tain in his book, and that the first ascent of this line belongs to Peruvian P. Cacha and Canadian S. Parent.] We attacked the wall by a runnel right of the Cacha-Parent and then traversed left over an arête to follow another runnel just below the huge snow cornice on the summit ridge that threatens the classic Ferrari route. We summitted Alpamayo (5,947m) after 6.5 hours. On July 22, from high camp below Chacraraju Oeste (6,112m) Donoso, Juan Henríquez, and I reconned the approach to the intimidating south face and assessed the magnitude of the challenge. The wall only grew taller and more vertical as we came closer. We returned to camp to sleep for a few hours before the start of what would be the most demanding adventure of our lives. The next day we started climbing in alpine style, with each of us leading three-pitch blocks, while the other two followed free climbing. We found mixed sections with thin ice


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runoff in the middle of the amphitheater that leads to the face. The first pitch was a spicy, verglas-covered 5.8. From there the route continued on a relatively easy slab to 150m of class 4. Nine more pitches of moderate climbing, with short sections up to 5.9+, put us on the summit ridge. Another 200m of loose class 4 and a short section on snow led to the summit. We descended the west ridge to the Laguna Glaciar Broggi and were back to camp 14 hours after leaving. We dubbed our route Hay Que Ser Humildes (550m, V 5.9+R), and I dedicate it to our fallen friends in the mountains. We have to keep in mind that, after all, the mountains always have the final say. Chacraraju Oeste’s south face, with the 1977 Bouchard-Meunier route (solid line) shown here as per original expedition routeline photo—some sources have mis-drawn this line. Dots represent the 2007 Chilean variations. Not shown is the 1983 French route (Desmaison-Arizzi-Chappaz-Fourque), which takes a runnel to the right and finishes on the ridge. The ’77 and ’83 routes are likely the only complete (to summit) routes on this face. Armando Moraga

plastered on the rock, inconsistent snow more than 80° steep, and sparse protection. At 8:00 p.m. we dug a small snow ledge, melted water, and ate before continuing at 2:00 a.m. After 23 pitches (850m, ED+ 95°), by afternoon we reached the summit ridge at about 6,000m. Enormous ice mushrooms greeted us and proved impossible to overcome. We tried our best and even took three whippers in the process, but we could not find a way to the summit. Hopeless, we started the descent, which proved more difficult than the climb. We made 20 long, insecure rappels, eventually following the French Direct route. We returned safely to the ground after a 50-hour round trip. At some point we all had thoughts that we may well have not made it, but indeed we were hiking back to camp, daydreaming, or rather, dreaming asleep as we hiked. Editor’s note: Though the Chileans thought they climbed new terrain between the ‘77 Bouchard-Meunier route and the ’83 French Direct route, and Internet reports reported such, further research and comparisons of route lines reveals that they mostly climbed the 1977 route, with minor variations. ARMANDO MORAGA, Chile

Nevado Yanapaccha Noroeste, Hay Que Ser Humildes. In mid-August Carlos Pineda and I climbed a direct line on the southwest face of Nevado Yanapaccha Noroeste (Noroeste I; 5,290m). This Nevado is situated southeast of well-known Nevado Chacraraju. Our base camp was at the abandoned Refugio Glaciar Broggi, next to Laguna Broggi. On August 14 we left our cozy camp early, reaching the base of the wall just after sunrise. Due to the chossy condition of this face, the route involves loose rock with poor protection. Rockfall is common, especially in the afternoon when the wall receives sun. The route starts to the left of a noticeable ice-water

MAIKEY LOPERA, Venezuela

Huascarán Sur, Turbera, and Nevado Copa, Mostro Africano to southwest ridge. Upon returning to Huaraz in June, after climbing Siulá Chico, Oriol Baró and I decided to attempt something more. Having spent six days on our previous route, we wanted something on which we could move fast, similar to what we might climb in the Alps. In 2005 I climbed a line on Huascarán Norte that snaked around the French Route on the northeast face. The French Route follows the most vertical and safest part of the wall, but as I was climbing alone and as rapidly as possible, I sought out easier, though at times more exposed, passages. From this route I had the opportunity to see the north face of Huascarán Sur (6,768m), upon which I mentally traced a potential line of ascent. Oriol and I needed to make this line a reality. We climbed the 1,200m-high north face in two days, with a bivouac spent sitting in the middle of the wall á la Mick Fowler. The route links huge snowfields on the right side of the rocky portion of the north-northeast face (just left of the hanging glaciated face) via short sections of rock. We bivouacked again near the northeast ridge, which completed our route, and then continued to the summit, which Oriol did not like because it required such a great deal of “walking.” We bivied again while descending the normal route (La Garganta), which we were neither familiar with nor did we enjoy, due to its exposure to serac fall. Turbera (1,200m, MD+ M5 A1). In 2003, at the end of a course for young alpinists held by the Spanish Federation of Mountain Sports and Climbing, three of the participants—Elena de Castro, Roger Ximenis, and Oriol—headed to the south face of Nevado Copa (6,188m) intending to climb a new route. However, the apus, or mountain spirits, hurled the mountain down upon them as they were preparing for bed. They escaped from the avalanche of rock and ice mostly unharmed but plenty shaken. They fled in the middle of the night, wearing boot liners and with a single headlamp between them. Finally, a potato truck carried them back to Huaraz. Hay Que Ser Humildes, the only known route on the southwest face of Nevado Yanapaccha Noroeste (a.k.a. Noroeste I; 5,290m). Maikey Lopera


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runoff in the middle of the amphitheater that leads to the face. The first pitch was a spicy, verglas-covered 5.8. From there the route continued on a relatively easy slab to 150m of class 4. Nine more pitches of moderate climbing, with short sections up to 5.9+, put us on the summit ridge. Another 200m of loose class 4 and a short section on snow led to the summit. We descended the west ridge to the Laguna Glaciar Broggi and were back to camp 14 hours after leaving. We dubbed our route Hay Que Ser Humildes (550m, V 5.9+R), and I dedicate it to our fallen friends in the mountains. We have to keep in mind that, after all, the mountains always have the final say. Chacraraju Oeste’s south face, with the 1977 Bouchard-Meunier route (solid line) shown here as per original expedition routeline photo—some sources have mis-drawn this line. Dots represent the 2007 Chilean variations. Not shown is the 1983 French route (Desmaison-Arizzi-Chappaz-Fourque), which takes a runnel to the right and finishes on the ridge. The ’77 and ’83 routes are likely the only complete (to summit) routes on this face. Armando Moraga

plastered on the rock, inconsistent snow more than 80° steep, and sparse protection. At 8:00 p.m. we dug a small snow ledge, melted water, and ate before continuing at 2:00 a.m. After 23 pitches (850m, ED+ 95°), by afternoon we reached the summit ridge at about 6,000m. Enormous ice mushrooms greeted us and proved impossible to overcome. We tried our best and even took three whippers in the process, but we could not find a way to the summit. Hopeless, we started the descent, which proved more difficult than the climb. We made 20 long, insecure rappels, eventually following the French Direct route. We returned safely to the ground after a 50-hour round trip. At some point we all had thoughts that we may well have not made it, but indeed we were hiking back to camp, daydreaming, or rather, dreaming asleep as we hiked. Editor’s note: Though the Chileans thought they climbed new terrain between the ‘77 Bouchard-Meunier route and the ’83 French Direct route, and Internet reports reported such, further research and comparisons of route lines reveals that they mostly climbed the 1977 route, with minor variations. ARMANDO MORAGA, Chile

Nevado Yanapaccha Noroeste, Hay Que Ser Humildes. In mid-August Carlos Pineda and I climbed a direct line on the southwest face of Nevado Yanapaccha Noroeste (Noroeste I; 5,290m). This Nevado is situated southeast of well-known Nevado Chacraraju. Our base camp was at the abandoned Refugio Glaciar Broggi, next to Laguna Broggi. On August 14 we left our cozy camp early, reaching the base of the wall just after sunrise. Due to the chossy condition of this face, the route involves loose rock with poor protection. Rockfall is common, especially in the afternoon when the wall receives sun. The route starts to the left of a noticeable ice-water

MAIKEY LOPERA, Venezuela

Huascarán Sur, Turbera, and Nevado Copa, Mostro Africano to southwest ridge. Upon returning to Huaraz in June, after climbing Siulá Chico, Oriol Baró and I decided to attempt something more. Having spent six days on our previous route, we wanted something on which we could move fast, similar to what we might climb in the Alps. In 2005 I climbed a line on Huascarán Norte that snaked around the French Route on the northeast face. The French Route follows the most vertical and safest part of the wall, but as I was climbing alone and as rapidly as possible, I sought out easier, though at times more exposed, passages. From this route I had the opportunity to see the north face of Huascarán Sur (6,768m), upon which I mentally traced a potential line of ascent. Oriol and I needed to make this line a reality. We climbed the 1,200m-high north face in two days, with a bivouac spent sitting in the middle of the wall á la Mick Fowler. The route links huge snowfields on the right side of the rocky portion of the north-northeast face (just left of the hanging glaciated face) via short sections of rock. We bivouacked again near the northeast ridge, which completed our route, and then continued to the summit, which Oriol did not like because it required such a great deal of “walking.” We bivied again while descending the normal route (La Garganta), which we were neither familiar with nor did we enjoy, due to its exposure to serac fall. Turbera (1,200m, MD+ M5 A1). In 2003, at the end of a course for young alpinists held by the Spanish Federation of Mountain Sports and Climbing, three of the participants—Elena de Castro, Roger Ximenis, and Oriol—headed to the south face of Nevado Copa (6,188m) intending to climb a new route. However, the apus, or mountain spirits, hurled the mountain down upon them as they were preparing for bed. They escaped from the avalanche of rock and ice mostly unharmed but plenty shaken. They fled in the middle of the night, wearing boot liners and with a single headlamp between them. Finally, a potato truck carried them back to Huaraz. Hay Que Ser Humildes, the only known route on the southwest face of Nevado Yanapaccha Noroeste (a.k.a. Noroeste I; 5,290m). Maikey Lopera


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Huascarán Sur with the Northeast Ridge route on the left, Turbera in the middle (dots indicate ascent bivies), and La Garganta on the right. Other routes exist left of Turbera. Baró-Corominas photo

The unclimbed south face of Cajavilca I. Anthony Barton

Oriol’s theory was that the mountain couldn’t fall on him twice in the same place. Operating under this illusion we returned to the south face of Copa via the Quebrada Paccharuri [Ruripaccha on the latest Alpenvereinskarte map], accompanied by Enrique “Kikon” Munõz, a friend from Madrid who works as a mountain guide in South America. We climbed the 800m wall (Mostro Africano, ED V/6) in a day, with small packs. [The trio bivied on the summit ridge at ca 6,050m, from where they then descended.] Oriol, of course, had divided up the pitches so that the nicest one fell to him, but we didn’t say anything, as it looked steep and difficult. It turned out to be one of the best pitches of ice that any of us had ever climbed, even with the packs and at altitude. One couldn’t ask for more happiness.

faces of Nevados Contrahierbas and Cajavilca from the northeast, and I am pretty sure we were the first climbers to do so. It’s actually very accessible due to the mining trail to Mina Cajavilca, and then there is only one route leading into the upper basin. On July 6 we climbed Cajavilca III’s (5,419m) Southeast Face (550m, AD+). The route started easy, perhaps 40-45°, up to the gully through the lower rock wall. A short, steep step then gave access to the gully, and two 55-60° pitches led to a belay on an ice ridge. A three-pitch 50-55° snow face led to the next rock wall and gully. The gully to the right of this rock wall gave another two pitches, 50° initially but increasing to about 70°. The second of these two pitches led nearly to the summit. I made a second trip to the Contrahierbas massif with Xabier Arbulo, and we made it to 5,650m on Contrahierbas’ east face. It’s a serious route, as you traverse above a 400m vertical rock wall. We started at night to avoid objective dangers, but a half-hour after sunrise, under a fair amount of stonefall, a rock hit The unclimbed east face of Nevado Contrahierbas and Xabier, and he dropped his rucksack. Fortunately, clouds rolled in, allowing us to escape. the Arbulo-Barton highpoint. Anthony Barton

JORDI COROMINAS, Spain (translated by Adam French)

Cajavilca III, Southeast Face, and Contrahierbas, attempt. John Pearson and I accessed the glacial basin below the east

Mostro Africano, on Nevado Copa’s south face. BaróCorominas photo

Cajavilca III’s Southeast Face route. Anthony Barton


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Huascarán Sur with the Northeast Ridge route on the left, Turbera in the middle (dots indicate ascent bivies), and La Garganta on the right. Other routes exist left of Turbera. Baró-Corominas photo

The unclimbed south face of Cajavilca I. Anthony Barton

Oriol’s theory was that the mountain couldn’t fall on him twice in the same place. Operating under this illusion we returned to the south face of Copa via the Quebrada Paccharuri [Ruripaccha on the latest Alpenvereinskarte map], accompanied by Enrique “Kikon” Munõz, a friend from Madrid who works as a mountain guide in South America. We climbed the 800m wall (Mostro Africano, ED V/6) in a day, with small packs. [The trio bivied on the summit ridge at ca 6,050m, from where they then descended.] Oriol, of course, had divided up the pitches so that the nicest one fell to him, but we didn’t say anything, as it looked steep and difficult. It turned out to be one of the best pitches of ice that any of us had ever climbed, even with the packs and at altitude. One couldn’t ask for more happiness.

faces of Nevados Contrahierbas and Cajavilca from the northeast, and I am pretty sure we were the first climbers to do so. It’s actually very accessible due to the mining trail to Mina Cajavilca, and then there is only one route leading into the upper basin. On July 6 we climbed Cajavilca III’s (5,419m) Southeast Face (550m, AD+). The route started easy, perhaps 40-45°, up to the gully through the lower rock wall. A short, steep step then gave access to the gully, and two 55-60° pitches led to a belay on an ice ridge. A three-pitch 50-55° snow face led to the next rock wall and gully. The gully to the right of this rock wall gave another two pitches, 50° initially but increasing to about 70°. The second of these two pitches led nearly to the summit. I made a second trip to the Contrahierbas massif with Xabier Arbulo, and we made it to 5,650m on Contrahierbas’ east face. It’s a serious route, as you traverse above a 400m vertical rock wall. We started at night to avoid objective dangers, but a half-hour after sunrise, under a fair amount of stonefall, a rock hit The unclimbed east face of Nevado Contrahierbas and Xabier, and he dropped his rucksack. Fortunately, clouds rolled in, allowing us to escape. the Arbulo-Barton highpoint. Anthony Barton

JORDI COROMINAS, Spain (translated by Adam French)

Cajavilca III, Southeast Face, and Contrahierbas, attempt. John Pearson and I accessed the glacial basin below the east

Mostro Africano, on Nevado Copa’s south face. BaróCorominas photo

Cajavilca III’s Southeast Face route. Anthony Barton


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We were fortunate, but had it not been for the stonefall incident we would have made it, as the final part was straightforward and safe. We carried all of our kit, intending to descend by the mountain’s easy western slopes, since a direct descent didn’t seem possible, and the objective danger would make it extremely risky.

40-50m long and R-rated, even though the route has high-quality climbing on good rock. After making the first ascent of the wall on August 5, we named it Apu (Quechua for “mountain guard”). We named our route Pararasapac Inti (“wall of light and shadows”; 310m, V 5.12R A2+/A3), because it’s located on a south face and never receives sunlight below the summit.

ANTHONY BARTON, U.K.

CARLOS SANDOVAL OLASCOAGA, México

Apu Wall, Pararasapac Inti. In summer 2006 Odín Pérez noticed a big unclimbed granite wall in the Quebrada Ishinca. Back in Mexico he showed me pictures, and I was committed to climbing it. We arrived in Huaraz on July 17 and soon established base camp right at the entrance of Huascarán National Park. Our unnamed wall was the second from the left (west) of four large rock buttresses that rise from the slopes of the north side of the canyon.The first wall when entering the canyon is unnamed, the second is what we ended up naming Apu, the third is Hatun Ulloc, and the fourth is Ishik Ulloc [see below report]. From base camp we cleared a trail up to the base of the wall at 4,100m. The approach takes 30 minutes. On July 19 we started climbing. The lower headwall is characterized by discontinuous cracks that traverse under huge roofs. The lower pitches were the hardest of the route. During our first day on the wall, we opened two pitches. The first is a sparsely protected granite slab that led to the overhanging headwall. The second is a beautiful pitch that traverses up under huge roofs, and has the hardest free-climbing of the route. A small horizontal crack re-mained A2, because a key hold broke while I tried to free it. The rest of the pitch can be climbed at 5.12. The next two days we struggled to climb the third pitch, which goes under a roof to a ledge below an imposing black roof. This pitch remained unfinished as we left for a week on July 22 to climb Cruz del Sur on La Esfinge. We returned on August 1. After another day on pitch 3, we finally reached the ledge. Pitch 3 combines run-out face climbing with overhanging crack climbing. Pitch 4 goes under a 10m black roof. We free-climbed the first part of the pitch but aided the upper part. I took a 15m fall while leading the A2+/A3 upper part, when a RURP’s sling snapped and several knifeblades and Lost Arrows pulled. Easier terrain above pitch 4 finished the headwall. After spending a night on the wall, we reached the summit in three long, exposed pitches, with some short aid sections, finishing with an amazing chimney that goes from one side of the wall to the other. Almost all the pitches are Pararasapac Inti, the first route on Apu Wall. Carlos Sandoval Olascoaga

Quebrada Ishinca, rock climbs. In early July in the Quebrada Ishinca, German climbers Alexander Schmalz-Friedberger and Michael Zettelmeyer established Con Ojeras Debajo de Ojos Vidriosos (180m, 5.10+ C2) on the overhanging east face of Ishik Ulloc (Ulloc Chico), the next formation to the right (east) of Hatun Ulloc. The route finishes by climbing the chimney between Ishik Ulloc’s twin summits, sharing the final pitch with the 2005 route, Lawak. Around the same time, their teammates Hans-Martin Troebs and Marc Wolff climbed a new route in the middle of the east face of Hatun Ulloc. Compañia Vertical (200m, 7b, 6b obl.) is approached via the first three pitches of Karma de los Condores (Crill-Gallagher, 2004), on the south face, to the big ledge, before traversing around to the east face. The steep route includes four protection and 12 belay bolts (all placed by hand, on lead), and also makes for an excellent rappel route for parties who’ve climbed Karma de los Condores. Compiled from reports from www.alpinist.com and ANTONIO GÓMEZ BOHÓRQUEZ

Chinchey Central, Directa Alberto Vittone. On May 19 Peruvian climbers Elias Flores, Michel Araya, Miguel Martinez, and Quique Apolinario, all Don Bosco de los Andes guides, started their journey from the town of Huantar to the Quebrada Rurichinchay, a deep valley with heavy vegetation from its start. A road does not exist to base camp. They stayed at a moraine camp (4,950m) on May 23, trekked higher on unstable, seracthreatened ice, and established base camp at 5,400m. They prepared to climb the next day, but bad weather and avalanche danger caused them to wait in base camp for two more nights. On May 26 at 2 a.m. they started. It took two hours to reach the northeast face, where 60° to 65° ice made stakes and ice screws extremely useful. They climbed 60m pitches, and at 1 p.m. they finished climbing the wall and reached the final ridge, and then the 6,222m summit at 1:30, naming their route Directa Alberto Vittone (750m, D). They rappelled from Abalakovs down their line of ascent. Since the wall is in the sun all day, they recommend an evening descent. SERGIO RAMÍREZ CARRASCAL, Peru

Directa Alberto Vittone, on Chinchey Central. Quique Apolinario

Yanamarey Sur, west ridge. On July 8 Chilean-North American Evelio Echevarría and Peruvian Alberto


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We were fortunate, but had it not been for the stonefall incident we would have made it, as the final part was straightforward and safe. We carried all of our kit, intending to descend by the mountain’s easy western slopes, since a direct descent didn’t seem possible, and the objective danger would make it extremely risky.

40-50m long and R-rated, even though the route has high-quality climbing on good rock. After making the first ascent of the wall on August 5, we named it Apu (Quechua for “mountain guard”). We named our route Pararasapac Inti (“wall of light and shadows”; 310m, V 5.12R A2+/A3), because it’s located on a south face and never receives sunlight below the summit.

ANTHONY BARTON, U.K.

CARLOS SANDOVAL OLASCOAGA, México

Apu Wall, Pararasapac Inti. In summer 2006 Odín Pérez noticed a big unclimbed granite wall in the Quebrada Ishinca. Back in Mexico he showed me pictures, and I was committed to climbing it. We arrived in Huaraz on July 17 and soon established base camp right at the entrance of Huascarán National Park. Our unnamed wall was the second from the left (west) of four large rock buttresses that rise from the slopes of the north side of the canyon.The first wall when entering the canyon is unnamed, the second is what we ended up naming Apu, the third is Hatun Ulloc, and the fourth is Ishik Ulloc [see below report]. From base camp we cleared a trail up to the base of the wall at 4,100m. The approach takes 30 minutes. On July 19 we started climbing. The lower headwall is characterized by discontinuous cracks that traverse under huge roofs. The lower pitches were the hardest of the route. During our first day on the wall, we opened two pitches. The first is a sparsely protected granite slab that led to the overhanging headwall. The second is a beautiful pitch that traverses up under huge roofs, and has the hardest free-climbing of the route. A small horizontal crack re-mained A2, because a key hold broke while I tried to free it. The rest of the pitch can be climbed at 5.12. The next two days we struggled to climb the third pitch, which goes under a roof to a ledge below an imposing black roof. This pitch remained unfinished as we left for a week on July 22 to climb Cruz del Sur on La Esfinge. We returned on August 1. After another day on pitch 3, we finally reached the ledge. Pitch 3 combines run-out face climbing with overhanging crack climbing. Pitch 4 goes under a 10m black roof. We free-climbed the first part of the pitch but aided the upper part. I took a 15m fall while leading the A2+/A3 upper part, when a RURP’s sling snapped and several knifeblades and Lost Arrows pulled. Easier terrain above pitch 4 finished the headwall. After spending a night on the wall, we reached the summit in three long, exposed pitches, with some short aid sections, finishing with an amazing chimney that goes from one side of the wall to the other. Almost all the pitches are Pararasapac Inti, the first route on Apu Wall. Carlos Sandoval Olascoaga

Quebrada Ishinca, rock climbs. In early July in the Quebrada Ishinca, German climbers Alexander Schmalz-Friedberger and Michael Zettelmeyer established Con Ojeras Debajo de Ojos Vidriosos (180m, 5.10+ C2) on the overhanging east face of Ishik Ulloc (Ulloc Chico), the next formation to the right (east) of Hatun Ulloc. The route finishes by climbing the chimney between Ishik Ulloc’s twin summits, sharing the final pitch with the 2005 route, Lawak. Around the same time, their teammates Hans-Martin Troebs and Marc Wolff climbed a new route in the middle of the east face of Hatun Ulloc. Compañia Vertical (200m, 7b, 6b obl.) is approached via the first three pitches of Karma de los Condores (Crill-Gallagher, 2004), on the south face, to the big ledge, before traversing around to the east face. The steep route includes four protection and 12 belay bolts (all placed by hand, on lead), and also makes for an excellent rappel route for parties who’ve climbed Karma de los Condores. Compiled from reports from www.alpinist.com and ANTONIO GÓMEZ BOHÓRQUEZ

Chinchey Central, Directa Alberto Vittone. On May 19 Peruvian climbers Elias Flores, Michel Araya, Miguel Martinez, and Quique Apolinario, all Don Bosco de los Andes guides, started their journey from the town of Huantar to the Quebrada Rurichinchay, a deep valley with heavy vegetation from its start. A road does not exist to base camp. They stayed at a moraine camp (4,950m) on May 23, trekked higher on unstable, seracthreatened ice, and established base camp at 5,400m. They prepared to climb the next day, but bad weather and avalanche danger caused them to wait in base camp for two more nights. On May 26 at 2 a.m. they started. It took two hours to reach the northeast face, where 60° to 65° ice made stakes and ice screws extremely useful. They climbed 60m pitches, and at 1 p.m. they finished climbing the wall and reached the final ridge, and then the 6,222m summit at 1:30, naming their route Directa Alberto Vittone (750m, D). They rappelled from Abalakovs down their line of ascent. Since the wall is in the sun all day, they recommend an evening descent. SERGIO RAMÍREZ CARRASCAL, Peru

Directa Alberto Vittone, on Chinchey Central. Quique Apolinario

Yanamarey Sur, west ridge. On July 8 Chilean-North American Evelio Echevarría and Peruvian Alberto


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Murguía approached via the Queracocha Valley and climbed the west ridge of Yanamarey Sur (5,220m). This may be a new route and the second ascent of the peak. It was first climbed from the south by Hartmann and Reiss in 1965. The summit height is given as 5,197m in the Peru ING. ANTONIO GÓMEZ BOHÓRQUEZ (SEVI BOHÓRQUEZ), Andesinfo, Spain, AAC

CORDILLERA HUAYHUASH Siulá Chico, west face. In May Spanish climbers Oriol Baró and Jordi Corominas made the first ascent of Siulá Chico’s (6,265m) sustained, difficult west face (900m, ED+ VI AI5+ A2). The pair carried a portaledge and haul bag, placed no bolts, and bivouacked five times during the ascent and once during the descent. After this climb, they moved to the Cordillera Blanca and established new routes on Huascarán Sur and Nevado Copa, as reported above. See Corominas’ Siulá Chico feature earlier in this Journal. Pt. 5,740m (“Siula Antecima”), naming correction. In AAJ 2007, pp. 220-221, Lindsay Griffin provided information on an Italian team climbing a peak that they named “Siula Antecima.” However, Lorenzo Festorazzi’s photo with their ascent line clearly shows that they are referring to Pt. 5,740m on Alpenvereinskarte Cordillera Huayhuash 0/3c, which is the same as Jurau B (5,727m) in the Alpine Mapping Guild 2004 map and in other guides. ANTONIO GÓMEZ BOHÓRQUEZ (SEVI BOHÓRQUEZ), Andesinfo, Spain, AAC

Quesillo, east ridge, Electric Lane, to near summit; Huaraca, North Ridge and Northeast Face. Between July 22 and August 12, Tom Bide, Martin Lane, Graeme Schofield, and I went to the southern spur of the Cordillera Huayhuash. First, and most eventfully, we went to Quesillo’s east ridge (a.k.a. Electric Lane). This route had seen attempts by at least one party, with retreat in bad weather. Setting off early in the morning, we climbed in two pairs and had made good progress, soloing the easier initial sections of the ridge, when dawn broke. The crux was a 15m steep jam crack (UIAA 5+) to gain the top of one of many gendarmes on the lower ridge. But then a 55m rappel down the north face of the ridge, and a subsequent rising traverse around a 10m gap, slowed our progress. Further climbing along the easy rock ridge led to a slab pitch of UIAA 5. Soon we reached the snow ridge, which led to a rock band that we climbed by a short runnel (Scottish 3/4). The ridge remains 60° steep from here, and the snow deteriorated, allowing no worthwhile protection. As we neared the summit, the weather rapidly deteriorated, and we heard thunder. Our initial plan was to descend the west ridge to the glacier; the climbing now became urgent. Approximately one rope length from the summit, the state of the remaining ridge looked too time-consuming and dangerous; a notch on the ridge 50m below the summit was our high point (grade TD-). We found an ice cave high on the north face and one-by-one climbed in. It was during this process that a lightning strike struck our entire four-man team. Martin was rendered unconscious for 30 seconds, before waking up disorientated, confused, and in a state of shock (much the same as normal, really). “What’s happened?” Martin asked. “We’ve all been struck by lightning, mate” Graeme replied.

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“Was it my fault?” “No, I am pretty sure it wasn’t,” Graeme said, and he was pretty sure it wasn’t. We looked at Martin, who was still in the land of the fairies, and regrouped in the ice cave as the storm worsened. It would be impossible to descend that day. Our poorly made snow-hole within the ice cave left our upper torsos and heads exposed, and the four of us lined up ala spoons. On a positive note, we could all fit in the hole, but on a negative note, it Huaraca, with the Northeast Face (left) and North Ridge routes. had no heat-retaining qualities Carl Reilly whatsoever. While none of us are particularly huggy sorts, it is fair to say that nobody was trying to be the alpha male. Graeme even reports that he had never been so glad to be sandwiched between two strapping young men. After we suffered 12 hours of utter misery, the sun began to creep over the horizon. Suddenly Martin seemed liveliest of all; clearly the lightning strike had charged him up. We descended the northeast face by a series of rappels and downclimbing. After recovering from the electrifying experience, we put up two routes on the north side of Huaraca. Tom and Martin established the North Ridge route from the col between Huaraca and Jaurau. The route follows the narrow snow ridge, which is corniced in sections, through rock bands until an overhanging rock wall forced them into a series of gullies and slabs on the northeast face. These led to snow slopes and the summit. Grade: D (UIAA 4+). Graeme and I climbed the Northeast Face route, starting from an obvious snow cone and following a right-trending but wandering line through a series of cracks and chimneys, leading to steeper chimneys, 45m left of the ridge, which we climbed to snow slopes and the summit. Grade: D (UIAA 5). We all descended by downclimbing the east ridge for 100m, before making two rappels down the south face to reach the glacier between Huaraca and Quesillo. CARL REILLY, U.K.

Trapecio, Los Viejos Roqueros Nunca Mueren, and tragedy. On August 2, 2006, José Manuel Fernández and Miguel Ángel Pita climbed the southeast face of Trapecio (5,653m) via the couloir systems to the right of the July 2005 route by Slovenians Pavle Kozjek, Miha Lampreht, and Branko Ivanek and Basque Aritza Monasterio (AAJ 2006, pp. 244-246). The Spanish pair climbed nine initial pitches, with 60m ropes, including a middle section of moving together for 150m and some 70m pitches. They overcame a frozen waterfall (70°, then 80°-85°) on the ninth pitch and then descended [highpoint unclear] after naming their climb Los Viejos Roqueros Nunca Mueren (Old Rockclimbers Never Die, ca 750m V/4+). See Desnivel, no. 51, 2007, p. 104.


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Murguía approached via the Queracocha Valley and climbed the west ridge of Yanamarey Sur (5,220m). This may be a new route and the second ascent of the peak. It was first climbed from the south by Hartmann and Reiss in 1965. The summit height is given as 5,197m in the Peru ING. ANTONIO GÓMEZ BOHÓRQUEZ (SEVI BOHÓRQUEZ), Andesinfo, Spain, AAC

CORDILLERA HUAYHUASH Siulá Chico, west face. In May Spanish climbers Oriol Baró and Jordi Corominas made the first ascent of Siulá Chico’s (6,265m) sustained, difficult west face (900m, ED+ VI AI5+ A2). The pair carried a portaledge and haul bag, placed no bolts, and bivouacked five times during the ascent and once during the descent. After this climb, they moved to the Cordillera Blanca and established new routes on Huascarán Sur and Nevado Copa, as reported above. See Corominas’ Siulá Chico feature earlier in this Journal. Pt. 5,740m (“Siula Antecima”), naming correction. In AAJ 2007, pp. 220-221, Lindsay Griffin provided information on an Italian team climbing a peak that they named “Siula Antecima.” However, Lorenzo Festorazzi’s photo with their ascent line clearly shows that they are referring to Pt. 5,740m on Alpenvereinskarte Cordillera Huayhuash 0/3c, which is the same as Jurau B (5,727m) in the Alpine Mapping Guild 2004 map and in other guides. ANTONIO GÓMEZ BOHÓRQUEZ (SEVI BOHÓRQUEZ), Andesinfo, Spain, AAC

Quesillo, east ridge, Electric Lane, to near summit; Huaraca, North Ridge and Northeast Face. Between July 22 and August 12, Tom Bide, Martin Lane, Graeme Schofield, and I went to the southern spur of the Cordillera Huayhuash. First, and most eventfully, we went to Quesillo’s east ridge (a.k.a. Electric Lane). This route had seen attempts by at least one party, with retreat in bad weather. Setting off early in the morning, we climbed in two pairs and had made good progress, soloing the easier initial sections of the ridge, when dawn broke. The crux was a 15m steep jam crack (UIAA 5+) to gain the top of one of many gendarmes on the lower ridge. But then a 55m rappel down the north face of the ridge, and a subsequent rising traverse around a 10m gap, slowed our progress. Further climbing along the easy rock ridge led to a slab pitch of UIAA 5. Soon we reached the snow ridge, which led to a rock band that we climbed by a short runnel (Scottish 3/4). The ridge remains 60° steep from here, and the snow deteriorated, allowing no worthwhile protection. As we neared the summit, the weather rapidly deteriorated, and we heard thunder. Our initial plan was to descend the west ridge to the glacier; the climbing now became urgent. Approximately one rope length from the summit, the state of the remaining ridge looked too time-consuming and dangerous; a notch on the ridge 50m below the summit was our high point (grade TD-). We found an ice cave high on the north face and one-by-one climbed in. It was during this process that a lightning strike struck our entire four-man team. Martin was rendered unconscious for 30 seconds, before waking up disorientated, confused, and in a state of shock (much the same as normal, really). “What’s happened?” Martin asked. “We’ve all been struck by lightning, mate” Graeme replied.

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“Was it my fault?” “No, I am pretty sure it wasn’t,” Graeme said, and he was pretty sure it wasn’t. We looked at Martin, who was still in the land of the fairies, and regrouped in the ice cave as the storm worsened. It would be impossible to descend that day. Our poorly made snow-hole within the ice cave left our upper torsos and heads exposed, and the four of us lined up ala spoons. On a positive note, we could all fit in the hole, but on a negative note, it Huaraca, with the Northeast Face (left) and North Ridge routes. had no heat-retaining qualities Carl Reilly whatsoever. While none of us are particularly huggy sorts, it is fair to say that nobody was trying to be the alpha male. Graeme even reports that he had never been so glad to be sandwiched between two strapping young men. After we suffered 12 hours of utter misery, the sun began to creep over the horizon. Suddenly Martin seemed liveliest of all; clearly the lightning strike had charged him up. We descended the northeast face by a series of rappels and downclimbing. After recovering from the electrifying experience, we put up two routes on the north side of Huaraca. Tom and Martin established the North Ridge route from the col between Huaraca and Jaurau. The route follows the narrow snow ridge, which is corniced in sections, through rock bands until an overhanging rock wall forced them into a series of gullies and slabs on the northeast face. These led to snow slopes and the summit. Grade: D (UIAA 4+). Graeme and I climbed the Northeast Face route, starting from an obvious snow cone and following a right-trending but wandering line through a series of cracks and chimneys, leading to steeper chimneys, 45m left of the ridge, which we climbed to snow slopes and the summit. Grade: D (UIAA 5). We all descended by downclimbing the east ridge for 100m, before making two rappels down the south face to reach the glacier between Huaraca and Quesillo. CARL REILLY, U.K.

Trapecio, Los Viejos Roqueros Nunca Mueren, and tragedy. On August 2, 2006, José Manuel Fernández and Miguel Ángel Pita climbed the southeast face of Trapecio (5,653m) via the couloir systems to the right of the July 2005 route by Slovenians Pavle Kozjek, Miha Lampreht, and Branko Ivanek and Basque Aritza Monasterio (AAJ 2006, pp. 244-246). The Spanish pair climbed nine initial pitches, with 60m ropes, including a middle section of moving together for 150m and some 70m pitches. They overcame a frozen waterfall (70°, then 80°-85°) on the ninth pitch and then descended [highpoint unclear] after naming their climb Los Viejos Roqueros Nunca Mueren (Old Rockclimbers Never Die, ca 750m V/4+). See Desnivel, no. 51, 2007, p. 104.


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They rappelled twice from rock pitons and once from a single camming device. On their fourth rappel, their snow stake pulled from the sugary snow and Fernández died in the fall. Pita bivouacked for 12 hours, sitting on a small ice ledge, before climbing unroped to the summit and descending via the northwest face. ANTONIO GÓMEZ BOHÓRQUEZ (SEVI BOHÓRQUEZ), Andesinfo, Spain, AAC

Puscanturpa Este, Stonehenge. Grega Kresal and I, who climbed Chacraraju’s 700m east face (VII A2) together in 1993, returned to Peru for the east face of Puscanturpa Este (5,410m). The peak is located in the extreme southeast corner of the Huayhuash, a great distance from the standard western approaches. Our new line, Stonehenge (600m, 10 pitches, VII+ 70° ice), ascends a wall that had not been attempted for over twenty years. In 1986 a set of loose blocks turned around Nixon and partner, the first and only team to attempt the face, only half a pitch up the ridge. (We found one of their abandoned carabiners 20m up.) Ours is likely the second ascent of the peak. We completed the climb in 14 hours roundtrip on July 6, in pure alpine style. We drove 11 hours from Huaraz to Cajatambo, from where we trekked two long days to the south side of the peak. Here we established base camp. Starting at 4 a.m. on July 6, we made a one-hour approach to the base of the east face. We climbed 200m of moderate ice to reach the steep wall of lithic tuff, typical Puscanturpa rock. (Several rock routes have been established on the west face of Puscanturpa Norte.) Climbing on volcanic rock was something special, with excellent friction, clean cracks,

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and thin sharp edges that seemed made for boots (I had rock shoes with me, but kept them in my pack.) However, some sections of the climb were spiced with large, unstable blocks. With a 60m rope we climbed 10 pitches on the face. The first two pitches (V, VI) worked up steep slabs and cracks to an obvious ledge. A system of cracks and corners followed. The fifth pitch (VII) offered perfect rock with few protection possibilities, and the sixth (VII+) began with the “Scary Corner,” a loose 10m dihedral that moved so much it nearly crushed a Camalot. Grega Kresal approaching the summit of Puscanturpa Este, with We then traversed right into another the summit ridge falling away behind him. Pavle Kozjek corner, and after more long pitches (VI, V) we reached the broken summit ridge from the north side. We summited early in the afternoon and cautiously rappelled the same line, because the normal route (West Ridge, 1986) was so broken and difficult, I was scared to descend it. According to Jeremy Frimer’s guidebook, which inspired me to attempt this wall, Stonehenge marks the peak’s second ascent. PAVLE KOZJEK, Slovenia, AAC

Stonehenge, the only route on this side of Puscanturpa Este. Pavle Kozjek

Historical note and correction. Several historical references to this mountain contain mistakes. Although the Slovenian route appears similar to route 328 on Puscanturpa Este drawings 157, 159, and 160 in Jan Kielkowski’s impressive 1992 Cordillera Huayhuash guidebook (vol. 6, pp. 32-34; in Polish), this guidebook line is almost certainly misdrawn. The text accompanying route 328 refers to a climb on a different mountain: the June 20, 1963, climb of Puscanturpa Central (5,442m), by Julius Hensler and Pedro Baltazar (AAJ 1964). Perhaps line 328 drawn on Este was intended to represent what Kielkowski reports as an undescribed, unnamed British route established on August 12, 1985. This British ascent, however, is surely the August 11-13, 1986 (not 1985) Northwest Ridge route (Alpine Journal 1987, pp. 72-73), on the other side of the mountain. Plate 29 in the AJ 1987 may have created the confusion, as the caption refers to the successful British climb (incorrectly placing it), but the photo is from the southeast—the complete opposite aspect of the mountain. Kielkowski’s sketch is from virtually the same angle as this photo, and his line 328 matches the AJ caption mistake. Regardless, Kielkowski’s 328 route line on Puscanturpa Este does not exist as a route, even today—the Kozjek-Kresaj 2007 line is farther east. Kielkowski’s 329 route line/arrow was likely intended to represent (though it’s drawn too steep) the approach taken by Brits John Nixon and “Ian” (no last name given in AJ 1987; the pair was on the same trip as the Northwest Ridge Brits) on their August 11-12, 1986 attempt, which became the 2007 Slovenian route. Much of this history is accurately documented in Jeremy Frimer’s extensively researched 2005 guidebook,


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They rappelled twice from rock pitons and once from a single camming device. On their fourth rappel, their snow stake pulled from the sugary snow and Fernández died in the fall. Pita bivouacked for 12 hours, sitting on a small ice ledge, before climbing unroped to the summit and descending via the northwest face. ANTONIO GÓMEZ BOHÓRQUEZ (SEVI BOHÓRQUEZ), Andesinfo, Spain, AAC

Puscanturpa Este, Stonehenge. Grega Kresal and I, who climbed Chacraraju’s 700m east face (VII A2) together in 1993, returned to Peru for the east face of Puscanturpa Este (5,410m). The peak is located in the extreme southeast corner of the Huayhuash, a great distance from the standard western approaches. Our new line, Stonehenge (600m, 10 pitches, VII+ 70° ice), ascends a wall that had not been attempted for over twenty years. In 1986 a set of loose blocks turned around Nixon and partner, the first and only team to attempt the face, only half a pitch up the ridge. (We found one of their abandoned carabiners 20m up.) Ours is likely the second ascent of the peak. We completed the climb in 14 hours roundtrip on July 6, in pure alpine style. We drove 11 hours from Huaraz to Cajatambo, from where we trekked two long days to the south side of the peak. Here we established base camp. Starting at 4 a.m. on July 6, we made a one-hour approach to the base of the east face. We climbed 200m of moderate ice to reach the steep wall of lithic tuff, typical Puscanturpa rock. (Several rock routes have been established on the west face of Puscanturpa Norte.) Climbing on volcanic rock was something special, with excellent friction, clean cracks,

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and thin sharp edges that seemed made for boots (I had rock shoes with me, but kept them in my pack.) However, some sections of the climb were spiced with large, unstable blocks. With a 60m rope we climbed 10 pitches on the face. The first two pitches (V, VI) worked up steep slabs and cracks to an obvious ledge. A system of cracks and corners followed. The fifth pitch (VII) offered perfect rock with few protection possibilities, and the sixth (VII+) began with the “Scary Corner,” a loose 10m dihedral that moved so much it nearly crushed a Camalot. Grega Kresal approaching the summit of Puscanturpa Este, with We then traversed right into another the summit ridge falling away behind him. Pavle Kozjek corner, and after more long pitches (VI, V) we reached the broken summit ridge from the north side. We summited early in the afternoon and cautiously rappelled the same line, because the normal route (West Ridge, 1986) was so broken and difficult, I was scared to descend it. According to Jeremy Frimer’s guidebook, which inspired me to attempt this wall, Stonehenge marks the peak’s second ascent. PAVLE KOZJEK, Slovenia, AAC

Stonehenge, the only route on this side of Puscanturpa Este. Pavle Kozjek

Historical note and correction. Several historical references to this mountain contain mistakes. Although the Slovenian route appears similar to route 328 on Puscanturpa Este drawings 157, 159, and 160 in Jan Kielkowski’s impressive 1992 Cordillera Huayhuash guidebook (vol. 6, pp. 32-34; in Polish), this guidebook line is almost certainly misdrawn. The text accompanying route 328 refers to a climb on a different mountain: the June 20, 1963, climb of Puscanturpa Central (5,442m), by Julius Hensler and Pedro Baltazar (AAJ 1964). Perhaps line 328 drawn on Este was intended to represent what Kielkowski reports as an undescribed, unnamed British route established on August 12, 1985. This British ascent, however, is surely the August 11-13, 1986 (not 1985) Northwest Ridge route (Alpine Journal 1987, pp. 72-73), on the other side of the mountain. Plate 29 in the AJ 1987 may have created the confusion, as the caption refers to the successful British climb (incorrectly placing it), but the photo is from the southeast—the complete opposite aspect of the mountain. Kielkowski’s sketch is from virtually the same angle as this photo, and his line 328 matches the AJ caption mistake. Regardless, Kielkowski’s 328 route line on Puscanturpa Este does not exist as a route, even today—the Kozjek-Kresaj 2007 line is farther east. Kielkowski’s 329 route line/arrow was likely intended to represent (though it’s drawn too steep) the approach taken by Brits John Nixon and “Ian” (no last name given in AJ 1987; the pair was on the same trip as the Northwest Ridge Brits) on their August 11-12, 1986 attempt, which became the 2007 Slovenian route. Much of this history is accurately documented in Jeremy Frimer’s extensively researched 2005 guidebook,


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Climbs and Treks in the Cordillera Huayhuash of Peru. Incomplete details and scant reporting in multiple languages often create difficulty in accurately deciphering information on climbs in this region. Thanks to Antonio Gómez Bohórquez, Jeremy Frimer, and Pavle Kozjek for this information and for translation help.

CORDILLERA APOLOBAMBA Cordillera Apolobamba, various ascents. In July and August we did some climbs in a remote area of the Peruvian Apolobamba along the Peru-Bolivia border. Few climbers have visited this area. In 2004 Peter Butzhammer, Benjamin Reuter, Dr. Stepfan Fuchs, and I had already climbed in the Cordillera Vilcanota when we met Hermann Wolf, who invited us to explore the Quebrada Viscachani, in the Cordillera Apolobamba, with his expedition. His team also included Gerd Dauch, Manni Obermeier, and Otto Reus (who had been to the Apolobamba with Hermann in 1968). In 2004 we did the following climbs: July 10: Suchi I / Huejoloma I (5,361m), first ascent, north ridge, probably UIAA rock II (perhaps III); O. Reus, P. Butzhammer, B. Reuter, Bros Delgado (Peruvian). July 13: Suchi III / Huejoloma III (5,243m), first ascent, from northwest, loose rock and sand, UIAA II near the summit; H. Wolf, O. Reus, M. Obermeier, A. Bayerlein, Andres Zevallos (Peruvian). July 15: Chaupi Orco Chaupi Orco Norte, showing the new route on the west-northwest ridge. Benjamin Reuter (6,059m), new route; first ascent from Peruvian side; from northwest via Glaciar Viscachani, difficult due to crevasses, camp at 5,450m, then up north ridge to the summit; Dr. S. Fuchs, B. Reuter, A. Bayerlein. July 15: Suchi II / Huejoloma II (5,238m), first ascent, from northeast; H. Wolf, O. Reus, M. Obermeier, A. Zevallos (Peruvian). July 18: Sorapata II Yanaloma’s southeast ridge. Benjamin Reuter

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(5,511m), first ascent, via Glaciar Sorapata parallel to Sorapata Crest, then up east ridge (snow, rock, ice), then becoming mainly rock to the summit; B. Reuter, A. Bayerlein. We know of a German expedition made up of Ulrich Lossen, Thomas Drexler, Robin Groschup, and Thomas Raab that had been in the area in 2005 and made the probable first ascents of Sorapata III (5,440m, west ridge, after climbing over Sorapata II, Drexler-GroschupLossen) and Yanaloma (5,219m, north-northeast ridge, rock up to III+, whole team). We also heard that an international team failed to repeat our climb on Chaupi Orco. In 2004 Benjamin and I saw an interesting gully in the Salluyo group, but unfortunately we didn’t have time. In September 2006 I called Chaupi Orco with the camp indicated, the 2004 route (north Benjamin, and we began organizing ridge) on the left, and the 2007 route (north face) on the right. Benjamin Reuter our return. In 2007 we made the following climbs (with, as above, new route and first ascent claims according to our research). Our base camp was in the Quebrada Viscachani at 4,635m: Nevado Salluyo II (5,818m), new route; from camp at 5,315m, west gully (400m, TD-/TD 80° III [UIAA rock]); B. Reuter, A. Bayerlein. Nevado Chaupi Orco Norte (5,958m [Jordan map], 6,025m [GPS]), new route and first ascent from this side; from camp at 5,365m, west-northwest ridge (650m, AD+ 70° III); Jan Eisenstein, Dr. S. Fuchs. FA of peak was in 1950s (Italians), second in 1960s (Hermann Wolf), both from the Bolivian side. Campanane II (5,307m), probable first ascent, northeast ridge (mostly rock I and II, with some III); B. Reuter, A. Bayerlein. Yanaloma (5,219m), new route and first ascent from this side, southeast ridge (450m, V[mostly III and IV]); B. Reuter, P. Brosius. Nevado Chaupi Orco (6,059m), new route; from camp at 5,450m, north face (500m, D60°); J. Eisenstein, B. Reuter, M. Hoess, P. Brosius. Nevado Sorapata IV (5,272m), first ascent, from base camp up the Sorapata Crest, then descend 50m, then south of the glacier between Sorapata II and III, then up again (some II rock) and across small glacier at ridge and more easy rock to summit (PD II); Dr. S. Fuchs, A. Bayerlein. Caca Yuacho Cocho (5,557m), from northeast; J. Eisenstein, M. Hoess. ANDREAS BAYERLEIN, Germany


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Climbs and Treks in the Cordillera Huayhuash of Peru. Incomplete details and scant reporting in multiple languages often create difficulty in accurately deciphering information on climbs in this region. Thanks to Antonio Gómez Bohórquez, Jeremy Frimer, and Pavle Kozjek for this information and for translation help.

CORDILLERA APOLOBAMBA Cordillera Apolobamba, various ascents. In July and August we did some climbs in a remote area of the Peruvian Apolobamba along the Peru-Bolivia border. Few climbers have visited this area. In 2004 Peter Butzhammer, Benjamin Reuter, Dr. Stepfan Fuchs, and I had already climbed in the Cordillera Vilcanota when we met Hermann Wolf, who invited us to explore the Quebrada Viscachani, in the Cordillera Apolobamba, with his expedition. His team also included Gerd Dauch, Manni Obermeier, and Otto Reus (who had been to the Apolobamba with Hermann in 1968). In 2004 we did the following climbs: July 10: Suchi I / Huejoloma I (5,361m), first ascent, north ridge, probably UIAA rock II (perhaps III); O. Reus, P. Butzhammer, B. Reuter, Bros Delgado (Peruvian). July 13: Suchi III / Huejoloma III (5,243m), first ascent, from northwest, loose rock and sand, UIAA II near the summit; H. Wolf, O. Reus, M. Obermeier, A. Bayerlein, Andres Zevallos (Peruvian). July 15: Chaupi Orco Chaupi Orco Norte, showing the new route on the west-northwest ridge. Benjamin Reuter (6,059m), new route; first ascent from Peruvian side; from northwest via Glaciar Viscachani, difficult due to crevasses, camp at 5,450m, then up north ridge to the summit; Dr. S. Fuchs, B. Reuter, A. Bayerlein. July 15: Suchi II / Huejoloma II (5,238m), first ascent, from northeast; H. Wolf, O. Reus, M. Obermeier, A. Zevallos (Peruvian). July 18: Sorapata II Yanaloma’s southeast ridge. Benjamin Reuter

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(5,511m), first ascent, via Glaciar Sorapata parallel to Sorapata Crest, then up east ridge (snow, rock, ice), then becoming mainly rock to the summit; B. Reuter, A. Bayerlein. We know of a German expedition made up of Ulrich Lossen, Thomas Drexler, Robin Groschup, and Thomas Raab that had been in the area in 2005 and made the probable first ascents of Sorapata III (5,440m, west ridge, after climbing over Sorapata II, Drexler-GroschupLossen) and Yanaloma (5,219m, north-northeast ridge, rock up to III+, whole team). We also heard that an international team failed to repeat our climb on Chaupi Orco. In 2004 Benjamin and I saw an interesting gully in the Salluyo group, but unfortunately we didn’t have time. In September 2006 I called Chaupi Orco with the camp indicated, the 2004 route (north Benjamin, and we began organizing ridge) on the left, and the 2007 route (north face) on the right. Benjamin Reuter our return. In 2007 we made the following climbs (with, as above, new route and first ascent claims according to our research). Our base camp was in the Quebrada Viscachani at 4,635m: Nevado Salluyo II (5,818m), new route; from camp at 5,315m, west gully (400m, TD-/TD 80° III [UIAA rock]); B. Reuter, A. Bayerlein. Nevado Chaupi Orco Norte (5,958m [Jordan map], 6,025m [GPS]), new route and first ascent from this side; from camp at 5,365m, west-northwest ridge (650m, AD+ 70° III); Jan Eisenstein, Dr. S. Fuchs. FA of peak was in 1950s (Italians), second in 1960s (Hermann Wolf), both from the Bolivian side. Campanane II (5,307m), probable first ascent, northeast ridge (mostly rock I and II, with some III); B. Reuter, A. Bayerlein. Yanaloma (5,219m), new route and first ascent from this side, southeast ridge (450m, V[mostly III and IV]); B. Reuter, P. Brosius. Nevado Chaupi Orco (6,059m), new route; from camp at 5,450m, north face (500m, D60°); J. Eisenstein, B. Reuter, M. Hoess, P. Brosius. Nevado Sorapata IV (5,272m), first ascent, from base camp up the Sorapata Crest, then descend 50m, then south of the glacier between Sorapata II and III, then up again (some II rock) and across small glacier at ridge and more easy rock to summit (PD II); Dr. S. Fuchs, A. Bayerlein. Caca Yuacho Cocho (5,557m), from northeast; J. Eisenstein, M. Hoess. ANDREAS BAYERLEIN, Germany


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area with many possibilities for new routes. On July 8, after ten days of perfect weather, we left base camp in a blizzard and spent several days trying to evade protests and riots to return to Lima. All major roads were blocked with rocks, the airport at Juliaca was overrun by demonstrators who smashed the landing lights, and transport was at a standstill. After two days of watching from our hotel roof as teargas-firing riot police battled with slingshot-wielding mobs, we got a bus to Arequipa, which dropped us and the other passengers at a cement works in the middle of the desert, 26 km from town, as the road ahead was blockaded. With a combination of lifts and shank’s pony, and carrying 30+ kg of luggage apiece, we ran the gauntlet of stone-throwing hooligans and eventually made it to the town center. We finally left Peru three days later than scheduled. We are grateful for the financial support from the MEF and the BMC.

CORDILLERA CARABAYA Chichicapac, north ridge; Mamacapac, first ascent; Cornice, south ridge. Mike Cocker, Jonathan Preston, and I arrived in Peru on June 14 and spent a week acclimatizing and buying essentials before arriving at base camp (a four-hour walk with donkeys from the end of a dirt track) at beautiful Laguna Chambine on the south side of the little-visited Cordillera Carabaya. We spent a few days on reconnaissance, including a look at the south face of Chichicapac (5,614m), our intended target. Unfortunately, though there was a good Scottish-type gully and a mixed line up the face, the lower half was threatened by huge cornices. Instead, on June 29 we made the first ascent of the north ridge of Chichicapac, grading the route D. Starting from a bivy in the cirque west of the ridge, we followed an easy gully to a col, at 5,123m, with spectacular views to the northeast. We followed the ridge for five pitches on rock, the hardest of which was around MVS and rather friable. Above, easier snow climbing led to the summit. We descended the west ridge (the original route), thus making the first traverse of the peak. On July 3 we ascended the glacier to the fine peak of Screwdriver (5,543m), to look at its unclimbed south face. However, no obvious line presented itself, so we turned to the nearby unclimbed and spectacular rock spire of Mamacapac (5,525m). We climbed it (PD) via a straightforward snowslope to a high col, from where three pitches of easy-angled but horrendously loose rock gained the summit. There is confusion over the naming of the peaks in this area, with at least one expedition map being wrong. We have tried to sort this out and believe we have the peak names correct. On July 6 Jonathan and I (Mike dropped out, having sprained his wrist) made the first ascent of the spectacular south ridge of Cornice (5,710m). After an initial 250m of moving together, we climbed 13 excellent pitches of continually interesting and exposed mixed and ice/snow climbing, finishing at the marginally higher end of a severely corniced ridge. The mountain has only had one previous ascent, probably to the other end of this summit ridge, and it is not known if the ridge was traversed. We did the climb in one push from a bivouac on the moraine below the glacier, and descended by downclimbing and rappelling, largely in the dark. Grade D. Our team disputes the assertion by John Biggar that the rock is akin to Galloway granite—or, while it may be, it is Galloway granite that has been through a mincer and Chichicapac from the west, showing the north ridge ascent and west face scattered liberally over the descent. The huge rock tower is unclimbed but appears rather loose. crags! Otherwise it is a beautiful Stephen Reid

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Jonathan Preston on the south ridge of Cornice. Stephen Reid

STEPHEN REID, U.K.

Allincapac (5,780m), Twin Peaks (Ipsa Rita/Yspa Ritti) (5,721m), Cornice (5,710m), Chequilla (altitude unknown, probably unclimbed), Tower (given as 5,577m but perhaps 150m higher), Papacapac (altitude unknown, probably unclimbed), Screwdriver (5,543m), Mamacapac (5,525m). The lines of ascent on Cornice and Mamacapac are indicated. Stephen Reid


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area with many possibilities for new routes. On July 8, after ten days of perfect weather, we left base camp in a blizzard and spent several days trying to evade protests and riots to return to Lima. All major roads were blocked with rocks, the airport at Juliaca was overrun by demonstrators who smashed the landing lights, and transport was at a standstill. After two days of watching from our hotel roof as teargas-firing riot police battled with slingshot-wielding mobs, we got a bus to Arequipa, which dropped us and the other passengers at a cement works in the middle of the desert, 26 km from town, as the road ahead was blockaded. With a combination of lifts and shank’s pony, and carrying 30+ kg of luggage apiece, we ran the gauntlet of stone-throwing hooligans and eventually made it to the town center. We finally left Peru three days later than scheduled. We are grateful for the financial support from the MEF and the BMC.

CORDILLERA CARABAYA Chichicapac, north ridge; Mamacapac, first ascent; Cornice, south ridge. Mike Cocker, Jonathan Preston, and I arrived in Peru on June 14 and spent a week acclimatizing and buying essentials before arriving at base camp (a four-hour walk with donkeys from the end of a dirt track) at beautiful Laguna Chambine on the south side of the little-visited Cordillera Carabaya. We spent a few days on reconnaissance, including a look at the south face of Chichicapac (5,614m), our intended target. Unfortunately, though there was a good Scottish-type gully and a mixed line up the face, the lower half was threatened by huge cornices. Instead, on June 29 we made the first ascent of the north ridge of Chichicapac, grading the route D. Starting from a bivy in the cirque west of the ridge, we followed an easy gully to a col, at 5,123m, with spectacular views to the northeast. We followed the ridge for five pitches on rock, the hardest of which was around MVS and rather friable. Above, easier snow climbing led to the summit. We descended the west ridge (the original route), thus making the first traverse of the peak. On July 3 we ascended the glacier to the fine peak of Screwdriver (5,543m), to look at its unclimbed south face. However, no obvious line presented itself, so we turned to the nearby unclimbed and spectacular rock spire of Mamacapac (5,525m). We climbed it (PD) via a straightforward snowslope to a high col, from where three pitches of easy-angled but horrendously loose rock gained the summit. There is confusion over the naming of the peaks in this area, with at least one expedition map being wrong. We have tried to sort this out and believe we have the peak names correct. On July 6 Jonathan and I (Mike dropped out, having sprained his wrist) made the first ascent of the spectacular south ridge of Cornice (5,710m). After an initial 250m of moving together, we climbed 13 excellent pitches of continually interesting and exposed mixed and ice/snow climbing, finishing at the marginally higher end of a severely corniced ridge. The mountain has only had one previous ascent, probably to the other end of this summit ridge, and it is not known if the ridge was traversed. We did the climb in one push from a bivouac on the moraine below the glacier, and descended by downclimbing and rappelling, largely in the dark. Grade D. Our team disputes the assertion by John Biggar that the rock is akin to Galloway granite—or, while it may be, it is Galloway granite that has been through a mincer and Chichicapac from the west, showing the north ridge ascent and west face scattered liberally over the descent. The huge rock tower is unclimbed but appears rather loose. crags! Otherwise it is a beautiful Stephen Reid

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Jonathan Preston on the south ridge of Cornice. Stephen Reid

STEPHEN REID, U.K.

Allincapac (5,780m), Twin Peaks (Ipsa Rita/Yspa Ritti) (5,721m), Cornice (5,710m), Chequilla (altitude unknown, probably unclimbed), Tower (given as 5,577m but perhaps 150m higher), Papacapac (altitude unknown, probably unclimbed), Screwdriver (5,543m), Mamacapac (5,525m). The lines of ascent on Cornice and Mamacapac are indicated. Stephen Reid


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2006, setting another three pitches one day, and fixing ropes on the hardest pitches. We went back six more times, for single days, in June, August, September, and finally October, when we finished the route. Although there are three other long routes on this mountain, the biggest concentration of long routes in Brazil is on Pico Maior de Friburgo (2,350m) and Capacete (2,100m), also in Três Picos State Park. There are 50 routes on these mountains, ranging from 5.8 to 5.13a, some as long as 18 pitches or 700m. Some pitches are on vertical walls with huge feldspar crystals protruding from the many pegmatite dikes. ANTONIO PAULO FARIA, Brazil

Bolivia

Silvio Neto climbing pitch 5 of O Céu é o Limite, on a 2007 repeat ascent. Antonio Paulo Faria

Khuchu Mocoya Valley, ascents and exploration. In early July, Hal Watts, Markus Roggen, Bernard Lam, Ben Withers, and I spent 23 days in the Khuchu Mocoya Valley in the northern Araca Group of the Cordillera Quimsa Cruz, where we climbed 11 routes, 10 of which we believe to be new. There is some confusion over peak names in the area; different maps have different names, and some peaks are known only by colloquial names. There are a few “wellknown” landmarks, such as Pico Penis (a.k.a. El Obelisco), Cuernos del Diablo, and Nevada Saturno. These landmarks are generally consistently named, so routes can be located by their relative positions. Our base camp was on the banks of the Rio Khuchu Mocoya, west of Laguna Blanca, and we spent several days looking for good lines on the faces to the east. We had come to the area hearing that it was a granite paradise, and there was certainly a lot of granite; however, most faces were shorter than we had expected, generally 150-300m high. We climbed our first route, E-dirt (140m, E3 5c), on the slabs to the southwest of Nevada Saturno. The rock was good, but with a lot of vegetation in the cracks. We had bought a garden trowel in La Paz, which was useful for clearing dirt. Next we climbed a striking crack line on the slabs to the northeast of Laguna Blanca, a four-pitch E1 5b. We found evidence—two stuck nuts and a bolt—that this route had been previously climbed. We then visited the next valley to the north (the Turaj Umaña River Valley, which some locals call the Torrini Valley) in search of more north, sunny faces (though the north side of the valley had numerous faces around 200-300m high, some with uninterrupted crack lines for their duration). This valley is home to an impressive northwest-facing formation, on the south side of the valley, that local climber and guide Gonzalo Jaimes had called Torrini (not to be confused with the Cerro Torrini on the HOJA maps, which is about 2.5km north of the Turaj Umaña Valley—outside the valley but close enough to confuse things). We later learned that this peak is Gross Mauer, at least as named by the German FA team. Gross Mauer means “Great/Big Wall” and is the formation where Lynnea Anderson and Donny Alexander established the AA Crack, up one of the most striking features on the peak, in 2002 [AAJ 2003, pp. 315-316]. We climbed on the peak briefly, but it was basically a bolted crag with almost no potential for new routes.


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Mostly unnamed rock walls on the north side of the Turaj Umaña River Valley, the next valley north of the Khuchu Mocoya Valley in the northern Araca Group, showing the Gatt-Wutscher (1990) FA route on what they named Pico Horizonte. Some locals reportedly call this peak Las Tenazas. Other routes likely exist in this photo, but we were unable to track them down. Virgil Scott

On this same south side of the valley we found excellent sunny rock faces, 100-250m long. We climbed several routes in this area: three along the western end of the north faces framing the valley and two in an area to the east. In the western area, the routes were La Cueva Comoda (230m, E1 5b), Motivationsriss (120m, HVS 4c), and a 200m VS 4c. In the eastern area we climbed La Manera Dura (150m, E5 6b) and Lalilu (120m, E2 5c). We climbed all routes onsight except La Manera Dura. During a snowy period Bernard and Ben climbed a mixed route (grade III/4) on the slabs near the col that leads to the next valley northwest of base camp. Other new routes included a three-pitch 100m VS 4c in the Diablos area by Bernard and Markus; a long scramble to the northwest of Saturno (250m, AD-) by Bernard and Ben, and a long ridge traverse (PD+) by Ben, Bernard, and Markus. We found one larger face (400-500m), which we nicknamed the “Big Wall,” about 2km northwest of Laguna Blanca. [Not to be confused with the other “Big Wall,” Gross Mauer, a.k.a. Torrini, albeit not the “real” Cerro Torrini on HOJA maps; according to Bolivian climber, guide, and guidebook author Denys Sanjines, this face that Scott is referring to is called La Gran Muralla, which, in English, means “The Great Wall,” but, again, not to be confused with Gross Mauer, either Torrini, or other big and great walls—extremely confused Ed.] It was probably the most spectacular face we saw in the area, but unfortunately it was loose and steep. We spent four days attempting to climb it and made only 50m of progress. As far as we know this face has no routes, which Jaimes confirms. This seemed like one of the few, if not the only, unclimbed face of this size in the area and would make a great objective for a team that doesn’t mind the cold and is willing to aid. During our time in the Quimsa Cruz we found a lot more evidence of climbing than we had expected. For more information, see www.quimsacruz2007.co.uk. VIRGIL SCOTT, U.K.


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Peru CORDILLERA BLANCA Pucahirca Oeste, attempt. In late June John Miller and I set out for the Pucahirca group, assisted by a Mountain Fellowship Grant from the AAC. After acclimatizing in the Ishinca Valley, we were unable to establish a new line on the north face of Pucahirca Oeste (6,039 m) [some sources call this peak Pucahirca Sur], due to deteriorating snow and ice conditions. The approach was our first challenge. We could make the three- to four-day trek with burros from Hualcayán to the north of Santa Cruz and Alpamayo, then down to Laguna Sajuna, or we could take a 10-hour bus ride over the range to Pomabamba. From Pomabamba a five-hour taxi ride to base camp still would await, if a taxi willing to negotiate the journey could be found. We decided to make the four-day trek, but a stomach bug sent me back to Caraz. After recovering, I took the bus to Pomabamba and a taxi as far as one would take me toward base camp, which left me 30km to cover by foot.

The unclimbed chimney on the remote northwest face of Pucahirca Central (6,014m), visible just left of center and guarded by a complex icefall approach as well as hazards from above. The peak’s right skyline is the upper Southwest Arête route (Dionisi-Fecchio-Ghigo-Marchese, 1961), reached from the opposite side. From this side of the mountain, a 1980 Italian team led by Mario Curnis (Azzoni-Bianchetti-Bonicelli-Curnis-Fassa-Rota-Scarpelini-NavaTesta) climbed the west face to a few meters below the summit before retreating in bad conditions. John Miller


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We scoured John’s telephoto pictures for the best lines in the cirque. Two interesting, unclimbed lines attracted us. A breathtaking ice chimney over 1,000' long split the middle of the northwest face of Pucahirca Central (6,014m). This intimidating line looked to have a horrific approach up the icefall. It would be quite an accomplishment, if global warming does not do away with it. The other line linked various promising features up the middle of the north face of Pucahirca Oeste. This was our line. We camped on the glacier below the north face of Pucahirca Oeste. Some of the features that seemed in good condition just a few days before had deteriorated in the sun, and we watched debris fall directly down our intended line. We made a high camp on the glacier and made an attempt that night. However, we moved slowly on the low rock buttress, which was less than optimal and steeper than expected. Combined with the fear of unfavorable conditions ahead, we turned back. The next morning we realized the wisdom of our decision when we watched an awesome avalanche sweep near our intended line. ASA FIRESTONE, AAC Taulliraju, El Centelleo. Riding a bike for three days from Carhuaz (2,650m) to Punta Olimpica/ Pasaje de Ulta (4,890m) sounded like a fast, simple method of acclimatization. Two hours after Matej Flis, Tadej Golob, and I departed, though, I realized once more there are no shortcuts in alpinism. Our objective was an alpine-style ascent up the unclimbed center of Taulliraju’s south face. Aware of the difficulties before us, we brought all kinds of gear, but by daybreak on the first pitch, it was clear that we wouldn’t be able to make our way over the powder-covered granite. Thus we pared down our equipment for the GMHM Route (400m, TD+ WI4+ M4, Gleizes-Gryska-Prom, 1987), which we hoped to use to access the start of the east face, where we would attempt a new line. The GMHM Route surprised us with a variety of conditions. At nightfall we bivied on a comfortable shelf on the top of the buttress. The following day we continued along the Guides’ Route (800m, TD+, Balmat-Fabre-Monaci-Thivierge, 1978) to the east face [Cordillera Blanca scholar and AAJ correspondent Antonio Gómez Bohórquez notes that this portion of the route is erroneously attributed to the 1978 Chamonix guides. Credit belongs to the 1976 Japanese team of Mizobuchi-Nagashino-Yoda.] half a pitch to the right of the Monasterio-Richey 2002 attempt (as we found out later). I started up the first two pitches wearing crampons, but after two falls, I changed to climbing shoes. The granite was first class, only briefly blemished by some huge, loose flakes. On the last pitch, powder again covered the rock, and it was nearly impossible to set belays. The sun had already set behind Alpamayo as we stood on the summit (5,830m) on May 29, having completed El Centelleo (700m, VI 6b M6+). A glance down the Guides’ Route wasn’t promising, so we instead rappeled the east face, which appeared mushroom-free. At the end of the first rappel, I practically fell into an ice cave; it proved to be the best shelter we could find. After we spent an uncomfortable night, the next rappel led to an established anchor. The following rappels were made in a similar manner to the base of the mountain. Looking over the photos back in base camp, we found we’d descended the Monasterio-Richey attempt. GREGA LACEN, Slovenia (reprinted/adapted from ALPINIST, issue #18, www.alpinist.com)

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Huandoy Sur, correction. The route on the northeast face, climbed by Canadians A. Sole and G. Spohr, in June 1979, repeated by Spaniards M. Ábrego, J. Muru, and G. Plaza, in May 1980, and by Slovene P. Kozjek in August 1995 (AAJ 2003, p. 306, AAJ 2002 p. 300, and AAJ 1996, pp. 215-216), was climbed in 1978 by the French expedition of F. Tomas, D. Julien, R. Mizrahi, R. Müsnch, G. Vionnet-Fuasset, and H. Lüdi. ANTONIO GÓMEZ BOHÓRQUEZ (A.K.A. SEVI BOHÓRQUEZ), Andesinfo, Spain Tocllaraju (possible new route); La Esfinge; Huandoy Sur, new route to summit ridge. I went to Peru in early June, headed straight to Huaraz, the “Chamonix of South America,” and spent three months climbing in the Cordillera Blanca. After acclimatizing on four smaller peaks, I went to the Ishinca Valley, where Evan Sloan, of Boulder, Colorado, and I climbed the left side of the west face of Tocllaraju, staying well left of the normal route. Our route consisted of about nine pitches of mostly ice and snow averaging 60°-70°, with a short overhanging s’nice pitch to get out of the ever-widening bergschrund. This possible new route/variation (many variations and lines have been climbed on this face and are hard to tell apart) ended 100m below the summit, from where we followed the standard route (Northwest Ridge) to the top. We climbed the line in a 20-hour round-trip from base camp in perfect typical Peruvian weather. I then moved on to La Esfinge in mid-July with a Californian friend, Matt Meinzer (also of Sacramento), intending to seek out a new line on the east or southeast face. We scoped both faces in search of a natural new line, and decided upon the steep central orange-and-red wall 100m right of the original east face route. As we started climbing, Matt got increasingly sick and after two pitches was forced to descend. Since solo big-wall climbing is my passion, I wasn’t hesitant to continue, but was saddened to see Matt have to bail. In the six days I was on the face, I was subject to snow and high winds almost every night but had beautiful daytime conditions. The climb went well, with only seven holes, hand-drilled on pitches four and five. The route is about 650m long and almost completely independent, topping out on the last few easy pitches of Lobo Estepario. [Antonio Gómez Bohórquez, the AAJ’s Cordillera Blanca expert, notes that, actually, Turner’s line joins the upper half of the 1999 French route, Papas Rellenas (Cruaud-Devernay-Peyronnard-Plaze).] After La Esfinge I wanted to climb another challenging alpine route, so I headed to the Llanganuco Valley and Huandoy Sur’s southwest buttress, which borders the immense 1,000m south face granite wall. My style was simple: To climb fast and light, alone on a new route. I hiked to camp with a light pack, after catching an afternoon bus from Huaraz. After a nap I headed up with no rope, stove, or bivy gear on the mixed spur that separates the south face from the Southwest Buttress route. My route turned out to be harder and steeper than it had looked through the clouds the previous evening, having continuous mixed climbing with steep unconsolidated snow. After 700m, I came upon the final crux, an overhanging cornice below the ridge. Unable to go around it and too high to turn back, I had to wallow up it, using every technique possible. I crested the summit ridge at dawn, after climbing for six-and-a-half hours from the ‘schrund, just in time to see the summit area before a storm hit. I hurriedly continued until it was impossible to see. I knew I was about 100m vertical from the elusive summit, but was unsure if I could continue and make it back without bivy gear. With the last drink of my water and half an energy bar, I raced down the Southwest Buttress and eventually found


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We scoured John’s telephoto pictures for the best lines in the cirque. Two interesting, unclimbed lines attracted us. A breathtaking ice chimney over 1,000' long split the middle of the northwest face of Pucahirca Central (6,014m). This intimidating line looked to have a horrific approach up the icefall. It would be quite an accomplishment, if global warming does not do away with it. The other line linked various promising features up the middle of the north face of Pucahirca Oeste. This was our line. We camped on the glacier below the north face of Pucahirca Oeste. Some of the features that seemed in good condition just a few days before had deteriorated in the sun, and we watched debris fall directly down our intended line. We made a high camp on the glacier and made an attempt that night. However, we moved slowly on the low rock buttress, which was less than optimal and steeper than expected. Combined with the fear of unfavorable conditions ahead, we turned back. The next morning we realized the wisdom of our decision when we watched an awesome avalanche sweep near our intended line. ASA FIRESTONE, AAC Taulliraju, El Centelleo. Riding a bike for three days from Carhuaz (2,650m) to Punta Olimpica/ Pasaje de Ulta (4,890m) sounded like a fast, simple method of acclimatization. Two hours after Matej Flis, Tadej Golob, and I departed, though, I realized once more there are no shortcuts in alpinism. Our objective was an alpine-style ascent up the unclimbed center of Taulliraju’s south face. Aware of the difficulties before us, we brought all kinds of gear, but by daybreak on the first pitch, it was clear that we wouldn’t be able to make our way over the powder-covered granite. Thus we pared down our equipment for the GMHM Route (400m, TD+ WI4+ M4, Gleizes-Gryska-Prom, 1987), which we hoped to use to access the start of the east face, where we would attempt a new line. The GMHM Route surprised us with a variety of conditions. At nightfall we bivied on a comfortable shelf on the top of the buttress. The following day we continued along the Guides’ Route (800m, TD+, Balmat-Fabre-Monaci-Thivierge, 1978) to the east face [Cordillera Blanca scholar and AAJ correspondent Antonio Gómez Bohórquez notes that this portion of the route is erroneously attributed to the 1978 Chamonix guides. Credit belongs to the 1976 Japanese team of Mizobuchi-Nagashino-Yoda.] half a pitch to the right of the Monasterio-Richey 2002 attempt (as we found out later). I started up the first two pitches wearing crampons, but after two falls, I changed to climbing shoes. The granite was first class, only briefly blemished by some huge, loose flakes. On the last pitch, powder again covered the rock, and it was nearly impossible to set belays. The sun had already set behind Alpamayo as we stood on the summit (5,830m) on May 29, having completed El Centelleo (700m, VI 6b M6+). A glance down the Guides’ Route wasn’t promising, so we instead rappeled the east face, which appeared mushroom-free. At the end of the first rappel, I practically fell into an ice cave; it proved to be the best shelter we could find. After we spent an uncomfortable night, the next rappel led to an established anchor. The following rappels were made in a similar manner to the base of the mountain. Looking over the photos back in base camp, we found we’d descended the Monasterio-Richey attempt. GREGA LACEN, Slovenia (reprinted/adapted from ALPINIST, issue #18, www.alpinist.com)

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Huandoy Sur, correction. The route on the northeast face, climbed by Canadians A. Sole and G. Spohr, in June 1979, repeated by Spaniards M. Ábrego, J. Muru, and G. Plaza, in May 1980, and by Slovene P. Kozjek in August 1995 (AAJ 2003, p. 306, AAJ 2002 p. 300, and AAJ 1996, pp. 215-216), was climbed in 1978 by the French expedition of F. Tomas, D. Julien, R. Mizrahi, R. Müsnch, G. Vionnet-Fuasset, and H. Lüdi. ANTONIO GÓMEZ BOHÓRQUEZ (A.K.A. SEVI BOHÓRQUEZ), Andesinfo, Spain Tocllaraju (possible new route); La Esfinge; Huandoy Sur, new route to summit ridge. I went to Peru in early June, headed straight to Huaraz, the “Chamonix of South America,” and spent three months climbing in the Cordillera Blanca. After acclimatizing on four smaller peaks, I went to the Ishinca Valley, where Evan Sloan, of Boulder, Colorado, and I climbed the left side of the west face of Tocllaraju, staying well left of the normal route. Our route consisted of about nine pitches of mostly ice and snow averaging 60°-70°, with a short overhanging s’nice pitch to get out of the ever-widening bergschrund. This possible new route/variation (many variations and lines have been climbed on this face and are hard to tell apart) ended 100m below the summit, from where we followed the standard route (Northwest Ridge) to the top. We climbed the line in a 20-hour round-trip from base camp in perfect typical Peruvian weather. I then moved on to La Esfinge in mid-July with a Californian friend, Matt Meinzer (also of Sacramento), intending to seek out a new line on the east or southeast face. We scoped both faces in search of a natural new line, and decided upon the steep central orange-and-red wall 100m right of the original east face route. As we started climbing, Matt got increasingly sick and after two pitches was forced to descend. Since solo big-wall climbing is my passion, I wasn’t hesitant to continue, but was saddened to see Matt have to bail. In the six days I was on the face, I was subject to snow and high winds almost every night but had beautiful daytime conditions. The climb went well, with only seven holes, hand-drilled on pitches four and five. The route is about 650m long and almost completely independent, topping out on the last few easy pitches of Lobo Estepario. [Antonio Gómez Bohórquez, the AAJ’s Cordillera Blanca expert, notes that, actually, Turner’s line joins the upper half of the 1999 French route, Papas Rellenas (Cruaud-Devernay-Peyronnard-Plaze).] After La Esfinge I wanted to climb another challenging alpine route, so I headed to the Llanganuco Valley and Huandoy Sur’s southwest buttress, which borders the immense 1,000m south face granite wall. My style was simple: To climb fast and light, alone on a new route. I hiked to camp with a light pack, after catching an afternoon bus from Huaraz. After a nap I headed up with no rope, stove, or bivy gear on the mixed spur that separates the south face from the Southwest Buttress route. My route turned out to be harder and steeper than it had looked through the clouds the previous evening, having continuous mixed climbing with steep unconsolidated snow. After 700m, I came upon the final crux, an overhanging cornice below the ridge. Unable to go around it and too high to turn back, I had to wallow up it, using every technique possible. I crested the summit ridge at dawn, after climbing for six-and-a-half hours from the ‘schrund, just in time to see the summit area before a storm hit. I hurriedly continued until it was impossible to see. I knew I was about 100m vertical from the elusive summit, but was unsure if I could continue and make it back without bivy gear. With the last drink of my water and half an energy bar, I raced down the Southwest Buttress and eventually found


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my tracks on the glacier. I was back in Huaraz 28 hours after leaving. I was happy with the climbing, but disappointed that the last few easy meters eluded me. With so many beautiful mountains here, I will surely come back. I thank the AAC for its generous support with a Mountain Fellowship Grant. DAVE TURNER, AAC Chaupi Huanca, Qui Io Vado Ancora (to junction with Caravaca Jubilar). Italian Ragni di Lecco climbers Simone Pedeferri (leader, age 34), Andrea Pavan (26), and I (41) explored the granite walls of Peru’s Quebrada Rurec, where on July 12 we made the first ascent of Qui Io Vado Ancora (7c max, 7a oblig with two pitches of A1), on Chaupi Huanca [a.k.a. Punta Numa, but the native (Quechua) name is correct and preferred. Also see note on naming, AAJ 2006, p. 241]. We named the route for the song “Here I Go Again” (Whitesnake, 1987), because it explains well why we are so alone chasing our passions. Thanks to David Coverdale, the singer, and Adrian Vandenberg, solo guitar, for that song! We love free-climbing, and free-climbing at high altitude is for us a dream. We arrived in the Rurec Valley on Simone Pedeferri on pitch 10 of Qui Io Vado Ancora. July 1 and left on the 12th. The valley is Fabio Palma 12km of easy, lovely walking from the village of Olleros, which is 30 minutes from Huaraz. The route starts 20 minutes from the bottom of the valley, at 4,050m. The route is 15 pitches long (540m), starting 50m right of the Spanish route, Caravaca Jubilar (5.11 A4). We freed all the pitches except the 10th (because it’s dirty; with a day of cleaning it could became maximum 6c) and the 14th (too cold that day, but it could be a fantastic 7c). We suggest one set of Friends, from the small yellow, and doubles in sizes 1, 2, 3. The Friends are mainly useful/necessary from pitch 10 onward. Some micronuts could be used on the slab pitches. Ratings of the 15 pitches are V, V+, 6b, 7a, 7a+, 7a, 6b+, 7b, 7a+, 6b A1, 6c, V, 6c+, 7a A1, 7a. The last pitch ends, at 4,600m, with a fantastic crack that needs Friends #4 and #5 (minimum #3). The route is mainly slab climbing, often with distant protection. Pitches 4, 5, and 6 are exposed; there are bolts, but falling is not an option! Runouts are as long as 12m, with 6c/7a mandatory, compounded by the facts that before 11 a.m it’s too cold and dark arrives at 6 p.m. However, belays are easily established, so it’s not a problem to stop and come down during the evening. It would be a worthy goal to try to on-sight the route in a day and to free the 14th pitch—surely possible for a strong team. The climbing is not physical but often very technical.

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We finished the route in seven days, in stable weather, with only three days of cold wind and one day of snow. Some pitches are really nice; maybe the best are the last three. From the exit it is possible to try to reach the top of Chaupi Huanca by Caravaca Jubilar, maybe freeing its dihedral, but we didn’t have enough time. There are other possibilities, though not easy, and the granite has few cracks. Our route represents part of the “Liberi in Libera” project, a sort of exploratory journey to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Ragni di Lecco association. FABIO PALMA, Ragni di Lecco, Italy Cashan Este, Southwest Ridge. An Andes [commercial group] expedition, led by Martin Akhurst, was in the Cordillera Blanca in June. Between June 23-25 they made an ascent of Cashan Este (5,716m) by the southwest ridge (from the col with Shacsha). Apparently this route had not been recorded—the route of the first ascent in 1948 lies on the southwest glacier and west ridge. The group climbed from a base camp in the Quebrada Rurec, with higher camps at 4,700m and 5,000m. After a half-day scouting and trail-breaking, Peruvian guide Damian Aurelio, with David Galloway and Ray Tennant, reached the summit at 12 noon on June 25. The grade was about Alpine AD; the route involved complicated route-finding through crevasses and a steep pitch to gain the summit. JOHN BIGGAR, U.K. Huantsan Norte, The Wayqui Way. Rolando Morales Flores, Beto Pinto Toledo, Michel Bernuy Qiuto, and I (all International Federation of Mountain Guides aspirants from the Casa de Guias in Huaraz, Peru) entered the Rajucolta Valley on July 11 and set up base camp on the west side of Huantsan, at 5,175m. The next day we climbed the west face of the col north of Huantsan Norte (6,113m), with only a half-liter of fuel, food for two days, two sleeping bags, two mattresses, five Friends, seven Stoppers, five ice screws, and six pitons. We climbed in pairs, 3m apart, sharing a rope on the exit pitch. We started with 240m of a new route. The first pitch contained mixed climbing on thin ice patches over rock, with hard-won protection, followed by two pitches of vertical ice and snow up to 90°. The fourth pitch had vertical ice and mixed climbing over rock slabs and 4m of vertical rock and ice that allowed us to exit the face. We dug a snow cave and waited for morning to make a summit bid, but bad weather kept us cave-bound, and we ate the remaining food. On day 4 we left our bivy at 2 a.m. and started the Northwest Ridge with just a liter of water and two Power Bars for the four of us. We climbed 10 runout pitches, using only deadmen as anchors. The most difficult part required crossing from the west face of the ridge to the east face, over cornices and mushrooms. At 6:34 a.m. in perfect conditions, we became the first all-Peruvian team to reach the summit of Huantsan Norte. Fourteen rappels later, down the northeast face, leaving seven snow stakes, four pitons, and all the cordelettes we had, we reached the glacier and our bivy at 5:30 p.m. Our supplies exhausted, we kept going, and at 11:30 p.m., after 21 hours on the move, we feasted on the remaining food in base camp and drank from a nearby a water hole, having finished our almost-epic ascent of the The Wayqui Way (850m, TD+ WI4 M4 90°; in Quechua, wayqui means “brothers”). CHRISTIAN ANDREAS STOLL DAVILA, Peru (adapted from www.alpinist.com)


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my tracks on the glacier. I was back in Huaraz 28 hours after leaving. I was happy with the climbing, but disappointed that the last few easy meters eluded me. With so many beautiful mountains here, I will surely come back. I thank the AAC for its generous support with a Mountain Fellowship Grant. DAVE TURNER, AAC Chaupi Huanca, Qui Io Vado Ancora (to junction with Caravaca Jubilar). Italian Ragni di Lecco climbers Simone Pedeferri (leader, age 34), Andrea Pavan (26), and I (41) explored the granite walls of Peru’s Quebrada Rurec, where on July 12 we made the first ascent of Qui Io Vado Ancora (7c max, 7a oblig with two pitches of A1), on Chaupi Huanca [a.k.a. Punta Numa, but the native (Quechua) name is correct and preferred. Also see note on naming, AAJ 2006, p. 241]. We named the route for the song “Here I Go Again” (Whitesnake, 1987), because it explains well why we are so alone chasing our passions. Thanks to David Coverdale, the singer, and Adrian Vandenberg, solo guitar, for that song! We love free-climbing, and free-climbing at high altitude is for us a dream. We arrived in the Rurec Valley on Simone Pedeferri on pitch 10 of Qui Io Vado Ancora. July 1 and left on the 12th. The valley is Fabio Palma 12km of easy, lovely walking from the village of Olleros, which is 30 minutes from Huaraz. The route starts 20 minutes from the bottom of the valley, at 4,050m. The route is 15 pitches long (540m), starting 50m right of the Spanish route, Caravaca Jubilar (5.11 A4). We freed all the pitches except the 10th (because it’s dirty; with a day of cleaning it could became maximum 6c) and the 14th (too cold that day, but it could be a fantastic 7c). We suggest one set of Friends, from the small yellow, and doubles in sizes 1, 2, 3. The Friends are mainly useful/necessary from pitch 10 onward. Some micronuts could be used on the slab pitches. Ratings of the 15 pitches are V, V+, 6b, 7a, 7a+, 7a, 6b+, 7b, 7a+, 6b A1, 6c, V, 6c+, 7a A1, 7a. The last pitch ends, at 4,600m, with a fantastic crack that needs Friends #4 and #5 (minimum #3). The route is mainly slab climbing, often with distant protection. Pitches 4, 5, and 6 are exposed; there are bolts, but falling is not an option! Runouts are as long as 12m, with 6c/7a mandatory, compounded by the facts that before 11 a.m it’s too cold and dark arrives at 6 p.m. However, belays are easily established, so it’s not a problem to stop and come down during the evening. It would be a worthy goal to try to on-sight the route in a day and to free the 14th pitch—surely possible for a strong team. The climbing is not physical but often very technical.

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We finished the route in seven days, in stable weather, with only three days of cold wind and one day of snow. Some pitches are really nice; maybe the best are the last three. From the exit it is possible to try to reach the top of Chaupi Huanca by Caravaca Jubilar, maybe freeing its dihedral, but we didn’t have enough time. There are other possibilities, though not easy, and the granite has few cracks. Our route represents part of the “Liberi in Libera” project, a sort of exploratory journey to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Ragni di Lecco association. FABIO PALMA, Ragni di Lecco, Italy Cashan Este, Southwest Ridge. An Andes [commercial group] expedition, led by Martin Akhurst, was in the Cordillera Blanca in June. Between June 23-25 they made an ascent of Cashan Este (5,716m) by the southwest ridge (from the col with Shacsha). Apparently this route had not been recorded—the route of the first ascent in 1948 lies on the southwest glacier and west ridge. The group climbed from a base camp in the Quebrada Rurec, with higher camps at 4,700m and 5,000m. After a half-day scouting and trail-breaking, Peruvian guide Damian Aurelio, with David Galloway and Ray Tennant, reached the summit at 12 noon on June 25. The grade was about Alpine AD; the route involved complicated route-finding through crevasses and a steep pitch to gain the summit. JOHN BIGGAR, U.K. Huantsan Norte, The Wayqui Way. Rolando Morales Flores, Beto Pinto Toledo, Michel Bernuy Qiuto, and I (all International Federation of Mountain Guides aspirants from the Casa de Guias in Huaraz, Peru) entered the Rajucolta Valley on July 11 and set up base camp on the west side of Huantsan, at 5,175m. The next day we climbed the west face of the col north of Huantsan Norte (6,113m), with only a half-liter of fuel, food for two days, two sleeping bags, two mattresses, five Friends, seven Stoppers, five ice screws, and six pitons. We climbed in pairs, 3m apart, sharing a rope on the exit pitch. We started with 240m of a new route. The first pitch contained mixed climbing on thin ice patches over rock, with hard-won protection, followed by two pitches of vertical ice and snow up to 90°. The fourth pitch had vertical ice and mixed climbing over rock slabs and 4m of vertical rock and ice that allowed us to exit the face. We dug a snow cave and waited for morning to make a summit bid, but bad weather kept us cave-bound, and we ate the remaining food. On day 4 we left our bivy at 2 a.m. and started the Northwest Ridge with just a liter of water and two Power Bars for the four of us. We climbed 10 runout pitches, using only deadmen as anchors. The most difficult part required crossing from the west face of the ridge to the east face, over cornices and mushrooms. At 6:34 a.m. in perfect conditions, we became the first all-Peruvian team to reach the summit of Huantsan Norte. Fourteen rappels later, down the northeast face, leaving seven snow stakes, four pitons, and all the cordelettes we had, we reached the glacier and our bivy at 5:30 p.m. Our supplies exhausted, we kept going, and at 11:30 p.m., after 21 hours on the move, we feasted on the remaining food in base camp and drank from a nearby a water hole, having finished our almost-epic ascent of the The Wayqui Way (850m, TD+ WI4 M4 90°; in Quechua, wayqui means “brothers”). CHRISTIAN ANDREAS STOLL DAVILA, Peru (adapted from www.alpinist.com)


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Huantsan Sur, Death or Glory. The northeast buttress of Huantsan Sur is approached from the east side of the range. Unlike the heavily frequented west side, the east is another world. A four-hour bus drive dropped us in the quiet town of Chavin. Word spread that weird western-climber types wanted horses for load-carrying, and, with bartering done, the next day Matt Helliker and I completed the six-hour walk to base camp in the very secluded Quebrada Alhuina. Quebrada Alhuina is a culde-sac, headed by Nevado Rurec (5,700m), Huantsan Sur (5,919m), Huantsan Oeste (6,270m), and the formidable main Huantsan (6,395m). At the time there were only two routes in the whole valley. Our intended line, a splitter couloir between the main peak and Oeste was not to be, given the unsettled weather. To the left of the couloir, Huantsan Sur stood, with ridges and buttresses, a totally independent peak, pointed and stunning and in much better condition. After we waited the snow out for several days, it stopped, and we went for a walk with packed bags. On June 25 we left base camp (4,400m) at 8:30 a.m., reaching the moraine beneath the face at 10 a.m. Deliberation on route lines and gear faff took another two hours, but at midday we finally began our line, the central northeast buttress, starting at 5,000m. The buttress can be split into thirds. First is rock, of a kind: 200 crumbling meters offering V-diff climbing with a pack and big boots. Brushing the holds before crimping was de rigour. Knocking, pulling, and testing before committing was essential. With no trustworthy placements for gear, we soloed, keeping

Huantsan Sur (5,919m) with Death or Glory climbing the northeast buttress (roughly the right skyline). The east face is unclimbed. The left-hand skyline might be the 1980 Polish route (Berlinski-Walkosz-Wiltosinksi-Zyzak), as part of their Huantsan Sur and Oeste traverse, but details are unclear. Matt Helliker

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close as the shale, gravel, and tiles flew. At the top of the rock section we donned crampons and axes and roped up. This middle section proved the most testing, as we sneaked and sprinted, passing beneath, on top of, around, and through countless overhanging, cracked, and creaking monster seracs. Massive umbrellas of wind-blown, icicle-encrusted overhangs loomed atop the runnels in the afternoon sun. Speed and luck were our friends. At 5:30 p.m. we made a bivouac on rock to the left of a gully, near a massive umbrella at 5,500m. A serac high on the face calved in the night, debris hit us, and we cowered. Leaving the bivouac at 7 a.m. the 26th, we climbed beneath a massive umbrella with free-hanging icicles as thick as telegraph poles, eventually exiting on the left. From here, concerned about falling debris, we pitched it out for 60m. We traversed rightward across a snow slope lumped with Matt Helliker climbing the crumbling 200m lower rock television-sized ice blocks from the sleepportion on his and Nick Bullock’s new route, Death or depriving serac. 60m. A 75° ice runnel led Glory. Nick Bullock right of another ice umbrella, to an exit through a keyhole and a poor belay on rock atop a fluting. The Keyhole Pitch, 70m. After searching left to no avail, we found a mixed runnel connecting the middle section to the summit snowfield. It was a left-rising traverse, crossing several flutings and dropping into a deep and hidden ice gully. The Link Pitch, 70m. With nervous anticipation we followed the deep ice gully, but luck was with us, and it opened onto the summit snowfield. 70m. On the final section, the 60° summit snow slope, we moved together for the last 170m, hitting the left ridge just below the top and summiting at 3 p.m. The descent was a fraught and torrid affair, with one bivouac beneath the massive umbrella of ice at 5,600m. We rappelled the snow and ice and downclimbed the rock section. We reached the base at 1 p.m. on the 27th and base camp at 3 p.m. The weather broke the next day. We have purposely omitted technical grades from this description, as the grades bear no relevance to the commitment needed to complete this route. NICK BULLOCK, U.K.

CORDILLERA HUAYHUASH

Death or Glory, on Huantsan Sur. Matt Helliker

Rondoy, attempt to summit ridge cornices. Aritza Monasterio (Basque-Peruvian) and I (Basque) made this ascent in continuous style (30 hours bivouac-to-bivouac) on June 26. [Editor’s note: Saez de Urabain considers it a new route, calling it Bagabiltza (900m, WI5). They climbed the


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Huantsan Sur, Death or Glory. The northeast buttress of Huantsan Sur is approached from the east side of the range. Unlike the heavily frequented west side, the east is another world. A four-hour bus drive dropped us in the quiet town of Chavin. Word spread that weird western-climber types wanted horses for load-carrying, and, with bartering done, the next day Matt Helliker and I completed the six-hour walk to base camp in the very secluded Quebrada Alhuina. Quebrada Alhuina is a culde-sac, headed by Nevado Rurec (5,700m), Huantsan Sur (5,919m), Huantsan Oeste (6,270m), and the formidable main Huantsan (6,395m). At the time there were only two routes in the whole valley. Our intended line, a splitter couloir between the main peak and Oeste was not to be, given the unsettled weather. To the left of the couloir, Huantsan Sur stood, with ridges and buttresses, a totally independent peak, pointed and stunning and in much better condition. After we waited the snow out for several days, it stopped, and we went for a walk with packed bags. On June 25 we left base camp (4,400m) at 8:30 a.m., reaching the moraine beneath the face at 10 a.m. Deliberation on route lines and gear faff took another two hours, but at midday we finally began our line, the central northeast buttress, starting at 5,000m. The buttress can be split into thirds. First is rock, of a kind: 200 crumbling meters offering V-diff climbing with a pack and big boots. Brushing the holds before crimping was de rigour. Knocking, pulling, and testing before committing was essential. With no trustworthy placements for gear, we soloed, keeping

Huantsan Sur (5,919m) with Death or Glory climbing the northeast buttress (roughly the right skyline). The east face is unclimbed. The left-hand skyline might be the 1980 Polish route (Berlinski-Walkosz-Wiltosinksi-Zyzak), as part of their Huantsan Sur and Oeste traverse, but details are unclear. Matt Helliker

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close as the shale, gravel, and tiles flew. At the top of the rock section we donned crampons and axes and roped up. This middle section proved the most testing, as we sneaked and sprinted, passing beneath, on top of, around, and through countless overhanging, cracked, and creaking monster seracs. Massive umbrellas of wind-blown, icicle-encrusted overhangs loomed atop the runnels in the afternoon sun. Speed and luck were our friends. At 5:30 p.m. we made a bivouac on rock to the left of a gully, near a massive umbrella at 5,500m. A serac high on the face calved in the night, debris hit us, and we cowered. Leaving the bivouac at 7 a.m. the 26th, we climbed beneath a massive umbrella with free-hanging icicles as thick as telegraph poles, eventually exiting on the left. From here, concerned about falling debris, we pitched it out for 60m. We traversed rightward across a snow slope lumped with Matt Helliker climbing the crumbling 200m lower rock television-sized ice blocks from the sleepportion on his and Nick Bullock’s new route, Death or depriving serac. 60m. A 75° ice runnel led Glory. Nick Bullock right of another ice umbrella, to an exit through a keyhole and a poor belay on rock atop a fluting. The Keyhole Pitch, 70m. After searching left to no avail, we found a mixed runnel connecting the middle section to the summit snowfield. It was a left-rising traverse, crossing several flutings and dropping into a deep and hidden ice gully. The Link Pitch, 70m. With nervous anticipation we followed the deep ice gully, but luck was with us, and it opened onto the summit snowfield. 70m. On the final section, the 60° summit snow slope, we moved together for the last 170m, hitting the left ridge just below the top and summiting at 3 p.m. The descent was a fraught and torrid affair, with one bivouac beneath the massive umbrella of ice at 5,600m. We rappelled the snow and ice and downclimbed the rock section. We reached the base at 1 p.m. on the 27th and base camp at 3 p.m. The weather broke the next day. We have purposely omitted technical grades from this description, as the grades bear no relevance to the commitment needed to complete this route. NICK BULLOCK, U.K.

CORDILLERA HUAYHUASH

Death or Glory, on Huantsan Sur. Matt Helliker

Rondoy, attempt to summit ridge cornices. Aritza Monasterio (Basque-Peruvian) and I (Basque) made this ascent in continuous style (30 hours bivouac-to-bivouac) on June 26. [Editor’s note: Saez de Urabain considers it a new route, calling it Bagabiltza (900m, WI5). They climbed the


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Rondoy (5,870m), showing from left to right: Northwest Face (Carrington-Rouse, 1977; to north summit), Southwest Face (Becik-Porvaznik, 1982), and the 2006 Monasterio-Saez de Urabain attempt. Mikel Saez de Urabain

huge, west-facing, Y-shaped ice funnel to the right of the 1982 Southwest Face route, ending just below the summit ridge cornices.] The approach can be quite complicated, due to the enormous, fractured glacier. First we climbed to the “Ghost Col,” then descended and bivied under the west face of Jirishanca, and the following day continued descending until reaching the snow cone at the start of our route. We started climbing technical ground in piolet traction, because of favorable ice conditions. These conditions were produced by intense snowfall and the consequent shedding of this snow, conditions best at the beginning of the season. We only used ice screws for protection. The route is obvious, with a good perspective from Lake Jahuacocha. A great cone of snow indicated the beginning of the wall, and protruding vertical ice then put us in a lower-angle zone, where we progressed quickly until reaching the crux of the climb: a 250m wall of vertical ice with overhanging sections. Passing that section we reached the final zone, a wide, low-angle wall of ice with infinite runnels. The climbing continued in terrain featuring challenging snow mushrooms. The face is capped by an enormous, unstable cornice that crowns all of Rondoy. After assessing the risks we finished there and rappelled our line of ascent, using V-threads. I dare to say that the route is high quality and very beautiful. MIKEL SAEZ DE URABAIN, Basque (translated by Thad Eggen) Siula Antecima, Mis Amigos. In August Italians Silvano Arrigoni, Lorenzo Festorazzi, Eugenio Galbani, and Franco Melesi made the first ascent of what they have called Siula Antecima, the ca 5,550m rocky summit that stands immediately in front of the northeast face of Siula Grande (6,344m). The team approached via Laguna Carhuacocha and Laguna Siula, above which rises the obvious rocky spur forming the northeast ridge of Antecima. After establishing a high camp at the bottom of the spur (4,750m), they climbed the first steep pitch on the August 3, during less-than-perfect weather, and completed the initial 250m (the major

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rock difficulties) the following day, leaving three ropes fixed before returning to camp for the night. On the 5th they set off lightly equipped, carrying just rock gear and one bivouac sack per pair. After the initial difficulties (UIAA VII), a couloir (III-V) led to easier ground, which they climbed in eight pitches of IV and IV+. They made a cold, sleepless bivouac on a terrace at midheight on the ridge. Leaving at 7 a.m. on the 6th, the four continued on Mis Amigos, the likely first ascent line on Siula Antecima, and the team’s long descent through the complex glacier. The northeast face of Siula generally easier rock to the Grande towers above. Lorenzo Festorazzi difficult summit snow ridge. After an awkward mushroom (A1), four pitches along the crest led to the top of the peak, which they reached at 5 p.m. They started their descent immediately, rappelling straight down the north flank to the Siula Glacier, which they reached in the middle of the night after 11 rappels. They then had to climb up and around a rock spur to the north in order to traverse to the Yerupaja Southeast Glacier, finally reaching the moraine at 9 a.m. The same day, they descended to Carhuacocha and by midday had arrived at base camp. The 800m, 33-pitch Mis Amigos is generally on brilliant, compact rock, which is often difficult to protect (pegs useful). LINDSAY GRIFFIN, Mountain INFO Editor, CLIMB magazine Nevado Quesillo, Northeast Face; Nevado Carnicero, attempt. Carlos Buhler and I planned a 17-day trip into the east side of the Cordillera Huayhuash, with hopes of climbing Yerupaja as the final objective. After an acclimatization period in the Cordillera Blanca, on July 9 we drove to the village of Queropalca and spent two days walking to our base camp in a quiet valley above Laguna Carnicero. Following two rest/organizational days we hiked past Laguna Suerococha to gain the glacier beneath the northeast face of Nevado Quesillo (5,600m; also named Jurau F on the 2004 Cordillera Huayhuash map). We made camp halfway up the glacier. Underestimating our day’s objective, we did not leave our tent until 7 a.m. on July 14. Ascending the glacier we gained the bottom of the rock face by traversing left onto a ledge system. I led the first pitch, starting in a corner and followed by a chimney (UIAA V-) for 30m. Carlos led the second pitch (70m) of steep loose rock (UIAA V), stopping just short of the snow face above. From here we climbed three 70m pitches of 55-75° snow and ice to the summit ridge and followed an airy 70m pitch to the summit. We descended making five 70m rappels down the right side of the face, including a scary free rappel after dark down a wet chimney. We arrived at our tent about 9 p.m., feeling that this easy-looking new route (350m, D+ V- AI3 55-75°) took longer than it should have. After a few days’ rest we attempted a new route on the steep, 660m east face of Carnicero (5,960m). Retracing our tracks up to the glacier below Nevado Quesillo, we made a long tra-


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Rondoy (5,870m), showing from left to right: Northwest Face (Carrington-Rouse, 1977; to north summit), Southwest Face (Becik-Porvaznik, 1982), and the 2006 Monasterio-Saez de Urabain attempt. Mikel Saez de Urabain

huge, west-facing, Y-shaped ice funnel to the right of the 1982 Southwest Face route, ending just below the summit ridge cornices.] The approach can be quite complicated, due to the enormous, fractured glacier. First we climbed to the “Ghost Col,” then descended and bivied under the west face of Jirishanca, and the following day continued descending until reaching the snow cone at the start of our route. We started climbing technical ground in piolet traction, because of favorable ice conditions. These conditions were produced by intense snowfall and the consequent shedding of this snow, conditions best at the beginning of the season. We only used ice screws for protection. The route is obvious, with a good perspective from Lake Jahuacocha. A great cone of snow indicated the beginning of the wall, and protruding vertical ice then put us in a lower-angle zone, where we progressed quickly until reaching the crux of the climb: a 250m wall of vertical ice with overhanging sections. Passing that section we reached the final zone, a wide, low-angle wall of ice with infinite runnels. The climbing continued in terrain featuring challenging snow mushrooms. The face is capped by an enormous, unstable cornice that crowns all of Rondoy. After assessing the risks we finished there and rappelled our line of ascent, using V-threads. I dare to say that the route is high quality and very beautiful. MIKEL SAEZ DE URABAIN, Basque (translated by Thad Eggen) Siula Antecima, Mis Amigos. In August Italians Silvano Arrigoni, Lorenzo Festorazzi, Eugenio Galbani, and Franco Melesi made the first ascent of what they have called Siula Antecima, the ca 5,550m rocky summit that stands immediately in front of the northeast face of Siula Grande (6,344m). The team approached via Laguna Carhuacocha and Laguna Siula, above which rises the obvious rocky spur forming the northeast ridge of Antecima. After establishing a high camp at the bottom of the spur (4,750m), they climbed the first steep pitch on the August 3, during less-than-perfect weather, and completed the initial 250m (the major

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rock difficulties) the following day, leaving three ropes fixed before returning to camp for the night. On the 5th they set off lightly equipped, carrying just rock gear and one bivouac sack per pair. After the initial difficulties (UIAA VII), a couloir (III-V) led to easier ground, which they climbed in eight pitches of IV and IV+. They made a cold, sleepless bivouac on a terrace at midheight on the ridge. Leaving at 7 a.m. on the 6th, the four continued on Mis Amigos, the likely first ascent line on Siula Antecima, and the team’s long descent through the complex glacier. The northeast face of Siula generally easier rock to the Grande towers above. Lorenzo Festorazzi difficult summit snow ridge. After an awkward mushroom (A1), four pitches along the crest led to the top of the peak, which they reached at 5 p.m. They started their descent immediately, rappelling straight down the north flank to the Siula Glacier, which they reached in the middle of the night after 11 rappels. They then had to climb up and around a rock spur to the north in order to traverse to the Yerupaja Southeast Glacier, finally reaching the moraine at 9 a.m. The same day, they descended to Carhuacocha and by midday had arrived at base camp. The 800m, 33-pitch Mis Amigos is generally on brilliant, compact rock, which is often difficult to protect (pegs useful). LINDSAY GRIFFIN, Mountain INFO Editor, CLIMB magazine Nevado Quesillo, Northeast Face; Nevado Carnicero, attempt. Carlos Buhler and I planned a 17-day trip into the east side of the Cordillera Huayhuash, with hopes of climbing Yerupaja as the final objective. After an acclimatization period in the Cordillera Blanca, on July 9 we drove to the village of Queropalca and spent two days walking to our base camp in a quiet valley above Laguna Carnicero. Following two rest/organizational days we hiked past Laguna Suerococha to gain the glacier beneath the northeast face of Nevado Quesillo (5,600m; also named Jurau F on the 2004 Cordillera Huayhuash map). We made camp halfway up the glacier. Underestimating our day’s objective, we did not leave our tent until 7 a.m. on July 14. Ascending the glacier we gained the bottom of the rock face by traversing left onto a ledge system. I led the first pitch, starting in a corner and followed by a chimney (UIAA V-) for 30m. Carlos led the second pitch (70m) of steep loose rock (UIAA V), stopping just short of the snow face above. From here we climbed three 70m pitches of 55-75° snow and ice to the summit ridge and followed an airy 70m pitch to the summit. We descended making five 70m rappels down the right side of the face, including a scary free rappel after dark down a wet chimney. We arrived at our tent about 9 p.m., feeling that this easy-looking new route (350m, D+ V- AI3 55-75°) took longer than it should have. After a few days’ rest we attempted a new route on the steep, 660m east face of Carnicero (5,960m). Retracing our tracks up to the glacier below Nevado Quesillo, we made a long tra-


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The Buhler-Johnson attempt on the unclimbed east face of Carnicero (5,960m). Brad Johnson

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verse right across the glacier to a campsite on a ridge below Jurau D. We planned to climb with light packs and no bivouac gear, hoping to get up and down in 24 hours. Departing at midnight we traversed the glacier to the bottom of the east face and climbed together up the first 70m of the central gully system. At a fork in the gully we started belaying. I led the first 70m pitch up the right-hand gully, involving many steps of 80° AI4. Carlos led another similar 70m pitch. Then I led two pitches of bulletproof, blue ice averaging 60-70°. At the top of this gully system Carlos led to the right, up 70-80° mixed ground (AI4/4+), to gain the easier-looking snow slopes in the middle of the face by 9 a.m. Here we were disappointed to find soft snow from the sun and rocks beginning to fall. We climbed two more 70m pitches before taking cover under an overhang from the rockfall. At 3:30 p.m. when the face finally quieted down, without bivouac gear and still only halfway up, we rappelled, since we had lost so much time.

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CORDILLERA VILCANOTA San Braullo, West Glacier; Alccachaya, South Ridge; Quimsachata Este, Via de las Vizcachas. In July and August I led an Andes expedition group in the southern half of the Vilcanota. We traveled to the mountains via the city of Cuzco and the village of Tinqui, then trekked through the northern Vilcanota past Laguna Sibinacocha. The expedition finished by trekking out through the remote southern Vilcanota to the town of Corani. On August 4, from a camp by the Rio Mates, J. Bull, T. Frawley, N. Little, B. Woods, and I ascended the West Glacier of San Braullo (ca 5,674m by GPS). It was a straightforward snow and ice route at about Alpine PD. The following day L. Biggar and I, and clients J. Bull and T. Frawley, made a first ascent of the long South Ridge of Alccachaya (5,780m; also known as Intermedio), which is the most prominent peak in this part of the range. This gave a long day at about Alpine AD, on a mixture of rock followed by a fine snow arête. We descended the northeast face. Finally, on August 7, in sunny weather, the group climbed a fine granite slab followed by a short ridge on the northeast side of Quimsachata Este (ca 5,370m by GPS), grade about UIAA III or IV. L. Biggar led the route, Via de las Vizcachas, while J. Bull, T. Frawley, B. Woods, and I seconded. We were preceded up the easier lower slab by several vizcachas! During the expedition various members also climbed other peaks, including Tacusiri (5,350m), Jatunñaño Punta (5,812m), and Quimsachata Oeste (5,400m). JOHN BIGGAR, U.K.

BRAD JOHNSON, AAC Colque Cruz I, I Am Dynamite; Peak Bethia, possible first ascent. On August 2 Alistair Gurney and I made the first ascent of the southwest face of Colque Cruz I (6,102m) in Peru’s remote Cordillera Vilcanota. Our route up the icy 650m face, I Am Dynamite, weighed in at TD+ (AI4 M4 60°). Our expedition began as a nightmare. Arriving in Lima a day before me, Alistair had all of his equipment stolen at gunpoint on his way from the airport to our hostel. Several days later we’d finally hired enough gear to get the trip back on track. Progress was derailed again when

The Northeast Face (Buhler-Johnson, 2006), and line of descent, on Nevado Quesillo (5,600m). The skyline on the right is the 1964 North Ridge (Lindauer-Salger). Brad Johnson

I Am Dynamite, the only route on the southwest face of Colque Cruz I (6,102m). Lindsay Griffin


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The Buhler-Johnson attempt on the unclimbed east face of Carnicero (5,960m). Brad Johnson

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verse right across the glacier to a campsite on a ridge below Jurau D. We planned to climb with light packs and no bivouac gear, hoping to get up and down in 24 hours. Departing at midnight we traversed the glacier to the bottom of the east face and climbed together up the first 70m of the central gully system. At a fork in the gully we started belaying. I led the first 70m pitch up the right-hand gully, involving many steps of 80° AI4. Carlos led another similar 70m pitch. Then I led two pitches of bulletproof, blue ice averaging 60-70°. At the top of this gully system Carlos led to the right, up 70-80° mixed ground (AI4/4+), to gain the easier-looking snow slopes in the middle of the face by 9 a.m. Here we were disappointed to find soft snow from the sun and rocks beginning to fall. We climbed two more 70m pitches before taking cover under an overhang from the rockfall. At 3:30 p.m. when the face finally quieted down, without bivouac gear and still only halfway up, we rappelled, since we had lost so much time.

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CORDILLERA VILCANOTA San Braullo, West Glacier; Alccachaya, South Ridge; Quimsachata Este, Via de las Vizcachas. In July and August I led an Andes expedition group in the southern half of the Vilcanota. We traveled to the mountains via the city of Cuzco and the village of Tinqui, then trekked through the northern Vilcanota past Laguna Sibinacocha. The expedition finished by trekking out through the remote southern Vilcanota to the town of Corani. On August 4, from a camp by the Rio Mates, J. Bull, T. Frawley, N. Little, B. Woods, and I ascended the West Glacier of San Braullo (ca 5,674m by GPS). It was a straightforward snow and ice route at about Alpine PD. The following day L. Biggar and I, and clients J. Bull and T. Frawley, made a first ascent of the long South Ridge of Alccachaya (5,780m; also known as Intermedio), which is the most prominent peak in this part of the range. This gave a long day at about Alpine AD, on a mixture of rock followed by a fine snow arête. We descended the northeast face. Finally, on August 7, in sunny weather, the group climbed a fine granite slab followed by a short ridge on the northeast side of Quimsachata Este (ca 5,370m by GPS), grade about UIAA III or IV. L. Biggar led the route, Via de las Vizcachas, while J. Bull, T. Frawley, B. Woods, and I seconded. We were preceded up the easier lower slab by several vizcachas! During the expedition various members also climbed other peaks, including Tacusiri (5,350m), Jatunñaño Punta (5,812m), and Quimsachata Oeste (5,400m). JOHN BIGGAR, U.K.

BRAD JOHNSON, AAC Colque Cruz I, I Am Dynamite; Peak Bethia, possible first ascent. On August 2 Alistair Gurney and I made the first ascent of the southwest face of Colque Cruz I (6,102m) in Peru’s remote Cordillera Vilcanota. Our route up the icy 650m face, I Am Dynamite, weighed in at TD+ (AI4 M4 60°). Our expedition began as a nightmare. Arriving in Lima a day before me, Alistair had all of his equipment stolen at gunpoint on his way from the airport to our hostel. Several days later we’d finally hired enough gear to get the trip back on track. Progress was derailed again when

The Northeast Face (Buhler-Johnson, 2006), and line of descent, on Nevado Quesillo (5,600m). The skyline on the right is the 1964 North Ridge (Lindauer-Salger). Brad Johnson

I Am Dynamite, the only route on the southwest face of Colque Cruz I (6,102m). Lindsay Griffin


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Alistair Gurney getting by on borrowed gear, halfway up the previously unclimbed southwest face of Colque Cruz I. Rufus Duits

CLIMBS

I contracted AMS, twice: first in Cuzco, then—after a sevenhour bus journey southwest to Tinqui and a two-day trek with our commendable horseman, Fransisco—at base camp, necessitating a swift retreat to Cuzco. Returning healthy to our Yanacocha basecamp, we made an acclimatization ascent on the nearby Carhuaco Punco massif, climbing its most southwesterly subsidiary peak via its short, snowy southeast face (AD 60°). We christened it Peak Bethia, though unsure whether it was virgin, and

estimated a height of about 5,400m. We then made a circuitous two-day approach to the southwest face of Colque Cruz I, across massive moraines and a crevassed glacier. Leaving a bivouac below the face at 3 a.m. on August 2, we reached the summit at 2:15 p.m. and in another three hours rappelled the route from Abalakovs. The route began roughly in the summit fall line, followed the vague couloir up the middle of the face, trended rightward through a mixed section at three-quarters height, and finished straight up, meeting the south ridge where a couple of steep, deep snow pitches led to the summit. After a third night out below the face, we followed our tracks back down the glacier. In one section they had been obliterated by an icefall from a nearby face. Proceeding cautiously I promptly fell through the freshly settled snow and found myself hanging on the rope 15m below the glacier surface, 5m from the bottom of a crevasse. Alistair had done well to hold my fall. I prussiked out and we completed the grueling trek back across the moraines to base camp without further incident. However, Alistair’s borrowed boots had decimated his feet, which were numb, swollen, and a sinister grey. We descended as quickly as possible, and tests in Cuzco determined that they would recover without surgery. Colque Cruz I was first climbed in 1953 by an Austro-German expedition that included Heinrich Harrer. Its southwest face was the objective of several expeditions before us. In 1983 a British team, whose base camp was attacked and robbed by bandits, abandoned their plans in bad weather; in 2003 Amy Bullard and Peter Carse descended in a storm from 5,900m; in 2004 heavy snowfall stopped Slovenian and British expeditions from making attempts; in June 2006 an American team decided that our line was out of condition. Alistair and I gratefully acknowledge the generous financial support of the BMC, UK Sport, and Fore-Wood. RUFUS DUITS, U.K.

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Cayangate, Satan’s Legs; Nevado Chumpe, Three Chumps on Chumpe. On June 11 Mark Hesse, Chris Alstrin, and I walked into the Cordillera Vilcanota. Within the first week we climbed the northwest face of Nevado Chumpe (6,106m; a.k.a. Jatunriti), descending the northeast side, to acclimatize on a route we referred to as Three Chumps on Chumpe (550m, IV 75°). We then focused on the beautiful 1,100m east ridge of Nevado Cayangate (6,110m; indigenous name Nevado Collpa Anata). [Many peaks in this region have several names—Ed.] On the afternoon of the winter solstice we walked up-glacier toward the base of Cayangate, as clouds began to build in the north. When the alarm sounded, clouds rose toward us from the valley floor and descended from the ridge; verglas shone on the rock in the last light of the waning moon. We retreated to our base camp, and hail arrived with us. The next three days brought persistently poor weather. Although we only had three days before the caballeros returned with their horses, we walked back to the base of the route on June 25. Arriving beneath the red granite ridge at 10 a.m., we simul-climbed the initial 200m of 5.8 and 5.9 in the sun, beneath a brilliant sky. Our joy continued into the early afternoon when high clouds closed together, and we entered a long section of excellent mixed climbing that took us to our first bivy. The first pitch of the next morning had the poorest rock quality and protection of the route, but it also provided stellar exposure and sun, for which we were grateful after the long night. Following another six pitches of surprisingly continuous 5.9, we reached the snow high on Cayangate’s shoulder and began traversing up the east face, unroped beneath large hanging seracs and sometimes climbing short water-ice pitches to skirt crevasses and rock bands. The afternoon was a blur of white as clouds descended again, and we struggled through them until we summited in a whiteout around 5:00 Satan’s Legs, likely the only route on the east side of Nevado Cayangate p.m. We descended to the (6,110m). Mark Hesse


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Alistair Gurney getting by on borrowed gear, halfway up the previously unclimbed southwest face of Colque Cruz I. Rufus Duits

CLIMBS

I contracted AMS, twice: first in Cuzco, then—after a sevenhour bus journey southwest to Tinqui and a two-day trek with our commendable horseman, Fransisco—at base camp, necessitating a swift retreat to Cuzco. Returning healthy to our Yanacocha basecamp, we made an acclimatization ascent on the nearby Carhuaco Punco massif, climbing its most southwesterly subsidiary peak via its short, snowy southeast face (AD 60°). We christened it Peak Bethia, though unsure whether it was virgin, and

estimated a height of about 5,400m. We then made a circuitous two-day approach to the southwest face of Colque Cruz I, across massive moraines and a crevassed glacier. Leaving a bivouac below the face at 3 a.m. on August 2, we reached the summit at 2:15 p.m. and in another three hours rappelled the route from Abalakovs. The route began roughly in the summit fall line, followed the vague couloir up the middle of the face, trended rightward through a mixed section at three-quarters height, and finished straight up, meeting the south ridge where a couple of steep, deep snow pitches led to the summit. After a third night out below the face, we followed our tracks back down the glacier. In one section they had been obliterated by an icefall from a nearby face. Proceeding cautiously I promptly fell through the freshly settled snow and found myself hanging on the rope 15m below the glacier surface, 5m from the bottom of a crevasse. Alistair had done well to hold my fall. I prussiked out and we completed the grueling trek back across the moraines to base camp without further incident. However, Alistair’s borrowed boots had decimated his feet, which were numb, swollen, and a sinister grey. We descended as quickly as possible, and tests in Cuzco determined that they would recover without surgery. Colque Cruz I was first climbed in 1953 by an Austro-German expedition that included Heinrich Harrer. Its southwest face was the objective of several expeditions before us. In 1983 a British team, whose base camp was attacked and robbed by bandits, abandoned their plans in bad weather; in 2003 Amy Bullard and Peter Carse descended in a storm from 5,900m; in 2004 heavy snowfall stopped Slovenian and British expeditions from making attempts; in June 2006 an American team decided that our line was out of condition. Alistair and I gratefully acknowledge the generous financial support of the BMC, UK Sport, and Fore-Wood. RUFUS DUITS, U.K.

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Cayangate, Satan’s Legs; Nevado Chumpe, Three Chumps on Chumpe. On June 11 Mark Hesse, Chris Alstrin, and I walked into the Cordillera Vilcanota. Within the first week we climbed the northwest face of Nevado Chumpe (6,106m; a.k.a. Jatunriti), descending the northeast side, to acclimatize on a route we referred to as Three Chumps on Chumpe (550m, IV 75°). We then focused on the beautiful 1,100m east ridge of Nevado Cayangate (6,110m; indigenous name Nevado Collpa Anata). [Many peaks in this region have several names—Ed.] On the afternoon of the winter solstice we walked up-glacier toward the base of Cayangate, as clouds began to build in the north. When the alarm sounded, clouds rose toward us from the valley floor and descended from the ridge; verglas shone on the rock in the last light of the waning moon. We retreated to our base camp, and hail arrived with us. The next three days brought persistently poor weather. Although we only had three days before the caballeros returned with their horses, we walked back to the base of the route on June 25. Arriving beneath the red granite ridge at 10 a.m., we simul-climbed the initial 200m of 5.8 and 5.9 in the sun, beneath a brilliant sky. Our joy continued into the early afternoon when high clouds closed together, and we entered a long section of excellent mixed climbing that took us to our first bivy. The first pitch of the next morning had the poorest rock quality and protection of the route, but it also provided stellar exposure and sun, for which we were grateful after the long night. Following another six pitches of surprisingly continuous 5.9, we reached the snow high on Cayangate’s shoulder and began traversing up the east face, unroped beneath large hanging seracs and sometimes climbing short water-ice pitches to skirt crevasses and rock bands. The afternoon was a blur of white as clouds descended again, and we struggled through them until we summited in a whiteout around 5:00 Satan’s Legs, likely the only route on the east side of Nevado Cayangate p.m. We descended to the (6,110m). Mark Hesse


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Mark Hesse on the crux pitch 16, day 2 on Satan’s Legs, Nevado Cayangate (6,110m). Nevado Pico Tres (6,093m) rises in the background. Chris Alstrin

col on the north side of Cayangate and bivied just below the curve of the pass. There we suffered a night of unrelenting winds, as the temperature buried itself in the negatives. It took almost the entire next day for us to rappel the heavily crevassed glacier that flows down from the col and to make it through an additional 300m of rock rappels to the base of the ridge. We arrived in camp at dusk to the warm smiles of the caballeros. The next morning we began our walk back to the village of Tinqui. We named the route Satan’s Legs (1,100m, VI 5.9 M5+ WI4 65°, July 24-26) thinking of that powerful red granite ridge, and in consideration of Virgil and Dante’s climb out of The Inferno by Lucifer’s legs into the Southern Hemisphere, toward Paradise. Andrew Frost, AAC

Cordillera Oriental Huarancayo South, first ascent. Tony Barton returned [AAJ 2006, pp. 249-250] to the rarely visited and still partially unexplored subrange of Cordillera Huagaruncho, but unusually poor weather thwarted ambitions. With Andy Houseman he made the first ascent of Huarancayo South (5,150m) via the southeast ridge and southeast slopes. Starting from a base camp at 4,200m, the British pair found the only technical climbing was limited to four mixed pitches near the summit and rated the ascent PD. They then established a high camp at ca 4,800m below the unclimbed southwest ridge of Huagaruncho Chico (ca 5,445m; photo in May 2006 INFO) but bad weather and unstable snow conditions forced a retreat. The mountains were well covered with new snow, and there were only six days of good weather in the two weeks they were at base camp. Returning from their high camp on June 28, they found that base camp had been raided, with the theft of food and the camp stove. This and continuing poor weather forced a conclusion to the expedition. Lindsay Griffin, Mountain INFO Editor, CLIMB magazine


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Climbs

The summit was not what we had expected. The top was a blackened, boulder-strewn world with intricate flowers hiding in cracks and crevices, and we felt like we’d put our heads in an oven. We hung out for an hour, took in the magnificent sights, and rappelled back toward our families in Utah. On our descent we removed all of our gear from the wall, as well as a fixed rope abandoned by the European team, and as many of their littered candy wrappers as we could realistically get. Going on a trip with Mike Libecki is a privileged experience, and the opportunity to climb with him in Venezuela was a learning experience that I will never forget. His positive philosophy and dominating love for life are inspiring and encouraging. As a University of Utah student my ability to participate in this Venezuelan adventure would not have been possible without gracious funding from the American Alpine Club’s Mountaineering Fellowship Grant. Thanks to everyone at the Club, especially the old dogs, for all your generous contributions directed at enhancing the sport and safety of climbing. Kyle Dempster, AAC

Guyana Roraima, Cutting the Line. Our expedition to the Pakaraima Mountains in the southwestern corner of Guyana had two objectives: to establish a new route on the east face of Mt. Roraima; and to set up solar power in the village of Wayalayeng, a small Amerindian community where we would begin our trek to the mountain. Our team included climbers Greg Child, Jared Ogden, and me, as well as filmmakers Scott Simper, Rob Raker, and Angus Yates. Biologist Bruce Means also accompanied us. This was my second expedition to Mt. Roraima with Jared; in 2003 we established a new route on the Prow (an overhanging north-facing buttress) called The Scorpion Wall. We arrived in Wayalayeng by bush plane and helicopter on November 7. Before heading off on the 40+-mile trek to the mountain, we helped install two solar panels on the roof of Wayalayeng’s oneroom school house. The panels were soon generating electricity, and it was exciting to watch the Amerindians’ reaction when we turned on a light for the first time ever in their village. More importantly, the power would be used to operate a high-powered VHF radio with which they could communicate with the outside world. Greg Child leading the first non-vegetated pitch (5.11) on The trek from Wayalayeng to the Cutting the Line, while Jared Ogden belays and filmmaker base of the Mt. Roraima took us five days. Rob Raker jugs. Mark Synnott

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About 20 Amerindians accompanied us, leading the way through the pristine rainforest and helping carry our equipment. We saw a lot of wildlife along the way, including a fer de lance, one of the deadliest snakes in the Amazon. In 2003 we climbed a section of the cliff about 200' to the left of the 1973 British Route, which takes a line more or less straight up the Prow. Both routes start on a high ledge accessed by a steep vegetated ridge. This time we traversed left for several hundred feet below the east face to a point below an obvious big red dihedral that started about 300' up the wall. Getting to the dihedral was a nightmare, as the bottom section of the cliff was nearly crackless and covered in thick vegetation. It took two days to get past this section, but once we did the cliff suddenly became severely overhanging, and we found ourselves climbing some of the most beautiful rock imaginable. We managed to climb the next six pitches almost completely free, with the hardest bit going at about 5.12a. After fixing four ropes, we set up a portaledge camp 700' up the wall, beneath a massive roof. From this camp we fixed a few more pitches, before making a bid for the summit on Thanksgiving Day. The last pitch nearly shut us down, as it was almost completely blank and wove its way between two waterfalls. After seven-and-a-half hours, Jared topped out just as it got dark. While Greg followed, I was left to jug a free-hanging dynamic rope that was running through a waterfall. I thought I could just punch it, but after a few feet the water was pummeling me so hard I literally started to drown. Greg saw my predicament and managed to swing out and pull my rope into the wall. Our climb ended on a small ledge 15' below the rim. We could have scrambled unroped to the rim, but, as it was dark and pouring rain, we headed down instead, removing everything except 100' of rope that got irretrievably stuck. The route was 10 pitches and ca 1,500' high. We named it Cutting the Line (VI 5.12a A2+ J5), in honor of our Amerindian friends, without whom we could not have succeeded. Mark Synnott, AAC

Bolivia General information. Unseasonably early snowfall arrived late in the climbing season, substantially increasing the avalanche risk. Local guides say the climbing season is moving earlier each year. Last year the weather was almost continuously bad throughout September. The political situation is always an important consideration in planning a trip to Bolivia’s cordilleras. The February democratic elections saw unprecedented turnout and results. For the first time Bolivia elected an indigenous leader from a nontraditional party as president. Evo Morales from the MAS Party (Movimiento Al Socialismo [Movement Toward Socialism]) won by a clear majority, surprising commentators and observers. The victory has given rise to a populist-socialist government, with strong ideological affiliations to Venezuela and Cuba, and has been a resounding rejection of the United States’ influence in Bolivian politics. Morales’ spectacular ascendancy from poverty to power brought initial stability to the nation. The frequent political demonstrations and strikes that in previous years paralyzed the nation were not a problem during the May-September climbing season, but political tensions have again surfaced, and a struggle for autonomy in the Eastern Provinces may lead to serious unrest


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in the years to come. Despite the stability during the climbing season, visitor numbers were below those in previous years. This may have been due to an unfair and often misleading press coverage given to Morales’s government. Erik Monasterio, Bolivia/New Zealand

Cordillera Apolobamba Palomani Sur, first ascent, and various new terrain. Climbing on equal terms with Bolivian guide Pedro Quispe, Charlie Netherton attempted an integral traverse of the Palomani Tranca group in the northern Apolobamba. They approached this rarely visited area with porters from the road at Paso de Pelechuco, hoping to establish a base camp at Laguna Chucuyo Grande. However, after six hours’ walk the porters stopped at a smaller lake to the south. The climbers later discovered a 4x4 mining road that runs from Apacheta Pampa to a roadhead only one hour from their camp. Short on time, they climbed without a reconnaissance directly up a rock band east of their camp (200m, III [UIAA rock]), followed by a pitch up a frozen waterfall (WI3) to a hanging valley and the toe of the glacier southwest of the group. Here they pitched a tent and climbed a loose rocky peak up to the left that they thought was the most southerly of the group. The next day, September 4, they packed the tent, climbed the snout of the glacier (200m, up to 50°) and headed up the plateau beyond. Two tiny rock steps on the southeast ridge led to the previously unclimbed Palomani Sur (estimated to be between 5,500m and 5,600m), which they traversed at II-III with a rappel on the far side down steep, loose terrain. Continuing north they traversed another rock summit on the crest over tricky, loose snow before reaching the first of three summits (all of more or less the same altitude, though the middle is considered the highest) that make up Palomani Tranca Central. This they climbed via 100m of 50° snow on the southeast face. Continuing more eastward, they reached a foresummit of Palomani Tranca Main (5,638m), which was 50m away horizontally. They could see that to the north of the main peak the ridge continued down at 45°, with steep steps of loose rock to the col between Tranca Main and Palomani Grande (5,723m). From the foresummit they forewent the nasty traverse over loose rock and instead headed southeast onto a glacier, from which they followed scree slopes back to base camp. They rated their two-day outing Alpine D. Charlie Netherton, U.K., and Lindsay Griffin, Mountain INFO Editor, CLIMB magazine

Cordillera Real Pico Schulze, southwest face; Punta 5,505m. Three new routes were added to the southwest face of Pico Schulze (5,943m), a fine fluted snow-and-ice pyramid northwest of Illampu (6,368m) in the northern Real. These may be the first new routes on the face since the first one, 34 years ago. In July young Catalonian climbers Pau Gomez, Faust Punsola, and David Sanabria established a new route on the right side of the face leading to the 5,850m col between Schulze and Huayna Illampu. Starting on the 22nd from Laguna Glacier (5,038m; southwest of the mountain), they reached a point just 60m below the col and bivouacked. The next day they gained the col. They did not continue to the summit but descended the far side and made their

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way north down to Aguas Calientes, returning to their camp at Laguna Glacier on the 24th. They rated their 400m route TD+ WI5- M5. Later a French Alpine Club expedition of young female alpinists, accompanied by two guides, based themselves at Laguna Glacier. On August 11 Perrine “Perinnou” Marceron and Elisabeth Revol, with Arnaud Guillaume, climbed the couloir immediately left of the Schulze’s 1973 Original Route to gain the upper northwest ridge. The 11-pitch route lies immediately right of a prominent spur on the left side of the face. It gains ca 550m vertical and was graded TD- (80° and F4+). Four days later Toni Clarasso, with Perrine Marceron and Juliette Géhard, climbed the couloir on the left flank of the spur. Starting off in excellent weather, the team found steep and well-frozen snow, giving relatively easy climbing almost to the top of the couloir. However, the last section was deep, unstable, and impossible to protect. As the weather seemed to be deteriorating, the team made a rapid escape down the ridge. This was fortunate, as the storm, when it arrived, was severe. The new couloir was also ca 550m vertical and graded D+. The French party put up two routes on Punta 5,505m, a subsidiary summit of Schultze. The climbs took parallel ice smears that flowed from the left edge of a large serac barrier down through the rock barrier below. After reaching the hanging glacier, the climbers followed gentle slopes to a final steeper snow face and the summit. The right-hand smear was continuous and more pronounced, climbing five pitches to the glacier (200m, M4 WI4+). Guillaume, Marceron, and Rivol climbed it on August 9. The smear to the left first led to a shoulder before angling back right, through a section of pure rocky terrain, to the glacier. Clarasso and Perinne Favier climbed this (200m, F3c M5 WI4+) on the 18th. Lindsay Griffin, Mountain INFO Editor, CLIMB magazine Northern and Central Cordillera Real, various new routes. Nick Flyvbjerg (New Zealand) and Erik Monasterio spent six weeks exploring the central and northern Real. They first visited the Chekapa (Chikapa) Valley, east of the Negruni and north of the Condoriri massifs, where during a visit in October 2005 bad weather thwarted any climbing. These mountains are sometimes referred to as the Chekapa or Lico Group. The pair approached via a six-hour jeep ride along the road to Laguna Jankho Khota and over the Mollo Pass (5,100m) to Mina Fabulosa. Monasterio had climbed in the region west of Mollo Pass 10 years ago and was staggered by the amount of glacial recession, which made the area almost unrecognizable. On July 26 they climbed a new route on Cerro Choque Santuro (5,160m on the Guzman Cordova map Cordillera de la Paz – Central). They made a straightforward crossing of the Chekapa Jahuira River and climbed south to the base of the peak. Several poor-quality bolted rock routes have been developed in this vicinity. Their 350m route started up a rocky vegetated gully on the right side of the north face. Three 60m pitches, with difficulties up to 5+ (French), led to easier ground and the crest of the loose, blocky northwest ridge/face. Easy unroped scrambling led to the prominent summit obelisk, which they surmounted by a pitch of 5+. It is unclear whether this summit had been reached previously. After this ascent the pair moved south up the valley and camped at the foot of Cerro Chekapa (5,460m). On the 28th they climbed a central gully on Cerro Chekapa West (5,418m) that led to the north-northwest face at ca 5,100m. The climbing above, at first unroped up straightforward terrain (4), became increasingly difficult and loose. They roped for three final elegant pitches to the summit (6a max).


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in the years to come. Despite the stability during the climbing season, visitor numbers were below those in previous years. This may have been due to an unfair and often misleading press coverage given to Morales’s government. Erik Monasterio, Bolivia/New Zealand

Cordillera Apolobamba Palomani Sur, first ascent, and various new terrain. Climbing on equal terms with Bolivian guide Pedro Quispe, Charlie Netherton attempted an integral traverse of the Palomani Tranca group in the northern Apolobamba. They approached this rarely visited area with porters from the road at Paso de Pelechuco, hoping to establish a base camp at Laguna Chucuyo Grande. However, after six hours’ walk the porters stopped at a smaller lake to the south. The climbers later discovered a 4x4 mining road that runs from Apacheta Pampa to a roadhead only one hour from their camp. Short on time, they climbed without a reconnaissance directly up a rock band east of their camp (200m, III [UIAA rock]), followed by a pitch up a frozen waterfall (WI3) to a hanging valley and the toe of the glacier southwest of the group. Here they pitched a tent and climbed a loose rocky peak up to the left that they thought was the most southerly of the group. The next day, September 4, they packed the tent, climbed the snout of the glacier (200m, up to 50°) and headed up the plateau beyond. Two tiny rock steps on the southeast ridge led to the previously unclimbed Palomani Sur (estimated to be between 5,500m and 5,600m), which they traversed at II-III with a rappel on the far side down steep, loose terrain. Continuing north they traversed another rock summit on the crest over tricky, loose snow before reaching the first of three summits (all of more or less the same altitude, though the middle is considered the highest) that make up Palomani Tranca Central. This they climbed via 100m of 50° snow on the southeast face. Continuing more eastward, they reached a foresummit of Palomani Tranca Main (5,638m), which was 50m away horizontally. They could see that to the north of the main peak the ridge continued down at 45°, with steep steps of loose rock to the col between Tranca Main and Palomani Grande (5,723m). From the foresummit they forewent the nasty traverse over loose rock and instead headed southeast onto a glacier, from which they followed scree slopes back to base camp. They rated their two-day outing Alpine D. Charlie Netherton, U.K., and Lindsay Griffin, Mountain INFO Editor, CLIMB magazine

Cordillera Real Pico Schulze, southwest face; Punta 5,505m. Three new routes were added to the southwest face of Pico Schulze (5,943m), a fine fluted snow-and-ice pyramid northwest of Illampu (6,368m) in the northern Real. These may be the first new routes on the face since the first one, 34 years ago. In July young Catalonian climbers Pau Gomez, Faust Punsola, and David Sanabria established a new route on the right side of the face leading to the 5,850m col between Schulze and Huayna Illampu. Starting on the 22nd from Laguna Glacier (5,038m; southwest of the mountain), they reached a point just 60m below the col and bivouacked. The next day they gained the col. They did not continue to the summit but descended the far side and made their

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way north down to Aguas Calientes, returning to their camp at Laguna Glacier on the 24th. They rated their 400m route TD+ WI5- M5. Later a French Alpine Club expedition of young female alpinists, accompanied by two guides, based themselves at Laguna Glacier. On August 11 Perrine “Perinnou” Marceron and Elisabeth Revol, with Arnaud Guillaume, climbed the couloir immediately left of the Schulze’s 1973 Original Route to gain the upper northwest ridge. The 11-pitch route lies immediately right of a prominent spur on the left side of the face. It gains ca 550m vertical and was graded TD- (80° and F4+). Four days later Toni Clarasso, with Perrine Marceron and Juliette Géhard, climbed the couloir on the left flank of the spur. Starting off in excellent weather, the team found steep and well-frozen snow, giving relatively easy climbing almost to the top of the couloir. However, the last section was deep, unstable, and impossible to protect. As the weather seemed to be deteriorating, the team made a rapid escape down the ridge. This was fortunate, as the storm, when it arrived, was severe. The new couloir was also ca 550m vertical and graded D+. The French party put up two routes on Punta 5,505m, a subsidiary summit of Schultze. The climbs took parallel ice smears that flowed from the left edge of a large serac barrier down through the rock barrier below. After reaching the hanging glacier, the climbers followed gentle slopes to a final steeper snow face and the summit. The right-hand smear was continuous and more pronounced, climbing five pitches to the glacier (200m, M4 WI4+). Guillaume, Marceron, and Rivol climbed it on August 9. The smear to the left first led to a shoulder before angling back right, through a section of pure rocky terrain, to the glacier. Clarasso and Perinne Favier climbed this (200m, F3c M5 WI4+) on the 18th. Lindsay Griffin, Mountain INFO Editor, CLIMB magazine Northern and Central Cordillera Real, various new routes. Nick Flyvbjerg (New Zealand) and Erik Monasterio spent six weeks exploring the central and northern Real. They first visited the Chekapa (Chikapa) Valley, east of the Negruni and north of the Condoriri massifs, where during a visit in October 2005 bad weather thwarted any climbing. These mountains are sometimes referred to as the Chekapa or Lico Group. The pair approached via a six-hour jeep ride along the road to Laguna Jankho Khota and over the Mollo Pass (5,100m) to Mina Fabulosa. Monasterio had climbed in the region west of Mollo Pass 10 years ago and was staggered by the amount of glacial recession, which made the area almost unrecognizable. On July 26 they climbed a new route on Cerro Choque Santuro (5,160m on the Guzman Cordova map Cordillera de la Paz – Central). They made a straightforward crossing of the Chekapa Jahuira River and climbed south to the base of the peak. Several poor-quality bolted rock routes have been developed in this vicinity. Their 350m route started up a rocky vegetated gully on the right side of the north face. Three 60m pitches, with difficulties up to 5+ (French), led to easier ground and the crest of the loose, blocky northwest ridge/face. Easy unroped scrambling led to the prominent summit obelisk, which they surmounted by a pitch of 5+. It is unclear whether this summit had been reached previously. After this ascent the pair moved south up the valley and camped at the foot of Cerro Chekapa (5,460m). On the 28th they climbed a central gully on Cerro Chekapa West (5,418m) that led to the north-northwest face at ca 5,100m. The climbing above, at first unroped up straightforward terrain (4), became increasingly difficult and loose. They roped for three final elegant pitches to the summit (6a max).


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Peaks on the west side of the Ancohuma massif: Ancohuma (6,427m), Pico Gotico (5,750m), Rumi Mallku (5,982m). (1) approach to Northwest Ridge of Ancohuma. (2) Via del Arco (Ducret-Monasterio, 2002). (3) Long Laguna Glacier (Monasterio-Monasterio, 1998). (3a) Fly the Crack (Flyvbjerg-Monasterio, 2006). (4) Northwest Face (Flyvbjerg-Monasterio, 2006). On RM, the northeast (left) and west (right) ridges are both easy scrambles made by guided parties in 2006. Erik Monasterio

Although these two routes were certainly new, Rudi Knott’s 1969 Bavarian expedition made the first ascents of seven summits in this group of peaks, mainly from the south. The summits’ identities are unclear, but as Knott’s base camp was just south of the three Chekapa summits, it is likely all were climbed. Moving to the northern Real, on August 5 Flyvbjerg and Monasterio made the first ascent of the northwest face of Punta ca 5,982m (DAV Cordillera Real – North, 1:50,000), a striking rock peak southwest of Ancohuma, above Laguna Glacier. Starting from a camp at 5,500m, the pair climbed unroped up the loose lower walls to reach the start of a compact gully at 5,850m. Two steep pitches on sound granite (6a+) led to unstable blocks and the summit. The peak had been previously climbed in May by two teams headed by Bolivian guides José Callisaya and Gonzalo Jaimes. These teams climbed the easy west and northeast ridges, meeting on the summit and walking down the south face to the Ancohuma Glacier. As the two ridges look like the outstretched wings of a condor, they christened the peak Rumi Mallku (Condor of Stone). On August 7-8 Flyvbjerg and Monasterio added a third route to the rock peak known as Pico Gotico (5,750m on the DAV map). This monolithic rock west of Ancohuma was named after the shape of its north and south ridges, which resemble the incomplete arches of Gothic cathedrals. Monasterio made the first ascent in 1998 with his brother Grigota, via Long Laguna Glacier (6c A2), up the right side of the 500m west face, one of the highest-altitude technical rock routes in the country. He returned in 2002 with Marie Ducret to climb the left side of the face and join the upper northwest ridge (Via del Arco, 6c A2). On the afternoon of the 7th Flyvbjerg and Monasterio added a direct start, 100m to the right, to Long Laguna Glacier. The first pitch (6b+) climbed over resonating blocks, with marginal protection and fatal ground-fall potential. The second pitch trended left to a point where

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they discovered a bolt belay. They fixed these pitches and re-ascended the following day, when a third pitch trending right over easy ground brought the pair to another bolt belay and the original crux of the Long Laguna Glacier route. Flyvbjerg led, taking three hours to climb the 50m, 4cm-wide crack, with two off-width sections, over a succession of roofs. A comprehensive rack and three in-situ bolts allowed him to climb the pitch free, at 6c. Flyvbjerg, an accomplished technical climber, described the “killer crack” as the most challenging alpine rock pitch he’d experienced. The upper face appears to have suffered rockfall, but four more pitches (6b max), first right and then left of the original route, led to the top of the face and a foresummit at 5,600m, where a boulder ridge rises to the main summit. However, the climbers descended the foresummit. Fly the Crack (6c) took 14 hours and required multiple midsize cams. The June 2003 INFO [in CLIMB magazine, U.K.] documented controversy and confusion surrounding an attempted second ascent of Long Laguna Glacier in 2000 by the Spanish climber Cecelia Buil and the Australian guide Jeff Sandifort. Buil believed she was attempting a new route (though the original topo had been available in Sorata prior to the attempt, and Sandifort appears to have known of the route’s existence). After Monasterio heard rumors that bolts had been added to his route, a flurry of e-mails between Buil and him failed to clarify the issue. Buil, upset by the allegations, apologized but steadfastly maintained she placed no bolts on the original route; just two belay bolts and a couple for rappel anchors. (The pair terminated their ascent at the top of the crux pitch.) Finding three bolts at key sections on the crux crack confirmed that a serious breach of ethics had taken place. For Monasterio, whose country it is, the use of drilling equipment on high-mountain terrain is taboo; he champions the preservation of adventure in Bolivia’s high mountains. Monasterio notes that any breach of such principles is regrettable but is of particular concern when it takes so long to clarify the facts. In late August Monasterio and Flyvbjerg added a second route to the steep slabs of the east face of Pk. 24, a.k.a. Punta Badile, probably becoming the first party to climb this face in its entirety from the ground up. From a camp at 5,000m they reached the foot of the southeast pillar, which was taken by 1994 Lehmpfuhl-Rauch-Schöffel route, Don’t Take the Long Way Home (650m, 6b). The 2006 pair climbed the gully to the right, which slants up to the foot of the magnificent mahogany-colored granite wall that forms the upper section of the east face. Forty meters up the gully they climbed up and right over steep blocks (4+), followed by two pitches of 5+, to reach the big terrace below the upper wall. They then climbed chimneys, cracks, and corners for six pitches, at sustained 6a to 6b+, to arrive on the summit ridge in a whiteout. Three long rappels took the team back to the main terrace. The route, which took 14 hours, required a full rack and an assortment of pegs. The pair notes that this face offers considerable potential for future development. Robert Rauch (Germany), with Thomas Lehmpfuhl and Florian Schöffel, created controversy in 1998 with his ascent of Paititi on the east face of Pk. 24. After climbing a new route on the west face at III+, the team rappelled 160m down the east face to an arbitrary point in the middle of the wall, placing 23 bolts as they descended. They then climbed back up the line at 7a, creating the hardest technical alpine rock climb in the Real at the time. The “route,” which lies to the left of the 2006 line, remains understandably unrepeated. The obvious challenge now is to start from the foot of the peak with the Flyvbjerg-Monasterio line and climb the initial steep smooth section of the upper wall to link with the start of Paititi. Erik Monasterio, Bolivia/New Zealand, and Lindsay Griffin, Mountain INFO Editor, CLIMB magazine


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Peaks on the west side of the Ancohuma massif: Ancohuma (6,427m), Pico Gotico (5,750m), Rumi Mallku (5,982m). (1) approach to Northwest Ridge of Ancohuma. (2) Via del Arco (Ducret-Monasterio, 2002). (3) Long Laguna Glacier (Monasterio-Monasterio, 1998). (3a) Fly the Crack (Flyvbjerg-Monasterio, 2006). (4) Northwest Face (Flyvbjerg-Monasterio, 2006). On RM, the northeast (left) and west (right) ridges are both easy scrambles made by guided parties in 2006. Erik Monasterio

Although these two routes were certainly new, Rudi Knott’s 1969 Bavarian expedition made the first ascents of seven summits in this group of peaks, mainly from the south. The summits’ identities are unclear, but as Knott’s base camp was just south of the three Chekapa summits, it is likely all were climbed. Moving to the northern Real, on August 5 Flyvbjerg and Monasterio made the first ascent of the northwest face of Punta ca 5,982m (DAV Cordillera Real – North, 1:50,000), a striking rock peak southwest of Ancohuma, above Laguna Glacier. Starting from a camp at 5,500m, the pair climbed unroped up the loose lower walls to reach the start of a compact gully at 5,850m. Two steep pitches on sound granite (6a+) led to unstable blocks and the summit. The peak had been previously climbed in May by two teams headed by Bolivian guides José Callisaya and Gonzalo Jaimes. These teams climbed the easy west and northeast ridges, meeting on the summit and walking down the south face to the Ancohuma Glacier. As the two ridges look like the outstretched wings of a condor, they christened the peak Rumi Mallku (Condor of Stone). On August 7-8 Flyvbjerg and Monasterio added a third route to the rock peak known as Pico Gotico (5,750m on the DAV map). This monolithic rock west of Ancohuma was named after the shape of its north and south ridges, which resemble the incomplete arches of Gothic cathedrals. Monasterio made the first ascent in 1998 with his brother Grigota, via Long Laguna Glacier (6c A2), up the right side of the 500m west face, one of the highest-altitude technical rock routes in the country. He returned in 2002 with Marie Ducret to climb the left side of the face and join the upper northwest ridge (Via del Arco, 6c A2). On the afternoon of the 7th Flyvbjerg and Monasterio added a direct start, 100m to the right, to Long Laguna Glacier. The first pitch (6b+) climbed over resonating blocks, with marginal protection and fatal ground-fall potential. The second pitch trended left to a point where

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they discovered a bolt belay. They fixed these pitches and re-ascended the following day, when a third pitch trending right over easy ground brought the pair to another bolt belay and the original crux of the Long Laguna Glacier route. Flyvbjerg led, taking three hours to climb the 50m, 4cm-wide crack, with two off-width sections, over a succession of roofs. A comprehensive rack and three in-situ bolts allowed him to climb the pitch free, at 6c. Flyvbjerg, an accomplished technical climber, described the “killer crack” as the most challenging alpine rock pitch he’d experienced. The upper face appears to have suffered rockfall, but four more pitches (6b max), first right and then left of the original route, led to the top of the face and a foresummit at 5,600m, where a boulder ridge rises to the main summit. However, the climbers descended the foresummit. Fly the Crack (6c) took 14 hours and required multiple midsize cams. The June 2003 INFO [in CLIMB magazine, U.K.] documented controversy and confusion surrounding an attempted second ascent of Long Laguna Glacier in 2000 by the Spanish climber Cecelia Buil and the Australian guide Jeff Sandifort. Buil believed she was attempting a new route (though the original topo had been available in Sorata prior to the attempt, and Sandifort appears to have known of the route’s existence). After Monasterio heard rumors that bolts had been added to his route, a flurry of e-mails between Buil and him failed to clarify the issue. Buil, upset by the allegations, apologized but steadfastly maintained she placed no bolts on the original route; just two belay bolts and a couple for rappel anchors. (The pair terminated their ascent at the top of the crux pitch.) Finding three bolts at key sections on the crux crack confirmed that a serious breach of ethics had taken place. For Monasterio, whose country it is, the use of drilling equipment on high-mountain terrain is taboo; he champions the preservation of adventure in Bolivia’s high mountains. Monasterio notes that any breach of such principles is regrettable but is of particular concern when it takes so long to clarify the facts. In late August Monasterio and Flyvbjerg added a second route to the steep slabs of the east face of Pk. 24, a.k.a. Punta Badile, probably becoming the first party to climb this face in its entirety from the ground up. From a camp at 5,000m they reached the foot of the southeast pillar, which was taken by 1994 Lehmpfuhl-Rauch-Schöffel route, Don’t Take the Long Way Home (650m, 6b). The 2006 pair climbed the gully to the right, which slants up to the foot of the magnificent mahogany-colored granite wall that forms the upper section of the east face. Forty meters up the gully they climbed up and right over steep blocks (4+), followed by two pitches of 5+, to reach the big terrace below the upper wall. They then climbed chimneys, cracks, and corners for six pitches, at sustained 6a to 6b+, to arrive on the summit ridge in a whiteout. Three long rappels took the team back to the main terrace. The route, which took 14 hours, required a full rack and an assortment of pegs. The pair notes that this face offers considerable potential for future development. Robert Rauch (Germany), with Thomas Lehmpfuhl and Florian Schöffel, created controversy in 1998 with his ascent of Paititi on the east face of Pk. 24. After climbing a new route on the west face at III+, the team rappelled 160m down the east face to an arbitrary point in the middle of the wall, placing 23 bolts as they descended. They then climbed back up the line at 7a, creating the hardest technical alpine rock climb in the Real at the time. The “route,” which lies to the left of the 2006 line, remains understandably unrepeated. The obvious challenge now is to start from the foot of the peak with the Flyvbjerg-Monasterio line and climb the initial steep smooth section of the upper wall to link with the start of Paititi. Erik Monasterio, Bolivia/New Zealand, and Lindsay Griffin, Mountain INFO Editor, CLIMB magazine


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Chearoco south summit, East Pillar. On May 19-20, Denis Levaillant and Alain Mesili climbed the East Pillar of the south summit of Chearoco (6,127m or 6,014m). This is possibly the first route climbed on the vast east face of this remote triple-summited massif, located southeast of the Illampu-Ancohuma group in the central Cordillera Real. The pillar itself is 550m high and gave difficulties of 5+ (French) on good granite, with sections of mixed at 75° (M5) and 80° ice. From the pillar’s top, another 150m up a delicate, narrow, and classically Andean ridge, with unconsolidated snow, dramatic cornices, and no worthwhile protection, led to the summit. The pair climbed the TD+ route from a camp at 5,200m three hours’ walk from the face. This central area of the Real, with adjacent peaks such as Cazalda (5,650m), Kelluani (a.k.a. Quelluani, 5,912m), and Chachacomani (6,074m), is the least explored of the range, and the exact lines of routes on the big peaks are not well documented. Despite a handful of ascents from the west and south flanks, Chearoco is infrequently climbed, and the east face holds many possibilities. Lindsay Griffin, Mountain INFO Editor, CLIMB magazine Illimani, Phajsi Face, Inti Face, and Puerta del Sol; Pico Layca Khollu, Acalanto. In June Fumitaka Ichimura, Tatsuro Yamada, Yuki Satoh, and I established four new routes on the south face of Illimani (6,439m), the highest mountain in Bolivia’s Cordillera Real. In late May, after one-and-ahalf months of climbing in Alaska, we flew to La Paz and went to Illimani’s normal route to acclimatize. Then we returned to La Paz to rest and prepare for three weeks of climbing. We approached Mesa Khala (4,700m) with six horses and four porters. Although there we had trouble with the porters, we made our base camp the day we departed. On June 14 Yamada and Satoh gained Illimani’s south peak (main summit) by a new route, Phajsi Face (1,200m, TD+ WI4+). The line followed an obvious ice line straight up to the upper snow slope in the center of the south face. Eight technical pitches and a 500m-long snow slope led to the easy summit ridge. They descended the West Ridge (normal route) to its base (Puente Acalanto (Ichimura-Yokoyama, 2006), on the 950m south face of Pico Layca Khollu (6,159m). The controversial Alain Mesili (with Roto, 4,400m), then had a long Bruce Card, 1978), claimed the right-slanting corner high on the walk back to base camp. face, but inconsistencies surround his claim. Katsutaka Yokoyama

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P i co L ayc a K h o l l u (6,159m) is a small satellite peak on the far southeastern end of the Illimani massif. [Frenchman Charles Wiener, with two local helpers, made the peak’s first ascent in May 1877 and called it Pico de Paris—Ed.] But its south face was not so small and was vertical. There was a line straight up toward the summit in the center of the face. It was connected by thin ice and so beautiful. Ichimura and I started climbing at 3:00 a.m. The south face of Illimani (6,439m): (1) Puerta del Sol (Ichimura-Yokoyama, 2006). (2) Inti Face (Satoh-Yamada, 2006, no summit). (3) Phajsi Face on June 14, getting through (Satoh-Yamada, 2006). (4) Disputed route claimed by Mesili (with the lower part before dawn. Jaeger, 1972). (5) Nada es Seguro (Hendricks-Hendricks-McNeill, 2001). The upper part rose vertically, The Southwest Ridge (Dowbenka-Ziegenhardt, 1983) follows the left skyline. The original South Face (Jacquier-Mesili, 1978) climbs a gully just and the rock was loose. Pitch out of the frame to the right. Also not shown: Gabarrou solo (1988). 13 was the crux (WI5R), thin Katsutaka Yokoyama and unstable with overhangs, but the crux section was not as long as I expected. The long, sustained 15th pitch led to the summit ridge. We stood on the summit at 4:00 p.m. and descended the opposite side of the peak, walking on the glacier and reaching 5,600m by sunset. The next morning, after a short

Fumitaka Ichimura leading the crux pitch of Puerta del Sol on Illimani. Katsutaka Yokoyama


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Chearoco south summit, East Pillar. On May 19-20, Denis Levaillant and Alain Mesili climbed the East Pillar of the south summit of Chearoco (6,127m or 6,014m). This is possibly the first route climbed on the vast east face of this remote triple-summited massif, located southeast of the Illampu-Ancohuma group in the central Cordillera Real. The pillar itself is 550m high and gave difficulties of 5+ (French) on good granite, with sections of mixed at 75° (M5) and 80° ice. From the pillar’s top, another 150m up a delicate, narrow, and classically Andean ridge, with unconsolidated snow, dramatic cornices, and no worthwhile protection, led to the summit. The pair climbed the TD+ route from a camp at 5,200m three hours’ walk from the face. This central area of the Real, with adjacent peaks such as Cazalda (5,650m), Kelluani (a.k.a. Quelluani, 5,912m), and Chachacomani (6,074m), is the least explored of the range, and the exact lines of routes on the big peaks are not well documented. Despite a handful of ascents from the west and south flanks, Chearoco is infrequently climbed, and the east face holds many possibilities. Lindsay Griffin, Mountain INFO Editor, CLIMB magazine Illimani, Phajsi Face, Inti Face, and Puerta del Sol; Pico Layca Khollu, Acalanto. In June Fumitaka Ichimura, Tatsuro Yamada, Yuki Satoh, and I established four new routes on the south face of Illimani (6,439m), the highest mountain in Bolivia’s Cordillera Real. In late May, after one-and-ahalf months of climbing in Alaska, we flew to La Paz and went to Illimani’s normal route to acclimatize. Then we returned to La Paz to rest and prepare for three weeks of climbing. We approached Mesa Khala (4,700m) with six horses and four porters. Although there we had trouble with the porters, we made our base camp the day we departed. On June 14 Yamada and Satoh gained Illimani’s south peak (main summit) by a new route, Phajsi Face (1,200m, TD+ WI4+). The line followed an obvious ice line straight up to the upper snow slope in the center of the south face. Eight technical pitches and a 500m-long snow slope led to the easy summit ridge. They descended the West Ridge (normal route) to its base (Puente Acalanto (Ichimura-Yokoyama, 2006), on the 950m south face of Pico Layca Khollu (6,159m). The controversial Alain Mesili (with Roto, 4,400m), then had a long Bruce Card, 1978), claimed the right-slanting corner high on the walk back to base camp. face, but inconsistencies surround his claim. Katsutaka Yokoyama

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P i co L ayc a K h o l l u (6,159m) is a small satellite peak on the far southeastern end of the Illimani massif. [Frenchman Charles Wiener, with two local helpers, made the peak’s first ascent in May 1877 and called it Pico de Paris—Ed.] But its south face was not so small and was vertical. There was a line straight up toward the summit in the center of the face. It was connected by thin ice and so beautiful. Ichimura and I started climbing at 3:00 a.m. The south face of Illimani (6,439m): (1) Puerta del Sol (Ichimura-Yokoyama, 2006). (2) Inti Face (Satoh-Yamada, 2006, no summit). (3) Phajsi Face on June 14, getting through (Satoh-Yamada, 2006). (4) Disputed route claimed by Mesili (with the lower part before dawn. Jaeger, 1972). (5) Nada es Seguro (Hendricks-Hendricks-McNeill, 2001). The upper part rose vertically, The Southwest Ridge (Dowbenka-Ziegenhardt, 1983) follows the left skyline. The original South Face (Jacquier-Mesili, 1978) climbs a gully just and the rock was loose. Pitch out of the frame to the right. Also not shown: Gabarrou solo (1988). 13 was the crux (WI5R), thin Katsutaka Yokoyama and unstable with overhangs, but the crux section was not as long as I expected. The long, sustained 15th pitch led to the summit ridge. We stood on the summit at 4:00 p.m. and descended the opposite side of the peak, walking on the glacier and reaching 5,600m by sunset. The next morning, after a short

Fumitaka Ichimura leading the crux pitch of Puerta del Sol on Illimani. Katsutaka Yokoyama


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walk on the ridge, we rappelled the west side of the ridge, four rappels landing us just above our base camp. We named our route Acalanto (950m, ED1 WI5R). On June 22 Yamada and Satoh opened an alternate start, just to the left of the Phajsi Face, naming it the Inti Face (600m, TD+ WI5). Its six pitches were steeper and more beautiful than the original ones. They rappelled from halfway up, where their route meets the Phajsi Face at the snowfield. “Phajsi” and “Inti” mean “moon” and “sun” in the Aymara language. On the same day Ichimura and I set our next target as the straight-up ice gully just left of Yamada and Satoh’s line. The first gully was easy (WI3), though it was hard to find the correct line. We then climbed thin ice and mixed terrain in the dark. By daybreak we started the crux pitch, 50m of continuous 90° thin ice with poor protection (WI5R). Then we followed a comfortable ice runnel for two pitches. Just below the upper snow slope there was no ice, so we dry-tooled (M5). The slope led to the summit ridge. We reached the summit at 1 p.m. and reversed our route, downclimbing and making over 10 rappels. Near the bottom I was hit by rockfall and injured my left leg, though it was not fractured. We got off the wall and reached ABC by sunset. We climbed this route nearly at the summer solstice. In the ruins of Tiwanaku, near La Paz, there is a gate called Puerta del Sol, meaning “gate of the sun”; at summer solstice the sun rises just above this gate. Since the line we climbed rose toward the summit like the sun, we named the route Puerta del Sol (1,200m, ED1 WI5R M5). Katsutaka Yokoyama, Japan Editor’s note: Confusion exists regarding possible routes on the south face of Illimani. The controversial French climber, guide, and guidebook author Alain Mesili claims a 1972 route (TD WI4 and 5.5) just right of center (see photo) with the late, prolific Frenchman Nicolas Jaeger. Although Mesili has pioneered many impressive (confirmed) routes, repeated inconsistencies and contradictions, often from his partners, have recently clouded many of his claims. Serious doubts surround the supposed 1972 line. Also on this face, in 1988 renowned French alpinist Patrick Gabarrou soloed a route but its location is unknown.

Cordillera Quimsa Cruz Cerro Sofia, west face and correction. [Page 275 of the 2005 AAJ reports a possible new route on the west face of Cerro Sofia (5,720m) by British climbers Matt Freear, Sarah Griffin, Tim Moss, and Ted Saunders—Ed.] On April 25, 2002, I teamed with the Dutch Gustaaf and Marjan Wijnands and climbed the west face of Cerro Sofia (we thought it might face southwest). We started from our high camp on the glacier at 5 a.m. and reached the ridge at 12 p.m. We chose a line on the far right of the face, close to the rocks. Gustaaf rated the climb as AD+/D-, with the following details for individual pitches: pitches 1-5, 50-55° (hard snow and ice); pitch 6, 65° (hard snow); pitch 7, 70° (hard snow and ice). We traversed to the summit, wanting to descend the north-northwest ridge. However, this ridge, though shown on our map, was nonexistent, and in bad weather we descended the way we came. The roundtrip took us 14 hours. Philipp Klingel, Germany


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Peru CORDILLERA BLANCA La Esfinge, Salida desde la Oscuridad, and Waiting for Jurek. The Polish team of Arkadiusz Grządziel, Bogusław Kowalski, and Jerzy Stefański climbed a new route on the south face of La Esfinge. Their painful acclimatization included climbing up the normal rappel route that descends from the col/saddle. Three steep pitches were presumably new; they named their variation Waiting for Jurek (270m, 6 pitches, UIAA V+). They climbed directly toward the ledge midway up, although they didn’t use the ledge while climbing; this ledge is where descending climbers traverse off to easy ground. Grządziel and Kowalski made this ascent on June 22. The three also onsighted the Original Route on the east face (700m, 7a). During these climbs, they saw no place for a logical new route on the famous east face, so they attacked the shaded, rotten, and icy south face. After fixing 170m of rope on June 29, 30, and July 1, they started climbing on July 3 at 7 a.m., climbed until 10 p.m., and had a cold bivy without sleeping bags. They completed the route the next day, reaching the top at 5 p.m. The route tackles a logical line on the left side of the

The south face of La Esfinge: (1) Salida desde la Oscuridad (Grzadziel-Kowalski-Stefanski , 2005). (2) appx line of The Furious Gods (Beaulieu-Légaré, 2003). Boguslaw Kowalski

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wall, 100m left of The Furious Gods (Beaulieu-Légaré, 2003), and offers free-climbing with difficulties around French 6b+ and A2+. The route is 680m long (16 pitches); they did no drilling but left fixed pitons. The rock is rarely good. Actually it is mostly very rotten; cracks are sometimes full of earth and big, loose stones are waiting to sweep climbers off the wall or at least cut the rope. “You have to be very committed to start such a wall,” the team declared, but they don’t regret it. The route’s name is Salida desde la Oscuridad, because the most important moment was when they made their Exit from the Shadow [the route name in English] into the sun again. JAKUB RADZIEJOWSKI, Warsaw, Poland Nevado Ulta, Toy’s Band. After our climb in the Huayhuash [see below], we returned to Huaraz to learn about conditions. The guide Alfredo, of the agency Mountclimb, helped us considerably. We needed two or three days of rest to recover from a night spent in the El Tambo discotheque, but do not regret it. Benoît Montfort and I then took the bus to Chacas, in the Cordillera Blanca, crossing a 4,900m pass before coming down to Chacas. We got off around 4,200m and made our first The east face of Nevado Ulta, showing Toy’s Band. Given the scarcity bivouac at the foot of the glacier of old route line photos and dramatically different conditions, it is difbelow the east face of Nevado Ulta ficult to know whether this route climbs substantial new ground. The summit ridge has been climbed at least twice prior, and the remaining (5,875m). The following day we line may share portions of the 1961 NE Face/Rib (Bogner-Hechtelcrossed the glacier and bivied on Kämpfe-Liska). Benoît Montfort the northeast shoulder. We suggest leaving early because of threatening séracs. Ice fell almost everywhere and didn’t have the politeness to avoid our tracks. We left early and ascended the first part by slopes of easy ice. A rocky projection above, where it’s helpful to have cams, contained the route’s most technical part (V+ max [French rock grade]). There were beautiful icy passages before we arrived at the summit. We rappelled the route and found two old pitons in a block in a mound of ice (attempt or unknown success?). PIERRE LABBRE, France Nevado Chugllaraju, British Route to summit ridge. On June 24 John Pearson and I climbed a new route on the west face of Nevado Chugllaraju (5,575m), southwest of Nevado Ulta and between it and Nevado Cancaraca. A complex approach led to the route, which started with an icy runnel on the right side of the face, followed by several steeper sections of ice (up to Scottish IV/V) before we reached a mixed upper section. This section proved to be the crux, a couple of pitches going at Scottish V. The rest of the route was mostly 55-60° and, although short (350m, 8

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pitches), we thought the route warranted a grade of TD-. We stopped on reaching the ridge and rappelled the route. ANTHONY BARTON, U. K. Nevado Chugllaraju, west face. American Thai Verzone and Australian David Clinton climbed a new route on Nevado Chugllaraju’s west face. Their route angles up and right, atop a prominent hanging glacier from the lower left side of the face on 45-60° snow and ice, then climbs a 60-75° runnel for five pitches to the ridge at the left-side base of the summit pyramid. It follows the ridge for 30m to the summit. Churup, Northwest Ridge, direct variation. On May 24 Ben Ditto and I climbed a direct line up the northwest ridge of Nevado Churup (5,493m), beginning on the west side of a squat rock buttress separated from the main peak by a narrow col. We dubbed this formation the “Entrance Stool” and climbed it in six short pitches, with a downclimb and rappel into the snow gully that drops from the north side of the col. From this notch we climbed a low-angle mixed pitch, followed by several pitches of steep and, in places, rotten rock. I crept up the first (and worst) of these pitches using tools and crampons, then happily relinquished the rack to Ben in our single pair of rock shoes. Seeking solid rock, he traversed left to the very arête of the ridge in a wandering pitch, which I scratched and sparked my way up wishing for sticky rubber of my own. The next lead angled up and sharply right to reach the snowfields on the upper ridge, near their highest point. With darkness settling in, we climbed four long pitches up the snow ramp to the summit slopes. For the real adventure, we descended the ‘76 American Route, which follows a wide, mixed gully on the right side of the southwest face. We renovated a number of old anchors and built new ones, as we rappelled through the night over a jumble of loose rock and rotten snow. We returned to our camp at the lower lake 30 hours after leaving it, having encountered difficulties of 5.9 M4 R/X 65°. The descent was more frightening than the climbing. From the research I’ve done, both in Peru and through the AAC library, the pitches on the rocky lower half of the northwest ridge appear to be a new variation. Given the great Andean thaw, over the last few seasons this once-classic mixed objective has dried considerably, exposing lots of exfoliating rock. While the climbing on the lower Northwest Ridge is less than superb, the climb’s position and awesome views, including that of a lone condor buzzing us at the col, made for a fine outing easily accessible from Huaraz. ADAM FRENCH, AAC Cayesh, Slo-Am Route, and other activity. In May, Marko Prezelj and I visited Peru, where neither of us had been. We started our acclimatization with cragging on La Esfinge (5,325m). We first climbed the first three pitches of Cruz del Sur, originally graded 7c+ (5.13a), 7a (5.11d) obligatory, 800m, to ascertain the rock quality and the protection. The next day we climbed the Original Route, originally graded 5.11c, free, onsight, in five-and-a-half hours, with the rarely done direct finish, which provided some of the best climbing on the route. After two days of rest, on June 1 we climbed Cruz del Sur free (onsight except the first three pitches) in seven hours.

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All the pitches we climbed on this cliff seemed overgraded. At sea level I would say that the Original Route is probably 5.10b and Cruz del Sur is 5.11b. That said, Marko and I probably acclimate better than some parties that don’t have altitude backgrounds. Also we had fine sunny and cool temperatures during these climbs. Our next destination was the west face of Cayesh (5,721m), a peak that I had long felt epitomized hard climbing in the Blanca. We spent June 6 packing in to the head of the valley, and the next day we made a bivy just below the edge of the glacier. On June 8 we left the tent just before first light and in 16½ hours (round-trip from the base) opened a new line between the German and Charlie Fowler routes. The climbing was uncertain from the start to the summit, which is just the kind of thing The west face of Nevado Cayesh, showing the Slo-Am Route. Several other routes and variations exist on this face. Marko Prezelj we like. After the initial 150m of an ice/snow couloir and 11 steep pitches with real mixed climbing, one pitch of pure rock and a final pitch of super-funky ice/snow led to the corniced summit. The difficulties were up to M7+ (M8?) on the mixed sections and 5.10c on rock. Dry conditions and unreliable protection made the route hard to grade, but we both managed to free it all onsight. We rested for two days in Huaraz, then hiked up to the north face of Huascaran Norte. We planned to spend a day observing the face, and between 7:00 a.m. and 7:43 a.m. I counted 17 significant rockfall events down the center of the face, in the vicinity of the Casarotto Route. Instead of scoping the face, we retreated to Huaraz. For our last week we chose Taulliraju (5,830m) and the Italian Route (900m, ED1 VI 5.9 A1), a beautiful and logical line to the summit. On the first third of the route Steve House well past the “end of the difficulties” (as the common refrain goes), high on we found good conditions, with dry/mixed sections the summit ridge of Taulliraju’s Italian Route. that we climbed free (up to M6+). On the middle third, Marko Prezelj

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conditions were not so good: deep sugar snow on steep slabs and dry parts. Overall the terrain left the impression that we had to use every trick in the book to route-find (and climb) this rig. Super-fun. The first night we bivied in a strange flat-floored ice-box, which required minimal chopping. The multiple chambers were hidden inside the cornice that forms on the crest of the spur. During the Steve House scratching his way toward the first icicle, low on Cayesh. second day, we reached the long summit ridge, which was very corMarko Prezelj niced with poor-quality snow and ice. It took a lot of energy and some dangerous snow-climbing/crawling to get to the summit mushroom, where we made our second bivy just 15m below the top. We crossed the summit the next morning and descended the other side of the mountain, having freed the entire route. STEVE HOUSE, Bend, Oregon, AAC Andavite/Chopiraju Central, Fight Club. In the summer we, both 21, spent several weeks in the Cordillera Blanca. During our first stay in the Cayesh Valley (climbing Maparaju, San Juan, and Andavite’s South Ridge) we got a good view of the south face of Andavite (a.k.a. Chopiraju Central), which looked really nice. We then left, but a few days later returned to Cayesh base camp. After a day of bad weather, on July 27 we started at 2:30 a.m. from base camp, and two hours later roped up and started climbing. The face was quite dry, and we followed an intermittent line of Fight Club, on the south face of Andavite (a.k.a. Chopiraju Central). frozen waterfalls leading to the big Moritz Wälde snowfield halfway up. (Here an escape to the south ridge would be possible.) Then the crux followed: steep, bad rock covered with thin ice, difficult to climb either with or without tools, poor protection. Pitch after pitch of steep snow brought us close to the final serac barrier. It looked frighteningly big and unstable, but we found a narrow couloir and, three pitches of steep, hard ice later, we reached the snow slopes leading to the summit. It was noon; the 800m face had taken seven hours. What a climb! We called the route Fight Club and, based on the information we got in Huaraz, it was the first

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ascent of Andavite’s south face. We think that conditions were extraordinarily dry, and under different conditions the seracs might be even more dangerous. The difficulties were varied, and we climbed most of the route simultaneously. We descended the southwest ridge, with one rappel from snow anchors. TOBI LOCHBÜHLER AND MORITZ WÄLDE, Germany Editor’s note: Antonio Gómez Bohórquez reports that Peruvian guide José A. Castañeda and his Swiss client Catherine Bertui climbed a route on Andavite/Chopiraju Central in 2000 that may be similar to the above route. Further details could not be verified.

Itsoc Huanca, Dominguerismo Vertical. The Tobi Lochbühler near the top of the final serac barrier on Fight Club. Moritz Wälde wall is situated in the Quebrada Rurec. To get there obtain transport to Olleros. Here you can get burros to carry gear to base camp, four hours’ walk from town. Three hours into the hike the walls become visible, and Itsoc Huanca [a.k.a. Risco Ayudin—see note below] (4,700m) is located to the right as you ascend the Quebrada, the third of three small peaks (the second is Punta Numa). The rock quality is exceptional, though perhaps a little dirty at the beginning where it is hard to get in pins or camming units. We (Jordi Barrachina, Daniel Gutierrez, Jorge Ferrero, Maria Lopez, and I, all from Spain) put in 13 days in July to climb 700m up the west face, 10½ days spent actually climbing, using five bivy sites. We placed bolts, and from the top we descended the route, using the same anchors as on our ascent, apart from pitches 17, 12, 5, and 4. Gear: two sets Camalots, 1½ sets Aliens, 10-15 pitons, a variety of small hooks. We named the route Dominguerismo Vertical (ED- 6b A2). RAMON PEREZ DE AYALA, Spain (translated by Bean Bowers) Note on naming: Antonio Gómez Bohórquez reports that Itsoc Huanca is the native (Quechua) name of the crag reported above and below. The reporting climbers, presumably unaware of the original name, called the formation Risco Ayudin.

Quebrada Rurec, Pietrorrrago: Vaffanculo; and Itsoc Huanca, Libertad es Partecipacion. On August 12, after some preparation, Italians Enzo Arciuoli, Giulio Canti, and Roberto Iannilli put up Pietrorrrago: Vaffanculo! (420m of climbing: 6a/6a+) up the middle of the northwestfacing compact slabs that lie at the start of the Rurec Valley (on the right side, upon entering, under Cerro Pumhauagangan). The route is sustained and on perfect granite, but with little in the way of protection (13 bolts were placed; take quickdraws and small wires and RPs). Beginning on August 15 Canti and Iannilli put up Libertad es Partecipacion on Itsoc Huanca’s northwest aspect. The route ascends the wall immediately left of the corner system that sepa-

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rates Itsoc Huanca from Punta Numa to its right. It is 1,600m long (6c+ A2), but only 600m (13 pitches) involve difficult rock, the rest being easy ground. The pair started up a slanting dihedral, followed by a crack system with two prominent roofs, then continued on more compact slabs. Higher they crossed a huge amphitheater of rock and vegetation to reach a short headwall, which they climbed in one long pitch to the top of Itsoc Huanca. A full rack is required (RURPs to #5 Camalot). The climbers placed five protection bolts, plus a bolt on every stance. The route took four days, with one bivouac on the wall. LINDSAY GRIFFIN, Mountain INFO Editor, CLIMB magazine, AND ROBERTO IANNILLI, Italy

Itsoc Huanca’s 2005 routes, thought to be the only lines on the face. Roberto Iannilli

Rurec, Caravaca Jubilar. After installing base camp in mid-July 2003 below Rurec (5,080m) and fixing the initial pitches, we began our first capsule-style attempt carrying food, water, and gear for three weeks. The team: Alfonso Cerdan Sandoval, my brother Juan Carlos Garcia Gallego, and I. After climbing 250m Alfonso came down with gastroenteritis and Carlos suffered from a respiratory infection, so we descended to base camp to recover and get medical attention. By early August we were on our second attempt. Alfonso remained sick and abandoned the climb. Carlos and I continued, and on August 23 we reached the top. The new route (1,000m, 21 pitches, VI 5.11 A4) climbs the central part of the wall. The first half is abundant with blind seams, while in the upper half we encountered numerous expanding flakes. JOSÉ LUIS GARCIA Gallego, Spain (translated by Bean Bowers) Shaqsha Sur, southeast face. In June Peruvian guides Elias Flores and Miguel Martinez, with Cesar Rosales and Italian Tizianoi Orio, made the first ascent of the southeast face of the slightly lower South Summit (ca. 5,697m) of Shaqsha. The elegant, narrow, triangular snow-and-ice face rises 350m above the bergschrund and gave climbing up to 70-75°. Shaqsha (occasionally referred to as Huantsan Chico) lies southwest of Cashan and could be climbed in a long day from Huaraz via the Rurec Valley and South Ridge (350m, PD+ 45-50°, Maardalen-Martens, 1988). In mid-May, 2004, Martinez, with Michell Araya and aspirant guides Quique Apolinario, Maximum Efraim, and Elias Flores, from the Don Bosco School, are thought to have climbed a new route to the main summit of Shaqsha (5,703m), above Laguna Azulajacocha. After weav-

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ing through 250m of serac, they found the final 150m snow-and-ice face to involve climbing up to 60°. LINDSAY GRIFFIN, Mountain INFO Editor, CLIMB magazine Huaketsa Punta, Eder Sabino Cacha. On June 11, 2004, Mauro Floret, Massimo Sacchi, and Marco Sterni, from Trieste, reached the summit of Huaketsa Punta (a.k.a. Amahuagaychu, 5,134m) after completing the first ascent of the west face. Huaketsa Punta is a steep rock formation set amongst pleasant, grassy meadows east of the well-known Olleros-to-Chavin trail. From Olleros, close to the Rio Santa Valley south of Huaraz, it is possible to take a 4WD for 15-16km to the village of Sacracancha, from where a three-hour walk south leads to the foot of the rock wall, at 4,740m (S 09° 39.49'; W 77°). The rock is porphyry and therefore not always perfect, but allows natural protection throughout. The route follows a prominent dihedral in the center of the face. The climbing was largely free up to 6c, with a 60m section of A2 in a right-facing dihedral close to the summit. Every belay was equipped with one 10mm bolt. The 500m climb, Eder Sabino Cacha, was named after a young Peruvian guide who was killed in an avalanche the previous day while skiing Tocllaraju. The climbers recommend the area as being easy to reach, generally dry, and having little vegetation compared to, say, the Paron Valley. LINDSAY GRIFFIN, Mountain INFO Editor, CLIMB magazine Cordillera Blanca, other activity. The following information supplements the new routes individually reported above. In addition to their climbs on La Esfinge (above), Polish climbers Arkadiusz Grządziel, Bogusław Kowalski, and Jerzy Stefański added a 300m variation, to the right of the Normal Route, on the upper portion of Artesonraju (6,025m). In the Ishinca Valley in early May, Jamie Laidlaw made two extremely steep ski descents, likely firsts. He climbed and skied (same line) the West Face (750m, D+) of Tocllaraju (6,032m), and two days later climbed and skied the 800m North Face (D+) of Ranrapalca. For Ranrapalca he climbed a ridge on the east side of the hanging face to minimize rockfall exposure. He climbed to the 6,162m summit but skied down from just below a short band of 5.5 rock that guards the summit plateau, and skied farther to climber’s right than his ascent. Also in the Ishinca, on June 18 Americans Wayne Crill and Kevin Gallagher returned to their 2004 route on Hatun Ulloc, Karma de los Condores, to make its first free ascent at 5.11d. One week later Americans Andy Wellman and James Woods repeated the route, free, and continued up Ulloc’s previously unclimbed upper tiers on rock up to 5.9R. About 60m from the summit they retreated due to dirty and vegetated cracks. On August 15 Wellman and Tyler Anderson climbed the south face of Mururaju (a.k.a. Nevado Pongos Sur, 5,688m), likely making the second ascent of the 1999 Argentine-Israeli route, the South Face Direct (600m, TD WI3). They made some minor variations while climbing the face in 10 hours (16 hours roundtrip from base camp). Wellman made many impressive repeats during the summer, including a 6:32 trailheadto-summit solo of Artesonraju (6,025m) via the Normal Route. The prolific Spanish climber Jordi Corominas made several speed solos, including the Ecuadorian Route on Santa Cruz (6,259m) in six hours, and the 1979 route on Sarapo (6,127m,

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in the Cordillera Huayhuash) in just three hours. Corominas also soloed a new variation to the Northeast Face of Huascaran Norte (6,654m) in a 12-hour roundtrip from camp, starting right of the other routes on the face, joining the 1973 French Route, and going left for an M5 pitch just below the ridge, which he then followed to the summit. Basque climbers Kepa Escribano and Fernando Ferreras opened a nine-pitch rock route, Matxinsalto (ED-), on the northwest face of Huamashraju (5,434m). The granite route reportedly climbs runout slabs and vertical cracks, has difficulties to 6b, and finishes via the north ridge to the top. On La Esfinge, Escribano and Ferreras repeated the 2004 route Killa Quillay, climbing it mostly free at 7a+/7b. Also on Esfinge, Americans Brian McMahon and Josh Wharton made a free variation to the 2000 route, Riddle of the Cordillera Blanca. Their free version, which they called King of Thebes (V+ 5.12b/c), took them seven-and-a-half hours onsight; they used no pins or bolts. The pair also onsighted Cruz del Sur in seven hours, reporting it, as other parties have, to be severely overgraded (originally 5.13a) but of high quality. They’d climbed the 1985 Original Route in four-and-a-half hours onsight, and on Wharton’s last day in Peru he made likely the first free solo, and certainly the fastest ascent, in 1:28. Climate change continues to dramatically alter conditions in the Cordillera Blanca, as noted by many teams visiting the region. Josh Wharton writes of the north face of Huascaran Norte, from which he and Brian McMahon retreated (as did Steve House and Marko Prezelj a few days later) without setting foot on the face because of rockfall: “Someone will climb the north face again, but it will likely be a much different experience than Casarotto’s. Most of the ice on the lower face is gone, only measly snow patches remain, and the ice routes that once existed on the wall’s left flank seem to have entirely disappeared.” Compiled with help from ANTONIO GÓMEZ BOHÓRQUEZ, LINDSAY GRIFFIN, and RICHARD HIDALGO

CORDILLERA HUAYHUASH Yerupaja Sur, Furieux Mais Romantiques. The participants on our expedition were Benoît Montfort, François Nadal, Julien Laurent, and I. Intending to open a route on the west face of Siula Chico, we left on foot from Llamac, arriving at base camp on the banks of Laguna Sarapococha in three days. It took another day to reach advanced camp beneath the southern arête of Yerupaja Sur (6,515m). Regrettably, the face on Siula Chico was dry, and the glacier very cracked. We thus took refuge on the south face of Yerupaja Sur, where we saw a way to be opened. A short, technical gully marked the start of the route, which then continues up a hanging glacier, at the top of which we bivouacked (5,600m). The next day we climbed endless slopes of ice leading onto the west arête. To reach the summit we followed ice arêtes in the middle of the ice-flutings. We descended by rappel by another line to our bivy, then followed our route the rest of the way down. We left some pitons in place, but it would be useful to take pitons for a repeat. PIERRE LABBRE, France Trapecio, Southeast Face Direct. On July 10 Branko Ivanek, Miha Lampreht, and I (all from Slovenia), and Aritza Monasterio (Spanish-Basque, living in Huaraz) completed the central route (800m, ED+ AI6 M5 A2) on the southeast face of Trapecio (5,644 m). We climbed the route in

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Furieux Mais Romantiques on Yerupaja Sur. Although conflicting information exists regarding the exact locations of the 1965 and 1981 routes, the 2005 route likely shares some terrain with these lines. In 1977, Carrington and Rouse climbed the obvious ice face to the right. BenoĂŽt Montfort

single-push lightweight style, taking 12 hours to the summit and nine hours to descend the north face. The hardest part of the route was climbed by Jeff Lowe in 1985, but he retreated 250m below the top. He graded his 700m climb ED+ and considered it one of his hardest solo climbs. After acclimatizing on Chopicalqui, we took the fastest approach to Trapecio, starting from the village of Queropalca. In two days we reached base camp at a small lake just below the face. Weather and conditions were The southeast face of Trapecio: (1) South Spur (Dionisi-Ferraro-Malvassora, 1974). (2) SE Face (Donini-Tackle, 1986, to ridge). (3) SE Face good, although there was much Direct (Ivanek-Kozjek-Lampreht-Monasterio, 2005). (L) Marks the appx less ice on the face than usual highpoint of Jeff Lowe’s 1985 solo. This face, shown here in July 2005, (from past photos). On July 10 we has melted so dramatically that the previous routelines barely resemble their original conditions. Pavle Kozjek started from base camp at 3 a.m., and at about 5 a.m. entered the steep ice gully where the route begins. Overhanging rock soon stopped our rapid progress. We climbed it (M5 A2) before dawn. The rest of the lower part was

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Pavle Kozjek leading an overhanging chimney to gain the upper icefields, high on Trapecio. Miha Lampreht

easier, although there were further mixed parts before we reached the wide icefield halfway up the face. The steeper upper part began with an excellent narrow gully (AI5) and continued with mixed climbing (M4-5), until we reached the hanging icefall that opens to the upper icefields. We noticed an old piton (probably Jeff 's) at the base of it. Since the ice looked unstable, we looked around the edge on the right and found a steep overhanging chimney (UIAA 6-), which we climbed in two pitches. From the upper icefields another two steep pitches reached the east ridge, which leads to the top, where we stood at 5 p.m. We descended the north face, in the night, for nine hours. The main problem was orientation. We found old slings and made four rappels before we got off of rock and ice and reached the grass on the northern slopes. PAVLE KOZJEK, Slovenia

Puscanturpa Sur, El Guardian de Pachamama, to top of rock wall. Oriol Anglada (Catalunya) and I wanted to make our own contribution to the mountains. When we arrived in Lima, a mountain guide mentioned the walls of Puscanturpa, describing their beauty and how little it got visited. After seeing a photo and speaking with a friend who had been there, we decided to direct our efforts there. An exhausting three-day hike brought us to base camp (4,700m), a special place in a meadow directly below Puscanturpa Norte and the impressive north wall of Puscanturpa Sur (5,550m) [see note below]. Once we saw this wall, knowing there were no routes on it, we told ourselves it was here that we wanted to climb. With a lot of psyche and a hand drill, we opened the route in four days, from July 17 to 20. The route is 7c (6c+/A2 mandatory) with 16 pitches (670m), combining face and crack climbing on highquality granodiorite that provided perfect dihedrals and some weaving between loose blocks, but mostly enjoyable climbing on good rock. [Of the two rock buttresses on El Guardian de Pachamama, the only route on the wall. Puscanturpa Sur, this route takes the more Oriol Anglada continuous, right-hand buttress.] Although

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two seracs threaten the peace of the valley, our route is free of serac danger. The base of the wall is at 4,800m, so acclimatization is important. We used 38 bolts, for belays and for protection. The rappel route reverses the climb. Our route ends before crossing a snowfield of penitentes (we only had rock shoes), about 200m from the summit. MARISOL MONTERRUBIO, Mexico (translated by Bean Bowers) Note on naming: As with many peaks in the region, some confusion surrounds this peak’s name and location. The name “Cuyoc” has been used synonymously with Puscanturpa Sur by some climbers (including Monterrubio), locals, and even maps. The true Nevado Cuyoc, or Cuyocraju, however, is just southwest of the Puscanturpa group, on the other side of Cuyocpunta (Cuyoc Pass). Puscanturpa Sur sits between the well-known Puscanturpa Norte and Cuyoc Pass, and likely picked up the incorrect name of Cuyoc due to this proximity to Cuyoc Pass.

Oriol Anglada having no trouble routefinding on pitch 5 of El Guardian de Pachamama. Marisol Monterrubio

CORDILLERA CENTRAL Pariakaka, Peru 6 Mil. Pariakaka is located in the Yauyos area between the borders of Lima and Junin, Puscanturpa Norte (A) and Puscanturpa Sur (B), with route line roughly where such other snowy peaks as indicated, from the Quebrada Huanacpatay. Oriol Anglada Collquepurco, Vicunita, Tunshu, Tatajaico, and Paca are found. From the main highway between Lima and Huancayo, go through Oroya and Pachacallo, finally arriving in Tanta, where there are telephones, hotel, and food, and one can arrange for an arriero and burros to get to base camp. It’s 17 km from Tanta to Pariakaka and took Guillermo Mejia and I a bit more than half the day. The moraine at the end being too difficult for the Burros to pass, we had to ferry loads. The next day we went on a recon to the base of our proposed route, to mark our approach and get oriented. The weather was bad, cloudy and snowing lightly by 3 p.m. The following morning the weather continued poor, so we waited in base camp. On day three, September 1, we left base camp at 3:30 a.m., taking two hours to get to the base of the climb and our gear deposit. We

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Pariakaka’s southwest face, showing Peru 6 Mil, the only route on the face. The triangle near the top marks their bivy, and the arrows their descent. Diego Fernandez

Guillermo Mejia near the top on Peru 6 Mil. Diego Fernandez

started up the southwest face, by a 75° ice slope with a small rock step, gaining a little more than 100m. We then arrived at a verglased wall, where Guillermo put in an anchor and, after bringing me up, set off on a 50m pitch. We continued, simul-climbing for 500m on an 80° ice slope, with vertical steps and easy mixed ground. At 4 p.m. we gained another mixed section, the crux, vertical and technical, probably due to never getting sun. The exit was crowned with seracs that guard the summit. At 6:30 p.m. we placed an

anchor and chipped at the ice to make a small bivy ledge. The next morning we ate some chocolate and quickly got under way to reach the warmth of the sun and the top. Two mixed pitches with some aid, the second going through a roof formed by the serac looming overhead, followed by 20m of rock, deposited us on top about mid-day.

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We descended the Normal Route, starting with a wall of rock, then going through a field of penitentes and crossing a couple of bergschrunds. The entire descent is riddled with crevasses and requires roping together. We arrived at base camp at 7 p.m., 40 hours after leaving our tent. Peru 6 Mil, 650m, VI AI7 (75°-95°) M8 A2 DIEGO FERNANDEZ, Peru (translated by Bean Bowers) Tunshu, Direct Northeast Face. To reach Tunshu (5,730m), take the main highway from Lima to Huancayo through Oroya and Pachacallo. From there take the road to Hauylacancha Lake (60km, 3 hrs), and then to Siuracoha Lake and base camp, in the moraine. Water can be found in the glacial drainage nearby, and from the moraine it is 20 minutes to the glacier. The northeast face of Tunshu is visible from camp, and in three hours (follow the right side of the lake) you can reach the base of the wall. Axel Loayza, Guillermo Mejia, and I began to climb the northeast face at 4 a.m., starting on the right side of the wall, then traversing on the glacier to a 50° slope and a bergschrund. From there we did our first pitch, over a snow/ice bridge; the pitches tended up and left. Pitch five involved loose snow on rock with patches of verglas. By the ninth pitch the terrain got more vertical, with sections of hard, brittle ice. Near the summit rock cap we did a diagonal traverse to where we could get in a piton and make our last anchor (11th). We were 40m from the summit. This was the most vertical section of the route. At 3 p.m. on November 1 we got to the summit and appreciated the view of the surrounding peaks: Pariakaka, Tatajaico, Collquepurco, and Vicunita. We got to the summit in good weather but took so much time taking pictures that we didn’t notice a building thunderstorm. The rappel from the summit was complicated, and a bit hair-raising due to the lightning. After getting off-route, and a cold, open bivouac (at least the snow and lightning had ceased!), and a long walk to the tent, we arrived at camp at 11 a.m. the day after summiting. Direct Northeast Face, 660m, V AI3 (50°-80°) JENNY POSTILLOS, Peru (translated by Bean Bowers)

CORDILLERA ORIENTAL Various ascents. On an expedition I led to the Cordillera Oriental with Tim Riley, we did several climbs. Our first climb, on August 9, was of a nameless ca. 5,200m peak that extends from the long ridge west-southwest of Nevado Huaguruncho. We climbed the northeast ridge, grading it AD, and descended the southwest ridge/western slopes in a round trip from base camp of 12½ hours. I could find no evidence of this peak having been climbed, although the French gave it a go in 1968. Our next climb was on the southwest face of Nevado Nausacocha and was just awesome, 16 pitches of perfect climbing. Snow, ice, and perfect granite led to the summit. I thought this peak may also have been unclimbed but found a bolt anchor and fixed ropes on the summit; the ropes headed down the southeast ridge. I could find no details of this ascent, although I found a krab with “Made in Japan” stamped on it. [Subsequent research revealed a Japanese ascent unpublished in western journals: Southeast Ridge, Kumagai-Kubo-Nishikawa-Moriya-

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T H E A M E R I C A N A L P I N E J O U R N A L , 2006 Sawamura-Tomomura, 1978.] We rappelled our ascent route and were back in high camp after 18 hours of climbing. We rated this route D+. Our final climb was on August 23, of a minor rock peak, near Cerro Barraco, which we climbed by its east ridge, with one short pitch of severe (British grade), to gain the moderate east ridge. ANTHONY BARTON, U.K.

CORDILLERA VILCABAMBA

The ca. 5,200m peak climbed by Barton and Riley, showing their NE ridge ascent and SW ridge/W slopes descent. Anthony Barton

Cordillera Vilcabamba, various ascents. In 2004 Canadians Conny Amelunxen and Neil Maedel visited the eastern end of the Pumasillo group, climbing the small peaks, north of Totora, that form the end of the long curving ridge running generally east from Lasunayoc (5,960m). The weather was particularly bad, and the pair was only able to climb on two days. On the first they

Nevado Nausacocha from the east, showing the Barton-Riley route. Anthony Barton

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made an 18-hour traverse over the three most easterly peaks, which were separated by two minor subpeaks; this involved one-to-two pitch ascents. They climbed the most easterly peak by the north face and west ridge, with pitches of 5.8 and 5.9 to reach the summit. They traversed the next main peak from east to west via three pitches of 50-60° snow and a 30m summit section of 5.6. The third, highest peak gave a convoluted glacier ascent, after which the two descended south to camp. On the second day, in a 22-hour push, they climbed two more peaks, including a traverse of the highest in this area, a large granite summit. Reaching the notch west of the previous day’s third peak, they moved onto the north flank and climbed two pitches of 65° ice to a gap between two tops. A pitch of 5.9 led to the west top. They climbed the more easterly top in four rock pitches up to 5.10. From here a knife-blade ridge led south to a col in front of a second, possibly higher peak. This gave two pitches (5.8 and 5.9), followed by scrambling to the top. A convoluted descent, first north, then back east to cross the south ridge, led to a glacier, down which they headed south and eventually walked out to Totura. The five summits ranged from ca. 5,000 to 5,300m, and gave intricate climbing up to 5.10 and WI4. Although no trace of previous ascents was found, it is not known how many of these peaks were new. It is believed the two westernmost were likely climbed by a 1969 Australian expedition. In June, after visiting a valley called Pumasillo (the only glaciated peak in this area, west of the Mandor group, is confusingly marked on the map as 5,189m Cerro Pumasillo, but it should not be confused with the main Pumasillo Massif farther east) but not reaching any summits, Germans Christoph Nick, Frank Toma, Katja Angerhofer, Christian Klant, Ingo Mittas, and Katja Weil, and Peruvian brothers Alejandro and Hermenegildo Huaman Olarte, trekked south across the Mandor and eventually reached the village of Yanama, known to Nick and Toma from previous visits. Leaving the Yanama Valley they headed north to place a camp at 5,200m, close to the Lasunayoc Col. From there Angerhofer, Klant, Nick, and Toma ascended Lasunayoc via the huge eastern glacier and a final steep ice face of 60°. This 5,936m peak was first climbed by Americans in 1956 and had been reconnoitered by Nick and Toma in 2002. Good conditions allowed them to complete the ascent in a roundtrip of nine hours from camp. Like all peaks in this region, Lasunayoc is rarely climbed. The next day Angerhofer, Klant, Mittas, and Nick climbed Pk. 5,447m on the east side of the col, dubbing it the “Mirador de Lasunayoc.” In 2002 Nick and Toma had failed to climb the 30m summit tower, but this time the four Germans were successful, after a pitch of UIAA VI on less than perfect rock. They rappelled from an in-situ snow stake hammered into a crack on the summit. Pk. 5,447m has both a rocky and a snowy top. The snowy summit was climbed by New Zealanders in 1962 and Australians in 1969, but the rocky top was not ascended until 2003, when Conny Amelunxen and Sean Easton climbed it, at 5.9. Today it is undoubtedly the highest point of the mountain but may not have been so 40 years ago. The team then split, with Klant and Nick trekking to the Palcay Valley for an attempt on Salcantay (6,271m), while the rest returned via the village of Mollepata (2,800m) to Cuzco. Part of this trek is being promoted by agencies as an alternative to the very popular Inca Trail, and Toma notes the once pristine environment has now become a huge garbage dump. On the June 21 Klant and Nick established a camp below the Normal Route (Northeast Ridge) of Salcantay, which rises from a col at 4,500m and is generally considered ca. alpine AD in standard. Klant was ill, so on the 23rd Nick left for a solo attempt. When he hadn’t returned by the 25th Klant descended for help. The subsequent helicopter search by two rescue

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teams, one from a private organization and the second from the Policia di Alta Montagne, found a high bivouac and steps leading to the base of a rock wall, above which they vanished. The search was called off after a week, and Nick’s body has not been found. His previous new routes, during the last few years, in the Vilcabamba (Pumasillo and Panta groups) and Urubamba (Terijuay Group) with Toma were reported in Mountain INFO. LINDSAY GRIFFIN, Mountain INFO Editor, CLIMB magazine

CORDILLERA VILCANOTA Auzangate Massif, mapping and new approach route. In early May, Brad Johnson and I, accompanied by three American clients and supported by five Peruvians, spent 10 days in the Cordillera Vilcanota collecting field data for an upcoming map of the range. We entered the region through Tinqui, Upis, and Arapa Pass and traveled counterclockwise around Auzangate, using the regular trekking route to Jampa. From there we crossed Huayruru Punta to Sibinacocha Lake and made a high traverse through Laguna Huarurumicocha and down to Laguna Mullucocha, between SeĂąal Nevado Tres Pico and Nevado Chumpa. A Czech team in 2004 explored this pass and did several, as reported in the 2005 AAJ. Although the approach we took from the south is possible on foot, the trail and terrain are still too difficult for pack animals; this may change as more people travel the route. This southern approach may provide quicker access to this part of the range, from a trailhead at Sibinicocha, which is accessible by road from Cuzco. A significant number of unclimbed lines exist in this region, which is becoming easier to access. We plan to complete our fieldwork and publish a map of the range in 2006. MARTIN GAMACHE, Alpine Mapping Guild

CORDILLERA CARABAYA Cordillera Carabaya, various ascents. I led an expedition to the Peruvian Cordillera Carabaya in June, and we believe we made a few first ascents and new routes. This is a very remote part of Peru, and in two weeks traveling in the mountains we saw no other westerners. One local alpaca herder said that in over 20 years no other climbers had been to the first valley we visited. The weather was unbelievably good, with only one partly cloudy day in our three weeks. It was also a dry year in the mountains, and the glaciers were quite icy, with little snow on the rock routes that we climbed. Glacier recession over the last few decades has

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Chichicapac from the northwest. At least one route has been climbed from this side, but details are sparse. The route climbed by Biggar et al ascends the other side, beyond the right skyline. John Biggar, www.andes.org.uk

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clearly been dramatic in this range, but there remain some substantial glaciers, particularly on the north and east sides of the highest peak, Allincapac. The Carabaya is exceptionally scenic and the rock solid granite, reminiscent in places of the granite in my home climbing area in the Galloway Hills, Scotland, but with more dramatic scenery and fewer bogs and midges. We spent the first week camped southeast of the second highest summit in the range, Chichicapac. From a base camp just above beautiful Laguna Chungara, the whole team (guides Pere Vilarasau and I, clients John Bell, Enjoyable travel on the nor theast ridge of Chichicapac. John Biggar, www.andes.org.uk John Cadger, Bob Cole, Alan McLeod, Sarah Maliphant, and Jill Robertson) climbed Chichicapac (5,614m) by the east glacier and northeast ridge on June 14. This route was only alpine F, but we have found no record of a previous ascent of the mountain from this side, perhaps explained by the route being well hidden. The next day Vilarasau, Cole, and I made what we believe to be the first ascent of the minor peak of Chichicapac Southeast (ca. 5,285m), by an easy glacier climb from the south, followed by scrambling and climbing on rock to about British VS (5.6 or 5.7) on the northwest ridge. After a brief rest in Macusani we walked to a base camp at Laguna Chambine, located in the unnamed valley between Chichicapac and the highest peak in the Cordillera Carabaya, Allincapac (5,780m). On June 19 Vilarasau, Cole, Maliphant, and I climbed an unnamed ca. 5,267m rock tower by two different rock routes, on the north ridge and west face. Although the tower may have been climbed by an expedition in the 1950s, it is pretty certain that the routes we climbed have only recently emerged from the glacier. John and Bob then crossed the glacier to climb another peak of 5,411m, believed to be the one referred to as White Sail in previous expedition reports. A view from there of the north side of Allincapac revealed that there is currently no easy or safe route to the relatively flat summit of Allincapac, which has become isolated on all sides by a continuous 360째 serac. On June 20 Sarah, Bob, and I climbed another possibly previously unclimbed line, on a ca. 5,192m peak, which is possibly the peak marked Red Peak by previous expeditions. This was a straightforward scramble by the south ridge from the camp by Laguna Chambine. As good weather continued, the next day Sarah, Bob, and I, now starting to tire, climbed another unnamed peak, ca. 5,044m, by the north buttress. The climb gave 300m of easy, enjoyable V.Diff (5.2) on good granite. This summit had clearly been reached before. Various members of the team climbed three other 5,000m peaks: 5,294m Quenamari, which lies south of the main range; 5,270m Iteriluma, just south of Chichicapac; and an unnamed ca. 5,057m peak near Laguna Chambine. With Bob Cole and I making nine 5,000m+ summits in two weeks, this was a very successful expedition, demonstrating that there is still plenty of exploratory mountaineering at easy grades to be found in the more forgotten corners of the world. JOHN BIGGAR, U.K.

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tion on the west (left) side of the south face, and we spent the night on a narrow shoulder, an obvious spot nearly around to the north side of the mountain. Here we ate the only food we had. The lack of breakfast gave us a very early start the next day. More vertical jungle took us to the base of a steep, smooth rock face on the north side. There was no way around it, and I started leading, drilling batholes and bolts. After 20m I free-climbed a scary, unprotected section into the next vegetation and belayed from a tree. Another rock wall stood above, but after traversing and creative routefinding I got around it. Then I climbed another short vertical, vegetated section and stood on top of the mountain that the natives call “het Duivelsei” (Egg of the Devil, because the lower summit has a big egg-shaped rock on top). With Ronald and Gerke I enjoyed the view from the summit, already The first and only route on Duivelsei. Martin Fickweiler dreaming of climbing the 600800m high south face. But then we were so tired, hungry, and thirsty that all we wanted was to go back to civilization. It took us another five days to get there. Our route was 600m, 5.9 jungle, A2 rock. This expedition was supported by Gore-Tex and Haglöfs. Martin Fickweiler, Vlaardingen, Netherlands

Bolivia Bolivia, various ascents. Although more may come to light, Bolivian contacts and regular visitors know of little pioneering activity in 2005. However, they do report that the mountains are in bad shape, crumbling and with marked glacial retreat. The general view is that climbing conditions are really tenuous. In July a young British team of Tom Bide, Carl Reilly,


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Graeme Schofield, and Sam Walmsley visited the southernmost group of mountains in the Apolobamba. These peaks (sometimes referred to as the Pupuya Group), which run south from the Ulla Ulla-Hilo Hilo road to Acamani (ca 5,400m) and culminate in Huelancalloc (5,836m/5,847m), appear to have seen little traffic compared to the rest of the Apolobamba, and their history is unclear. Available reports suggested the steep southern aspect of these peaks were unclimbed. The team set up base camp at 4,730m, after a short approach from the roadhead at Mankha Canuma to the west. On July 21 they climbed Canisaya (GPS 5,652m) by two different routes. Bide and Walmsley followed the southwest ridge (500m, D- 60°), while Reilly and Schofield climbed the southwest face to the left (500m, D 60° sustained snow and ice). Both parties descended by the southwest face. The following day all four climbed the west face of Casalaya (GPS 5,423m, 600m, D 60° with a convoluted serac section in the middle). From the summit they traversed the southeast ridge all the way to the exit of their route on the southwest face of Canisaya, down which they again descended. They estimated the grades of their routes relative to grades in the Condorini Massif, in which the group acclimatized, but believe their routes easier than those of the same grade in the Alps. Route lengths given here indicate the amount of climbing, not the vertical interval of the face. On July 24 Bide and Schofield climbed the southeast face of Huelancalloc, by a serious ice/mixed line that took a narrow gully below the overhanging seracs of the summit ridge. They encountered difficulties of Scottish 4/5 and UIAA IV+, but moved together on much of the climb, often due to the lack of protection or belays. The 600m route was TD-/TD to the summit ridge, well left of the highest point. From here they descended the southwest ridge and regained camp after a 14-hour day. On the same day Reilly and Walmsley climbed the objectively safer southeast buttress (800m, D+). They followed a pronounced spur on the right side of the face, which, apart from a rock buttress, was mainly snow and ice (70° max). Below the crux chimney they found an ancient peg and assume the previous climbers completed the line to the summit. From the top Reilly and Walmsley descended the southwest ridge. Two days later Reilly and Schofield climbed the southwest gully on the left side of the face (500m, D-/D, generally Scottish 2 but with rock sections, the hardest IV+/V on good granite). The group then moved north to the Cololo area, where they established base camp in the Kotani Valley east of Cololo (5,916m). The highlight was a new, though incomplete, line on the south face of Kotani North (ca 5,350m), the central summit on the valley rim northwest of Kotani Lake. This group of peaks forms the eastern extension of Cololo’s northeast ridge, which is characterized by steep rock walls capped by a broad serac barrier. On August 1 Reilly and Schofield climbed a thin, right-slanting icefall for 480m, to below the serac cap. There were at least four pitches of sustained Scottish 4 and 5, plus short sections of 2/3 and rock to IV+. The approach to the route is seriously threatened by collapsing seracs down a more major gully system to the left. On reaching the seracs they could see no easy way through and, as the day was getting late, decided to rappel the line of ascent using Abalakovs. They thought the climb to their high point (more than 200m below the summit) to be TD (90°). Lindsay Griffin, Mountain INFO, CLIMB magazine


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Peru CORDILLERA BLANCA Caraz II, Australian Route and Salida Directa de Los Gordos. Early season snowfalls in the Cordillera Blanca created unstable conditions in the mountains. Most of the “action” was taking place in the bars of Huaraz. Undeterred, two small teams set off for the Laguna Parón area, hoping to find something not covered in snow. From the summit of Pisco the French team of Damien Astoul, Mathieu Detrie, Gaspard Petiot, and Basile Petiot spied the east face of Caraz II, shining in the morning sunlight. The Australian team of Matt Scholes and Ant Morgan caught the same vision on their way to the Artesonraju moraine camp. The east face has three prominent couloirs, offering initial steep climbing, finishing at the overhanging summit headwall. On July 21 the French team left their high camp on the heavily crevassed glacier, breaking a trail through knee-deep snow on their way to the left-hand couloir, which is directly below the summit. They encountered fantastic ice conditions on the lower pitches (90°), and continued up easier ice and snow, arriving at the headwall at dusk. The four spent the night in a small tent with a stove and two sleeping bags. The next morning Basile led the loose, overhanging crux first pitch of the headwall (6a A2), having to clear large blocks. They again encountered loose rock on the next two pitches, before climbing unconsolidated snow to the summit. [This describes a complete and slightly more direct finish to the 1997 Superduper Couloir route/ attempt. From the top of the couloir the ’97 team traversed, before climbing the left-hand margin of the headwall, continued along the ridge, but did not summit. The photo in the AAJ 2002, p. 299, mistakenly shows the ’97 route continuing directly up the headwall. The Caraz II photo presented here corrects this error and also shows the 2002 British variation/attempt, previously unreported in the AAJ, which also stopped short of the summit—Ed.] Eight rappels on two 100m ropes brought the Frenchmen safely back to their high camp. Superduper Couloir— Salida Directa de Los Gordos (700m, ED 6a A2 90°-95°ice). Leaving just after midnight on the 24th, the Australians took advantage of the Frenchmen’s trail on their way to the right-hand couloir. After crossing the ‘shrund, they encountered styrofoam snow and a single ice step (WI3) before moving left, about 350m up, out of the couloir onto the rib between the right and central couloirs. The next seven pitches ranged from beautiful rock and ice to the infamous Peruvian honeycomb snow. The Australians arrived at the summit headwall to find a 35m pitch of clean, solid rock guarding the final snow slopes. With no bivy gear but a promising forecast, they decided to continue up. The pitch had to be broken into two, due to a minimal rack. The first went at V+ (20m) and the second at A2. It was dark and windy by the time the Australians reached the summit slopes. They found a snow mushroom offering protection and settled down just under


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the summit. The next morning the pair climbed a short pitch to the summit, before rappelling the French route. Australian Route (720m, ED1 V+ A2 WI3). ANTHONY MORGAN, Australia Parón, Bartonellosis to summit mushroom. Owen Samuel, Mike Pescod, Tony Barton, and I set off up the Santa Cruz Valley on June 2, two days after arriving in Peru. We set up a camp at 4,700m on the moraine ridge below the northeast face of Artesonraju, in the Quebrada Arteson. After checking out both the unclimbed northwest face of Millishraju (5,500m) and the north face of Parón we decided on the latter because the former was a very complex, seracked face. We watched Parón for two days and saw two potential “ice” lines melt in the summer sun. We decided that our line would last, but it needed a night ascent to minimize falling rock and ice. On June 5 at 9 p.m. we set off for the base of the route, marked by a chim- Caraz II (6,020m), east face (sometimes mistakenly called the south or southeast face). Confusion has existed regarding the ney angling up and left. (Tony was not locations of the lines on the left. This photo corrects the error acclimatizing well, so it was just three of drawn into the finish of the Superduper Couloir as shown in the us.) The glacier was easy to cross, and AAJ 2002 (and incorrectly listed as 1998). The correct finish in the photo above has been verified by the original ascensionists. we started up the first chimney pitch (1) Northeast Ridge (Huber-Koch, 1955). (2) Fisher-Sheldrake(Samuel’s Cleft) before midnight. We Warfield, 1986 (no summit). (3) Superduper Couloir (Coullfound excellent ice, of about grade IV/V Kendrick-Morton, 1997) (no summit). (4) Jost-Mlinar (2001). (5) Barton-Carter-Winterbottom (2002) (no summit). (6) Salida Scottish, with occasional loose rock Directa de Los Gordos (Astoul-Detrie-Petiot-Petiot, 2004). steps. Above the chimney easier-angled (7) Australian Route (Morgan-Scholes, 2004). Matt Scholes snow slopes traversed back right, then a rocky groove led into another left-slanting ice chimney. Daybreak brought us to the final funnel directly under the summit. We completed the 10-pitch ascent at 10:30 a.m., just below the final summit snow mushroom, which we did not attempt due to the conditions. We abseiled the west face to the Parón Glacier, traversed through interesting seracked terrain, and ascended back to the Artesonraju col and an easy descent to camp, where we arrived 20 hours after leaving. We named the 400m, TD+ route after a disease which is transmitted by a sand fly common high in the Peruvian Andes. We were paranoid that its bites might be infecting us. Tony Barton was the impetus behind us being in this valley climbing this route. He has spent several summers in Peru, checking out potential new routes. NICK CARTER, United Kingdom


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The popular east face of La Esfinge, showing the 2004 Killa Quillay route. Over a dozen routes exist on this face. Antonio Gómez-Bohórquez

La Esfinge, Killa Quillay and variation. From July 24-31, Spanish climbers Ángel Olmos, Antonio L. Liria, and José M. Cancho climbed the east face via a new 17-pitch route, Killa Quillay (700m, VI 6b+ A2), located between Cruz del Sur (Bole-Karo, 2000) and the Original Route (Bohórquez-García, 1985). Killa Quillay was repeated (date unknown) by Basque Aritz Labiano and Belgian Michael le Comte, with a leftward deviation on the upper portion, toward Volverás a mí (Polanco-Olivera-Madrid-de la Cal, 1987), before reuniting with Killa Quillay. ANTONIO GÓMEZ-BOHÓRQUEZ, Spain Yanawaca, attempt. Last May two Mexican friends, Carlos Bazua Morales and Emiliano Villanueva Rabotnikof, and I traveled to the Cordillera Blanca with the idea of opening a new route on the wall known as Yanawaka (also called Peña Negra, ca 4,900m). From Huaraz, we traveled by truck to the Quebrada de Parón. Once there we took two days to explore and study the wall. Our base camp was under a big boulder in the moraine on the approach to the wall, about 15 minutes from the northwest face. After deciding where to start, we fixed three ropes and pulled the two “pigs” to the third belay. We then rested, because two members had the flu. Five days later, on June 1, we returned, jugged the three pitches, opened pitch four, and bivouacked. The next day we opened only one more pitch, and on the following day two more pitches in excellent, vertical granite cracks, with both free and aid climbing. Our fourth day back on the wall started with easy face climbing to a ridge and finished with pitch nine in an excellent dihedral. Day five brought exposed free climbing on the ridge, face climbing into a dihedral, and a long pitch 12. We continued up 4th class terrain between trees and continued on class 2 terrain. On day six we hiked up more class 2 to the 13th belay, then climbed a dirty crack to an old, dry


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tree. Pitch 15 involved a 5.7 hand crack that got us to the top of the big pillar at 4,408m. We had climbed 735m (VI 5.10 A2) but decided to descend. Two of us had strong coughs, and we had only two days more of food and water. We bivouacked at pitch 13 and on day seven began rappelling at 11 a.m., reaching the base at 9 p.m. The next day we left the beautiful Quebrada de Parón. Another 600m of unclimbed vertical rock remains below the top of the wall. We estimate five more days of climbing, and another two to descend. LUIS CARLOS GARCÍA AYALA, Mexico

The attempt on Yanawaka (also called Peña Negra, ca 4,900m) in the Quebrada de Parón. The 600m wall above is still virgin. Carlos Garcia

Pisco Este, south face to summit ridge. In mid-June I went to the East Peak of Pisco via Laguna 69 and a faint trail up the left side of the moraine. After reaching a high point, the trail descends steeply for 100m to a tiny pond, where I put up my tent, at the only possible place in the area. I followed a line to the right of the face as seen from the glacier, where the glacier was not very crevassed or complicated (and the crevasses were clearly visible). Reaching the face wasn’t difficult except for the last bit, where I had to cross snow bridges across large crevasses which, as far as I could see, sliced the glacier beneath the whole south face. The face, which is perhaps 300-350m high, provided all kinds of snow conditions. In the lower part I climbed 50-60° snow, before entering a narrow gully right of an evident rock spur. To enter it, however, I had to climb a 3-4m mixed section of 80° M4. There was then good ice and hard snow up to 70°, but mostly around 60°-65°, until the route enters a small bowl with 55° powder. The final mixed wall, though less than 100m, presented difficulties much harder than anything else on the route. First it was rock (80° M5), reasonably solid with many cracks and features, then a serac with short sections of 90°, and finally a longer 80° section that finished on the ridge to the left of, and some 10m below, the summit. I reached the summit ridge at 11 a.m. I did not climb to the summit, which was overhanging ice and snow. The route is exposed to objective danger, as everything falling from the summit is funneled into the gully, but during the climb nothing came down. To descend I downclimbed and rappelled, from Abalakovs, in a gully down the short north face to the glacier, until I could easily traverse down to the little col between Pisco West and East. There I placed a piton and made eight rappels (using a single 45m rope) to the south, from slings around rocks and a few Abalakov threads. But it’s mainly a rock wall, of perhaps 150m, and more pitons would be preferable. I traversed the glacier beneath the south face to my starting point. ADAM KOVACS, Sweden


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Chacraraju Oeste (6,112m), north face. (1) Terray et al (Davaille-Gaudin-Jenny-Martin-Sennelier-Souriac-Terray, 1956). (2) The Lord of the Towers (El Se単or de las Torres, Monasterio-Kovac-Kozjek, 2004) ends at junction with original Terray route (1956) on ridge, at middle summit. (3) Hapala-Husicka (exact line unknown, 1986). (4) Ortenburger et al (Abrons-Doody-Frost-Ortenburger, 1964). Pavle Kozjek

Chacraraju Oeste, The Lord of the Towers, to middle summit. On July 8 and 9 Marjan Kovac and I (both from Slovenia) and Aritza Monasterio (Basque, living in Huaraz) opened a new route, The Lord of the Towers (ED+) on Chacraraju Oeste (6,112m), north face, in a lightweight single-day-andnight push from tent to tent. We started from Huaraz on July 5 and established a base camp in the Paria Valley on the east side of the Cordillera Blanca. There we spent another day in bad weather, exploring the complicated approach to the north face of Chacraraju. The upper part of the Paria Valley is surrounded by glacial walls and exposed to seracs from the Chacraraju icefield. The approach to the wall, on July 7, took nine hours. We had to climb difficult, mossy rocks, find a way across water gullies below an icefield, and finally hurry through the icefield by the only possible line, which lay below serac towers. The weather deteriorated, and we found a place for the tent during a snow storm in the evening. Nice weather the next

The 10-meter ice wall leading to the ridge on The Lord of the Towers, Chacraraju Oeste. Pavle Kozjek


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day surprised us. At 8 a.m. we began climbing a direct line on the buttress on the left side of the face. We found old pitons and ropes on the first pitches. After four pitches of excellent rock climbing (6a A1) we traversed right to the icefield. Conditions there were mostly bad (wet new snow) until the wall became steeper, but then the first ice gully ended in overhanging mushrooms. With another traverse we reached another gully, and after 10m of vertical icefall we reached mixed ground (M4-5) on the ridge. By then it was night, and we climbed with headlamps. The last rock barrier appeared to be overhanging, with no weak points visible in the dark. With another traverse, to the left, we reached a vertical corner, which combined standard Andean powder, smooth rock, snow mushrooms, and poor protection. Reaching the top wasn’t technically the hardest part of the route, but was nevertheless the crux. On top there was no ice for an anchor, only deep powder. I prepared “something” with In the upper ice slopes of The Lord of the Towers, Chacraraju Oeste. Pavle Kozjek my axes. While my partners followed together, with one headlamp, Marjan slipped, pulling Aritza off. I had difficulty holding both without real protection, but after a few dramatic moments we stood on top at about 10 p.m. We rappeled immediately, having trouble with cold, dehydration, and jammed ropes. After a 24-hour push, by morning we were again below the north face and by midnight at our base camp. The next day we continued back to Huaraz. New route: The Lord of the Towers (El Señor de las Torres, 800m, ED+ 6a A1 AI6 55°70°(90° max)), follows the obvious buttress left of the main summit and reaches the original 1956 route on the ridge. It took 14 hours of climbing. We couldn’t find information about the old ropes at the beginning of the route. Other routes on this side: Terray et al (1956), Ortenburger et al (1964), Hapala-Husicka (1986). PAVLE KOZJEK, Slovenia Hualcán Peak 5,350m (Nevado Libron), east ridge, and Huichganga, south ridge. On July 10 Dave Sykes and I (both British) made what may be the first ascent of a peak that is in the vicinity of Hualcán. The peak is on the northeast ridge of Hualcán and, although unnamed to our knowledge, has the spot height of 5,350m. [This peak was reportedly climbed from the south in 1973, but unnamed. It seems possible, however, based on the geography, terrain, and the 1973 team’s report, that they may have climbed the next peak along the ridge to the east. If Peak 5,350m was previously unclimbed, Barton and Sykes have suggested the name Nevado Libron (Laguna Libron is below the peak) —Ed.]. I noticed this peak previously, when I was in the Quebrada Cancaracá Grande with an M.E.F.-sponsored expedition. However, we approached from the Quebrada Huichganga and


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climbed the mountain by its east ridge. An easy glacier led to the ridge and straightforward climbing to the foot of the difficulties. These consisted of five pitches of up to Scottish IV mixed (AD+). We gained the summit, though not a view, as we climbed in typically Scottish conditions of thick clouds and intermittent snowfall. We descended the south face. Four abseils and an easy traverse of the glacier put us back on our ascent route. It is perhaps worth noting that point 5,267m, named on some maps as Nevado Huichganga, appears to have been first climbed on June 25, 2002. Steve Head and Glen Stelzl climbed its south ridge at PD. I cannot find any more info regarding this part of the Blanca, despite a fair bit of digging. ANTHONY BARTON, United Kingdom Hatun Ulloc, Karma de Los Condores. On August 29 Wayne Crill and I completed a new route on the previously unclimbed 350m south face of Hatun Ulloc in the Quebrada Ishinca. Four large, impressive rock buttresses rise ominously from the forested slopes of the north side of the quebrada, guarding the entrance to the Ishinca Valley. Hatun Ulloc (Quechua for “Big Sprout”) is the third, tower-like buttress visible above the Huascarán National Park entrance station. The base of the face is at about 4,120m. We first viewed these impressive rock features en route to Ishinca base camp with Jeff Jackson in August 2003. The allure of a first ascent on steep, clean granite with abundant crack features and relatively minimal vegetation was all we needed to abandon our La Esfinge plans and spend the last days of our trip attempting the south face of Hatun Ulloc. Our 2003 efforts got us up 120m, our four pitches of 5.9+ to 5.11 including classic hands, fingers, steep dihedrals, and deep chimneys and bringing us to a vegetated ledge. We returned in late August 2004 with Jeff Jackson and Jon Herrera from Austin, Texas. After fixing lines to the vegetated ledge, we spent four days aiding and cleaning, before Jeff and Jon returned to the States. With half the manpower and time running out, we recruited a Huaracino [Huaraz local] and Casa de Guia aspirant named Oscar Negreiros Cerna. Our new team continued from our existing highpoint, three pitches above the ledge. We started each day before dawn, to catch the two hours of sun before being hampered by the frigid, gale-force winds that raged almost daily. We initially aided the

The Karma de Los Condores route on Hatun Ulloc. Kevin Gallagher


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upper pitches, then cleaned loose rock, dangerous chockstones, and steel-wool-like vegetation, leaving beautiful splitter cracks. On August 29 we reached the flat sidewalk-like summit of the face after six long pitches on the upper headwall, leaving us one day for attempting the entire route in a single push. Free climbing attempts ground to a halt on pitch six, the “Roofer Madness” pitch. We will return early in 2005 to complete a free ascent of this route, which we believe could become a popular classic. We named the route Karma de los Condores because of the Andean condors that regularly flew by and inspired our ascent. Route Description: Karma de los Condores (350m, IV 5.11 A2+). Three pitches ascend to the ledge: one of two alternate 5.9+ starting pitches, a beautiful continuous 5.11 pitch, and a 9+ chimney/tunneling pitch. Six more pitches reach the top of the face. The first two pitches above the ledge climb steep face and cracks, at 5.10+, to “Roofer Madness.” This pitch will probably go free at hard 5.11. The final three pitches were A2+ and have yet to be freed, but appear to be in the 5.11 range. KEVIN GALLAGHER, Eldorado Springs, Colorado

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Wayne Crill on the Karma de Los Condores route on Hatun Ulloc. Oscar Negreiros Cerna

Oschapalca, new route and various activity. After acclimatizing by guiding the Normal Route (PD) on Pisco (5,752m), the North Ridge (AD-) of Vallunaraju (5,686m), and the Normal Route (PD+/AD-) to the north summit (6,664m) of Huascarán, Chilean climber Andrés Zegers teamed up with German partner David Bruder to make the first ascent of the Northwest Face (TD) of Oschapalca (5,881m). The new line follows an ice runnel and involves 10 pitches of ice up to 65° and three mixed sections. The crux was the last, vertical, soft-snow wall, which they negotiated by digging through a cornice. The route was established alpine-style in an 11-hour round trip from moraine camp at about 4,800 meters. Andrés and David then established a new speed record for the east face of La Esfinge (5,327m), climbing the 1985 Normal Route (750m) all free and onsight in 3:57. The previous record for the route had been a few minutes under seven hours. Although the route was originally rated 5.11+, Andrés felt the grade rather easy by Yosemite standards and suggests 5.10+. The ascents of Oschapalca, La Esfinge and Huascarán were made in one week in late July. The team still had energy to go for a speed ascent of El Escudo (D+), a direct route to the South Summit (6,768m) of Huascarán. They started from the village of Musho (3,050m) and went for the summit in a long, super-fast single push that lasted for 14:30, during which they


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climbed more than 3,600 meters of ice and hard snow up to 60°. The round trip time from Musho was 23:57 (they lost a couple of hours searching for a spot to pass the rimaye on the descent), which makes this the first one-day ascent of El Escudo. Reported by Andrés Zegers to Jose Ignacio Morales for Escalando Reprinted from Alpinist magazine, www.alpinist.com

Jangyaraju, south face. As part of a program for aspirant guides run by the Mountain Guide Association of Peru (AGMP), a 400m route was established on the south face of Jangyaraju (5,675m) on October 20, 2003. The route ascends the right-side of the hanging glacier in the center of the face, continuing up on an ice runnel that begins on the top-right margin of the hanging glacier. This runnel angles back left, joining the runnel that rises from the center of the hanging glacier. The route then traverses left along the summit cornices. The first ascent was made by Aritza Monasterio, Peter Alvarado, and Darwin The AGMP Route on the south face of Jangyaraju. Richard Hidalgo Jamamca. Beto Toledo, Paolo Zaconet, Pedro Huaman, and Joseli Callupe then repeated the route, rated TD+ (50º-65º [90º max]). Information supplied by RICHARD HIDALGO

Huamashraju, various routes. Huamashraju (a.k.a. Wamashraju 5,434m) is located southeast of Huaraz, just above the village of Janku. On its west face there is a vertical 200m wall, the base of which is at around 5,000m. The wall reaches a summit ridge that is 4th class rock and snow. While the peak’s ridges and snow routes have seen climbers for several decades, rock climbing on the steep west face has not been documented until recently. The first reported climb of the face was by Ken Sims and Maura Hanning in 1998. The pair climbed two routes, the MK Route (III 5.9) and the Sims-Hanning Route (IV 5.9+). The Sims-Hanning takes a line up the middle of the wall. The MK Route is farther left, taking the obvious line just left of the large roof system that is left of the Sims-Hanning Route. It is right of the Sims-Jackson Route (described below). Sims reports that the SimsHanning is the best route, with long, clean cracks and a short offwidth midway up. After reaching the top of the west face, Sims and Hanning climbed to the summit

Huamashraju, west face: (1) Thai Express, 2000. (2): Sims-Jackson Route, 2000. (3) MK Route, 1998. (4) Sims-Hanning Route, 1998. (4') Sohn-Barlow Variation, 2004. Ken Sims


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along the face’s northern skyline ridge. They then descended this ridge until about half-way down, at which point they rappelled into the gully on the back side of the face. They followed the gully to an obvious notch in the north ridge; the notch led around to the bottom of the west face. They do not recommended this gully, as it is steep and loose, with lots of rock fall potential; Sims has subsequently been descending by the north ridge. In 2000 Sims returned to Huamashraju with Dennis Jackson. They climbed two routes on the left side of the wall (Thai Express, farthest left, and the Sims-Jackson), both being 5.75.9 and finishing at the obvious notch left of the MK Route. On the former they were accompanied by Naresuan Butthuam, the owner of a Thai restaurant in Huaraz. Sims and Jackson also completed several climbs on the shorter walls on the left side of the cirque seen during the approach to the west face. These one- and two-pitch climbs, on a rock feature that resembles a ship’s prow, include a superb 5.9+ finger-to-hand crack up the prominent arête. In June 2004 Brian Sohn and Chris Barlow climbed a line up the middle of the wall, closely following the Sims-Hanning Route but moving left on a sloping ledge, below the short, steep dihedral that leads to the obvious offwidth of the Sims-Hanning Route. They took a slightly easier pitch to a lower point on the summit ridge (Sohn-Barlow Variation). Sohn and Barlow also climbed the north ridge to the summit. They then descended directly down the middle of the west face, rappelling most of face in the dark and leaving much of their rack. Sohn and Barlow subsequently reclimbed the wall and established a rappel route down the west face. This rappel route is to the south of the Sims-Hanning Route, beginning at the wall’s highest point (bolt and sling anchor), and involves four double-rope rappels down corners. Some traversing on ledges is required to reach anchors. (The rappel-route topo is available at Zarela’s hostel in Huaraz). KEN SIMS and CHRIS BARLOW, AAC Cordillera Blanca, other information. New route activity was below normal in 2004, presumably because of atypical unsettled weather and conditions. The following information supplements the new routes individually reported above. On the south face of Chacraraju Este (6,001m) Nick Bullock (U.K.) and Adam Kovacs (Sweden) established a new finish to the Jaeger Route. They climbed most of the route unroped, belaying only their three-pitch variation, which continues straight up to the ridge (but without reaching the summit) where the Jaeger route traverses right. This variation parallels the 1984 Peruvian-Spanish line, exiting to the next point right on the summit ridge The three difficult and poorly-protected (especially considering their anemic rack) pitches rated Scottish VI,7; VI,6; V,5—the first two mixed and the third on poor ice and snow. The pair descended their line, reaching camp 20 hours after starting. The ever-popular rock walls of La Esfinge (5,325m) saw numerous ascents, mostly of the Original Route (Bohórquez-García, 1985). There was, however, one new route and variation (see report, above). Also, Welcome to the Slabs of Koricancha (V 5.13b, Beranek-LinekStaruch, 2003), surely the hardest free climb on Esfinge, received its second ascent. Americans Steve Schneider, Heather Baer, and 14 year-old (no, not a typo) Scott Cory climbed the route in two days in August, with Schneider leading (and on-sighting) all but one pitch—Cory led (redpoint) the 5.12a eighth pitch, and followed all but one (5.12a pitch seven) of the others clean.


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Alpamayo in 2004: (1) Canal Central. (2) Ferrari. Koky Castañeda/File A. G. Bohórquez

In the Ishinca Valley, in addition to the climbers on Hatun Ulloc (see report above), a French team is rumored to have been active nearby. A Basque team was active as well, but details of their rotues are not available. There were also rumors of two climbers establishing a possible new route on the northeast face of Huandoy Sur, but again details could not be obtained. Given the spectrum of climbers visiting the Cordillera Blanca, from a variety of countries and speaking many languages, complete new-route information proves difficult to obtain. Climbers assuming they’ve climbed a new route should research their route’s history as thoroughly as possible. Information regarding the correct naming and history of popular routes on the southwest face of Alpamayo (5,947m), based on original-account research, has been provided by noted Cordillera Blanca researcher and historian Antonio Gómez Bohórquez (author of the authoritative 2003 book Cordillera Blanca, Escaladas, Parte Norte ISBN 84-607-7937-8). What is often called the Ferrari Route is actually the Central Couloir (Canal Central); the first recorded ascent was made in 1983 by R. Renaud, his client Susana, J. Gálvez, and Bohórquez. It’s possible that this route was actually first climbed in 1979 by R. Rield and R. Pöltner. Regardless, the true Ferrari Route is two couloirs right of the Central Couloir and is more difficult, longer, and changed significantly in 1995 after a massive collapse of the lower portion. It follows the couloir almost directly below the summit, beginning from the low point of the bergschrund, and is what has been called the French Couloir or French Direct (based on Nicolas Jaeger’s 1977 second ascent; Frenchmen Beriol and Lay were killed there by serac fall in 1980) and erroneously believed to be different from the Ferrari Route. Credit for the first ascent has been attributed to North Americans W.A. Barker and S. Connolly, but actually belongs to C. Ferrari, P. Negri, A. Zioa, D. Borgonovo, P. Castelnovo, and S. Liati, in 1975. Two fatalities in the Blanca in 2004 were reported. Matej Mosnik died after a 30m crevasse fall on Copa Norte on July 14. Peruvian guide Eder Sabino Cacha was killed in an avalanche while skiing the lower portion of Tocllaraju’s normal, western slope, route on June 10. Compiled primarily with information from ANTONIO GÓMEZ BOHÓRQUEZ and RICHARD HIDALGO


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CORDILLERA HUAYHUASH Siula Chico, A Scream of Silence, to summit ridge. Our five-member Slovene expedition to the Cordillera Huayhuash had plans for a direct line on the southeast face of Jirishanca and a new line on the southeast face of Siula Chico. However, two members had health problems, so only three of us were active. We set up base camp Lake Carhuacocha, reached from Queropalca. My brother Anze, Ziga Ster, and I, on July 25, climbed to the middle of Jirishanca’s southeast face, but turned back because the wall was too difficult and objectively dangerous, and the weather was bad. Siulas Chico and Grande: (1) Northeast Ridge of Siula Chico and [Their direct attempt shared a com- South Ridge of Siula Grande (Obster-Scholz-Sturm, 1966); the first climbed Grande’s North Ridge (first climbed in 1936, mon start with Fear and Loathing ascensionists not visible in this image), descended into the Grande-Chico col, (see photo AAJ 2004, p. 48), but made the FA of Chico, returned to the col and again climbed after continuing left above the entry Grande. (2) A Scream of Silence (Marence-Marence, 2004) (no sum(3) Southern Discomfort (Burbee-Frimer-van der Spek, 2001) couloir (where F&L goes right), mit). (no summit). (4) Southeast Spur (Baehler-Défago-Schaffter, 1981). they climbed ice and mixed terrain trending back right, above and parallel to the 2003 line, to the base of the major (unclimbed) square rock headwall in the center of the face. They climbed along the right edge of the headwall, retreating from just above its half-height—Ed.] Four days later we approached the southeast face of Siula Chico in eight hours of glacier walking and climbing. We pitched a tent and spent a day watching the wall. The direct line on Siula Chico had too little snow, so we decided to try a gully between Siula Chico and Siula Grande. We had time for only a quick ascent. The next day, August 1, at 3 a.m. my brother and I started up the wall, while Ziga stayed in the tent, not feeling well. We took only one rucksack, with equipment for only one day. At the beginning we had problems with deep snow, but on the steeper part of the line conditions were good. The key was the wall’s 200m central part, with steep icefall climbing (70°-90°). The upper part, a nice couloir, brought us to a saddle between Siulas Grande and Chico. We then climbed for 11 hours. We tried to cross to Siula Chico, but the ridge was too dangerous and difficult. After gaining 50m in two hours, we turned around. At 8 p.m. we were again at the tent, 19 hours after leaving. The route’s 14 pitches are all ice and snow. Conditions were mostly good, except for the first pitch (deep snow) and the last pitch of the central part (bad ice mixed with empty snow). The route is composed of three parts: a 200m snowfield (60°-70°), a 200m icefall (70°-90°) and a 200m couloir (65°-85°). We named the route, A Scream of Silence (5+/VI, 60°-90°, 600m), a memorial route for our good friend Matej Mosnik who died on Copa in the Cordillera Blanca in July. TINE MARENCE, Slovenia


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Nevado Llongote (5,781m), south face: (1) Possible route of the 1963 Spanish first ascent. (2) Los Pecados se Rien! (Auvet-Clouet-Drouet-Villecourt, 2002) (did not continue to summit). (3) Longue, Haute, et Magnifico (Clouet-Drouet, 2002). (4) Lima-Limon (Hidalgo-Mejia, 2004). (5) Hidalgo-Mejia’s 2004 descent route. (6) I-Célines [East Ridge] (Auvet-Villecourt, 2002). Photo and route lines from Richard Hidalgo

CORDILLERA CENTRAL Nevado Llongote, Lima-Limon. The day after setting up base camp by Laguna Llongote in the Zona Yauyos, Guillermo Meija and I checked the approach to our intended route, an ice line directly up the south face to the summit of Llongote (5,781m), and carried gear to the glacier. On October 16 we started at midnight and reached the glacier in three hours. The first part of the route was easy slopes to the first icefall (good ice, 70°- 80°).We climbed together to more icefalls (80°), which led to the key ice wall. The condition of the ice was good, with steps of 90° and 95°. Above, deep, bad snow slopes (65°-70°) proved difficult and dangerous, but we gained the summit at 6 p.m. We started to rappel the southeast face (between our route and the 2002 French route on the east ridge), but could not continue due to rockfall. We bivouacked 100m below the summit. The next day we continued rappelling and arrived at base camp at 4:30 p.m. It’s a very nice route (Lima-Limon, 600m, ED 70°-80° {95° max}) but might be better earlier in the season. RICHARD HIDALGO, Peru

CORDILLERA VILCANOTA Various ascents. Our expedition included Stanko Mihev, Franc and Janeta Pusnik, Samo Rupreht, Matjaz Prislan, Marko Anzelak, Igor Plesivcnik, Peter Naglia, Peter Jeromel, and me as leader. We started from Malma on June 30, with 20 horses for the 15km trek to our 4,625m base camp. On July 4 we established ABC at 5,050m, on a glacier below the south face of Colque Cruz and Jatunriti. On July 8 we attempted Nevado Carhuaco Puncu, one group from the northwest, another group from the south side. Mihev, the Pusniks, Rupreht, Anzelak, and Naglia made an ascent from the northwest of a 5,525m sub-peak of Carhuaco Puncu that we think was unclimbed and


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Map of the Vilcanota Range by Martin Gamache, Alpine Mapping Guild

we called it Slovenski Turn. Jeromel,Prislan, Plesivcnik, and I reached 5,450m on the ridge below Nevado Carhuaco Puncu from the west side. On July 10 Mihev, Pusnik, Rupreht, Prislan, Jeromel, and I went to ABC to climb Jatunriti. The next day we bivouacked at 5,450m on a glacier, in a lot of powdery snow. On July 12 we reached Shoe Col (5,775m), from which Mihev and I, and Pusnik and Prislan, climbed the northeast side of Jatunriti. We reached the top at 2 p.m. The final 250m were ice and snow averaging 50°70°, with a maximum of 80°. We called the route, “Nauci se Loviti Sanje” (Aprende a Atrapar Los Sueños). We rappelled the route. The Slovenski Turn (Slovene Tower), as named and perhaps The same day, alone, Peter first climbed by the Slovene team in 2004. Boris Santner Jeromelj climbed a new route on the southeast face of Nevado Jatuncampa (5,700m). He named the route Anina Smer, rating it II/III (UIAA rock) with snow and ice to 45°(avg)/70°(max).


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T H E A M E R I C A N A L P I N E J O U R N A L , 2005 On July 13 Anzelak and Naglia made an ascent, from the north side, of Nevado Mullucocha (5,400m). On July 16 we cleaned up base camp and left. BORIS SANTNER, Alpinisticni klub Ravne, Slovenia

Various ascents. The Anglo-Scottish Vilcanota Expedition 2004 had as its primary objective the south face of Colque Cruz 1 (6,102m). Our leader, Dave Wilkinson, had made two earlier expeditions to the Vilcanota, The Nauci se Loviti Sanje (Slovenian) route on Jatunriti. Boris Santner in the 1980s, but we were unaware of the attempt by Peter Carse and Amy Bullard (AAJ 2004, pp. 293-294). We arrived at the idyllic base camp (4,600m) on July 14 after an easy two-day walk from Tinqui. There is a good track on the right, when ascending, of the large glacier on the south side of the Colque Cruz peaks, which enabled us to put a temporary camp nearer our objective. After a tedious crossing of the moraine-covered glacier we found a surprisingly easy, and apparently safe, icy corridor, close to the rocky buttresses of Nevado Ichu Ananta, giving access to a glacier bay under the south face of Colque Cruz I. Unfortunately this glacier had a deep cover of unstable new soft snow. We climbed to the col between Colque Cruz I and Ichu Ananta (5,720m) but concluded that the south face of Colque Cruz I was not in a climbable condition. Accordingly, on July 23, we climbed Ichu Ananta from the col, by a short face and an easy mixed ridge to a splendid viewpoint. After a rest at base camp we split into two parties. D es Rubens and Steve Kennedy ascended a very fine mixed rock and snow ridge (the “Scottish Ridge�) rising from near base camp to the west peak (ca 5,650m) of Kiru (5,720m). They bivouacked a little above the top of the rock section (about 400m of Scottish Grade II climbing). The following day, July 29, they climbed the complex snowy section of the ridge, which sported a variety of typically Andean formations: huge mushrooms, massive icicles, and bottomless voids. This section included pitches of Scottish Grade V. They reached a broad and almost horizontal ridge near the summit, but the snow was waist deep, so they descended before reaching the summit. Meanwhile, Dave Wilkinson and I ascended the glacier between the Cayangate and Jatunhuma groups and turned left up the glacier between Nevado Ninaparaco and Jatuncampa. We pitched camp at about 5,100m, above the lower icefall of this glacier. The next day, July 29, we crossed to below the north face of Ninaparaco and ascended it by a line we had spotted the previous day. The summit we reached (ca 5,930m) is a subsidiary summit of Jatunhuma (also known as Pico Tres), about 1 km northeast of the main summit. The route involved an initial deviation east and back west to get onto a glacier shelf below the main face, then a climb of about 150m up ice spattered with large quantities of debris from seracs above. To escape the line of fire we moved left across a mixed rock and ice section to reach a broad snowfield that


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The “Scottish Ridge,” indicated by the line drawn on Peak ca 5,650m along the Colque Cruz ridge. Desmond Rubens

narrows to a gully near the summit. The snow was composed of “steps” of the nieves penitentes type, making the climbing easier than it would otherwise have been at this angle. We reached the summit late in the afternoon and were benighted on the descent, spending a cold, uncomfortable night at about 5,700m. However, after a slow descent we regained base camp with no further dramas. As far as we know all three climbs were first ascents. The expedition was very professionally supported by Cusco agents Atalante Quechua (operaciones@atalantequechua.com), whom we strongly recommended to anyone wishing to climb in Peru. GEOFF COHEN, Scottish Mountaineering Club


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Bolivia CORDILLERA APOLOBAMBA Cololo (5,915m); Chaupi Orco northern summit (6,000m); Katantica Central (5,610m); new routes and repeats. During July resident French guide Alain Mesili and visiting Brazilian guide Waldemar Niclevicz spent almost two weeks climbing several routes in this partially explored range in northern Bolivia, straddling the Peruvian border. Mesili and Niclevicz climbed a possible new route on the northeast face of the striking pyramid, Cololo, at 5,915m the second highest peak in the Apolobamba. Approaching via Kotani Lake (4,760m) to the east, then following the glaciers below Khala Phusi (5,465m), they reached the bottom of the virgin east face (unsuccessfully attempted by a British party in 1997), where a 250m-high couloir separates the face from the northeast ridge. This line gave good climbing over névé, soft snow, and ice up to 70°. It was graded Alpine D+. Cololo (aka Ccachura) lies roughly in the center of the range but south of the Pelechuco road that divides the Apolobamba into its northern and southern sectors. It was first climbed in 1957 by a team from the German Alpine Club, via a circuitous route involving the south face and part of the west ridge. The West Ridge itself (D), perhaps the finest route on the mountain, was first climbed in 1988 by David Hick and Michael Smith (UK), while the rocky North Ridge (D- III, 65°) fell to Pam Holt, David Tyson, and David Woodcock the following year. Mesili and Niclevicz repeated an existing route on the east face of Chaupi Orco’s northern summit (6,000m). They encountered dangerous conditions, with a thin film of névé over deep wind-blown snow. This route lies to the right of the Central Couloir, climbed in August 1995 by a team of young Germans led by Alexander Ritzer, and was rated AD AI 2. Mesili also reports that the Normal Route up the East Ridge of Chaupi Orco (6,044m), the highest peak of the Apolobamba, is almost impossible to reach, as the approach via the northern flank is over rotten ice and is threatened by unstable seracs. The Chaupi Orco Massif, which straddles the Peru-Bolivian border, is geographically complex and has traditionally led to parties confusing the north and main summits, resulting in ambiguous route descriptions, orientations, and ascents. The first ascent of the main summit (via the East Ridge) was made in 1957, at AD, by the Germans Werner Karl, Hans Richter, and Hans Wimmer, during the first recorded mountaineering expedition to the Apolobamba. On Katantica Central (5,610m), which lies just north of the Pelechuco road in the northern Apolobamba, Mesili and Niclevicz repeated the Original 1968 German Route (Karl GrossDieter Hain), which involved easy climbing to a steep exit on the east-southeast face. They also climbed the West Ridge (Brain-Flood-Wiggin, 1997; AD+, 65°). LINDSAY GRIFFIN, Mountain INFO, CLIMB magazine


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CORDILLERA REAL Overview and new routes. During 2004 there were significantly fewer climbers in Bolivia than in previous years. Political instability may have contributed, as in September 2003 many visitors were stranded in the town of Sorata, in the northern Cordillera Real. Local Aymara protestors, angry at the government’s plan to privatize and export Bolivia’s rich gas reserves, blocked the access roads from the highland town of Achacachi to Sorata (140km northwest of La Paz). Visitors were stranded for up to two weeks, and finally when the Bolivian Army forcibly opened the road there were armed clashes with the protestors, and buses were shot at and stoned. Looting in Sorata and eviction of the authorities complicated a tense situation. Then in October popular protests in La Paz and the nearby city of El Alto left a toll of 80 to 100 deaths. The corrupt president, Gonzalo Sanchez de Losada, escaped to the US, and the vice president Carlos Mesa assumed the leadership. During the first few months of the year there were widespread road blocks and protests, and many embassies advised foreigners against visiting the country. The situation improved following a nationwide referendum on the July 18, which gave the government popular support. Furthermore, 2004 was a very dry year with the Bolivian Andes experiencing little precipitation during the monsoon months. The big mixed ice/rock walls were quite bare, exposed to rockfall, and often threatened by seracs. The weather, however, was predictably stable. I know of only one fatality, an Argentinean solo climber who slipped and fell several hundred meters on the country’s highest peak, Sajama (6,549m). A party of Australians managed to get lost on the country’s most popular and straightforward mountain, Huayna Potosi (6,088m), but were rescued. Several new routes were established by Bolivian-New Zealand guide and psychiatrist Erik Monasterio and New Zealand climber Mike Brown. Their MEF and New Zealand Alpine Clubsupported “Wiphala Expedition” spent mid-July to mid-August in the northern Cordillera Real. Monasterio and Brown acclimatized by climbing a new route on the subsidiary peak on the western side of the Illampu-Ancohuma Massif, south of the Laguna Glacier Base Camp. DAV Map Pt. 5,573m had one previous ascent, in 1991 via the long southwest rock ridge, Rebeldia de los Condores (Enz-Rauch, reported in High Mountain INFO July 1999). From the town of Sorata the pair took two days to reach a high camp at 4,700m. On July 23 at 6 a.m., without bivouac equipment and with only two liters of water, they set off and reached the base of the wall two hours later. The route started approximately 400m northeast of the Enz-Rauch Route and ascended directly up the west face. It ascended the left-hand (north) wall of an obvious gully. After the first pitch (60m), the pair was forced back into the gully, simul-climbing for 300m and again ascending the line of least resistance on the face to the left of the gully. By evening they had climbed 14 pitches and, still not within sight of the summit, were forced to sit out the night in temperatures down to -20C. Brown initially exhibited pronounced symptoms of altitude sickness, but he improved through the night. The next day they completed the route in four more pitches, merging onto the glacier west of Ancohuma. As the pair had not carried ice-climbing equipment, they were forced to cross 200m of glacier by cutting steps into the ice. They rappelled onto the moraine and descended to the Laguna Glaciar Base Camp (base camp for the normal route on Ancohuma). The route, named Aclimatizacion, was long, very cold, exposed, and dangerous, as it was threatened by frequent rockfall. It required eighteen 60m


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pitches, with a crux of 6a (French) rock and an overall American alpine grade of V (French TD). The hitherto unnamed peak was christened Pico Wiphala. The Wiphala is the multicoloured Inca Flag that symbolizes the wisdom of the wind and is carried by locals in their protests and search for justice and equality. On August 1, climbing from a high camp at ca 5,400m on the eastern aspect of the Illampu-Pico del Norte Massif, the pair attempted the southeast ridge of Pico del Norte (6,070m). Newly exposed unstable granite boulders on the ridge were extremely dangerous. Fear and a nostalgic attachment to life prevailed, and the attempt was abandoned after four pitches. The pair rappelled off the east face, before crossing a basin of thigh deep snow. On the same day they climbed a new route on the south face of Gorra de Hielo (5,760m). The 300m route followed an old avalanche gully and provided superb ice conditions. It was graded American alpine IV (French D+), AI4. Argentineans G. Minotti, M. Falconer, and L. Bromessard, who repeated the route a week later, confirmed the grade. From the same high camp at ca 5,400m, on August 3 they climbed an excellent three-pitch new route (F6b, 6a, 5), on the rock spires running east from Aguja Yacuma (6,072m). The route ascended the unclimbed east face of the first major tower south of the Mesili-Sanchez Pass, between Illampu and the Yacuma Group. The impressive rock peaks of PK 24, a.k.a. Punta Badile and Pico Emma Maria, lie east-northeast of Pico del Norte and Gorra del Hielo. There is some dispute as to the altitude and position of Pico Emma Maria; in Jill Neate’s book, Mountaineering In The Andes (Royal Geographical Soc., 2nd Edition 1994), it is wrongfully described as Point 5,715m (this is most likely Pico Esperanza), and on the DAV Map it is given an altitude of 5,531m. This obvious rock tower, clearly visible from the village of Cocoyo, had its first recorded ascent, via the southwest ridge, in August 1953 by the legendary climbers Hans Ertl and A. Hundhammer. In 1983 A. Mesili and C. Hutson added a second route, the East Buttress, a mixed route graded French TD. There have been, to the author’s knowledge, no other recorded ascents. On August 6 (Bolivia’s Day of Independence) Monasterio and Brown approached the peak, climbing directly up from the Cocoyo-Jahuira River (DAV Map) to establish a camp at the foot of the east face at ca 5,000m. The attempt nearly came to a premature end, as locals set fire to the grass fields directly beneath Pico Emma Maria. The valley became engulfed in thick, acrid smoke, and the pair stumbled blindly through the choking fumes to eventually find their base camp. On August 7 the smoke cleared, and the climbers struggled on with severe throat and eye irritations. The route ascended the southeast face, and the climbing was varied and sustained, over solid and compact granite of complex architecture, with roofs, dihedrals, and delicate corner systems, often choked with ice. Conditions deteriorated through the day, and by 2 p.m. the pair was caught in a snowstorm. They reached the summit in whiteout and stormy conditions at 5 p.m. Struggling with poor visibility and frozen ropes, the pair rappelled into the night, leaving pitons, wires, and slings. They finally reached camp at 11 p.m. The route (Humo e Independencia) was 500m long and required 11 sustained 60m pitches (max F6c, A0). ERIK MONASTERIO, Bolivia-New Zealand (with additional information from LINDSAY GRIFFIN, Mountain INFO, CLIMB magazine)


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CORDILLERA QUIMSA CRUZ New routes and information. A six-member British expedition organized by Sarah Griffin visited the Gigante Grande Group in June and July, establishing base camp at the northern end of Lake Larum Khota. From here they made eight ascents, two of which were possibly new. These were the West Face of Cerro Sofia (5,720m), the summit immediately north of Gigante Grande, by Matt Freear, Griffin, Tim Moss, and Ted Saunders, at AD+, and the South Face of a subsidiary peak immediately northeast of Torre Jihuna (5,740m) by Freear and Griffin. The former was a slope of wonderfully compact névé. The climbers separated on the summit, one descending the loose north ridge, the other the mostly snowy north face. The second new route proved the hardest of the expedition, climbing a 300m ice slope topped by steep deep snow, with a descent of the mixed rock/snow east ridge. The expedition visited four other summits in the valley, and the team notes that the new 1:50,000 color maps of the region (obtained from the Bolivia Insituto Geographico Militar in La Paz) are largely clear and reliable. Unfortunately, ascents in the Quimsa Cruz have been poorly documented, and a lot of climbing from the 1960s and ’70s was unrecorded. In addition numerous parties have recorded routes on mountains that they named themselves but not indicated the exact location. As Yossi Brain stated in his Bolivia climbing guide, “There is more confusion over names and heights in the Quimsa Cruz than in any other area in Bolivia.” For this reason Sarah Griffin has begun a long-term project to collate information on climbing in the region and is making a global appeal to the mountaineering community by setting up a website. Through this it should be possible for any climber to add pictures and information relating to ascents in the area. As the site grows it could become the point of reference for climbing in the Quimsa Cruz. Visit www.quimsacruz.info or write to sarah@ quimsacruz.info. LINDSAY GRIFFIN, Mountain INFO, CLIMB magazine


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Peru CORDILLERA BLANCA Nevado Pucahirca Norte I, The Power of Perspective. In August 1979 Jack Miller organized the first commercial trek from the village of Huilca, on the western slopes of the northern Cordillera Blanca, up the Quebrada Alpamayo and over the main divide separating the remote eastern Cordillera Blanca from the more inhabited western drainages. I was fortunate to be among Jack’s trekking guides on that circumnavigation of Alpamayo and the Pucahircas. During our forays to find the best route, we drove, coaxed, shoved, and dragged our unwilling burros over appalling passes. I’ll never forget the drizzly day we came over the final pass of the main divide and dropped into the Sajuna Lake valley. The Pucahirca peaks (in Quechua, “puca” means “red” and “hirca” means “mountain”) looming in the clouds were among the most impressive I’d seen—soaring walls split by huge faces and couloirs leading to jagged summit ridges. Twenty-four years later images of those isolated red walls propelled Thaddeus Josephson (Bozeman, Montana), Crista Lee Mitchell (Halifax, Nova Scotia), and me to explore from Sajuna Lake for routes up those faces. In mid-June 2003 the three of us hired burros, arrieros, and Huaraz-cook Alejandro Sainz to make the three and one-half day journey from Huilca to Laguna Sajuna. However, my health was poor, so we descended to Pomabamba village. A horrible 22-hour bus journey returned us to Huaraz, where my goal was to regain my health and strength. In mid-July, with my health improved, Thaddeus and I returned to Laguna Sajuna for a second look at the Pucahircas. Our journey to the lake was made more efficient by hiring a private vehicle to drive us to Pomabamba and a 4-wheel-drive van to follow a rough track to the shores of Sajuna, where we had set up camp a month earlier. We originally thought to make the complicated approach to the base of these faces by negotiating the dangerous icefall of the lower Pucahirca Glacier. However, we spotted a 200m gully of rotten rock Nevado Pucahirca Norte I, showing the only route on the face, The leading to a high notch in the ridge Power of Perspective. Carlos Buhler that comes down from Pucahirca


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Thaddeus Josephson negotiating steep ice on Nevado Pucahirca Norte I. Carlos Buhler

Norte II’s west face and encloses the Pucahirca Glacier. From the notch we saw it was possible to descend easily to the glacier on the opposite side and access Pucahirca Norte’s 1,000m west faces without setting foot in the icefall. (Due to the north-south crest of the Pucahirca Norte peaks, these “eastern” peaks of the Cordillera have flanks on Lake Sajuna that actually face west.) The next day we climbed the gully, traversed the upper Pucahirca Glacier to the base of the west face of Pucahirca Norte I, and climbed four ice pitches to the top of a small, safe, glacial-ice buttress at the base of the face. We spent our first bivy here, which was our last night in a tent. One hundred meters above us, blocking our route, sat an alarming, overhanging serac about 60m high but passable on the right. This was the first of three scary ice cliffs we had to deal with. Thaddeus writes: “The next morning we climbed through unconsolidated snow and poor ice threatened by the huge seracs looming above. This was a very unsettling activity for me, as this was my first “real” alpine route and first exposure to such uncontrollable objective dangers. When I reached the top of the next pitch I found Carlos sitting in a hole he had dug for himself; apparently this was the belay! Snow holes and serac falls? I began questioning the madness of these alpine endeavors.” We bivouacked in a crevasse on the face and continued climbing up gullies, past the second set of ice cliffs on our left. Thaddeus writes: “The next day we encountered some fine ice pitches with solid belays, allowing us to move quickly in more secure conditions. Over the next two days we climbed through everything from wind twisted ice bulges to fragile mixed ground.” We chopped out two additional bivouacs on the face before gaining Puca’s summit ridge. The crux was passing the large, ice-covered cliff at the top of the face. In an afternoon and the following day, we negotiated this obstacle on its right side. Two slow, technical leads on mixed rock and ice gave us access to the upper slopes. On the afternoon of day five, we were about 40 vertical meters under the summit when driving wind and snow prevented progress. We knew we were close, but could not go on.


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Thaddeus describes our situation: “With a dwindling food and fuel supply our concerns mounted when we were pinned in a whiteout for 18 hours, just below the summit. As we melted snow the following morning, the increasing light revealed that the storm had passed, and we were able to continue. We reached the summit of Pucahirca Norte I (6,047m) at 8:25 a.m. on July 27, mentally and physically exhausted, but proud of our accomplishment.” At first we believed we could descend the opposite side of Pucahirca, and therefore we wasted four hours exploring this possibility. But 200m down we found the glacier crumbling into a complex icefall and decided to drag ourselves back up to the summit slopes for plan B, descending our route. For the remainder of that day and all of the next we rappelled, using many Abalakov threads and buried stuff sacks filled with snow as anchors. On July 28 we reached BC to find our cook Mauro waiting patiently with a fabulous meal. We spent the next two days fishing in Lake Sajuna with hooks and line we’d bought in Huaraz and worms the locals dug up. When our vehicle and driver didn’t arrive, we made the arduous 40km hike to Pomabamba and soaked in the hot springs to relieve leg cramps. Thaddeus named the route The Power of Perspective (1,000m, TD+), in response to this game of alpine climbing. CARLOS BUHLER, AAC

Nevado Alpamayo, tragedies. Alpamayo (5,947m), once selected as the world’s most beautiful mountain, sees many ascents, but, in the last years, also many accidents. On July 21, 2003 an avalanche swept away a group 150m short of the summit ridge. Eight mountaineers (four Germans, two Israelis, an Argentine, and a Dutch) were killed, and others injured. The accident occurred on the Franco-Vasque Canal [“canal” is ice fluting] route on the southwest face. In June a Japanese climber died from high altitude illness, and in July 2002 three of eight members of a European team died in an avalanche. MARCELO SCANU, Argentina

Nevado Quitaraju, south face, clarification. The Bullock-Powell Route (AAJ 2002, p. 295-6) begins to the right of the Slovenian Route, but after continuing near that line for several pitches, diverges left to attain the arête very close to the summit. ANTONIO GÓMEZ BOHÓRQUEZ, Spain

La Esfinge, Welcome to the Slabs of Koricancha. On June 18, Slovaks Dusan Beranek, Rado Staruch, and I reached the top of La Esfinge (5,325m), having climbed a new route, Welcome to the Slabs of Koricancha (650m, 13 pitches, V 5.13b), via the largest slabs on the east face. We spent 10 days on this amazing granite tower in the Parón Valley and named the route in honor of the Incan sun temple in Cuzco. The route starts at 4,650m at the base of the east face, next to Ganxets Glacé (VI 5.9 A2, Ortuño-Salvadó, 1996). Ganxets Glacé leads to a ledge in the middle of the wall and continues to the right through an impressive chimney. Welcome To the Slabs connects with Ganxets Glacé at the ledge, via a direct line, and continues left and up through the slabs between two distinct black water streaks to the route Here Comes the Sun (VI 5.11 A3, Bigger-Regan, 2000). We first climbed the route using aid at 7b+ (5.12c) A1, but with an all-free line in our


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minds. We placed 29 bolts at belays and 68 on the pitches, using a power drill and delicate hooking. We fixed the route to the ledge in the middle of the wall and set up portaledges. From there we climbed three difficult slab pitches between the black water streaks and four easier pitches directly to the top of The Sphinx. On June 23 Dusan, belayed by me, succeeded in freeclimbing the route in one day in redpoint style. On June 25 and 26 Rado Staruch and I also climbed the route free, with Rado onsighting the crux sixth pitch (5.13b). VLADO LINEK, SLOVAKIA, adapted from Alpinist #5

La Esfinge, southeast face, The Furious Gods. On January 1, 2003 Jeff Beaulieu and Vincent Légaré, of Quebec, Canada, reached the summit of La Esfinge (The Sphinx) by a new route. The Furious Gods (La Colera de los Dioses) (800m, VII 5.10 A4) took 17 days to climb. They placed no bolts on the pitches but 19 at belays. In the topo they left in the Casa de Guías they wrote, “Lots of rockfall. Bring lots of heads and small pitons. Don’t forget a full double set of hooks.” They also wrote, “1st route on the South Face,” but their route is technically on the southeast face. Also, it is the second route on that face (in contrast to the extremely popular east face), with the existing route (ca 800m, UIAA-VI+ A4) established in August 1988 by Antonio Gómez Bohórquez and Iñaki San Vicente. Compiled with information from the CASA DE GUÍAS and ANTONIO GÓMEZ BOHÓRQUEZ, Spain

The southeast face of La Esfinge: (1) The Furious Gods (Beaulieu-Légaré, 2003), (2) Bohórquez–San Vicente (1988). Route lines and photo: Antonio Gómez Bohórquez, author of Cordillera Blanca, Escaladas (ISBN 84-607-7937-8)

La Esfinge, El Diente de la Esfinge. In March 2003 Boud Docter (Holland), Geoff Hall (Australia), and Dave Lucas (U.K.) established a five-pitch alternative start to Cruz del Sur. The variation starts to the right with a first-pitch 7a crux. It then slants up to join the parent route. The first three pitches of Cruz del Sur were also climbed onsight and found surprisingly reasonable. However, due to constantly unsettled weather, no routes were completed. LINDSAY GRIFFIN, High Mountain INFO

Chacraraju Este, En el Alto, el Viento sera Nuestra Recompensa, to summit ridge. Aymeric Clouet and I took two days to reach a camp under the face between the moraine and the glacier. This year the right moraine from Laguna 69 was the only safe access to routes on Chacraraju East


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(6,001m). The direct approach was threatened by big seracs. We pushed ahead to the bottom of the face to make a track through the new snow for the next morning. We were too excited and a bit anxious to get much sleep. We woke on August 15 at 12:30 a.m., left camp with a light rucksack with only climbing gear, water, food, and a jacket at 1 a.m., and began climbing the first ice-flute gully in the center of the south face around 3 a.m. In spindrift we quickly climbed steep snow slopes cut by a short icy wall. The sun lit the top cornices and the blowing snow when we reached the rock bastion. A cornice fell just behind us and ploughed the gully below—ouch! Afraid, lucky, and frozen by the wind, Aymeric led the first pitch, forced by thin, vertical ice to find protection in rock. The south face of Chacraraju Este: (1) Kochi-Tanaka, 1972 (no Above was an impressive wall, summit); (2) Arnow-Fowler-Mooz, 1988 (no summit); (3) Richey-Brewer, 1978; (4) Escolar-García-Silverio, 1984 (no steep and overhanging, with huge sta- summit); (5) Jaeger, 1978; (6) Kondo-Yoshino-Hayashilactites. Only one line seemed possible. Hashimoto-Manabe-Ishii, 1976; (7) Clouet-Jourdain, 2003. We crossed a few ice flutes on the right Route info from: Antonio Gómez Bohórquez. Photo courtesy: Brad Johnson, Classic Climbs in the Cordillera Blanca, to reach it. Two incredible mixed- www.peaksandplaces.com climbing pitches then drove us to a big, crazy ice spider! It was a climbing dream—ice-axe jamming, rock, firm snow…a few sparks…free…just pleasure. But as time was a consideration, I chose the more stable icicle on the right: one of the spider’s legs. A good choice: overhanging, but less overhanging than other options. At the belay Aymeric could hear my softer placements resonate. Night was falling, and Aymeric dropped his water bottle. In two pitches of steep ice flutes we reached enormous snow mushrooms, the arête, and an even stronger, icier wind. We followed the Japanese route (KondoYoshino, 1976) up the southeast ridge, with two old bolts so high on a slab that I had to jump to clip one. Since 1976 the snow level has decreased. In the cold we climbed one more pitch, hard mixed climbing that required me to take off my gloves. Frozen, we had no choice but to descend. The summit was 100m above, and the snow arête looked easier, but the wind was too much for our hands and feet. Then began a long descent, thirsty and bitter cold. During the day the wind never abated, and there was no sun on this southern hemisphere south face. We first abseiled on Japanese pitons and bolts, then on Abalakov threads, snow anchors, and two pitons. At 5 a.m. we arrived at camp, overly tired after 28 continuous hours but filled by our adventure and hot soup, even without the summit. En lo Alto, el Viento sera Nuestra Recompensa (“up high, the wind is your reward”) (700m, ED+ VI WI5+ M6) We climbed with the memory of three good friends: Arnaud Drouet, Marshal Musemeci, and François Dupety. DIDIER JOURDAIN, France


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Editor’s note: In 2002 Clouet and Drouet retreated high off this line. Jourdain climbed on Chacraraju twice that season, once to the summit ridge of Oeste (the west peak, 6,112m), with partners, via the difficult 1977 Bouchard-Meunier route in 28 hours round trip from Laguna 69. He also climbed, solo, on Este’s Jaeger Route (incorrectly reported as being on Oeste in AAJ 2003, p. 298; also incorrect was the report of him reaching the summit) to 5m below the summit ridge, retreating below immense cornices with horrific snow (he reports needing over three hours to climb his final 100m) and in a storm. Drouet, Musemeci, and Dupety were killed by a serac avalanche in the Mt. Blanc massif in July 2003, just before this trip. All five are or were members of the French national team of young alpinists. See the feature article on Jourdain and Clouet’s ascent of Jirishanca in this Journal.

Huandoy Este, showing Adam’s Variation. The route continues on the ridge to the summit. Adam Kovacs

Huandoy Norte and Este, Alexandra and Adam’s Variation. I arrived in Peru with the idea of climbing all four Huandoy summits. I came alone and decided to climb alone. I approached each Huandoy from the east (except when attempting the southwest face of the west peak), which is easily accessed with a collectivo (bus) going up to the Pisco base camp in the Llanganuco Valley. This is also the least expensive way of reaching the Huandoys. From there I could reach the edge of the glacier and the bivouac sites for my climbs. The northeast side of Huandoy Sur (6,160m) was my first climb. On the approach I had a cup of tea and fried salmon in the Pisco Hut, which friends were taking care of. In case of a storm I wouldn’t have to wait under a wet rock for days. Anyway, the east side was a natural choice, and I climbed it early, as it receives the first rays of the sun. The face consists of mostly snowand-ice climbing, with a short mixed section to cross the rock band in the lower part. The band is tricky but doesn’t require much more than carefulness. The main icefield is 50-60°. The upper runnels are confusing because they divide several times and are much steeper than the rest of the face. The runnel that I climbed, which led directly to the top, has three difficult steps, of which the last is the most difficult. The first two are 75°, but the last has a short section of 95°, which


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I avoided by climbing to the side on a fragile snow flute—less steep but more delicate. The runnel exits 10-15m from the summit. The descent involved some moderate climbing down the 200-300m high north face, which is mostly 50° with a short section of 65°. The main difficulty was descending seracs to easier mixed ground below the saddle between the north and south peaks. It demanded vertical downclimbing, but could have been easily overcome by a single rappel. The northeast face (Astier Route, Huandoy Norte: Alexandra and the descent (left). Adam Kovacs MD/MDsup) was a marvelous climb; the last runnels had the most waterfall-like feeling you can ask for on a 6,000m peak. Next was the southeast face of Huandoy Este (5,900m), which I climbed in early July. The day I arrived I made a trail up the glacier. In daylight it wasn’t difficult to reach the face, and there was no real crevasse danger. I started at 2 a.m. and reached the base in 1-1/2 hours. This face is relatively short but sustained in steepness, with mixed climbing, around M4, and a difficult section of fragile honeycomb ice to reach the ridge to the left of the summit. [The route starts just left of the American Route, soloed by Alex Lowe in 1984—Ed.] Otherwise marvelous ice climbing, 55-75°. The descent was the main difficulty. I climbed to the summit and down a runnel on the right side of the buttress separating Huandoy Este and Norte. Old slings were in place, but I had no rope, and climbing down the first 150m was very difficult. The runnel was also exposed to large, free-hanging icicles that would have cleaned the runnel had they come down. It was a serious mixed route, and after much research, I concluded it was a new route (Adam’s Variation, 550m, MD). I finally climbed Huandoy Norte (6,395m). I bivvied to the left of the snow gully of the French Route. At 12:30 a.m. I departed, crossed the bergschrund, passed the French gully, and traversed onto the east face. I climbed straight up on 55° snow until I reached an ice gully; the adjacent face mostly consists of loose rock. This 70° gully led to a little snowfield under a band of icicles. I traversed left under the icicles, on less-steep rock and ice, until I reached an ice flute that took me to the upper ice runnels (80°, then 60-65°). The exit to the upper snow plateau was the hardest part of the climb, consisting of steep, fragile ice, just like the exit on the southeast face of Huandoy Este. From the exit I needed another half hour to reach the summit. The snow was soft and deep, and I had to circle large crevasses: the scariest part of the climb. I believe what I climbed to be a new route (Alexandra, 1,000-1,100m, MD+ 55-75° (80° max)). [This route is right of the 1976 Polish route—Ed.] Without a full moon I could not have found my way up the face. I descended the southeast slopes to the saddle and continued down the east face on its leftmost side. This is the so-called easy, normal route but it isn’t easy, with ice to 60° and danger when the sun hits. I had to wait several hours under a rock overhang for the continual whistling of ice and stones to stop. ADAM KOVACS, Sweden


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Huandoy Sur, 11-second descent. In 1997 Frenchmen Jérôme Blanc-Gras and Yannick Graziani made the second ascent of the French Route (800m, 5+ A2+[New Wave], Desmaison-FaivreOttmann-Salomon, 1976) on the overhanging, shaded south face of Huandoy Sur (6,160m)—one of the most daunting rock walls in the Cordillera Blanca. Last July, apparently dissatisfied with their 1997 style of descent, Blanc-Gras returned with his brother Christophe and Lionel Deborde, neither of whom had been to such altitude. The trio climbed the Southwest Ridge in poor conditions on July 15, taking 16 hours to the summit and requiring a forced bivy. In the morning they found an appealing perch at around 5,800m, above the steepest part of the south face, and jumped off, enjoying an 11-second fall and the first known BASE jump in the Blanca. From LINDSAY GRIFFIN and personal communication with JÉRÔME BLANC-GRAS

Chopicalqui, significant repeats. The Spanish climber Jordi Corominas made a rare repeat and possibly the first solo of what is thought to be the 1979 Japanese Route (Kamuro-Uejima) on the south face of Chopicalqui (6,395m). The steep face has a serac barrier low on it, a snowand-ice slope in the middle, and a rib at the top, leading to the Southeast Ridge below where it meets the Southwest Ridge (1,200m, TD). Corominas descended the normal route on the Southwest Ridge, itself a serious undertaking. Slovenian Tadej Zorman made a probable second ascent of Strah in Sceca (Fear and Happiness) on the west face, more than 20 years after its first ascent. This route was climbed in June 1982 by the legendary Slovenians Marjan Freser and Franci Knez, and takes a slanting line up the center of the face to reach the Northwest Ridge between the north and main summits. The climb, which originally took two days, is about 1,000m high, TD (50-60°), and is threatened by serac formations that characterize this central part of the face. LINDSAY GRIFFIN, High Mountain INFO

Nevado Ulta, Personal Jesus. In August, Jim Earl and I established a new route up the 1,000meter north face of Nevado Ulta. The route begins on the left side of the northwest bowl (sometimes called the north bowl), starting farther left than the Berube-Frimer 2002 attempt, but otherwise approximately following that line. This “direct start” (headlamp-induced routefinding error) avoids an obvious couloir in favor of 200 meters of fifth-class rock, but joins the 2002 attempt where it begins to angle back to the right, as shown in the photo on p. 302 of the 2003 AAJ. Jim and I continued to the obvious north ridge and finished along the right edge of the northeast face (farther right than the original 1961 route). The new route included difficulties up to M7, and we climbed it in a 22-hour push to the summit. The descent was complicated by Jim’s suffering from HAPE. We think this is the first new route to the summit of Nevado Ulta since 1985. KELLY CORDES, AAC

Nevado Ulta, west-northwest face. Previously unreported and scarcely known is an August 1985 ascent of an ice-and-mixed line, thought to be on the far left side of the west-northwest face (called the northwest face in the photo on p. 275 of the 2001 AAJ; also shown as the shaded face


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on the right in the photo on p. 302 of the 2003 AAJ). Chris Hassig and Jonathan Stevens climbed a long couloir with technically difficult mixed ground, continuing to the summit. They climbed the route in a long day, made a forced bivouac, and descended the next day. While rappelling Hassig fell to his death and took the ropes with him, but Stevens survived. Based on information from ANTONIO GÓMEZ BOHÓRQUEZ, JEFF HOLLENBAUGH,and JONATHAN STEVENS

Nevado Copa, South Ridge. From June 13-16, an expedition led by Valerio Bertoglio, with UIAGM guides Fabrizio Manoni, Enrico Rosso, Miguel Martinez, and me headed toward Camp Lejiacocha at the base Nevado Copa (6,188m) to attempt the first ascent of the peak’s 1,500mlong south ridge. [Note: The upper sections of the ridge, accessed from the southeast face, had been climbed, but an integral ascent of the ridge had not been made—Ed.] We took provisions for two days, but it turned out to be a four-day ascent, and after two days provisions began to run out. We had to ration food, water, headlamp batteries, and fuel. The cold was intense, stiffening our muscles and increasing our fatigue each day. During the second bivy, at 5,700m, an impressive avalanche plummeted from the crest all the way to Laguna Paccharuri. It was a horrible thing. The dust of the avalanche reached 5,400m, almost touching our recently prepared bivy. We were afraid of dying, but we succeeded in briefly filming the avalanche. The following day we intended to reach the summit, but encountered various difficulties involving both rock and ice. On the last day we had neither food nor water. It was a day of fasting, and we could not push ourselves without the greatest determination. We thought that after the walls of rock and ice, everything would be much easier, but it was not so. A thick fog hindered the ascent, adding to the difficulty of reaching the summit. Miguel and I led the last part of the route, climbing an 80° wall in a direct line for 40-50m. We arrived at the summit of Copa at 16:00. Then fatigue and uncertainty became our main concerns. “We have finished the climb—where is base camp?” After we had descended for an hour, classmates from Don Bosco School [A school founded to train young Peruvian alpinists to be local guides—Ed.] came to help us, bringing water. It was an unforgettable encounter, a profound moment of friendship between us all. We cried, from the emotion of reaching such a hard summit, then finding a team of friends awaiting us, ready to help and alleviate the fatigue accumulated over the previous days. We arrived at the base camp around 21:00, where more friends awaited us with a good meal. Although tired and without strength, we decided to continue down. Already it was 22:00, but the support of friends helped. CÉSAR ROSALES, Peru (translated by Molly Loomis)

Tocllaraju, MGLA to Northwest Ridge. On July1 Mitja Glescic, and I climbed a new route on the west face of Tocllaraju (6,032m). The route begins in the middle of the rocky section on the left side of the wall and then angles slightly to the right. The first pitch is the most difficult, about 90° with bad ice and rock (mixed). Most of the climbing was 60-70° snow and ice in the middle of the couloir, which goes slightly to the right below the seracs. The route arrives on the Northwest Ridge at about 5,900m, and we descended from there by the normal route. Our route, MGLA, is about 400 meters high. (TD+ 90°(max)/60-70°(avg)). In deep snow, it took three hours from camp to reach the face, then four hours for the climbing. ARCON JERNEJ, Slovenia


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Editor’s note: Although no record exists of this exact line having been previously climbed, it should be noted that the route follows no distinct or defining feature, particularly above the first pitch through the rock band. This broad face, like many Peruvian snow-and-ice faces, offers countless possibilities. Multitudes of variations are known to have been climbed to the popular West Face Direct (Calcagno-Carara-Lafranconi-Zappelli, 1980; just right of MGLA) and to the Northwest Ridge route, although documenting them all is impossible.

Churup, correcting the correction. On p. 306 of the 2003 AAJ is a correction to a report in the 2002 AAJ (p. 302) about a new route on Churup. The correction reads, “The route completed in 1972…is to the right (not the left) of the Malinche route.” Actually, this “correction” restates the erroneous description of the 2002 report. The 1972 route (Fear route) on Churup is to the left (not the right) of the Malinche route.

CORDILLERA CHAUPIJANCA Shicra, west face and southeast ridge. On July 5 Evelio Echevarría, Consuelo Amorós (my wife), and I left the mining town Pachapaqui, and reached the foot of the snowy peak local muleteers call Shicra (5,195-5,198m, per altimeter). This is the peak the 1972 Italian Expedition wanted to name “Nevado Cuidad de Macerata” (ca 5,000m). On July 9 Evelio ascended the eastern summit of an unnamed rocky peak (ca 4,900m) situated beyond a pass to the right of the peak the Italian expedition proposed calling “Margaroliraju” (5,205m). This same day Consuelo and I ascended Shicra via the right side of the west glacier to gain the corniced southeast ridge, which we climbed to the summit. We believe this is a new route and the second ascent of the peak. The Italians ascended the peak via the western glacier. The Peruvian geographic authorities did not recognize the Italian names, and the names do not appear on Peru’s National Geographic Institute’s maps. ANTONIO GÓMEZ BOHÓRQUEZ, Spain (Translated by Molly Loomis)

CORDILLERA HUAYHUASH Nomenclature in the Huayhuash. Since the Cordillera Huayhuash was first surveyed in 1927 by the American Geographic Society expedition, confusion over peak names and heights have surfaced. In cases where confusion over peak names exist the AAJ has turned to the ascension record to determine what has prevailed over the years and by which name the peak has generally become known. Transliteration of Quechua to German and English has also added to the confusion. For example, in the case of the prominent peak located midway between Yerupaja and Jirishanca, we have chosen to use the name of Yerupaja Chico (instead of El Toro), as it first appeared on the 1939 Kinzl/Schneider map, and we retain the name of El Toro for Yerupaja Chico’s South Summit, since that name also has a long history of use. Peak heights are more complicated. Until the appearance of new topographic maps at the scales of 1:100,000 and 1:25,000, the 1939 map was the authority on the subject. Jan Kielkowski’s guidebooks, published in the early 1990s, introduced peaks heights that are slightly lower; they are based on IGN maps. Jill Neate, in Mountaineering in the Andes, has generally used the heights published on the 1939 map. The 2002 Alpine Mapping Guild map of the range attempted to resolve this issue by using IGN heights when available and those from other sources when not. MARTIN GAMACHE, Alpine Mapping Guild, AAC


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Jirishanca summary. The impressive southeast aspect of Jirishanca (6,094m [sometimes given as 6,126m]) was a focal point of Huayhuash activity in 2003. In June, Brits Nick Bullock and Al Powell, returning after a near disaster in 2002 when they were avalanched off the start, climbed in alpine style a bold, difficult line (Fear and Loathing) up the central ice depression, branching right to join the East Buttress route (1957 Egger-Jungmair) after 17 pitches. They continued for approximately eight more pitches up the technical and corniced summit ridge of the 1957 route, retreating a couple of ropelengths below the summit. In September young French alpinists Aymeric Clouet and Didier Jourdain established a difficult new route up the steep 900m, east-facing rock wall. The route—Tambo, Churros y Amigos—parallels much of the 1973 Japanese route, just right of the central ice face. At the start Clouet and Jourdain used 300 meters of fixed ropes, which they removed, but they carried no bolts. A red sling in a linule (rock hole) 15m up the first pitch marks the start of the route, but belays are not equipped (only rappel anchors). Above the rock wall their route joins the 1957 route and continues to the summit, likely the first time Jirishanca’s summit has been reached from its formidable eastern side since the 1973, 49-day Japanese siege (some sources say 45 days). The French route shares approximately 4m of the Japanese route, on which old fixed ropes remain. Both the British and French climbs are covered in a feature article earlier in this Journal, as is the history of climbing on this face. In July a team of three Italians climbed a route on the right side of the east-facing rock wall (see report below). Although the French climbers mentioned above report seeing 10mm belay bolts beside good cracks on the Italian line, and the Italian route was certainly a stylistic contrast to the above two routes, rumors of the Italians placing 150 or more bolts are greatly exaggerated. Accomplished Austrian alpinists Alex Fidi and Julian Neumayer, who were in the area around the time of Bullock and Powell and who had plans for the same face, were killed in an avalanche below nearby Jirishanca Chico. Although the specifics will never be known, it appears that they were headed for an acclimatization climb on Jirishanca Chico’s unclimbed southwest face when a large avalanche released. Bullock, Powell, Mark Richey (president of the American Alpine Club), and members of the Yungay rescue group USAM (Unidad de Salvamento de Alta Montana—www.huaraz.org/usam) conducted an initial search, recovering the climbers’ packs and a helmet. USAM, a well-trained volunteer organization, continued the search in the ensuing days and proved instrumental in recovering the bodies. Jirishanca, Suerte to East Buttress. During July 11-21 Italians Stefano DeLuca, Alessandro Piccini, and Paolo Stoppini (with Valerio Poggiani at base camp) established a line on the right side of the east-face rock wall, beginning just right of a yellow overhang to the right of the Japanese 1973 route. The first four pitches are similar to a previous Slovenian attempt. After several days of fixing and three days of rest, the Italians bivvied on the final ascent at 5,500m and continued up the following day. The route climbs 10 or 11 pitches of rock to reach a ramp that angles right and continues on mixed rock, snow, and ice, before finishing around 5,700m, just above where the 1957 East Buttress route (which begins from the other side) reaches the ridge crest. The route is 18 pitches total. Fixed ropes (which they removed) and a power drill were used. In the initial five or six rock pitches, they placed bolts at the belays and three to four per pitch “where they were necessary.” Higher, in the icy portions, they placed few. A few more than 40 bolts were placed on the route.


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Difficulties are 6c+/A2 (hooks and rivets) and V/5+ ice. They named the route Suerte (“luck”), since that is what their arriero told them every time they left camp. Compiled from correspondence and conversation with PAOLO STOPPINI, Italy

Limitless Madness. Matej Mejovsek

Yerupaja, Limitless Madness to summit ridge. My latest adventure began at the end of June. We were three Slovenians—Matevz Kramer, Tadej Zorman, and me—whose goal was to climb a new route in the Cordillera Huayhuash. I had climbed the Southwest Face of Sarapo (6,127m) and the West Face of Trapecio (5,644m), and I knew from my experiences that Huayhuash mountains are serious. There are no normal routes, and the glaciers are active and dangerous. Our first few weeks in the Andes were spent acclimatizing on peaks around Huaraz, but we then felt it was time for something more serious. We chose Yerupaja (6,617m), the highest and mightiest mountain in the Huayhuash. On this mountain there are no good or bad ascents, only inventive ones. We chose to try a new, daring route on the northeast face. After two tiring days of driving over bumpy roads and donkey transport of supplies, we reached our base camp at the tip of Laguna Carhuacocha, with perfect views of Yerupaja and neighboring Jirishanca. Compared to many commercial trekking camps, ours was modest and environmentally friendly. We established friendly relations with the family Abalos, who stubbornly live there year-round, at 4,200m. We respect their immense will! During the next few days we carried climbing gear and food up to our 4,700m ABC. One look at the beginning of the route told us it would be hard. The northeast face saw its last ascent 26 years ago, in 1977 (Dovzan, Manfreda). Italians climbed the east ridge in 1982. Because of global warming, information from these earlier teams is no longer of use, as the glacier and face have changed so much in the last 20 years. We could not determine what exactly they climbed.


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We decided on an alpine-style ascent, going up and down in one push. After a few rest days we began climbing left of a hanging glacier, and found within a few pitches how serious the ascent would be. There were 300m of mixed climbing (5c WI5), and having gear and food for four days made it even more challenging. The lower part of the route was threatened by cracking seracs above, and now and then a few tons of snow and ice fell near us. We began to realize the definition of craziness, and why this face had been Yerupaja, left to right: Limitless Madness (2003), Habeler-Messunclimbed for over 20 years. ner (1969), Dix-Jones (1968). Others: Dovzan-Manfreda The middle section of the face (1977), right of the above routes on the NE face; Hayashi(1976), right skyline; Majerl-Wurm (1969), tested our limits with steep seracs and Kondo-Yoshino promiinent sun-shade rib on left, continuing up the left skyline; solid WI6. After 14 hours of hard Badone-Penasa-Vialardi (1982), left skyline. Jeremy Frimer climbing we finally finished with that craziness. We set up a tent at 5,500m on a huge snow plateau. As we cooked, we discussed the tactics for the next day. The night was calm. We continued up the middle section of the face, through the largest gully, which was closed by a rock band on the left side. Our morning warm-up consisted of rock and overhanging seracs, followed by a pitch of WI6 and rock climbing of 5b. This route was not what we had anticipated—we began thinking we could do it freestyle, with no technical climbing. Above, our route’s difficulties resembled those of the upper part of the Jackson route on Les Droites above Chamonix. Around 9 a.m. the face became alive with huge rocks flying by. We felt totally exposed, as everything from above was funneled into our gully. The serious technical climbing kept us from moving as fast as we needed to go. However, analyzing the alternatives, we decided to continue. We wanted to escape from this shit right away! We climbed close to the rock, on the left side of the gully. This section paralleled the route Dix and Jones established in 1966, 200m to the right. At last the vertical face began to kick back, but by then we were tiring and feeling the effect of altitude. We pushed through this section toward a huge serac that blocked the ideal line to the top of the face. Our lack of energy made us move slowly up a long snow face. When we were just below the serac, the weather changed, and the face soon was covered by fog and snowfall. The air became even colder—at least as low as –20° Celsius. We passed rocks to our left and headed to the ridge. Again the climbing became harder, and we used lots of time on the mixed steep part that led us to the east ridge. The falling snow was more serious, and little avalanches began coming down the face. By now we were simply exhausted. We continued over the ridge toward the summit, but as we reached 6,550m the storm became intense. We waited a while, then decided to descend our route. The night was long, but knowing there was no alternative, we gathered every bit of energy and will we had left. The ascent to 6,550m took 26 hours. We were tired and longed to be back on solid ground, but had to descend by carefully constructing solid rappels. We made about 30 rappels with 60m double ropes. Early in the morning we reached the tent on the snow plateau. We spent a few hours there


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before continuing our descent, and late in the evening arrived in base camp. We named the route Limitless Madness (1,900m, VI 5c WI6). It was pure madness: hard climbing, falling rocks and seracs, hot sun, and bitterly cold nights. We had wanted an adventure, and we got it! MATEJ MEJOVSEK, Slovenia Editor’s note: Given its proximity and relation to existing lines, this ascent provokes an interesting question, which is well presented by Lindsay Griffin, editor of the Mountain INFO section of the U.K. magazine High Mountain Sports. Lindsay writes, “On paper their line is barely a variation to that climbed in 1969 by Habeler and Messner, but the Slovenians feel justified that the route is indeed new, as the ground they climbed bore no relation to that followed by previous ascensionists. They note that both 1968 and '69 lines would now be totally lethal, and in christening their route Limitless Madness, have opened an ethical debate on what constitutes a new route in alpine ranges of the world suffering severe transformation due to climatic change. The Peruvian Andes has suffered more than most in this respect and publications reporting ascents in the future will need to reach a consensus on what constitutes a new line.”

Puscanturpa Norte: (1) Northwest Ridge (Bianchi-BoselliBuizza-Caneva-Da Polenza-Milani-Mora-Pozzoli, 1975). (2) Northwest Pillar (Manera-Sant'Unione, 1988). (3) Pasta Religion (Baudry-Daudet-Lombard, 2000). (4) northwest face variation (previously unreported: 600m, ED2 F6b+ A4, Balzan-Bones-Conforto-Zanetti, 2002). (5) Macanacota (Avrisani-Faure-Pouraz, 2000). (6) North Face (Antonietti-Bianchi-Mondinelli-Mora, 1984). Route info and photo courtesy of Jeremy Frimer, Cordillera Huayhuash: Select Treks and Climbs

Puscanturpa Norte, various activity. July saw multiple teams camped below Puscanturpa Norte (5,652m), hoping to complete routes on the columned rock buttress of the northwest face. British climbers Mark Pretty, Nic Sellars, and Sam Whittaker first attempted Pasta Religion (F7a+, BaudryDaudet-Lombard, 2000) on the northwest face, ground-up, hoping for an onsight ascent. This might have been achieved were it not for a fall on the crux seventh pitch due to a broken hold. This pitch was then yo-yoed, while all others were climbed onsight. The climbing was often bold, routefinding could sometimes be tricky, and the difficulties were found to be high, with British 6b climbing on the third pitch, and the seventh and eighth graded E6 6b and E6 6a, respectively. After five days the team terminated their ascent at the top of the 12th pitch. After the first pitch (E3 6a) they note 10 consecutive pitches of E4 and above, or F6c+ to 7a+, making for a very sustained route. Above, looser terrain led to the summit ridge and a huge and hideous cornice. They then turned their attention to their proposed new line, but found it to be largely crackless. Their ethics forbade drilled protection, so with time running out the three left the area.


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The summit ridge also stopped a three-man Basque team from Pamplona, consisting of Iñaki Araiz, Iker Garcia, and Iñaki Garreta, who made the second ascent of the other French route put up in 2000, Macanacota (F7b A2, Avrisani-Faure-Pouraz), a climb that meets Pasta Religion at the top of its 12th pitch. The Basque team, climbing in capsule style, fixed the initial 250m and then climbed the route with two nights on the wall. Although the rock is very good, they did not find perfect cracks, just discontinuous lines and many pockets. Nevertheless, the terrain was well suited to natural gear. The three completed 14 pitches to reach the top of the First Tower, then climbed a little over one-third of the steep and difficult snow/mixed arête that leads to the top of the Second Tower (and toward the summit), before retreating. They note that the left edge of the Second Tower would be considerably easier but The west face of Yanashinga. Richard Hidalgo is impossible to reach from the top of the First Tower. The Basques found the quality of climbing good, the route always sunny, and report one bolt at each belay. They also believe that the hard rock up to the top of the First Tower could be climbed without a bivouac, if parties were to leave ice gear behind and travel light. To the left a third party, Peruvians Diego Fernandez and Guillermo Mejía, made an attempt on the 1984 Italian Route (Antonietti-Bianchi-Mondinelli-Mora), climbing more than halfway up the face on July 29, at 5.10a. However, they were forced down by bad weather. LINDSAY GRIFFIN, High Mountain INFO

CORDILLERA CENTRAL Correction, note on naming. On p. 294 of the 2002 AAJ there was a report about climbing in the “Cordillera Huarochirí.” “Cordillera” refers to a range or chain of mountains. While the nomenclature of Peruvian places is complex, it has been made clear to us, through several sources, that Huarochirí is more accurately a large massif within the Cordillera Central (a commonly referenced range, but not named on most Peruvian maps), rather than its own cordillera.

Yanashinga, West Face. One could consider Yanashinga (5,250m) the most technical and dizzying mountain of the Tíclio group. It is located 135km east of Lima and has only two routes and not a single repeat. The central highway reaches 4,818m, and through here runs the highest railroad in


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the world. The West Face (350m, MD 5.10a) had been attempted before but without success. I had tried it, too, once arriving just 50m from the summit. Guillermo Mejía and I began the route once together, and together we wanted to complete it. We camped at the foot of the glacier that comes off Nevado Santa Rosa. We began the climb early on December 19, via an ice ramp to the first belay station. The first three pitches involved rock, with moves up to 5.9. On the fourth pitch Guillermo found himself stopped on vertical rock, struggling to place protection. He had climbed an easy dihedral, but the exit was more difficult, and he hadn’t placed a piece since the belay. Desperately he began cleaning in order to place something. The rock was bad, with big flakes one on top of another, and one of these flakes launched and fell close to me, breaking on the backpack and causing almost everything inside to fall out. The last two pitches were on horrible rock, without many options for protection, and loose rock fragments covered in snow and ice. On the summit, Guillermo could not properly anchor, so he belayed from inside a depression. We arrived on top around 6 p.m. We descended the east face, which left us a roundabout detour around the mountain to arrive back at camp. RICHARD HIDALGO, Peru (translated by Molly Loomis)

Yanashinga, Direct South Face. José Li Linway, Diego Fernández, and I left the village of San Mateo (3,300m), arriving at Tíclio in the middle of the night and at the foot of the wall around 3:00 a.m on July 20. Roped as a team of three, with the third jumaring, we climbed two pitches of easy mixed terrain, followed a trough leading toward the central wall for two more pitches, then one more pitch traversing a lower ledge. Already we were at the foot of the great rock wall. The sixth pitch was a rock wall that ended in a leaning chimney. I had climbed 15m when I dislodged a flake, possibly 20kg. I held it in position for a moment, but its weight was too much, and I let it fall. It cut the rope up which José would jumar. Apparently José delayed taking out the lower anchor, and that saved his life. We lost about 12m of rope, which limited us on the following pitches. The following pitches reached M7 in difficulty, but exited onto a mixed slope with a good belay station. From here up to the summit we followed a pair of WI4 pitches. The final three pitches had the worst rock we’d ever climbed, rock held in place only by snow that precariously secured them. One pitch was impossible to protect. It took a huge amount of work preparing those three belay stations, and still they were bad. We finished the route (550m, M7 WI4 A2X) and arrived at the rocky summit at 8:30 p.m. We descended the east face, with a bivouac imminent, a clear sky, but intense cold. GUILLERMO MEJÍA, Peru (translated by Molly Loomis)

Nevado Huaguruncho, Tancash. Huaguruncho, meaning “the white tusk,” is the 24th highest mountain in Peru (according to web pages that give the summit an altitude of 5,780m [See note below for explanation—Ed]). Located in the Central Andes region, it is best reached from Huachón, about three hours from Ninacaca (on the road from la Oroya to Cerro de Pasco, seven hours from Lima). The Huaguruncho Range is not big, with only about 10 peaks above 5,300m, of which Huaguruncho is the highest. Its isolation makes it visible throughout the region. The range being near the jungle, the weather is typically wet and cloudy most days of July and August.


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We were told in Pasco that Huaguruncho was a virgin mountain. “No strangers reached the top,” because, the locals said, there is a big golden cross on the very summit, shinning in the morning sun, put there by descendents of the Incas using a secret tunnel. None of us found the cross—nor did the British expedition in 1956, the Norwegian-American in 1970, or the Japanese in 1975—but 28 years after the last ascent, they said we were the first, apparently believing us though we hadn’t a cross to show. Or did they believe us? We acclimatized by walking, bouldering, and rock climbing in the wonderful weird rock formations of the Bosque de Rocas de Huayllay (4,150m) for about two weeks. In the last days of May we walked around the mountain looking for a fast way to ascend. The east face and south ridge seemed to be five-day climbs, at least. We moved base camp to the north face, making Camp 1 on the Matthews Glacier where we spent three nights at 5,000m. Once there, we did not like the west ridge, which took the 1956 team more than a week to climb, but we saw a line without seracs that leads to the upper section of the ridge, at about 5,400m. The wall was not overly steep, but did involve a short M5 pitch. The ridge was Peruvian: deep snow, double-corniced, slow going. In a mist, we realized that there was no further up to go. We looked in vain for the cross, but it was nevertheless the summit! We climbed alpine style, and so enjoyed the ambiance of Andean tradition. The golden cross is not a legend but a fact, as the people believe in it more than in gringos’ accounts, so maybe you can still make the first ascent of Huaguruncho, one of Peru’s beauties that is not in the Blanca or Huayhuash. Tancash, direct way by the north face (but not a direttissima, which would be suicidal) to the west ridge, May 29, 2003: 700m, MD- (“very difficult minus”). Oriol Baró, Xavi Farré, and Albert Bargués from the Centre Excursionista, Alta Ribagorça, and Jordi Marmolejo of the C.E. Lleida. All from Catalonia (Southeast Pyrenees). XAVI FARRÉ, Pyrenees

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Guillermo Mejia on pitch 6 (A2) on the south face of Yanashinga. Diego Fernandez

Nevado Huaguruncho (the more common spelling), revealing the secret Inca tunnel as well as Directa Tancash. Note: The British Route was actually 1956. Jordi Marmolejo


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Note on elevation: The true altitude of Nevado Huaguruncho is unclear. Farré writes: “The official map from the Peruvian Geographical Institute, working on aerophotographical images, says 5,728m. Many webpages I’ve found say 5,784m. Our three altimeters became mad on the way up, same with our compass, and we didn’t carry a GPS, so we cannot give data from the top. The drawing by Jordi Marmolejo says 5,750m—it’s the height that Jordi remembered. I used 5,780m, based on various data I’ve seen. The true altitude is simply not known, but it’s less than 6,000m, for sure.”

CORDILLERA VILCABAMBA Nevado Weqqe Suruchi, A Life Less Ordinary. The Panta Group lies in a sparsely populated area and consists of the most westerly cluster of glaciated peaks in the Vilcabamba. The principal summits are Panta itself (5,667m) and Camballa (5,551m). In 2002 Germans Christoph Nick and Frank Toma attempted the elegant, unclimbed, and unnamed peak at the end of the long ridge running south from Camballa (5,551m), but were foiled by poor snow and crevasse danger. In summer 2003 they returned to the Panta Valley for a second attempt. The peak is marked on the 1965 Swiss map as 5,349.1m. Again they were accompanied by their two arrieros and nowfirm friends, brothers Alejandro and Hermenegildo Huaman Olarte from Yamana, without whose local knowledge the expedition would not have been successful. They were also joined by fellow German Metin Kavaz. Base camp was established in the Panta Valley, from where they climbed a small peak. The three Germans then carried loads through a steep couloir to rocky ledges under the glacier on the south flank of their main objective. On July 13 they set out from their high bivouac for a summit attempt. At 5,000m Kavaz and Toma had to retreat due to ill health, but Nick continued and in a bold effort crossed crevassed slopes and climbed a steep ice face to a glacier terrace below the summit. The last obstacle was surmounted via an easy ramp, and the summit ridge proved less dangerous than expected. At 11.30 a.m. he was on top, where he recorded an altimeter reading of 5,437m. The route, which was christened A Life Less Ordinary, was rated AD+, with short rock sections of UIAA II and III in the gully leading to the bivouac site. The peak had no local name, so the climbers took the liberty of christening it Nevado Weqqe Suruchi, which in Quechua means “tears of ice.” LINDSAY GRIFFIN, High Mountain INFO

Pumasillo Group, multiple ascents. Sean Easton and I spent 20 days in the Pumasillo group of the Cordillera Vilcabamba, in south-central Peru. It is quite hard to describe the mountains we climbed because the new government 1:100,000 topos have many errors, and the locals have several different names for the mountains. The following is a list of what we did, and the coordinates included are on or near the summit. Peaks one through eight are found on the Machu Picchu map. Peak 1: 5,108m (wrong on map) 18l 726321 8634376. Unnamed on map, locals call it “Mandor,” it lies on the Quelca-Mandor pass. We climbed the east face (10 pitches, 5.9). Peak 2: 5,050m (Cayco on map) 18l 726699 8534336. Incorrect summit altitude on map, also called “Mandor,” we climbed the north ridge (6 pitches, mixed 5.4). Peak 3: 4,935m 18l 727325 8533732. Unnamed on map, also called “Mandor,” southernmost peak of group. We climbed the north ridge (3 pitches, 5.9). Peak 4: 5,210m 18l 732128 8532828. Unnamed on map, locals call it “Mayuyoc.” We


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approached from the south, dropped down and climbed the east face, 60° snow, 5.6. We found a tuna can on top, the only peak on which we saw evidence of previous ascents. [A 1959 Swiss expedition made the probable first ascent of this peak, calling it Nevado Paccha—Ed.] Peak 5: 5,310m 18l 731959 8533616. A snow ridge just south of what the map incorrectly calls the south peak of Choquetecarpo. Hike up the steep snow of the south ridge. Peak 6: 5,428 18l 731779 8534164. Choquetecarpo S peak on map. The locals call it “Panta” (although there is another Panta three valleys over). We climbed the east ridge, 50° snow. [The Panta Group lies further west—see above report—and should not be confused with the locals’ name for this peak. The 1959 Swiss team who made the first ascent dubbed this peak “Pucapuca,” and a New Zealand team in 1962 climbed this same east ridge route—Ed.] Peak 7: 5,512m 18l 732621 8536496. Choquetecarpo on map. Called “Puca Puca” by the locals. We climbed the east ridge (1,100m, 5.8 M4 60°). [This peak was also first climbed by the 1959 Swiss expedition, and the east ridge had been climbed by a 1962 New Zealand team—Ed.] Peak 8: 5,447m 18l740716 8530832. East peak of Sacsarayoc on map. Called “Sacsarayoc” by the locals. The rest of the massif is known as “Pumasillo.” We climbed the north ridge up the 30m summit spire, 5.9. On the trip I also climbed two other peaks, one with my brother Peter and one with another friend. Peter and I climbed a peak called Pitupaccha (5,090m), located above Incarajay, up the Quesqa valley from Wayabamba or Paucarcancha. We climbed the west ridge, easy 5th. Karen Perry and I climbed Jatunjasa (locally known as “Incachiriasca,” 5,338m). We scrambled up the north face, with beautiful views of Salcantay. CONNY AMELUNXEN, Canada Historical note: The history of climbing in this region is obviously difficult to document, with multiple names and altitudes attributed to the various peaks. In the late 1950s and 1960s several expeditions explored the area, making many ascents. The 1962 New Zealand expedition made a sketch map of the entire massif that is commonly used by subsequent expeditions. Thanks to Lindsay Griffin for this history.

CORDILLERA VILCANOTA Chumpe (Jatunriti) traverse, Colquecruz 1 attempt (Alcamarinayoc). Intrigued by the scarcity of information despite extensive research, Amy Bullard and I spent three weeks exploring and climbing in the northern Cordillera Vilcanota from April 21 to May 10. We saw no one during this time. We accessed the peaks from a base camp at Laguna Mullucocha after a long-day approach from Tinqui. On April 29 we climbed the west ridge of Nevado Chumpe (6,106m, also called Jatunriti) from a camp at 5,400m on the glacier on the northwest side of the peak. Descent was made to the north, down to the col between Chumpe and the Colquecruz massif. The climbing was straightforward and scenic on steep, consolidated snow, the round-trip traverse from camp taking under eight hours. Colquecruz 1 (6,102m) is labeled Nevado Alcamarinayoc on Peru’s Carta Nacional 1:100,000 Ocongate sheet. We approached its southwest face from the southeast, through a col


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Chumpe, from the northwest. The route traversed the ridge over the summit. Peter Carse

between it and Nevado Ichu Ananta. On May 4 we climbed the middle of the SW face to about 5,900m before turning back in a violent afternoon thunderstorm. Building icethread rappel anchors in the deep torrent of spindrift was memorable. The climbing was all on steep ice, with some hazard of falling ice and rock. We don’t know whether the routes are new. As far as we could gather from our research, Chumpe had been climbed from the north (ridge/face), northwest face, and the south. No traverses had been mentioned. Colquecruz 1 had been climbed in the early 1960s from the north side, and traversed west to east from a camp on the north side. We received useful information from Jorge Villena, the SAEC, and Luis Pineto, all in Cusco, as well as warm hospitality and arriero support from Hostal Tinqui. PETER CARSE, AAC The attempt on Colquecruz 1, a.k.a. Nevado Alcamarinayoc. Peter Carse


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CORDILLERA APOLOBAMBA Ritipata, Palomani Grande, Palomani Tranca Central, and other ascents. John Biggar again visited the remote Peruvian Apolobamba, and as in 2002, the climbers traveled via Puno to the 4,700m mining village of Ananea. Base camp was again established by the shores of the beautiful Laguna Callumachaya, from where the whole team (Linda and John Biggar, Paul Cherry, Mark and Lizzy Hylton, Ken Pritchard, and Andy Rendel) first climbed the 300m Callumachaya Buttress to a spectacular high camp on the edge of the glacier at ca 5,000m. This route, which included two long ice pitches at Scottish II/III and some easy rock climbing, was certainly new, as 10 years ago the buttress was under the glacier. On August 6 all climbers made an ascent of Ritipata Oeste (ca 5,380m) by a west-to-east traverse. John Biggar, Cherry, Pritchard, and Rendel then climbed the easy Southwest Ridge of Ritipata (5,410m). This is a different Ritipata from the one marked on the Italian map drawn after the 1958 expedition, which was the first to visit this area. It is therefore felt that both peaks were previously unclimbed. The team had hoped to tackle the unclimbed 500m-high east face of Callijon. However, this proved beyond the time and energy resources of the party. Instead they turned to the unclimbed south face of Palomani Grande (5,723m), a peak that rumor has it had first been climbed in the 1920s by a Captain in the Bolivian Army (and was certainly climbed by Italians in 1958). Leaving a camp in the Quebrada Palomani on the 11th, both Biggars, Cherry, Pritchard, and Rendel ascended the glacier to the southwest of the peak and reached a basin beneath the south face. From there a steep snow rib at PD led to the top. On the 12th John Biggar and Rendel set off from the same camp and later in the day reached the summit of Palomani Tranca Central (5,600m, AD). They traversed over a lower west summit (ca 5,450m), on which they found several little shrines. Was this evidence of an Inca ascent? Palomani Tranca Central was probably a first ascent, though the higher East Peak (5,638m) was first climbed in 1985 from the north by British climbers Jim Curran and Geoff Tier. Before departing, members of the expedition also made ascents of Asnococha (ca 5,250m), Huincho (5,204m) and Palomani Norte (5,629m) via established routes. The first was known ground, as it had been climbed by John Biggar in 2002, while the last had been unsuccessfully attempted in 2002, to within 50m of the top. As during the 2002 visit, no other westerners were seen during the two-week expedition, and the weather was equally poor. However, this time snow conditions were considerably better, allowing objectives which had been written off as too dangerous in 2002 to be successfully tackled. LINDSAY GRIFFIN, High Mountain INFO


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Mark Synnott leading the crux 5.11+ pitch through a roof about 800 feet above the jungle. Jared Ogden

garden, then brought Jesus Rivas up, so he could collect his scientific samples. The A Team then left, and Jared, John, and I committed to the wall. We spent the next four nights in portaledges. Every pitch was overhanging, and most of the climbing was in the 5.10-5.11 range, with two pitches of 5.11+. We placed six bolts, at belays. We climbed everything free until the very top of the wall, where we ran into more steep vegetation. In pouring rain we pulled on a few pieces of gear. The route was too overhanging to rappel, so we called for a helicopter pick-up when we reached the summit. The Scorpion Wall (9 pitches, VI 5.11+ A0) was one of my all-time best adventures. MARK SYNNOTT, AAC

Bolivia Ilusión, Ilusión Congelada. On June 14 we established a new route on Ilusión (5,330m) in the Condoriri Group of the Cordillera Real. The 400m route had WI6X, II-III (5.3) rock, and 4070° snow, and required four hours to climb. The hardest and most serious part is the icefall in the middle of the west face, which is seen from the route to the glacier leading to Piramide Blanca. The approach is the same as for the Normal Route: head up the glacier that descends from Iluscionita and Ilusión to the left side of the col between the two mountains. About 100m before the col turn right and climb 60-70m of rock (UIAA II) to reach the base of the steep, thin icefall in the middle of the wall. Climb it (45m, 80-90°, one rock piton in the wall above the first ice mushroom) and reach the big shelf above the rock barrier (very thin ice—it collapsed after our ascent—start early in the morning!). Climb straight up the snow, which steepens to 60°, to reach a 5m rock section (II-III), which leads to the snow shelf that crosses the face. Follow it to the snow slopes of the Direct


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The frozen illusion, on Ilusión. Branko Ivanek

Route. Turn up left and climb the snow (150m, 70°) between the rock sections to reach the ridge. Follow it to the summit and descend the Normal or Direct Route. BRANKO IVANEK and ANDREJ PECJAK, Slovenia

Ancohuma, Barrador Intimo; Pico del Norte, C’est la Vie, and other ascents. Climbing early in the year on the east face of Ancohuma (6,427m), Frenchmen Pierre Bogino and Simon Paris added a new ice/mixed line, which they named Barrador Intimo. The east face features three big pillars—the left one climbed by Arias and Mesili in 1970; the central one, which has 700m of rock at V+ and A1 followed by a 300m ice ridge, by Italians Zappelli et al. in 1978; and the right one (ca 750m, VI-) by Italians Agostino de Polenza et al. in 1979. How the new 800m French mixed route relates to these is unclear, but the pair report difficulties of V/5 and superb granite. From a camp below the face they climbed the route in 13 hours and descended the Normal Route, to regain their camp in an 18-hour round trip. Bogino, this time with Alexis Loireau, also repeated the Via del Triangulo on the west face of Huayna Potosi (Hans Haztler-Alain Mesili, September 1971, ca. 750m, 55-60° mixed). Again, climbing so early in the season that they found delicate ice and mixed terrain at IV/5 (90°); they completed the route in 13 hours. On the East Face of Pico del Norte (6,050m), the summit that marks the end of the long ridge running north from Illampu, Bogino and Paris added a route christened C’est la Vie. Again, the exact location of the climb on this broad and imposing face, which has plenty of scope in snowy conditions for many mixed lines, some potentially hard, is not clear. However, it is 600m high and IV/4 with some sections of 90° mixed and good rock. The weather was far from perfect, with thick mist leading to soggy snow, and the pair took 12 hours to complete their ascent. However, the fun had just started, as a difficult descent, most likely by the Normal Route, took longer, and the pair returned to their camp 25 hours after leaving. LINDSAY GRIFFIN, High Mountain INFO


JIRISHANCA A climbing history of the Hummingbird Peak’s southeast face, Peru. JEREMY FRIMER

The southeast aspect of Jirishanca (6,094m): (1) East Buttress (800m, ED1, Egger-Jungmair, 1957). (2) Suerte (700m, ED2, 6c+ A2 WI5+, DeLuca-Piccini-Stoppini, 2003) (no summit). (3) Tambo, Churros y Amigos (1,100m, ED3/4, 7a A2 95° M4, Clouet-Jourdain, 2003). (4) Japanese Route (1,100m, ED2, Nakatsuka-Okada-Sato-Shinohara-Yoshiga, 1973). (5) Fear and Loathing (1,050m, ED3/4, A2 WI6+, Bullock-Powell, 2003) (no summit). (6) Peruvian-Slovenian attempt (Monasterio-Kovac-Kozjek, 2000). (7) Austrian attempt (Angreiter-ColeselliErdenkaufer-Gerin-Gumpold-Murg-Oppurg-Schoisswohl-E Wurm-G Wurm-Wurzer, 1974). Jeremy Frimer

No range is more identified by a single event than Peru’s Cordillera Huayhuash. In the shadow of Touching the Void lies a spectacular group of mountains, complete with a rich, 68-year history of committed alpinism. The crown jewel of the Amazon Basin, Yerupajá (6,617m) was the focus of Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler’s first international expedition (1969); José Luis Fonrouge and Carlos Comesaña also opened a route on Yerupajá six months before their first ascent of Fitz Roy’s Supercanaleta. Others who have visited the Huayhuash include Walter Bonatti, Joe Brown, Alan Rouse, and, more recently, Mick Fowler, Lionel Daudet, and Jeff Lowe. Just north of Yerupajá is the sharp, delicate summit of Jirishanca, the “Hummingbird


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Peak” (6,094m). The name could be a comparison between the summit and a hummingbird’s bill. Alternatively, it could be referring to the hummingbird’s speedy heart rate, much like that of climbers awed by Jirishanca’s southeast face. I had plans to try the west face of Yerupajá on my inaugural expedition to the Huayhuash. But when I laid eyes on Jirishanca, I quivered in my plastic boots. Thoughts of Yerupajá fluttered into the wind as I assiduously attended to a personal fascination with the Hummingbird Peak. Since that awestruck moment, Jirishanca’s specter has lived within me. My two attempts, one thwarted by illness (2000) and one by weather (2002), have left my reverence for this alpine masterpiece untouched. The mountain first gained notoriety when a Peruvian Army transport plane crashed into its southeast face in 1954. Surprisingly, this is the only known incident resulting in fatalities on the mountain. Austrian Alpine Club expeditions in 1936 and 1954, along with an American expedition in 1950, resulted in the first ascents of many Huayhuash peaks—but not Jirishanca. The Austrians returned in 1957 after recruiting some “heavy artillery,” including the Dolomite guide Toni Egger, who 18 months later would meet his end on Cerro Torre. The Austrians decided not to attempt Jirishanca’s west face, which, “high and formed of fluted ice flanks and steep walls, would have been impossible.” In light of the equipment of the day, perhaps this assessment was justified. The 60-degree ice sheets of the 900-meter west face have since allowed six quality routes of predominantly TD difficulty, the first established in 1969 by an eight-man Italian team led by Riccardo Cassin. After cutting steps and fixing ropes, they reached the summit ridgeline. “They had to surmount an ice mushroom on unstable, precarious ice, spongy and fluffy on the surface. The axe cracked everything, their feet gave way and it was hard to make the next move. The delicate icy skull-cap was the final defense of the virginity of the face of this 20,099-foot colossus.” Their West Rib Route follows an aesthetic, bending ice arête and is now a classic. (This and other quotes come from Mountain World 1958-59 and AAJ 1970; for routes on the west and southwest faces, see AAJ 2003, page 308.) The 1957 team of Austrians also ruled out the snowy north ridge, in spite of it offering the easiest route to a Jirishanca summit (the lower north peak). To traverse from the north summit to the true summit would involve a treacherous “advance along [the connecting] knife edge, not unlike a cockscomb of ice.” The first ascent of the north ridge came seven years later (1964), by Americans Gary Colliver and Glen Denny. Incidentally, this is the only route to date that reaches the north summit of Jirishanca; the route has yet to be linked to the true summit. The Egger team also dismissed the “gruesome” southeast face and set out on the east buttress, approaching it from the north. Towering rock and ice cliffs adorned by icicle fringes earn this route an ED1 rating by modern standards. Climbing in expedition style, the Austrians fixed ropes on the lower rock pillar to reach the snowy, icicle-fringed section at mid-height, where they tunneled behind an ice cliff. After placing a high camp, they launched onto the upper rock pillar. “The difficulties of this brittle rock nose above the abyss demanded a supreme effort from my certainly hardened men.” A summit attempt was stifled by deep snow on the final ridge, where “one could have gained height only in swimming fashion.” They retreated. After making the first ascent of Yerupajá Chico, Jirishanca’s southern neighbor, the Austrians returned to Jirishanca. With the end of the dry season fast approaching, they decided to attempt the summit with an “extreme personal effort,” skimping on food and sans tent. “This is the hardest tactic one can imagine on such a difficult and high mountain—and in times of peace, nobody could be ordered to pursue such an action. But Egger and Jungmair went voluntarily.” Aided by fixed ropes still in place, they reached their previous high point early on their second day and began


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a bold traverse of the summit ridge. On July 12, 1957, Toni Egger and Siegfried Jungmair stood on the summit of Peru’s last unclimbed 6,000-meter peak. Their ascent was “probably one of the boldest climbing feats ever performed in the Cordillera.” As all the major peaks of the Huayhuash had been climbed, expeditions began focusing on the remaining unclimbed faces. A wave of expeditions advanced on the southeast face of Jirishanca during the early 1970s. First to arrive was a Japanese team from the Moji Alpine Club in 1972. They retreated from a highpoint 300 meters up the face but did discover the long-sought wreckage of the airplane that had crashed 18 years earlier. The following year, a Japanese team of 15 led by Masayuki Shinohara approached the southeast face ready for a prolonged siege. Over the course of 49 days they The Jirishanca region of the Cordillera Huayhuash. Martin succeeded in making the first Gamache/Alpine Mapping Guild ascent of the southeast face, having forced a route up the left edge of the right-side rock wall and joining the East Buttress below the upper rock pillar and continuing to the summit. They had faced sustained steep rock and ice, including an eight-meter rock overhang as well as overhanging ice cliffs, which they aid climbed on ice screws. Jirishanca’s southeast face quickly attracted a third expedition, this time a group of Austrians in 1974. This team of eleven climbers led by Jürgen Gumpold tackled the far left side of the face, requiring six days to reach Jirishanca’s south ridge near the Jirishanca-Yerupajá Chico Col. The rock buttress leading to the south ridge involved rock to 5.10a on the lower parts and ice-cliff dodging higher up. The weather then deteriorated and they retreated. In descent, they watched an avalanche emanating from Yerupajá Chico overwhelm the route they had traveled that day. This early period of exploration ended with the 1974 expedition and the southeast face faded from the limelight for 26 years. A second wave of interest, which persists to this day, began in 2000 when Pavle Kozjek, Marjan Kovac (both from Slovenia), and Aritza Monasterio (Peru) teamed up for the first alpine-style attempt on the face. In seven hours they tackled the


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unclimbed south-southeast spur—an ascending, narrow edge, stacked with ice mushrooms— to reach the south ridge, where the difficulties intensified. Having floundered in deep snow to that point, the team opted for descent and reached base camp 23 hours after departing. This Peruvian-Slovenian team was also the first group of brave souls to talk seriously about an attempt on the Direttissima: straight up the fall line to the tip of Jirshanca’s pointed summit. After climbing the bombarded funnel, it would ascend through mixed ground, passing a semi-circular overhanging rock cliff at mid-height to reach the snow bowl below the final challenge: a steep, mixed headwall 200 meters in height, capped by overhanging icicle-fringed ice cliffs. Fitting of such a supreme mountain, the most direct route would also have the distinction of being the most difficult. Needless to say, they have not been the last to dream of this still unclimbed jewel. Alun Powell, while on Fear and Loathing in 2003, watched the formidable line sustain regular bombardments. Upon returning to civilization, Powell made a standing offer of a bouquet of roses for the first to climb the Direttissima. High Mountain Sports published an article on the Huayhuash in 2001, including an image of the southeast face of Jirishanca. This sparked a flood of interest, beginning with three visits in 2002. Alun Powell and Nick Bullock (U.K.) were the first. In May they began climbing the center of the face, only to be caught by an avalanche that promptly deposited them back at the base, partially injured. Yanik Bérubé (Canada) and I arrived in July just as a storm rolled in. We sat in base camp for 12 days, “doing time” as the storm outside gradually abated and an intestinal storm in Yanik stole center stage. As we packed it in, I wondered if I would ever again be willing to psych myself up enough to try the Direttissima. Finally, Slovenians Rok Zalokar and Urban Azman attempted a line beginning in the center of the face that would traverse a sloping snow ledge rightward before striking upward along the line that the French would climb in 2003. Zalokar was soaked while aiding through a dripping overhang, and his clothes and boots froze overnight. Instead of risking cold injury, the strong, young team retreated. The word was out on Jirishanca; six teams visited the Huayhuash in 2003 with the southeast face as their primary objective. Tragedy and triumph marked the beginning of the season as Austrians Alexander Fidi and Julian Neumayer perished on the southwest face of the neighboring Jirishanca Chico while acclimatizing. Soon thereafter, Alun Powell and Nick Bullock, ready for a rematch with the Hummingbird, made the first alpine-style ascent of the southeast face by their bold new line, Fear and Loathing. The season was far from over; Aymeric Clouet and Didier Jourdain of France showed up and finessed their way up the center of the right-side rock face, resulting in their challenging new route, Tambo, Churros, y Amigos. (See adjoining articles.) The 2003 climbing season included a strange twist. Italians Stefano DeLuca, Paolo Stoppini, and Piccini Alessandro, with a power drill in hand, forged a line up the right side of the right-side rock face, connecting with the base of the East Buttress after 18 pitches of climbing to 5.11+ and A2. Their new route, Suerte (“Luck”), follows a wandering line of over 40 bolts (see Climbs & Expeditions). For a bolted line to connect with a route first climbed by none other than Toni Egger is either a blunt statement on bolting ethics or a profound coincidence. Jirishanca’s southeast face is by no means climbed out. The far left side of the face is still wide open. Just left of center, another possible line could primarily climb ice to reach the south ridge just before it kicks back. And then there’s that bouquet of roses.... Jeremy Frimer is the author of the upcoming guidebook, Cordillera Huayhuash: Select Treks and Climbs(2005, Elaho Publishing, Squamish, Canada). See www.elaho.ca for more information.


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Alpine-style suffering on Jirishanca’s great southeast face. NICK BULLOCK

Al Powell at 6,000 meters on Jirishanca. Nick Bullock

We started to climb at one in the morning and I felt terrible. Approaching the start of an evil chimney—the drain for anything falling from Jirishanca’s massive southeast face—we well remembered that this was the place where we had nearly died in 2002 during an avalanche. Our breathing grew labored. Was it the altitude? Or were we psyching up for the sprint ahead? But


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our decision was made. We would solo for a while. Speed was safety. As we entered the dark confines, the sense of menace was overpowering. Fighting the desire to quit, we began our sprint. The climbing was not too difficult, but I desperately wanted to escape this sinister place. It took an age to break loose from the clutches of the chimney, then I aimed for a large, overhanging buttress to the right, silhouetted in the eerie half-light of the moon. I could sense the massive gargoyles of snow and ice stuck to the soaring towers directly above. Why had Al Powell talked about earthquakes the day before? Where was he? I turned to look below. Yes, he was there, a pinprick of light still in the confines, plugging away as quick as his body would allow. Our partnership had started in Peru three years earlier. My aggressive, impatient character was tempered by his steady, laid-back approach. We were in this together now, gnarled and knotted like old oaks. Dawn arrived and highAl Powell on the endless ice of Fear and Loathing. Nick Bullock lighted our spectacular setting. We clung to life in the middle of a great, concave amphitheater. Upside down organ-pipes hung all around us in this cold cathedral, some as thick as tree trunks. The mountains behind woke for another day, lit with a deep red glow as the sun lifted its head above the horizon. Immediately, the warmth made its presence felt. A large serac broke from the wall above and crashed down, scattering into a thousand pieces. Minutes later a second one followed. With every resounding crash we cowered, insects at the bottom of an egg timer. Al cut across the rippled ice, moving right and aiming for the vertical ice towering above. I moved toward him, crossing runnels furrowed by falling debris. We were pitching the climbing now since the chance of something crashing from above and wiping us out was very real. Roped, the fall wouldn’t kill us. After a fantastic and sustained 60-meter pitch of vertical water ice, I belayed, casting a wary eye above. A runnel of rotten rock waited, covered by a thin skin of ice and topped with a bulbous overhang of icicles. This was not the type of ground for someone new to the fathering game, like Al.


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My lead! I climbed straight up. Good ice gave way to a skin of rotten crud. Frantically I scratched and scraped, eventually managing to reach a large cluster of icicles drooling from the exit. The screw I had placed an eternity ago was 15 meters below and Al was another 10 meters below that. Placing three more screws into the crud, with one tied off and two wobbling, I made a move up, then another. Feet kicked, lumps of crud flew. Al dodged, I swore, an axe ripped. I lurched, I reversed. I tried two more times; both failed. “Any ideas?” I yawped to Al, who hadn’t made a sound the whole time I was swinging around trying to kill myself. “Why don’t you aid it?” “On what? Everything is rotten.” “Just slap a sling on your top screw to stand in, then aid it on your axes.” The thought of aiding through rotten ice didn’t appeal to me. “I don’t do aid!” After an hour Al realized I wasn’t joking. Groveling up unconsolidated snow at the top of the overhang, I vowed never to scoff again at aid climbers: I had succeeded by aiding on my axes. Al started to climb but quickly decided to jug one rope. I belayed him on the other while watching television-sized blocks of ice ring constantly down the steeple of rock opposite. Approaching me, Al stared at me and whispered, “you’re a fucking nutter!” That pleased me. Two pitches of unprotected powder-bashing placed us on a knife-edge arête of snow beneath a great tilting serac fringed with a massive mouth of sharp teeth. We dug out a ledge for a bivy and ate our evening meal while sitting out a storm. Through the night the clouds swarmed, but later, to my great relief, the sky cleared. Easing the stiffness from our aching bodies on the first pitch, we saw the sunrise and the mountain begin its morning song. Six pitches of weaving and groveling followed. Climbing vertical, unprotected mush ate into the time, and it was with joy that I tunneled through the second wafer-thin cornice of the day onto the ridge. Celebration took the form of a whole Mars Bar each. At last the foreboding face was left behind. We were now on the East Buttress, first climbed by Egger and Jungmair in 1957. A panoramic vista opened out in front of me: new valleys, intense blue lakes, new mountains. I felt alive. Dropping down from the cornice, I traversed to belay at the side of a large ice overhang. Al swam past then crawled beneath a wild umbrella of ice, where he fixed a belay. “You’re going to love this!” As I climbed to meet him, I didn’t think I was. Sitting at the rear of the cave, he reminded me of a fly in the jaws of a Venus flytrap, but this fly was attached to ice screws and sitting at the edge of a hole looking directly down the face. As I traversed the wall of thin snow surrounding the hole, Al yelled quite loudly, “Careful, you haven’t seen how far that overhangs!” I hadn’t, but as I minced around the hole to join him it became obvious. “Why is nothing on this mountain normal?” I moaned. Al ignored my moaning and set about digging a bivy ledge, making a pulpit overlooking a congregation of fine mountains. The third day followed in a similar fashion to the second. The climbing was never as hard as the first day but it just kept coming. We cut slots, carefully crawled over crumbling rock, pulled overhanging ice. Having squirmed up more bottomless powder, I basked in the sun and checked the buttress above. The rock was the same as lower down: a pile of crumbling cornflakes. Rusty pegs sprouted from lumps of congealed mud, and rotting ropes swung forlornly in the wind.


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I pointed out a line I had spotted to my left. It looked more in keeping with everything we had already done and would be more new climbing. Al set off around the corner to check it out. “It looks like it’ll go,” he mumbled. “It looks okay as long as the ice isn’t rotten.” A very sustained 55 meters later he escaped the confines of the runnel, pulling through an ice overhang and belaying at the base of a tottering dollop of snow. On the next section— the third, vertical, unprotected excavation pitch of the climb—I surprised myself by digging through it easily; it must have been all the practice I was getting. Leading onto the steep summit ridge, every step kicked into rotten, sun-bleached snow gave me reason for rejoicing. A long traverse left found me burrowing through Joe Simpsonesque flutings of death and led me to thoughts of hanging over the headwall. I didn’t fancy emulating the epic that occurred on Siula Grande, and so we belayed. Following my weaving steps, Al joined me at my confined spot. Continuing directly up the runnel, he chopped through the top of the fluting and continued up a steep, icy slope. The afternoon bubble-up of clouds had started earlier than normal and soon it spitted hail. Spindrift poured down the runnel, hitting me. It continued to fall in great clouds, blowing across the hundreds of fringed icefalls covering the headwall to my left. I became concerned. We had climbed all day, having eaten only one bar of chocolate each. I could feel my body eating away muscle for fuel and imagined returning to my job in the prison gymnasium emaciated. The drug-detox class would come into the gym fresh from the street, rattling and drug addled. They’d take one look at me, smile, and wink, recognising a fellow sufferer. Little did they know the drug of my choice didn’t come in tablet form! The lack of food and energy would make waiting on the ridge in this weather very risky. The line had dictated that we move light and quick. We couldn’t slip down to the valley for a rest and food before our summit push. We had no ropes fixed, no stash of food, no place prepared to safely sit out a storm. This was the style of climbing we both preferred, but if we stayed up here I was going to make the worst crack addict look healthy. Our passage across the corniced ridge in near white-out conditions was a tad disconcerting. I guessed that the towering pile of crud swirling in and out of the mist half a pitch away was the summit. Al appeared out of the driving snow, fighting his way along the ridge. With no food and unable to see what we would be climbing into, we hung around praying for the weather to clear. But after waiting half an hour our prayers were not answered. It didn’t feel fair, but a lesson learned long ago that life isn’t fair turned us around to start the long and scary journey home. SUMMARY OF STATISTICS: AREA: Peru, Cordillera Huayhuash ASCENT: Jirishanca’s southeast face to very near the summit, Fear and Loathing (900m to merger with East Buttress route and approximately 150m beyond, 25 pitches, ED 3/4, A2 WI6+ 90°+). Al Powell and Nick Bullock. June 15-18, 2003. Nick Bullock would like to thank the B.M.C., the M.E.F., Mammut, and D.M.M. for their support.


TA M B O , C H U R RO S Y A M I G O S One crazy adventure on the southeast face of Jirishanca. DIDIER JOURDAIN


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One of the early aid pitches on Tambo, Churros Y Amigos. Didier Jourdain

After a last long night in El Tambo, we took the bus directly the Cordillera Huayhuash. We had with us three weeks of food, which amounted to seven bags of 30 kilos each. After about 10 hours of the collectivo bus, we arrived at Queropalca in the night, a little town lost at the end of the Peruvian mountain pampas. Already it felt like an adventure. Then a long day of walking with mules took us past the pretty Carhuacocha (Lake) to the foot of Jirishanca, at 4,500 meters. Along the way the mules took a little bath in the river, and when it started to snow, we faced the hard fact that our gear was totally soaked. Then we realized something even worse: “Oh my god! The toilet paper!” It, too, was soaked. We managed to save eight napkins—how many days would they have to last? And then the weather turned really miserable. Edgar, a 14-year-old shepherd, visited to exchange some trout for rope after the climb. He became the only person we would see in 22 days. Only Christophe, the two-kilo

Aymeric Clouet running it out on his new route on Jirishanca. Didier Jourdain


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chicken, kept our morale up. But she was losing weight too quickly. Eventually we left camp for four days of climbing. Aymeric attacked the first pitch at the lowest, most overhanging part of the face. It snowed every day. We climbed slowly in the mud and grass, half aid and half free, having to clean the cracks to place protection. A pitch a day for the first two days, spiced by a fall from a sky hook. What a start. The next day, two pitches took us through very steep, dirty, poor rock to the top of the first bastion. Then we crossed a snow ramp, where we found an odd dropped bolt (of Italian origin). Now the free climbing could begin, as the rock was much better here. One more 80-meter pitch in crazy sculptured limestone, and then a new storm. Back to the bivouac, with 300 meters of fixed rope above and finally high-quality rock. The next day we returned The Ice Spider section of Clouet and Jourdain’s difficult new route on Chacraraju Este, climbed just before Jirishanca. Didier Jourdain to the base camp for two days of rest and eating, and of course to save on toilet paper. Six big trout awaited us, along with a thinner chicken. We looked at our supplies and realized that only eight days of food remained. It was time for the final push, which looked like it would provide aesthetic free climbing. A day took us up the fixed ropes, where we learned the old lesson that there is always something that doesn’t work on an ascent; this time it was the stove: two hours to heat soup. Another great start. The crux of the second day was a steep freeclimbing crack to reach a good ledge: no portaledge this night. But Aymeric lost his mind over the stove. The next pitch had a ridiculously good belay: two 10mm bolts! Why a bolt when there were such good cracks? We had left our own bolts behind so as not be tempted. Then snow began falling again. The third day we diagonaled left up a dihedral with an icy pitch and met the Japanese route, with its old fixed ropes, pitons, and bolts. We used three of those bolts to cross a slab, and climbed two hard pitches on the right with a bit of aid climbing on poor rock, using a skyhook. We placed the bivouac on a poor ledge. The fourth day, we crossed some gray slabs on the right to reach the central chimney gully; a long mixed pitch took us to the ledge under the final bastion. We were free climbing again, but


TA M B O , C H U R RO S Y A M I G O S now under a friendly sun. We went to sleep to the rhythm of the stove. That night the sky brightened from storms far below to the east, over the Amazon Basin. Impressive. We left the portaledge there, on the fifth day. Three splendid pitches in cracks and slabs were steeper than expected; it was a gas at 5,800 meters. Then Aymeric played with his ice-axes in the large ice roof ringing the entire top of the mountain, a roof that had frightened us since the first day we saw them. He climbed it free, which was amazing. We played at being tightrope walkers on the snow arête that glided into the sky. As night fell, we discovered a cave under a icy roof. Nine technical pitches through icy roofs, bad rock, ice-flutes, and cornices eventually took us to the summit the sixth day. It was a magic moment. Another night in the ice cave, and then a long day brought us back to the ground. We removed our fixed ropes, and on the last abseil down, in the night, another storm hit us. Snow had returned, but for us it was “la buena suerte” (good luck). The following day, over-tired, sick, and beyond any feelings, we shuttled back the last of our gear. Edgar came to give us some potatoes and to take us back to civilization. We gave him the rope. It had been a crazy adventure, which wouldn’t end until the first meal, the first beer in El Tambo.

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The spec on the ice roof is not a fly, it’s Aymeric Clouet climbing free. Didier Jourdain

SUMMARY OF STATISTICS AREA: Peru, Cordillera Huayhuash ASCENT: Southeast face of Jirishanca, Tambo, Churros Y Amigos (1,100m, ED3/4, 7a A2 95° M4). Aymeric Clouet and Didier Jourdain. August 29–September 10, 2003.

Clouet and Jourdain also climbed a major new route on Chacraraju during their visit to Peru. See Climbs & Expeditions.

Topping out on Tambo, Churros Y Amigos, with SW face of Jirishanca Chico behind. Didier Jourdain


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Peru CORDILLERA BLANCA Alpamayo to north ridge, Sensations of History. On August 8 the Catalans Josep Escruela and Tino Tain climbed the gully to the right of the Ferrari Route. From the Alpamayo–Quitaraju pass they reached the start of the Spanish–Chilean Route, subsequently climbing to the left along the base of the bergschrund before crossing it at the start of the French Gully. They climbed 120m leftward across 45°–50° slopes to reach the left-hand gully. Precarious curtains of 90°–95° ice, with poor belays, led to a narrow gully between the Ferrari Route and the French Gully. The gully was climbed, mostly on 60°–75° ice and snow, to the north ridge. They descended the Ferrari Route without continuing to the summit. The team estimated that the route was 400m long, with a UIAA grade of ED, 45°–60°–95°. They called it Sensations of History. ANTONIO GÓMEZ BOHÓRQUEZ, Spain (translated by José Luis Bermúdez) Taulliraju, east buttress, second ascent. Possibly the most notable event in the Blanca during 2002 was not the creation of a new route but the second ascent of a major line that had remained unrepeated for 20 years. Over eight days from June 26 to July 3 the talented French trio of Stéphane Benoist, Patrice Glairon-Rappaz, and Patrick Pessi made the first complete repeat of Taulliraju’s East (Right-Hand) Buttress (Fowler-Watts, 1982) on the southwest face. Although the group has an impressive collective resumé, including the second winter ascent of the Gousseault route, a winter repeat of Rolling Stone, and a solo of No Siesta, all on the north face of the Grandes Jorasses, plus the first ascent of the difficult north face of Chuchubalstering in the Hindu Raj (and Pessi had just led 8b before the trip), they found the route to be the hardest they had climbed in their lives. The line is obvious, but even the elite Blanca activist Nicolas Jaeger had decided it was not for him in 1978, and moved well right to climb the shorter south face to the upper south-southeast ridge. Three Japanese, who climbed a hard direct route up the south face in 1976, probably also had the southwest face in mind. It was left to the British pair of Mick Fowler and Chris Watts, on their first expedition to altitude, to complete a test piece that subsequently defeated a number of strong parties. Fowler and Watts, both leading very hard pitches (Fowler took his first fall as a second) and both climbing with packs except on one pitch, spent four-and-a-half days on the route, reaching the 5,830m summit on May 28, 1982. There was superb ice, difficult aid on the generally sound but compact granite, and the usual Peruvian excavating and groveling. One particularly memorable pitch involved an overhanging chimney behind a large, free-hanging icicle. The 800m route was solid ED3


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and had difficulties that could probably be rated V A3+ AI6. It was done in perfect, though cold, weather. Last summer the weather was not obliging for the three French. Apart from the clear and sunny first and last days, it was generally overcast with some snowfall. The trio fixed the first 60m, already aiding where they expected free-climbing, and continued in alpine style with a large haul bag, using bivouac sacks rather than a tent. They reached the top after 30 pitches and six bivouacs, the last just three short pitches below the summit. The icicle seems to have been too fragile to climb, but Pessi managed to aid the wall just to the right, with a long reach at the start that was only possible for someone of his 6'2" height. He then moved carefully over the top ice bulge. The team used a lot of aid (to New Wave A2), free-climbed only one rock section, and confirmed the AI6 rating (sections of 90°–95°). Only one peg was found in place on the entire route. The three descended by rappel. This was another fine French effort in the Cordillera Blanca and was short-listed for the Piolet d’Or. It confirmed, if confirmation was needed, that the first ascent in 1982 set a new benchmark in Peruvian climbing. LINDSAY GRIFFIN, High Mountain INFO Santa Cruz Chico, east face to within 20m of summit. Scottish-based Jason Currie and Guy Robertson made a new route up the east face of the rarely climbed Santa Cruz Chico (a.k.a. Atuncocha), the 5,800m peak on the ridge between Santa Cruz (6,259m) and Santa Cruz Norte (5,829m). The face is not big and appears largely rocky, but before last year was unclimbed. The only previous recorded line on the mountain seems to be the 1958 American Route (Michael-Ortenburger-Ortenburger). The Scottish pair reached base camp on July 7 and made their first attempt on the 13th. They tried a single-day push up the center of the face but came to a halt 150m below the summit, being forced to retreat, dehydrated, the following day. On the 17th they tried again, making a very early start and carrying a stove, though no bivouac gear. They first climbed three pitches (75°–80°) up a gully left of the toe of a rock spur in the center of the face, then, after a short rock pitch, followed a 60° gully and snow slopes to a very steep rock band. This was overcome at A1. Above, the pair climbed up right through mushrooms and seracs to a couloir leading to the summit ridge. They climbed the couloir (100m, 55°) to the crest of the ridge and eventually stopped 20m short of the summit due to typical Peruvian unstable cornice formations. A rappel descent was made of the route largely using rock anchors and Abalakov threads. Although there was around 600m of climbing, the height of the face was no more than 400m and the route graded Alpine TD. The pair report that the weather was generally stable throughout their stay in the mountains. LINDSAY GRIFFIN, High Mountain INFO Abasraju to summit ridge, Moonlighting. On July 7 Tony Barton (U.K.) and I climbed a new route (Moonlighting, 11 pitches, TD) on the west-southwest face of Abasraju (5,550m). There is only one other route on the face, and it goes up to the left of the summit. Our route is an almost vertical line approximately 200m to the right of the summit. At the base of the face, directly below the summit, is a small rock buttress. To the right is another larger rock buttress. Between the two is a snow funnel that leads up to an ice runnel. We followed this into mixed


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ground and then out into névé runnels which led to a more open face with soft snow. Finally, below the large cornice we traversed right to find a way to the summit ridge. We didn’t go to the summit because of the snow conditions. NICK CARTER, Glasgow University Mountaineering Club La Esfinge, Variante Checa. In June we had the opportunity to attempt to open a big-wall variation on La Esfinge (5,350m). David Font, from Cataluña, Spain, a Mexican friend Emiliano Villanueva, one porter, and I joined as a team. We climbed the first pitch of Papas Rellenas, then traversed left to the route Lobo Estepario. We opened a new pitch to the right of Lobo Estepario. We then climbed the third pitch of Riddle of the Cordillera. Between Via Gringos and Riddle we opened a new pitch that reaches the belay station of Gringos. At this point, after two days of climbing, we fixed ropes and descended. Two days later we returned to the wall and continued the ascent, climbing the sixth and seventh pitches of Via Gringos. On the eighth pitch we deviated to the right, into a dihedral that forms a chimney and passes through a small roof. We opened the following six pitches, using natural belay stations and rivets, until we found a traverse to the right that ascends directly to the summit. (These last two pitches had been climbed by a previous party.) The 16-pitch route involved two nights and two and a half days on the wall, with a difficulty of VI 5.10d A2+. During our ascent a fatal accident occurred to a Czech climber on the Cruz del Sur route. For this reason we named our route Variante Checa. Emiliano Villanueva (Mexico) and Marius Bagnati (Brazil) completed the third ascent of Cruz del Sur a few days after we climbed Variante Checa. LUIS CARLOS GARCÍA Ayala, Mexico (translated by Molly Loomis) Chacraraju Oeste, Jaeger Route, solo. The 24 year-old French alpinist Didier Jourdain completed a solo ascent of the 700m Jaeger Route (TD+/ED1) on the south face of Chacraraju Oeste (6,001m). This line, first climbed solo on July 5, 1978 by the legendary French mountaineer

Via Traversiade, on the south face of Pisco Oeste. Richard Hidalgo


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Nicolas Jaeger follows the broad couloir between two ice ribs/flutes leading directly to the summit. Jourdain, carrying no stove or bivouac equipment, took 15 hours for the ascent and a further seven hours to rappel the route. Confirming once again that the crux of most Peruvian routes is reaching the summit, Jourdain took four hours to overcome the last 100m. LINDSAY GRIFFIN, High Mountain INFO Pisco Oeste, Via Traversiade. On the south face of Pisco Oeste (5,752m) on August 21 Italians Tarcisio Bello, Ivan Camolini, Michele Grigenti, and Bruno Castegnaro climbed what may be a new route, Via Traversiade (TD+, 90°) in 10 hours from the base of the wall. (Many routes ascend the south face of this popular mountain but not all are well documented, making new route research difficult.) After climbing nearly to the summit ridge, just below and left of the summit, they were forced to rappel 30m and traverse right to gain the summit on very difficult ice (90°–95°, some aid). The line is thought to be between the 1977 (Bougnaud-Vallençant-Barrand) and 1981 (Bougnaud-Wilson) routes. RICHARD HIDALGO, Peru Huandoy Sur, Crise del fe. What a crazy idea we had! Five young guys—Yann Bonneville, Benoit Chanal, Francois Dupety, Pierrick Keller, and Theo Dubois—suddenly decided to travel to a mythical destination, not yet knowing exactly where. Finally we chose Peru. Now we needed to decide which Pierrick Keller looking for something cold and steep on Huandoy mountain to climb. The name Huan- Sur. Benoît Chanal doy Sur entered the discussion. “Why? Don’t you know of anything steeper?” Benoit asked jokingly. No, I don’t. Maybe that’s why Huandoy Sur. Anyway, we set to work. We tried to find sponsors, but due to our organizational skills and lack of time, we didn’t receive sponsorship. Oh well! We’ll go anyway and see what we can do! In the end, some friends helped us gather enough gear to attack this monster. We began climbing on July 26, and the initial pitches seemed difficult, cold, and committing. For several days the mountain seemed so far above our level that we were hesitant to commit. Each day came down to scratching our way a few meters higher. And then, as I read in a famous passage, “It’s necessary to shatter the myths, to go too far too fast, what’s important is that you feel ready mentally.” There was nothing to do but keep up our morale. After doubt concerning the conditions came doubt concerning the objective dangers. Getting hit in the head by a falling rock hurts, but when it happens twice, then three times, then


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The line of Crise del fe, on Huandoy Sur. Pierrick Keller

becomes routine, you begin to ask what you’re doing there. But after evaluating the risks we had already taken, we decided to continue. The summit, which we gained on August 21 at 5:15 p.m., was a huge relief. The face was definitely a learning experience but not impossible. While climbing we managed to find a little pleasure, but not the rest of the time. You have no desire to jug up the fixed lines again, simply loading your pack is exhausting, your hands are trashed, and women are nowhere to be seenæall good reasons for turning back! However, the attitude of the group was excellent, and the visits and support from women at camp allowed us to keep our spirits up and finally arrive at the summit, exhausted but HAPPY! We called our route Crise del fe (900m, ED+ 6a A4 M5). (This route ascends the overhanging granite wall left of the Desmaison Route (1972), then continues with the Casarotto–Da Polenza Route (1976), on vertical mixed ground with bad rock, to intersect the southwest ridge, which they followed for the final 100 vertical meters to the summit—Ed.) PIERRICK KELLER, France (translated by Todd Miller) Note: Confusion exists regarding the terminology used to describe Nevado Ulta’s north and west aspects. The broad face, shown with two route lines in AAJ 2001 (p. 275), was labeled “northwest face,” and many climbers refer to it as such. Other climbers, however, call this the “west face,” or “ west-northwest face.” In the interest of consistency, in the reports below we call this the west-northwest face and the adjacent feature (which has been called the north or northwest face or bowl) the northwest bowl—Ed. Nevado Ulta to summit ridge cornices, northwest bowl. At midnight on July 8 Brits Al Powell and Owen Samuel left a high bivy below the glacier and headed for Ulta’s prominent, unclimbed northwest bowl. Their route ascends the couloir to the right of the dividing rib that is prominent


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in the photo in the AAJ 2001 (p. 275) and continues up the headwall. They crossed the glacier, headed up the snow cone for several hundred meters and up an initial, wet icefall. That took them into a snow bowl, followed by steep ramps that led to the main lower couloir. Steep runnels (Scottish 5) then took them to a steep, run-out icefall (Scottish 5) and a big left-trending 50°–60° ice scoop in the middle of the face (Scottish 4). This led to the base of the obvious headwall. They bivied to the right, chopping a site from an ice fin. The first day involved 14–15 pitches and 15 hours of climbing. On the second day the climbers ascended a shallow corner for 15m, then up and left for another 40m. This proved to be the crux pitch, with some Scottish 7 mixed (but decent protection). A 60m pitch of Scottish 5/6 ice led to a bay. The pair went left, across a ramp, for 60m to a small rock step and gully, then up the gully, then left to a steep rock wall covered with icicles. They continued on scary, dangerous ice and snow-covered rock that involved a few 10m A1 sections. They then trended right, into a scoop, then up and left into a couloir. This they climbed for two pitches (Scottish 4/5, bad pro) to an enormous snow mushroom guarding access to the summit. They’d been climbing for about 14 hours when they found a relatively comfortable bivouac spot below some cornices; here they stayed the night. The next day they rappelled the route, mostly on ice threads. They report considerable rockfall in the lower section when the sun hits the face. The overall grade for the route was about ED2. OWEN SAMUEL, U.K. and LINDSAY GRIFFIN, High Mountain INFO

Nevado Ulta, northwest bowl, attempt. After aborting our plan to climb the southeast face of Jirishanca (6,126m) in the Cordillera Huayhuash, due to storm and illness, Jeremy Frimer (Canada) and I returned to the Cordillera Blanca in July and attempted a new route on the northwest bowl of Nevado Ulta (5,875m). The first day we followed a system of ramps on the left side of the face, to avoid the major rockfall gully in the center of the face. A strenuous pitch up vertical mixed terrain allowed us to leave the ramp system and start up impeccable ice flutings below the first main rock band. We dug an uncomfortable bivy out of a small scoop at ca 5,450m. The next day we climbed toward the rock band two-thirds of the way up the imposing face. We tackled it with a rightward traversing line, connecting ice ramps and broken granite.

Yanik Berube enjoying the combination of steep rock and a big pack during his attempt on the northwest bowl of Nevado Ulta. Jeremy Frimer


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The northwest bowl of Nevado Ulta, showing the Berube-Frimer attempt (left) and the Powell-Samuel near-miss.

After climbing numerous ice pitches into the night, we fashioned a bivy platform by hacking a notch in the crest of a fluting at ca 5,700m. We were now about 16 pitches up. A strong snowstorm blew in during the night, forcing us to retreat on the third day, a hard decision since we were within 80m of the northeast ridge, where most difficulties would have ended. Our committing descent, involving multiple traversing rappels, lasted about 10 hours and included one 60m free rappel. Difficulties up to our high point were 5.8 A2 M5 AI4. Thanks to the Mugs Stump Award for supporting our trip. YANIK BERUBE, Canada Nevado Ulta to summit ridge, west-northwest face, solo. The two days of walking, battling for space in chicken-filled collectivos, and bus transport played hell with my battered body. Al Powell and I had been attempting a new line on the southeast face of Jirishanca in the Huayhuash. Feeling the pressure of time and competition, we had forced the issue a little and paid the price. I had been hit by an avalanche that threw me 200' down the gully nicknamed, aptly, the Death Couloir. Powell joined in the fun for a way but got spit out, becoming my knight in shining armor and digging me from my snowy resting point. Arriving in Huaraz I was placed on the scrap-heap for broken mountaineers. Powell joined with Owen Samuel to try a line on Ulta’s unclimbed northwest bowl. Having sprained ligaments in my knee and shoulder and torn muscles in my groin, back, and ribs, I was faced with an early return to Britain. Listening to the Powell–Samuel battle plan and watching bags being packed was torture. I could take no more, so I doubled the dose of anti-inflamatories and packed my bag, too. In five minutes the job was completed: an ice screw, harness, 50m of 7mm cord, and two axes—I was prepared! I packed extra pills at the expense of food. Keeping my sack light seemed the only way possible for me to complete the approach.


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Unsure of my mental state and my ability to climb, I set off with Powell and Samuel the following day, June 7. Eventually, after much grimacing, I joined the pair as they stood beneath the Eigerlike face. Their intended line ran up the height of the face on dripping icicles that were melting rapidly. Having only come for “a look” and maybe to take a photo or two, I wished them well and limped off for a glance around the corner at the west-northwest face. Watching pin pricks of light move up to the northwest bowl at 11 p.m., I snuggled into my bag feeling no pressure whatever—it was a miracle I had made it up to here. An hour later I set off on my chemically enhanced adventure, moving slowly to reduce the depth of my breathing—an attempt to alleviate the pain from torn intercostal muscles. It didn’t work. Harboring secret ambitions that a direct line, climbing the left side of the west-northwest face, might go, I picked my way up the steep ice-slope beneath the face. The mushrooms on the summit ridge had appeared small when I scoped the face on the taxi-drive in, but only time would tell. Crossing thin bridges over monster crevasses made me glad I had nothing except washing line in my sack. The ice was perfect; my trashed body, in a Voltarol (anti-inflammatory)-induced numbness, appeared to be coping with the demands of the climbing. Steady WI3/4 following deep flutings led to the middle of the face. A left-rising traverse was made to join a series of runnels. In the dark they appeared to be continuous, running up the left side of the face. The climbing became more tenuous and steeper in the runnels, thin ice covering compact rock, until, about six pitches from the mushrooms, things got interesting. Picking my way from one thin, rotten ice patch to another focused my thinking and slowed me. Finally, just beneath the summit, the ice disappeared and was replaced with 90° rock, covered in powder. The climbing was sustained M5, and looking down 1,000' of ice made me realize that the sun was up and working its deadly, destructive powers. The need to get off the face quickly was apparent, but with only a few feet left before reaching the summit slope, I couldn’t resist. Crawling between two mushrooms deposited me on the summit plateau. It had taken seven hours to reach this point, sustained climbing at an overall grade of ED1. The need to start descending immediately, before the sun turned the face into a melting death trap, forced me not to visit the true summit. The original Bullock plan was to downclimb as much of the route as possible, but with the first few steps I discovered that lowering using the knackered left shoulder was as painful as hell. The steep ground would have been impossible to downclimb anyway, so an epic of rappelling on washing-line for 75' at a time began. I found that threading the 7mm cord directly through Abalakov threads worked well. Staring at the melting mushrooms above encouraged me to move quickly, but it still took six hours to reach the base of the face, 13.5 hours from when I started. The following day I hitched a ride in the back of a truck, and one collectivo trip deposited my broken body into Huaraz, land of cake, comfort, and pharmacies. NICK BULLOCK, U.K. Bullock was unaware of the West-northwest Face route (Earl–Trimble, 2000), and suspects that his solo roughly follows that line. Further investigation indicates that Bullock may have climbed independent ground on the right at the bottom and top, joining the Earl–Trimble line in the middle portion—Ed. Ocshapalca, south face. Back in Huaraz after the Huayhuash, I rejoined my friend Iñigo Mujica (Note: Baró Ramon and Mujica had climbed on Chacraraju and Jirishanca Norte. See note in


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Huayhuash section.) A team of four was descending after finishing a new route on the south face of Ocshapalca, which joined the Gato Negro (Black Cat) route two pitches from the summit. Only three of the team members—Ander, Joanfra Farreras, and Olga Torras—had been on the wall. The fourth, Akraitz Yurrita, had been suffering intestinal problems. I suggested that we join forces on a bid to finish their route to the top. My new companions immediately agreed, so off we went. Things went smoothly, since Akraitz was familiar with the area, and we had no trouble finding traces of our friends’ passage, as they had equipped the route for rappelling. We climbed rapidly, reaching our comrades’ high point before noon, and forged on for another three exposed pitches on typical Peruvian snow. We reached the ridge soon after 2 p.m. After the first three rappels we reached the existing rappel route, which allowed us to reach base camp before dark. This climb took place on July 30, and I was scheduled to fly back to Spain on August 2, so the rest was a mad rush to make the flight. ORIOL BARÓ I RAMON, Spain (translated by Oriol Solé-Costa) Milpocraju to summit ridge, Goulotte Gau Txoni. Kepa Escribano from Spain and Cristina Prieto from Chile climbed a new route on the west face of the 5,310m north summit of Milpocraju, located just south of the spectacular, well-known Nevado Cayesh. The ascent took place on August 1, the pair climbing a 330m couloir to finish on the ridge some distance left (north) of the summit. A direct line to the highest point was well-defended by a large and active barrier of seracs. Goulotte Gau Txoni starts with relatively straightforward 45°–60° slopes, which give access to a steep, mixed central section (60°–80° and IV+). The left end of the serac barrier must then be breached (50°) to reach the summit ridge. The pair rappelled from this point. They thought the route warranted an overall grade of around TD. This is the first route on the west face of the north summit, though the west face of the main summit has been climbed by at least two lines—in June 1985 by the British team of Derwin, Gore, Hinkes, Payne, Peter, and Thorn (TD-, 60°–80°) and in June 1986 by Gigliotti and Marchini, who probably followed the British line to the snowfield and then climbed about 200m left of the upper gully to reach the summit directly. LINDSAY GRIFFIN, High Mountain INFO Punta Numa, Hasta Luego, Zorro (So Long, Fox). (This report serves as an addendum to p. 303 of the AAJ 2002—Ed.) Our route on Punta Numa (5,179m), located in the Huantsan Group of the Quebrada Rurec, is dedicated to El Zorro, the bashful base camp fox and invited guest at every dinner. Roberto Iannilli and I completed the 1,200m route on August 2, 2001, after seven days of climbing, rating it EX+ (7a free-climbing and A3+ artificial climbing). The first twelve pitches were equipped with fixed ropes, now removed. The rock is good but mossy, especially in the cracks. Belays are equipped with hardware for the descent. The last two pitches are shared with the Spanish route Monttrek. LUCIANO MASTRACCI, Italy Cordillera Blanca, clarifications and corrections. AAJ correspondent Antonio Gómez Bohórquez, a noted Cordillera Blanca climbing researcher, sent the following notes regarding reports in the 2002


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AAJ. In writing us with these corrections and clarifications he emphasized, “I would appreciate it if…you keep in mind that it is not my intention to call into question the veracity of the people mentioned in my corrections. Thanks”—Ed. Santa Cruz Norte, West Face, correction. The June 12, 2001 attempt (AAJ 2002, pp. 294-295) of Jay Burbee, Jeremy Frimer, and Michel van der Speck on the “unclimbed” west face of Santa Cruz Norte was a repetition of the first part of the route climbed on July 24, 1967 by Akira Miyashita, Mitsuaki Nishigori, Takehiko Hayashi, and Kazutomo Kobayashi (Nishigori in Sangaku, vol. LXIII, 1968). The Japanese expedition climbed this route, gained the west ridge, and continued along it to the summit. It is incorrect to say that the west face had not been climbed and that the west ridge remains unclimbed. Tuctubamba, Middle Earth, correction. The mountain that Topher and Patience Donahue ascended—also climbed a few days later by Clay Wadman and Christian Beckwith (AAJ 2002, p. 296)—is not Tuctubamba. The summit that they reached, closer and immediately to the southeast of Taulliraju Principal, could be considered Taulliraju Sur (South) or Taulliraju Sureste (Southeast). The peak is marked on sheet 0/3a of the 2002 edition of the Austrian Alpine Club map, where it is shown with an altitude of 5,400m (see also sheet 18-h of the Instituto Geográfico Militar del Perú map). It is a characteristically sharp summit of ice and granite, confused in various publications with Nevado Tuctubamba, climbed by the Italians Andrea Farina and Nino Poloni in July 1960. The Donahue climb may be the first ascent of Taulliraju Sur, because it is unknown whether it was ascended since the attempt of Tomaz Strupi and Tone Stern on July 8, 1995. This Slovenian team encountered the remains of climbing gear on the northeast face—to the right of the Donahue route—and descended from the northeast ridge before gaining the summit. Caraz II, south face variation, correction. The caption for the photo on page 299 of the AAJ 2002 says, “Descent is behind left skyline.” This phrase contradicts the final paragraph of the note by Matic Jost (p. 300). Jost describes descending Caraz II’s original route, the 1955 route of Hermann Huber and Alfred Koch, which is the Northeast Ridge—the right skyline in the photo. From the summit, these Germans descended the ridge until close to the false summit, then the shorter 55°–60° couloir on the southeast face. From a radical point of view, if the climb of Fisher, Warfield, and Sheldrake in 1986 is considered an attempt, because they only reached the northeast ridge, the climb of Mlinar and Jost could be considered a new route, because they gained the summit or, for the purest mentality, a true variation of Huber-Koch route of 1955. Artesonraju, northeast face, correction. The route climbed in June 2000 by Nemesio Matalobos and Ángel Terrén (AAJ 2002, p. 300) indeed seems to be a repeat, with a small variation, of Tim Ammons and Peter Kelemen’s route (July 1977) on the left (eastern) side of the northeast face (AAJ 1978, pp. 563-4). It is also worth clarifying that the route done in August 1965 by Georg Hartmann, Ernst Reiss, Ruedi Schatz, and Eugen Steiger on the northeast face (AAJ 1966, pp. 166-7), joins the North Ridge route climbed by Germans Erwin Hein and Erwin Schneider in August 1932. The Swiss expedition of 1965 climbed 200 steep meters on the north ridge and continued to the summit, and authors such as Ricker (Yuraq Janka) consider the 1965 route a variation of the 1932 route. These routes begin to the right of the East Ridge route done in July


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1971 by Burton Janis, George Lowe, Mike Lowe, and Leigh Ortenburger, which had been previously climbed by Peter Gessner, Michl Steinbeis, Alfred Koch, and Helmut Schmidt in July 1966. This forgotten and ignored German first ascent, possibly the third to the summit of Artesonraju, was reported in the AAJ 1967, p. 388; the final part being climbed by Ammons and Kelemen. Huandoy Sur, Oro del Inca, correction. The route that Slovenian Pavle Kozjek climbed in August 1995 and reported as new, calling it Oro del Inca (Inca Gold) (AAJ 1996, p. 215, and AAJ 2002, p. 301), had been ascended unroped by Albi Sole and Greg Spohr in June 1979 and repeated by Mary Ábrego, Javier Muru, and Gerardo Plaza in May 1980. The only new ground covered by Kozjek is a variation that avoids the initial horizontal rock barrier, via climbing at the far right side, and connects with the 1979 Canadian route. Therefore, the phrase in the final paragraph of Kozjek’s 2002 note, “my fifth new route on big walls of the Cordillera Blanca” is incorrect. Likewise, it is important to clarify that the route descended by Kozjek (indicated in the photo in the AAJ 1996, p. 216) is not that ascended by Yves Astier. The French guide’s ascent paralleled the Canadian route and led directly to the ice flute situated just to the left of the summit, that reaches a little further on the west ridge. Palcaraju Oeste, Tocllaraju Sur, correction. Eduardo Mondragón and Martín Waldhoer did not ascend Palcaraju Oeste (AAJ 2002, p. 301) but Tocllaraju Sur, a secondary summit that some publications erroneously call Palcaraju Oeste or “Palcaraju Norte of some 5,750m.” The cartography edited in 1939 by the German Alpine Society attributes an elevation of 5,670m to the summit in question, which is situated to the south of Tocllaraju, and shows a 5,550m pass that delimits the northwest ridge of 6,110m Palcaraju Oeste. Huamashraju, west face, correction. Slovenian Tomaz Zerovnik’s name was misspelled as Toma Erovnik (AAJ 2002, p. 301). Churup, 496spa-smos, correction. The route completed in 1972 by North Americans Ronald Fear, William Lahr, and Richard Ridgeway and Dutch climber Michiel Malotoux is to the right (not the left) of the Malinche route climbed by Spanish climbers Juan A. de Lorenzo and Francisco J. Palacios in August 1982. Some publications have indicated the opposite, leading Peruvian guide Ricardo Hidalgo to incorrectly believe that he climbed between the routes and descended by the 1972 route (AAJ 2002, p. 302). ANTONIO GÓMEZ BOHÓRQUEZ, Spain (translated by Christian Santelices)

CORDILLERA HUAYHUASH Jirishanca Chico, southeast face, Sweet Child of Mine. After we returned from the southeast face of Jirishanca Grande, realizing that we wouldn't have a chance to try again, I was nevertheless full of energy. The weather was still sunny, so I proposed to Rok Zalokar that we try the southeast face of Jirishanca Chico, by a direct line seen from base camp. We woke early and spent an hour walking over the moraine and an hour crossing the broken glacier, reaching the face around 6 a.m. The first 250m were easy, and we climbed unroped. At first we thought that we could climb the whole face unroped, but we were surprised. There were ten meters of difficult


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mixed climbing and steep snow in the lower part. We hadn’t expected such steep climbing and didn’t take Friends or nuts, only four pitons, some slings, one snow blade, and three ice screws, which we used in the upper part. I led the first mixed pitch, which took us to a snow-and-ice gully. The average angle of the seven pitches we climbed was 65°. We missed the gear lying in base camp, but it didn’t help to think about the gear. We didn’t even think about the serac that overhung the gully. We took five hours from the base to the summit of this beautiful mountain. We had planned to descend Jirishanca Chico’s southeast face. Azman’s route ascends the shady couloir leading directly to the summit. Urban Azman by the west ridge, then the short part of south face to the glacier. This descent, however, turned out to be impossible, so I decided to descend the north face. We were forced to downclimb the upper part, because we didn’t have enough gear and could make only 30m abseils. After 180m the terrain become too difficult, so we made four Abalakovs. We found a rocky ridge on the lower part of the face, which took us to the bottom. We shook hands smiling, said, “Thank you, God,” and walked the long way over ridges back to base camp. We spent 14 hours on this unforgettable adventure. URBAN AZMAN, Slovenia Note: Although Azman reports finding no sign of previous passage on this route, which ascends the middle of three parallel couloirs dropping directly from the summit, it is unclear whether this route is new or the same as the 1984 Italian route on the face. If the route is new, Azman proposes the name Sweet Child of Mine—Ed. Jirishanca Norte to summit slopes. It is early July, and my climbing partner Iñigo Mujica and I have just gotten off the south face of Chacraraju, after completing the Bouchard Route in 25 hours. On arrival at our base camp at Laguna Jahucocha we saw that the southwest face of Rondoy was impracticable, owing to loose snow and avalanches. Jirishanca, however, looked be in good condition. We knew that the north summit, or in any case this face, remained virgin. Establishing a route on the face motivated us to mount a fast, nonstop assault. At the same time the distance to the face was a problem. From the lake it appears to be nearby, but the serac barrier at its base forces one to make a huge detour. Faced with these logistics, we ferried loads and established a camp on the pass between the Ogre and Yerupajá Chico. Just before the pass we were faced with overhanging serac eight meters high, which Iñigo climbed in impeccable style. Camp was in a truly impressive place, with the Yerupajá glacier on one side and the one issuing from Jirishanca on the other. We stayed at this camp an entire day, resting


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and preparing for our assault. On July 19 we left our tent at 1 a.m. and began the descent towards the base of the wall. The first part of the route up the face turned out to be trickier than expected, with difficult pitches among seracs. Daybreak found us 300m up, at the foot of the great slope that makes up the route’s middle section. There we encountered relatively easy, though exposed, climbing that took us to the base of the great final dihedral. To reach the dihedral we overcame difficulties involving very hard 70° ice and mixed sections, yet it became clear that the hardest The west and southwest faces of Jirishanca (6,126m), showing: climbing was still to come. We 1. Spanish attempt (Mujica-Ramon, 2002). 2. Polish route (Pawlikowski- started up the great dihedral with Probulski, 1982. 3. Italian route (Airoldi-Cassin-Ferrari-Lafranconia 70m, grade 5 pitch, followed by Lanzetta-Liati-Zucchi, 1969. 4. Slovenian route (unconfirmed location). 5. Austrian route (Bürger-Ponholzer, 1987). 6 American route (Bowl- another of the same length but of in-Caldwell, 1971). 7. Czech route (Drlík-Stejskal, 1982). 5+ M5+ difficulty. The following Jeremy Frimer pitch began with difficult aid climbing on rock and ended below the final summit slopes. However, my partner had lost a crampon, and since without it there was no chance of reaching the summit, we retreated about two pitches shy of the top, though it was only 3:30 p.m. So began a long series of rappels, interrupted only by a stop so we could melt snow, followed by what was without a doubt the hardest part of the day—the climb back up to camp. We reached the tent at 2 a.m., concluding a 25-hour push. The following morning we continued down to our base camp in Jahuacocha, where fried trout awaited our return. From base camp my friend and our gear departed toward Huaraz. I still hankered to see the Huayhuash, so I went for a hike around the base of the massif. ORIOL BARÓ I RAMON, Spain (translated by Oriol Solé-Costa) Tsacra Grande, West Face. In mid-August Mark Richey and I left our families at our base camp at Laguna Jahuacocha and hiked up the Quebrada Huacrish to above Laguna Saquicocha. We camped that night on a grassy hillside just below the west side of the moraine that drops off steeply on its east side into the lake. Early the next morning we woke to cloudy skies and at first decided to wait another day for better weather. But a few hours later it was clear, and we decided to go. We climbed above our camp and traversed to the east across a steep, loose slope, high above the south end of Laguna Saquicocha. From there we dropped down onto the glacier draining the west side of Tsacra Grande. Once on the glacier we headed up a shallow trough in


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the middle that avoided icefalls on either side. As we approached the base of the west face, we skirted the large rock wall in the center by following the glacier up and to the right. After climbing up the broken glacier below the face, we angled up and left and got onto the west face where the ice face came down and met the glacier. Several pitches of alpine ice led to mixed climbing topped with a short WI4 pitch. From there we traversed left into a series of classic Peruvian ice runnels that led to the summit ridge. We took turns traversing unconsolidated snow along the summit ridge to the top. We rappelled the route (about 2,500') and reached the glacier after dark. We wandered around the glacier trying to find our way with headlamps in a dense fog. We eventually made it back to our camp around morning. The next day we hiked back to our base camp for lunch and some great trout fishing, as the sun was setting on Jirishanca and Yerupaja. We believe this was the first ascent of the west face. STEVEN J SWENSON, AAC Siula Grande, Los Rapidos. On July 3 Marjan Kovac and Pavle Kozjek (both from Slovenia) and Aritza Monasterio (Spanish Basque living in Peru) climbed a new route on the northeast face of Siula Grande (Los Rapidos, 1000m, ED, 90° [crux]/55°–70° [average]) in eight hours, with another seven for the descent. This is the first route in the center of the face. The last ascent of this remote wall was probably made in 1978 on the far right side (ED, Blumenthaler–Gruner– Kaser–Schoisswahl). The 2002 team started on July 1 from base camp at Lake Carhuacocha and reached the glacier below Yerupaja at 4,800m in variable weather. Next day they found their way across the chaotic glaciers of Yerupaja and Siula to the base of Siula’s northeast face at about

The line of Los Rapidos on Siula Grande, and Marjan Kovac caught in a brief slow moment. Pavle Kozjek (2)


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5,300m. During the night the weather improved and they started climbing at 5 a.m. Conditions were good, and they could follow the line in the center of the wide face, avoiding the obvious horizontal rock barriers that give a special character to this wall. The hardest climbing was in the last 150m, where they had to find their way through overhanging seracs, following steep gullies with hard ice and powder snow. They reached the top at 1 p.m. and descended their route, downclimbing and rappelling. They descended the last 300m at night and returned to the glacier to find their tent destroyed by wind. They climbed in a rapid, lightweight style, taking only drinks and climbing equipment. Except for the last 150m, they climbed unroped. PAVLE KOZJEK, Slovenia Siula Grande, west face nearly to summit ridge. Dutch climbers Eva Oomen and Rogier van Rijn made an attempt on the west face of Siula Grande (6,348m), climbing 800m in nine hours on July 31. They climbed (ED 90°+) to the left of the three existing lines on the face. They report: “It is an ice line with sections of rotten vertical ice. We took almost no gear and tried to climb the whole face in a day. We had to descend from a couple of meters below the main summit ridge because of very unstable snow conditions. During the descent we were almost killed by a huge serac avalanche.” LINDSAY GRIFFIN, High Mountain INFO Puscanturpa Norte and Nevado Cuyoc. In June a four-man Italian team climbed a new variant on the most imposing part of the northwest face of Puscanturpa Norte (5,652m), between the 2000 French routes (AAJ 2001, pp. 284–6) Pasta Religion and Macanacota. The Italians, Francesco Balzan, Bice Bones, Fabrizio Conforto, and Andrea Zanetti, appear to have climbed not far from Pasta Religion, with difficulties up to VII and A4. After they had covered 600m of new ground, the weather deteriorated, and the four were forced to finish on Pasta Religion. The Italians also climbed the east spur of Nevado Cuyoc (5,500m), almost a subsidiary summit of the Puscanturpa Group. This may well have been a first ascent. LINDSAY GRIFFIN, High Mountain INFO

CORDILLERA CENTRAL Cordillera de la Viuda, ascents. In late June 1999 Gerardo Telletxea and I arrived at the village of Culluhuay, in the northwest part of this cordillera. From the Leóncocha lake shore, where we camped, we explored the valleys draining west. On July 1 we climbed Nevado de la Viuda (5,200m/17,061'), a second ascent—two Peruvians had been on top in 1959. Ours may have been a new route up the south face, on rock and ice. From base camp we had noticed a bold, massive, rock tower (ca 4,750m/15,885'), which we climbed by a technical route on its west face, on excellent rock. We named it Torre del Curco, after a local hunchback duck. Three days later, we attempted another equally fine rock tower, but bad weather forced us to abandon the climb. JORGE MALLES, Spain


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Cordillera Jatún Chácua, clarification, and Cerro Janpari, ascent. The Cordillera Jatún Chácua is located south of the Cordillera Raura and north of the Cordillera de la Viuda. The only access is through the mining town of Oyón and up the Pucayacu valley. This range was first explored by a 1971 Polish expedition (AAJ 1972, p. 167), which climbed several peaks in the southern end of the range, including the highest, Nevado Chácua Grande (5,350m). In mid-2001, a German Alpine Club party repeated that climb and made several others in the same area, but the Germans mistakenly stated that they had been in the Cordillera Raura, which is some 40 km to the north (AAJ 2001, p. 283). In July I entered the range and reached as far south as Pistag Pass, the only access to the eastern side and its attractive ice peaks. Bad weather forced me to retreat from the misty eastern side of the range to the western slopes. On July 3 I climbed the serrated P5,000m above Cochapata Pass, by its west face on good rock. But its true elevation was probably only 4,900m, and it had a cairn on top. I named it Cerro Janpari (Quechua for “Many Points”). After exploring the Jancapata Valley in bad weather, I retreated to Oyón. EVELIO ECHEVARRIA, AAC Nevado Llongote, Los Pecados se Rien!, I-Célines, and Longue, Haute, et Magnifico. Two teams of young French climbers sponsored by the FFME visited the unfrequented Nevado Llongote massif in August. A group of four young men was joined toward the end of their stay by a team of five women. From a base camp at 4,400m, approached via the village of Yauyos (2,800m), Fréderic Auvet, Aymeric Clouet, Arnaud Drouet, and Thomas Villecourt on August 5 climbed the elegant left-hand pillar on the south face of Nevado Llongote (5,781m) to create a 550m route christened Los Pecados se Rien! This gave predominantly fine climbing on sound rock at D (4+ M4, 60°–70°). This ascent led to an exit onto the west ridge, which they descended. On the 9th Auvet and Villecourt climbed Nevado Llongote’s splendid east ridge, which they christened I-Célines. This 700m route had general snow-and-ice difficulties, rock steps of 4+, and was felt to warrant an overall grade of AD+/D. At the same time, climbing for two days on the 8th and 9th, Clouet and Drouet tackled the prominent pillar in the center of the south face, finishing just left of the summit. This gave an excellent climb at TD+/ED1, with technical difficulties of 6b+ on sound rock and ice/mixed up to 85° and M5. The committing route was christened Longue, Haute, et Magnifico. The two teams arrived on the summit at the same time and descended the east ridge together. The women now arrived, to find most of the good lines already climbed. After setting up a high camp at 4,800m, they attempted one route, only to have one of their group, Fanny Delachaux, take a short fall, break her wrist, and damage her knee. Unable to descend, Delachaux was left while help was summoned. The men, who were packing up their base camp, quickly came, and the injured climber was brought off the mountain and eventually evacuated by mule. Aude Aznavour, Marie Rousselot, and Helen Claudel then managed the second ascent of I-Célines before leaving the region. Llongote is the highest of a five-peak massif in the southern Cordillera Central and was virtually unknown before a visit by a Spanish expedition in 1963. The highest point, connected to its satellite peaks by delicate knife-edges and unstable corniced arêtes, proved a difficult challenge, and the first-ascent party was forced into an unplanned bivouac just below the summit. There were no reports of climbers visiting these mountains between the 1960s and the 1997 arrival of a British expedition to the highest peak, Ticlla (5,897m), in the northern part of the


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region (see INFO 189). Two members of this team moved south and attempted Llongote but retreated due to poor snow conditions. The French ascent may have been only the second of this enigmatic mountain. LINDSAY GRIFFIN, High Mountain INFO

CORDILLERA APOLOBAMBA Ananea Group, various ascents. John Biggar led an expedition to the seldom-visited Peruvian section of the Cordillera Apolobamba. Traveling via Puno and Juliaca the team, which comprised Biggar, M. Aurelio, J. Cargill, J. Lewis, R. Nuttall, and J. Starbuck, arrived in August at the small gold-mining village of Ananea, set at a remarkable altitude of 4,700m. This is a very remote part of Peru, rarely visited by climbers, so it is not surprising that the team saw no other western travelers during their two weeks in this area. Snow conditions were poor, due to unusually unsettled weather, but the team made four ascents. On August 9 Biggar, Cargill, and Starbuck climbed Nocaria (5,412m) via its easy south ridge. The whole team then walked from Ananea to a base camp at beautiful Laguna Callumachayo, from which on the 11th all the climbers made an ascent of Asnococha (ca 5,300m). From the 12th to the 14th the whole team made what they believe to be the first ascent of the southeast ridge of Ananea (5,853m). This peakæwhich, together with the equally high Callijon (a.k.a. Poderosa) a little to the east, is one of the two highest in the immediate areaæis one of the few with much climbing history. It was first ascended, probably from the south, in 1958 by the Italian team of Frigieri, Magni, Mellano, Merendi, Oggioni, Sterna, and Zamboni. (As the first mountaineering expedition to visit the Peruvian section of the Apolobamba, this group was responsible for nearly all the first ascents in this region.) Ananea was climbed again in 1960, and in 1973 a French team made a difficult ice route up the southwest face. In 1983 another French team climbed the relatively straightforward north face. The southeast ridge, climbed by the 2002 British party, was an excellent, narrow, but straightforward ascent. Moving to the border peaks, the whole team made a probable first ascent on August 17 of the southeast ridge of Chocñacota Este (5,350m, first climbed by the Italians in 1958), which gave a pleasant rock scramble. Three days later Biggar, Nuttall, and Starbuck attempted Palomani Norte (5,629m, also first climbed by the Italians) but were forced back just 50m below the top due to avalanche risk on a short headwall. LINDSAY GRIFFIN, High Mountain INFO


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Bolivia Pico Gotico, Via del Arco. Erik Monasterio, with the French climber Marie France Ducret, added a second route to the rock peak of Pico Gotico, marked 5,750m on the DAV map. This peak, a subsidiary summit west of the Ancohuma and Illampu massifs, received its name from the shape of its north and south ridges, which resemble the incomplete arches of Gothic cathedrals. In July Ducret and Monasterio reached the Laguna Glacier Base Camp on the northwest side of Ancohuma and continued, placing a camp on the moraine directly below the west face of Pico Gotico at 5,250m. Starting up the left side of the face late in the day on the 30th, the pair fixed the first and crux pitch (6c and A2). On the following day they ascended the rope and continued for two more pitches (5/5+) to the northwest ridge. Nine further rope lengths, up to 6a/b, were climbed on the ridge before Monasterio, in deteriorating weather, continued alone for the final 150m to the summit. Conditions on the climb were difficult due to the strong prevailing wind, low temperature and melt water from accumulated snow. Pegs and a full rack were essential for protection. The route, climbed round trip from Sorata in 72 hours, was christened Via del Arco. LINDSAY GRIFFIN, High Mountain INFO

Cabeza de Condor, La Promenade des Braves; Huallomen, Duende del Diablo; and Illampu, La Conjuration des Imbecile. Jerome Mercader and I were in Bolivia for one month. We first acclimatized

in the Condoriri Range, with a BC at 4,600m/15,100'. We climbed classics and also did two new gullies, on Cabeza de Condor and on Huallomen. Then we climbed 2,300' of the famous west face of Huyana Potosi (19,970') in only three hours, and were back in La Paz the same day. Soon after, we went to Illampu (6,368m/20,890') which is one of the most complicated and impressive summits of this range, with the hardest normal route in Bolivia. On May 25, on the south face of Cabeza de Condor (5,648m/18,525'), we established La Promenade des Braves (The Walk of the Braves, 220m/720' in the gully, 570m/1,870' to the top, IV M6 WI4), spending four hours in the gully and another hour and 45 minutes to reach the summit. This gully is located on the right bank of the glacier. Climb directly to the bottom of a mixed pitch (M6), then follow a narrow ice line (55° to 75°, with a snow mushroom). Cross to the right on a snow ledge to a snow shoulder. A last pitch, with a 65° ice section, reaches the snow ridge at 5,300m (17,385'), where the route joins the normal route to the top. On May 27 we climbed the east face of Huallomen (5,550m) via what we called Duende del Diablo (Spirit of the Devil, 500m/1,640', 570m/1,870' to the top, V M5 WI5), climbing the gully in 6:30 and taking another hour to reach the summit. We are not sure if we did the first ascent. The ice line is in the middle of the face—a narrow line with steep ice and dry-tooling sections. The start is the same as for the 2001 Bon Anniversaire Annick route. In the lower part


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of the gully were two pitches with ice sections of 70° to 85°. The line reaches the bottom of the headwall and turns left onto a snow ramp (55°, with some dry). Then the line ascends a steep, narrow gully (90°). The first crux, “Cross on your Feet,” is a 90° M5 pitch with small icicles. The next pitch and second crux, “The Belly,” is a 90° wall which leads toward a breach in a snow gully. However, just before reaching this breach, follow a snow ledge (50/55°) to the right for almost two pitches. A 70° M4 pitch to the right gives access to the central gully, which cuts into a second breach (60° to 75°). Escape right just before it. You are at the bottom of the rocky foresummit. A horizontal ledge takes you right for two easy pitches to the summit snow ridge and the normal route. Follow it to the top via snow and a rocky step. Descend by downclimbing the northeast ridge, always on the right side of the ridge. Illampu is located in the Cordillera Real, close to the village of Sorata. It's a remote summit, with a three-day approach to base camp (17,400'). La Conjuration des Imbeciles (The Confederacy of Dunces, 870m/2,860', VI M4 WI5) is a great, aesthetic line that we established on June 9. It follows the impressive central gully of the north face. One-push style being the fastest and the safest way to climb this route, we reduced our gear to four ice screws, four pitons, four Friends, some nuts, one 200' 7.7mm rope, a little water, and two goose gilets. Such a way of climbing allows you to be fast, but only if everything is going okay. The start is the same as that of the 1978 Mesili Route, which heads to the left side of the face and surmounts three seracs to reach the foresummit (6,344m/20,810'). This face is now far drier than in 1978. The first part of the couloir we climbed is now a six-pitch gully with 85° ice steps and M4 dry-tooling sections. The gully reaches the bottom of a 50m-high serac. This, the crux, was a 70m pitch (WI5, with some M4 to start). Above a 150m, 55° snow slope, head right to a second serac. Climb it on the left (70°). Then climb snow below the last serac for one 70° pitch. Climb to the left, on snow with mixed sections, to avoid a rocky headwall. Follow a secondary ridge to the foresummit, which we reached in 7hrs, 30min from the start. From the foresummit we reached the main summit in two hours via a corniced ridge with no protection. We had 30 minutes of daylight left when we summited, and began down climbing the normal, Southwest Ridge route (III 65°). It wasn't easy finding our way through the icefall, avoiding ghostly crevasses, with a lamp that only gave 15 minutes of light, but without bivy gear we couldn't afford a night out. The only solution was to find the tent, which we did around 10 p.m. We had an exceptional journey, an adventure that brought us to wild places without a soul around. We pushed our dream to the end, to be sure that life was worth being lived. The spirit of your climb is still more important than the climb itself. As long as there are climbers willing to escape from trails, adventure will exist. SEBASTIEN CONSTANT, France

CORDILLERA QUIMSA CRUZ The Big Wall, The AA Crack. After all the usual hassles of overweight and oversized baggage, and of making connections on the long trip from Yosemite, Donny Alexander and I arrived in the Cordillera Quimsa Cruz in June, just as the wet season was ending and winter was beginning. When we got everything to our Laguna Blanca base camp, I spent the next couple of days eating ciproflaxen-like candy, trying to counteract the effects of something I ate in La Paz. After living no longer seemed such a bad idea, we humped a load into Mocoya Valley, which is at


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about 15,700 feet. There is no water where we bivied, so we only brought up enough supplies for about a week. However, that was enough time to do what we are pretty sure is a first ascent (The AA Crack, IV 5.8 C2) on The Big Wall. When we got to the base of the most-obvious line, we saw slings 150 feet up. But it was such a beautiful line, we decided to climb it anyway. After following low angle slabs, I got to an old anchor consisting of a pin and a tied-off horn. Donny led the next pitch, about 30 feet up coming to three old tied-off Austrian pins, apparently a bail point. (Above, we saw no further evidence of the route having been climbed). A 20-foot section of rock on that pitch is poor quality, and both Donny and I took 30-foot whippers. The third pitch follows a gorgeous left-facing, left-leaning orange/gold corner system for 160 feet. The fourth pitch starts in the same corner, which turns into a three-foot-deep, shoulder-width-wide water groove. Fortunately, the crack we had been following continues up the back of the groove. The fourth pitch ends on a ledge after 170 feet. The top is then another 185 feet of broken climbing, with occasional 5.8ish moves. Because the crack we followed was somewhat dirty, and rotten in a few places, the going was slow. Climbing at 16,000 feet was also probably a factor. Each lead took about five hours, most of which involved cleaning placements, then trying to cry the dirt out of our eyes and sneeze it out of our noses. Because of the slow going we debated going back to Laguna Blanca for the portaledge, but decided not to because the wall is only 800 feet high. So every night we rapped down and in the morning jugged back up to our high point. After finishing the route we walked back down to Laguna Blanca. After a couple of rest days, we hiked back to Mocoya Valley for another week, hoping for more climbing there, then on Cuernos de Diablo in the next valley east. But my climbing trip soon ended when a hold broke and I fell, injuring my ankle, on Penis Pinnacle. A few days later I played belay slave for Donny on short crack climbs above our bivy. Then we hiked (I gimped) back to Laguna Blanca. Mocoya Valley has lots of potential, though I recommend going in Bolivian spring rather than winter. We did not get to check out the next valley north, which supposedly has had no development. Directly north of The Big Wall are several formations up to 500 feet high, with beautiful splitter cracks. The problem, beside my ankle, was that it would be 80° in the sun, 25 in the shade. Since it was winter, the north side of the valley only saw the sun for about an hour every morning. Therefore, snow from the wet season was not melting, and cracks and ledges had snow and ice. Winters are dry, though, so I imagine that when those formations get spring sun, they become very climbable. I give many thanks to the American Alpine Club, not only for the grant they were so kind to give, but also for their support through my pretrip changes. Although our trip did not work out exactly as planned, we had a great time and say thank you very much for helping make it happen! The northeast tower of Nordostl Turm, showing the original German route of 1987 (the ridge on the cliff’s upper right), and the Bach-Burns route in 2002 (rising from the lower left). Cameron Burns

LYNNEA ANDERSON, AAC


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Araca Group, various ascents. Mike Walker, Cameron Burns (Basalt Bigfoot Coalition), and I spent June 29–July 10 in the Mocoya and Teacota valleys of the northern Araca Group of the Quimsa Cruz. While there, we spent most of our time bivouacked under a large boulder, avoiding high winds, cold, and driving snow. We did manage three ascents, two of which were firsts. In La Paz we hired a 4x4 Jeep to drive us eight hours to the depressed mining village of Viloco, on the western slopes of the Quimsa Cruz. Once in Viloco we solicited the locals for directions north to the Mocoya Valley, where we established the first in a series of unseasonably wet camps. From the Mocoya Valley we employed a passing miner, Juan Maydana Choque, his sons, and their two mules to assist us over two passes to the Teacota Valley and the eastern slopes of this jaw-dropping range. On July 7, the weather began clearing, and so did our minds. Cam and I climbed a direct route (2,800', IV 5.9) up Point 5,304m, referred to as the Northeast Tower (Nordostl Turm) by the 1987 German Bolivia expedition. The descent was straight back down via sand-filled gullies and rappels. On July 9, with clear skies and warmer temperatures, Cam and I climbed Hamburguesa Daydreams (1,200', III 5.7) on a huge slab of rock just west of the Northeast Tower and part of the same complex of rock. The descent was a walk off to the west. During our stay we also climbed a nice, small, Bugaboos-like tower (that may have been previously climbed)—mostly scrambling, one pitch of moderate rock—just north of the Pico Penis, in a blizzard, via the east (Amazon) side. On July 10 the snow returned and so did Juan, his sons, and the mules for our trip back to Viloco. We returned to La Paz on July 11th via the local bus system, which is a story in itself. BENNY BACH, Team Rio de Caca Various ascents and descents. Wade McKoy, Porter Fox, Hal Thomson, Ptor Spriceneiks, and I found ourselves in the Cordillera Quimsa Cruz last June. A bit of ski mountaineering the main goal. A few peaks bagged. No signs of any other climbers or skiers. Bissell and Ptor on the southeast face of Korichuma (18,200'), rated at 60° but more like between 50° and 55°. Perfectly beautiful, exposed face. An enjoyable solo climb. A bit of ice. Semibreakable crust on the face, but good enough for a ski descent. No falls allowed. Super fun. Chamonix-like spires, emeraldgreen high alpine lakes, first descents, receding glaciers (like my hairline), and five great friends. Summits with swirling clouds. Laughing uncontrollably with Porter. A four-foot tall, friendly farmer selling us a lamb and potatoes, and us devouring it in an afternoon. Stomach ache. Llama poo fires at night, with Wade shooting star trails. Beautiful. Pretty easy. A paradise indeed. Also climbed and skied Bitch’s Brew (17,600'), Porter Fox and Bissell Hazen on a mellow, rolling glacier route. Ptor Spriceneiks on Cerro Yaypuri. An exposed, perfect first ski descent. Wade McKoy, Hal Thomson, and Ptor on a nameless peak on the far right of the valley. The sunny southeast face of Korichuma (18,200'), with its BISSELL HAZEN

amazing ski slopes. Wade McKoy


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Peru CORDILLERA HUAROCHIRÍ Nevado Sullcón, north face; Nevado Vicuñita Sur, southeast face, southwest face. Unusually bad weather and deep snow were a constant handicap during the 2001 climbing season in central Peru. In May J.P. Perret and I attempted Pariacacca Norte (5701m), but deep snow forced us to abandon our climb. In early June we explored for routes up Nevado Sullcón (5650m). I returned three weeks later and on June 26, with Damián A. Vargas, tackled the steep north face. We reached the summit, a first ascent, up steep ice and a narrow snow ridge. In mid-July Bruno Castro and I made an ascent of Nevado Vicuñita Sur (5500m). We gained the summit via the southeast face, but had to make a hasty descent due to strong snow squalls. On August 28, Alejandro A. Vargas, his son Damián, and I revisited the mountain. We climbed its southwest face by way of a steep gully and the west ridge. ALBERTO MURGUÍA, Club de Montañeros Américo Tordoya, Lima

CORDILLERA BLANCA

Pyramide de Garcilaso attempt. Jeremy Frimer

Santa Cruz Norte, west face attempt; Pyramide de Garcilaso, east face attempt. Jay Burbee (Canada), Michel van der Spek (Netherlands), and I (Canada) spent June in the Cordillera Blanca, where we began with an attempt on the unclimbed west face of Santa Cruz Norte (5829m). Uncharacteristic of the region, the weather was not good. In marginal weather we climbed a runnel on the right side of the face (the first one that completely avoids the prominent rock band at three-quarters height). Eight pitches were climbed, principally on ice and snow of varying quality and as steep as 60 degrees, as well as minor mixed sections. We topped out on the west ridge at 5700m late in the day and retreated to avoid an unplanned bivy. Our climb is not to be considered a new route, since it does not


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connect with an established route (the west ridge remains unclimbed) or reach the summit. Next we unsuccessfully attempted a route on the unclimbed east face of Pyramide de Garcilaso in the Paria Gorge. The easiest approach to this face seems to be straight up the valley headwall, but is exposed to ice and stone fall. We took the quickest route, which climbed a glacier, formed entirely by icefall, traversed a bombarded scree ledge, and climbed one pitch of Grade 3 ice up the toe of the glacier. The east face of Pyramide de Garcilaso contains about a dozen steep ice streaks and runnels. We chose what looked to be one of the easier ones, a water-ice line descending from the col between the north and south summits. From a bivy cave at its base Jay led the first pitch in the dark of early morning, fighting with an eight-meter vertical pillar. Three more pitches up excellent 45- to 70-degree water ice and snow led to a 20-meter vertical ice curtain at 5500m. The lower part of the ice sheet was thick and of good quality, but higher the ice became thin, detached, and rotten. The underlying and surrounding rock was not of good quality, making the climbing somewhat unprotectable. An attempt to aid the curtain on ice tools was abandoned just below the point of no return. A safer but more complicated descent route below the east face of Paron, on rock slabs and steep grass, was used to regain the valley. JEREMY FRIMER, Varsity Outdoor Club (UBC)

Nevado Quitaraju, south face. Brits Nick Bullock and Al Powell opened a new route on the great south wall of Nevado Quitaraju (6040m). This route is to the right of the Slovenian line (the only previous route on this wall). The first climbers explained that it took seven hours to cross the barrier of seracs

Top:Jay Burdee on the still-unclimbed west face of Santa Cruz Norte. Below: Southern Discomfort on the south face Siula Grande (see pg 304). Jeremy Frimer (2)


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at the base of the wall. The new route is primarily glacial, with sections of 75 to 80 degrees and some of 90 degrees, as well as mixed climbing. Bullock and Powell reached the summit on July 23 after two days of climbing. JUANJO TOME, Peru

Tuctubamba, Middle Earth. Clay Wadman and I tried the prominent couloir on the right, climbing ca 300 meters and reaching the rock band before rappelling the line of ascent. We found conditions that varied from one-inch ice over rock to perfect névé to bottomless snow. The crux involved thin, 75-degree ice protected by knifeblades. On our descent we used primarily knifeblades and small stoppers, but placements were difficult to find, as the rock is compact. Topher and Patience Donahue did the probable first ascent of a line that is hidden to the left behind Tuctubamba, and Clay and I repeated it two days later. Middle Earth (IV 5.8 WI5, ca 400 meters) lies in a cleft and deposits the climber on the saddle between Tuctubamba and Taulliraju. Another 70 or 80 meters of moderate snow climbing takes one to the summit. Pitches two and four were the cruxes. The first crux involved rock climbing to access a tenuously adhered, five-meter vertical pillar, while the second involved vertical ice for 15 meters, protected at the steepest part by rock gear in the wall. Conditions were generally excellent, as was protection. Middle Earth is a recommended route to a great summit and lends itself to being climbed from Punta Union in a day. CHRISTIAN BECKWITH, AAC

La Esfinge, Via Gringos. On June 17 Joe Vallone and I, both of Colorado, began to climb the south face of La Esfinge (The Sphinx). Funded by an American Alpine Club Youth Fellowship Award, our team of two set out to make the first all-American ascent of this Peruvian gem. The Sphinx is perched three hours north of Huaraz in the Cordillera Blanca, humbly located beneath the proud faces of the Huandoy group. The route entailed 14 days of ferrying loads, fixing pitches, and varied climbing on immaculate golden granite in an unbelievable setting. Our route, Via Gringos, is to the right of a route put up by a Spanish soloist several years ago. It began with a technical face pitch, which punched through several roof systems on hidden crimpers and required delicate face climbing. We rated the pitch 5.12a; the difficulties are protected with bolts. We pushed upward for seven more pitches, navigating a maze of thin seams and difficult corners. The major difficulties were not in the climbing of the natural lines, which were there, but rather in the relentless cleaning of malevolently vegetated cracks. Future teams will surely find the gear placement and climbing more entertaining without the bushwhacking through the high-altitude jungle we encountered. As we continued we rested each night looking at the single, tattered photo of the face we carried. “Somewhere up there is a big ledge”—we reaffirmed this glimmer of hope daily, after dumping dirt from our trousers and before passing out wincing in pain. To reach the big ledge, we continued forging our way up several difficult pitches involving A3+ hooking and sizable fall potential. Along the way bat-hooks were used to link natural placements and bypass plants that were too dense to be removed and too prickly to touch. On the sixth day Joe led across what we dubbed Jose’s Roof Traverse. Mostly protected by


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large camming units, the roof required awkward moves, and much of the climbing was done while dangling from a crack. The pitch required a nearly horizontal traverse that finished under a small roof. After an incredible hanging bivy several hundred feet from friends on a neighboring route, I led into the exit pitch of Jose’s Roof Traverse. Varied climbing eventually brought me to an A2 knifeblade seam and an even more spectacular hanging bivy. Our pace of one grueling pitch per day began to wear our nerves thin, but after a long A3+ pitch the following day we finally rested in the comfort of the big ledge. However, the grim reality was that we were only halfway up. On the ninth day I ventured into what we called the Railroad Cracks, a pair of parallel cracks. From the ground we had been sure that the cracks would be finger and hand sized perfect for free climbing. Despite our optimism, however, the cracks turned out to be closed seams that would hold no gear of any kind. Once again I was reduced to hooking far above the bolt I had placed. The slow pace, coupled with untimely losses of both drills, forced us to escape from our initial line and look for a quicker path to the summit. We joined a route (Todos Narcos, I think) a hundred yards or so to the right and quickly gained elevation the next day. Before retiring the next day we hauled to a high ledge, where the angle of the wall eases, and managed to climb two new pitches below the gleaming headwall at the top of the face. The following day we finished the route and enjoyed a quiet, warm sunset over the Cordillera Negra. Over tuna fish and tomato sauce, we soaked in the soft rays of the sun as it drifted out of sight, all the while exchanging casual conversation about one of the toughest climbs we had done together. Via Gringos (The Way of the Gringos) is VI 5.12a A3+ route that was completed in 17 pitches, over two weeks, gaining the summit at around 18,000 feet. ZACK MARTIN

La Esfinge, Mecho Taq Inti? Our team was two women, Tanja Rojs and Aleksandra Voglar, and I, Andrej Grmovsek, all from Slovenia. After acclimatization on Vallunaraju (5686m) we put up base camp under La Esfinge on July 11. Because of many articles in recent climbing magazines, we were expecting big crowds on and under the wall, but we were all alone. In the month of our stay under La Esfinge, only a few parties came and climbed the classic 1985 route. Our plan was to put a new route on the wall, but the wall was almost full of routes. Nevertheless, we found a nice unclimbed line

La Esfinge, Mecho Taq Inti? Andrej Grmovsek


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on a very steep buttress on the far left side of the east wall. The wall is highest there and faces southeast. We started 50 meters left of the route Cruz del Sur. We climbed mostly free but used aid while cleaning dirty cracks or placing hand-drilled bolts. We used mostly natural protection, which was hard to place. The cracks were dirty, filled with earth and plants, and also flared. That’s why it was much easier to free climb, with runouts, than to use aid. The women found the climbing hard and climbed two pitches with aid, at 6b, A2+. We placed 13 bolts for belays on the lower part of the route and 9 on the pitches. On the lower part of the wall we fixed ropes and returned to the base every night. We had problems with weather, which is not typical for this mountain at this time of the year. During our 16 days under La Esfinge we had six days of snow, wind, and cold. In five climbing days we fixed six 60-meter ropes. Then in one day we climbed the upper wall to the summit. We named the route Mecho Taq Inti?, which in Quechua means “Where are you, sun?” It’s 800 meters long, 15 piches, Grade VI. After two weeks of resting and healing a heel injury, I returned to the wall with Tanja in August. Our plan was to free climb the harder, steeper first half of our route (we free climbed the upper part during the first ascent). I climbed it free, despite strong wind and cold. The difficulties were up to 7b (obligatoire 7a), with some long runouts. (1. 6c, 60m; 2. 7b, 60m; 3. 6c+, 60m; 4. 6c+, 60m; 5. III, 20m; 6. 6c, 60m; 7. 7a, 60m; 8. 6a+, 30m; 9. 6b+, 60m; 10. 6a, 60m; 11. 6b, 60m; 12. 6b, 60m; 13. 5c, 60m; 14. 6a+, 60m; 15. 6b+, 30m.) After a day of rest we also climbed the 1985 route (free onsight, at 7a). Of course it was snowing from the midpoint to the top. Then we took two days of rest and tried Cruz del Sur, a route that was climbed last year by a very strong party, Slovenian Silvo Karo and Italian Mauro “Bubu” Bole, and rated 7c+. We climbed it in three days. On the first two days we returned to the base by fixed ropes. We were really getting

Pitch 9 of La Esfinge’s Mecho Taq Inti? (Where Are You Sun?). Andrej Grmovsek


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tired, because we climbed so hard day after day. Except for the second pitch, which I needed to first nail (I climbed it on my second try), I climbed the route free onsight. I think the first-ascent climbers overgraded the route. It is only a little harder than Mecho Taq Inti? and not as serious. ANDREJ GRMOVSEK, Planinska zveza Slovenije

Caraz II, south face variation. After we returned from the Huayhuash we climbed in the Blanca. Viktor Mlinar and I decided to climb the Fisher-Warfield-Sheldrake route on the south face of Caraz II (6020m), also called Caraz de Santa Cruz. The route was climbed in 1986, graded alpine TD+, and is 700 meters high. The first-ascent team ended the route at the east ridge, about 300 meters from the summit, and descended by rappelling the route. They spent three days round-trip. The wall faces more southeast than south, so it receives sun until noon. On August 3 we started from our bivouac site at around 3 a.m. Luckily we passed the very broken glacier and climbed the lower, easier part of the route unroped, in ideal conditions. Halfway up the route we started to place protection. We climbed mixed pitches (Scottish V). Conditions on the upper part of the wall were bad. We needed four hours to climb the last three pitches on a snowy crest to reach the east ridge. We were happy, but realized that it was too soon to celebrate. The ridge is very corniced, and it took us another four hours to climb to the summit, which we reached at 2 p.m. The weather was still nice, just a bit windy. I don’t know where exactly the Fisher-Warfield-Sheldrake goes in its upper part, but I think we climbed a different line.

The southeast face of Caraz II, showing (1) the approximate line of Superduper Couloir, 1998; (2) The FisherWarfield-Sheldrake route; (3) the Mlinar-Jost variation, 2001. Descent is behind left skyline. Viktor Mlinar


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We started to climb down the original 1955 route (Huber-Koch, 800 meters) but had to make two short rappels—one in the upper part to overcome a 25-meter vertical step and the second to pass the 25-meter bergschrund. After 16 hours we reached our bivy site. The next day we descended to Laguna Paron and via Caraz returned to Huaraz. We took three days for the whole trip. MATIC JOST, Slovenia

Artesonraju, northeast face. In June 2000 Spaniards Nemisio Matalobos and Angel Terrain established a ca 800-meter route rated alpine D (55 degrees) on the northeast face, which is accessed from the upper Santa Cruz Valley. The route lies between the 1965 Hartman-Reiss-Schatz-Steiger Route and the East Ridge (Janis-Lowe-Lowe-Ortenburger, 1971). It starts from the same snow slopes as the 1965 route, then crosses the rock rib on the couloir’s left side to gain snow and ice that leads to the summit (6025m). It might be better thought of as a variation to the 1965 route. MOUNTAIN INFO, High Mountain Sports 227

Chacraraju Oeste, south face. In the first week of August Steve Moffat (New Zealand) and I climbed what was most likely a new route (600m, WI5 5.9 mixed) just to the right of the 1982 Yugoslav route on the south face. This side of the mountain has over ten established routes. Our route choice was not determined by logic but rather by adventure. The thin ice-filled gully we chose was quite threatened by unconsolidated snow flutings on its sides and by a 30-foot corniced roof laced with large icicles. The climbing was enjoyable, for the most part made up of moderate, 50- to 70-degree, thinly iced granite slabs, with a few vertical sections of water ice and mixed climbing. The crux was a rotten 40-meter icicle at about 18,500 feet. Having underestimated the amount of rocky terrain on the route, we progressed slower than expected. We only had knotted slings for stoppers and a spare pick as a piton. We did not summit the peak, but reversed our route from a junction with the ridge near the low point between the two west summits. After 17 hours or so we safely made it back to our camp in the bergschrund, only to have our luck run out. Once we were in our tent the entire route ripped in a slide of ice, rock, and snow, most likely triggered by a falling cornice. Eventually the lip of the ‘schrund broke, and we were buried, tent and all. We dug ourselves out and hightailed it back to the lake in an exciting snow storm. The south face in general seemed to be dry compared to conditions reported in most first-ascent accounts—further evidence that things are warming up in the Cordillera Blanca. JOHN VARCO, AAC Editor’s note: This is likely a repeat of an existing route, There are already 10 “established” routes on this face, and their exact location is somewhat vague as conditions change from year to year.

Huandoy Sur, No Fiesta Hoy Dia. I noticed the northeast face of Huandoy Sur the first time I visited Peru, in 1990. It is clearly visible from the approach to Pisco, looking steep and difficult. Five years later I climbed a new route on it, Oro del Inca, which crosses the steep rock band and follows ice directly to the top. But the rock face to the right was untouched.


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This year I had no intention of continuing my solo ascents in the Cordillera Blanca. I came with Urban Golob, also from Slovenia, but after acclimatising he had to give up due to health problems. So, solo again. The weather was not perfect, but good enough, and I started climbing early in the night on July 4. The approach had changed since 1995: the glacier was much easier now. I started right of my 1995 route. After an easy icefield I found a good path to the rock and mixed ground of the route’s central part. I used ice tools on rock (dry tooling). The rock was solid in difficult sections but worse on easier ground. Some short icefalls helped me avoid difficult rock. The upper icefield was relatively easy, although steeper than the lower one, but the 150 meters above were really difficult. I hoped to find a steep gully through the overhanging seracs above the icefield, and there were possibilities. But the quality of the black ice, combined with powder snow, was so bad that I had to descend more than 100 meters before finding a way through the seracs on the third attempt. It was still hard and risky, passing overhanging ice, but the top was too close for me to return without reaching it. I reached it in fog and snow at about 1 p.m., after seven hours of climbing, and immediately started to descend the French Route (Astier, 1979) on the same face. The descent took five hours. I named the route No Fiesta Hoy Dia (ED sup, AI6+ M5/6 WI5). There was a relatively large amount of ice on the face this year, and it probably made the central rock easier. But the final seracs were probably harder than usual. This is my fifth new route on big walls of the Cordillera Blanca (four solo): Huascaran, Chacraraju, Huandoy (two), and Chopicalqui. I consider NO Fiesta Hoy Dia my hardest solo in the Andes. PAVLE KOZJEK, Slovenia

Palcaraju Oeste, Ratz Fatz. On the west face of the west summit (6110m) a new route, Ratz Fatz (500m, TD-), was established by Chileans Eduardo Mondragon, and Martin Waldhoer on July 25, 2000. The route begins just right of a prominent rock spur near the bottom of the face and takes a fairly direct path to the top. Most of the climbing was 45- to 60-degree snow, with some 65-degree mixed climbing midway and a 75-degree exit on flutings. Although they used the Ishinca Valley for their approach, they traversed the northwest ridge (towards Tocllaraju) from the summit, before descending a couloir between seracs. The couloir led to a glacier, which they crossed to the base camp used for Tocllaraju’s normal route. MOUNTAIN INFO, High Mountain Sports 223 Editor’s note: this may have been climbed more than once before.

Huamashraju, west face. On August 4 Toma Erovnik (Slovenia) and our new Canadian friend Bruce Gordon climbed a new route on the west face of Huamashraju (5434m). They left Huaraz in the morning. After four hours of walking they reached the foot of the west wall. They climbed the central part of the wall, a five-pitch new route, about 200 meters high, that ends at the top of the rock wall. The difficulty is UIAA V to VI. They descended by rappelling the rock wall. In the evening they returned to Huaraz, where we met and celebrated. MATIC JOST, Slovenia


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Chinchey Group: Shahuanca, Cherup II, El Roca del Cuyé Loco. In the Chinchey Group, up behind Huaraz, the French alpinists Clément Guntz and Hugo Robin made what they think may be the first ascent of a peak they called Shahuanca on July 25, 2000. The peak, which is labeled 5,383m on the 1939 Deutschen Alpenverein map, lies east of Chopihirca (5057m) and Catac, in what appears to be the Shahuanca valley. The route ascends the west-southwest side of the peak, is 1,000 meters long and AD+ in difficulty. On August 2 Guntz soloed, a possible first ascent, the Northwest Arête of Churup II (5461m), from Q. Cohup at ca 4000m. He descended the face to the right. Guntz, Robin, and Joel Menard also established a new 500meter rock route at El Roca del Cuyé Loco, near Churup, climbing a series of left-facing corners through a roof. The route appears to be called Le Pilier du Hamster Fou. Based on correspondence with CLÉMENT GUNTZ, FFME, France

Churup, 496spa-smos. On October 2, I placed my tent at the upper Churup Lake and the next day broke trail to the base of the wall, where I left ropes, harness, and ice ax. On October 4 it took 1 hour and 30 minutes to return to the base, thanks to the trail I had opened. From the bottom of the face I climbed the obvious couloir to the right. This couloir comes to an obvious intersection. To the left, leading directly to the summit, is the Princesa Malinche route. To the right is Fear, a route up a mixed dihedral. I began by trending slightly to the right and then straightened my line and ended below a promontory to the right of the summit. From this point I took less than ten minutes to reach the summit. Descent was by the Fear route; the rappels are in place. (I used two 60-meter ropes.) I found good ice conditions, the average slope being 70 to 80 degrees, with two sections of 85 degrees. Equipment left: one ice screw, one pin, four slings. The route is named 496spa-smos (V AI4, 450m), on the southwest face of Churup (5493m). RICHARD HIDALGO, Peru

Cashan Este, Mathi, Matias. In July 1998 I departed from Olleros and walked toward Rurec's Quebrada (creek), before arriving at Tararhua Lake (4400m), where I set up my tent. From there I went to the southeast face of Cashan (5723m). I climbed in a couloir, to the right of a buttress that passes through the center of the face. I surmounted a section of 75-80-degree verglassed rock below a serac barrier. After surmounting a bergschrund I traversed to the left across a snow slope that took me to the southeast ridge. I crossed the ridge and continued on the 70-degree southwest face to the summit. I called the route Mathi, Matias (500m, MD-, 70-80 degrees). Descent was via the northeast ridge and the crevassed southeast glacier. It took all night, and I came back to camp early the next morning. RICHARD HIDALGO, Peru

Ocshapalca,Variante Peruana. Guillermo Mejia and I installed the tent at the moraine camp in September 1998. Our new route on the south face of Ocshapalca (Variante Peruana, 650m, ED-) begins to the right of the central buttress and the Alquimia Route. We climbed straight toward 5881m summit, joining the American Route for the top third. The descent to camp was by the Alquimia Route, after we made a bivouac in a cave 50 meters from the summit. (Editor’s note: is likely a repeat of an existing route.) RICHARD HIDALGO, Peru


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Nevado Kayesh, Italian Route variation attempt. In June Guillermo Mejia and I set up a tent on the glacier, a half-hour from the bergschrund of Kayesh (5721m). We started up the German line, then followed the fixed Italian ropes (1973) until they ended. We continued for one more rope length up a couloir with hard ice until we reached a rock wall, at the bottom of which we bivouacked. All night it was snowing. The next day, leaving gear at the bivouac, we went as light as we could. We climbed the 40-meter wall, which was covered with snow and verglas, exposed and difficult to protect. We then traversed to the left over a hanging serac (soft snow, 60 degrees). We continued to the ridge, which we gained as high as we could, since it was double-corniced. We reached the ridge from the bivy site in three ropelengths, approximately 70 meters in a straight line. We descended the same line. It would be possible to climb the route in a day by going light. The route (400m, MD+) has eight pitches, of which we believe the last four are a variant of the Italian route. RICHARD HIDALGO, Peru

Punta Numa, So Long Fox. An Italian pair opened an impressive route on the Punta Numa (baptized by Eloy Callado and Cesar Pedrochi after they made the first ascent on August 19, 1997). Roberto Iannilli and Luciano Mastracci climbed a line to the right of the Monttrek Route. They summited on August 2. They graded the route 7a, A3+ and called it So Long Fox. The first half of the route ascends compact plates; the finish is wild. The climb is complicated by the compactness of the rock. The rare cracks are too closed for nuts and are full of moss. The route was left partially equipped, and the belays are equipped with pitons or bolts. Fifteen bolts were used for protection and three for aid. To repeat the route carry nuts; cams, including the biggest; a variety of pitons; and small carabiners. JUANJO TOME, Peru

CORDILLERA HUALLANCA Nevado Huallanca, Koso. Between the cordilleras Blanca and Huayhuash is the small Cordillera Huallanca. Although it does not rise above 6000m, it offers beautiful mountains with glaciers and rocks. David Rodriguez Lopez climbed the mountain known as Cumbre de los Burros or Nevado Huallanca (5470m), the highest summit of the Cordillera Huallanca. The route, completely on glacier, starts near the west side of Collado de los Burros, next to a small lake. The route is approximately 500 meters long and is graded MD, with 70-85-degree snow and ice. The descent was by rappelling the route. The name of the route is Koso. JUANJO TOME, Peru

CORDILLERA HUAYHUASH Nevado Yerupaja Grande. Equadorian Santiago Quintero climbed the west face of NevadoYerupaja Grande (6634m). The main summit of Yerupaja had gone many years without an ascent until Santiago climbed it solo on July 4. The ascent and descent took him 17 hours. He followed the Northwest Ridge route, which was opened as far as Yerupaja Norte (6430m) by R. Bates and G. Dingle and completed to the main summit by D. Wilkinson and R. Renshaw. Because of the changing morphology of the wall, Quintero followed a route that is


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completely different from the original route. Although we cannot talk of a new route, we must mention that what Santiago climbed was for the most part unknown terrain, while being practically free of objective dangers. The difficulty is ED. JUANJO TOME, Peru

Siula Grande, south face, Southern Discomfort; other peaks. In July Jay Burbee (Canada), Michel van der Spek (Netherlands), and I ventured to the eastern side of the Cordillera Huayhuash. Ten hours of dusty buses from Huaraz to Huallanca to La Union to Baùos to Queropalca put us just 12 kilometers from the Cordillera. From a base camp at Laguna Siula (4300m) we climbed the left (south) side of the badly broken Sarapo Glacier in two days, making use of narrow passages between seracs and large crevasse fields. Most previous parties approached the right side of the glacier and reported mid-fifth class rock pitches below the glacier. Our route, however, was nontechnical, aside from one 50-meter, 55-degree, ice pitch at 5000m. We placed a high camp at 5500m in the isolated basin below the north face of Carnicero, the northeast face of Sarapo, and the south face of Siula Grande. On July 8 we climbed the northeast face of Sarapo by the Bachmann-Lugmayer line on the far left side of the face. The route involved eight rope lengths of 45- to 55-degree snow to gain the east ridge, which was narrow and corniced at first but became broader after 90 meters. In places, a long crack in the snow five meters below the cornice revealed either imminent cornice collapse or severe avalanche hazard. We decided to tread lightly on the cornice, and no incident occurred. After rejuvenation at base camp, we returned to our high camp for our main objective, the south face of Siula Grande. Despite the notoriety of Siula, its south face remained unclimbed. Our principal source of information was a mislabeled postcard. The south face is threatened by seracs largely on the right and is steep and rocky on the left, so we chose a route up the center. After four pitches of 55degree quality blue ice, the angle steepened. Ice bulges and runnels as steep as 80 degrees led, in two more pitches, past the serac level and onto a snow slope at just over 6000m. As the sun was setting we happened upon an excellent bivy location, a steep crevasse eight meters wide. Its upper wall overhung and spilled large icicles onto the lower lip of the crevasse, effectively sealing it off. After a little shoveling we could safely unrope and stay dry without bivy bags. On the second day we crossed the bivy crevasse and attempted a direct finish but were thwarted by poor ice conditions (30 centimeters of rotten ice atop hard, brittle ice). We made a 150-meter traverse to an alternate finish, in hope of finding Siula Grande’s south face, Southern Discomfort. J. Frimer better conditions. Being in steep, south-facing


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terrain we had been climbing in the shadow of Siula. To our short-lived delight, the sun now rose above the ridgeline at noon—only to set behind a cornice five minutes later. Several more ice pitches led to steepening mixed terrain above. We attempted to veer right but were met by the 60-degree sugar snow flutings for which the area is famous. I began a hair-raising tunneling traverse of the seven Siula Grande’s west face: (1) Simpson-Yates descent; (2) Noches de Juerga, deep flutings separating us 2001; Buhler-Price, 1999; (3) Simpson-Yates, 1985. The north (left) ridge was from a snowy shoulder of first climbed in 1936 by Awerzger-Scheider. Jeremy Frimer the east ridge. Fluting crests were up to three meters deep and of particularly poor quality snow. In failing evening light on July 14 we reached the East Ridge route at 6250m. Having left our bivy equipment below, we were wary of a cold night and decided to retreat without summiting. Even so, I became hypothermic after making the final rappel to our traverse track. In my mentally weakened state I constructed perhaps the sorriest belay I’ve ever trusted. Ice screws were later removed by simply pulling straight out. The new route is named Southern Discomfort (ED-, 650 meters). We spent the next week thawing, while hiking the enjoyable Huayhuash circuit, where we met the Slovenian team that had just succeeded on a new route on the west face of Siula Grande. The team thanks Mountain Equipment Co-op and The Canadian Himalayan Foundation for generous support. JEREMY FRIMER, Canada

Siula Grande, Noches de “Juerga.” On July 3 Viktor Mlinar, Tomaz Zerovnik, Aritza Monasterio, and I left Huaraz and took a bus to Chiquian, where we hired donkeys to get to the Cordillera Huayhuash. From July 4-6 we marched to base camp, which we placed at 4,300m, half an hour from Lake Sharapococho. The weather was bad, with snowfall. From BC we saw only Yerupaja, Sharapo, and Trapezio. We used the bad-weather time for BC settlement, resting, and planning. We decided to put a tent with food and equipment under the wall. On the 10th, accompanied by our cook Marselindo, we carried heavy rucksacks to the base of the wall, at ca. 5,200 meters. Marselindo turned back, while we set up a tent and settled down for sleep. From BC to the tent was a six-hour walk. The next day we returned to BC to rest. The weather was odd. On July 14 we left for the tent under the wall. Crevasses looked strange, so Viktor and Toma roped. After a hard beginning over the crevasse, with some dry tooling, Viktor traversed a snow mushroom to a steep icefield and beyond to the first rocks (Scottish VI). He placed a bolt, fixed a rope, and roped down. The first 55 meters of the huge wall was climbed. We slept in the tent under the wall. The weather was beautiful.


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We started at night on the 15th; helped by the fixed rope. The slope beyond was a constant 65 degrees. The hardest pitches ascended a vertical icefall with very hard ice. We intended to bivi halfway up the wall, but when the sun got to the wall, ice and rocks started to fall. We were at ca 5800m and very exposed, so we quickly settled for a bivouac in a snow mushroom on our left. We took a little nap on a small shelf. It was very uncomfortable. The weather was beautiful. Next day in the morning we first descended 40 meters. The day’s first pitch was led by Viki, the next by Aritza; then I took a pitch that involved a steep section with bad ice. The next pitch looked hard. I placed a bolt and roped down to a safe overhanging rock. We decided to bivi there and for four hours dug a shelf. With the sun, rocks and ice started to fall, but we were safe. The weather was good. On July 17 we started at night. We left sleeping bags, bivi sacks, and food at the bivi site. We first ascended the fixed rope, then easily traversed left. The next two pitches combined bad vertical ice with rock. Aritza climbed more ice and a precarious mix with bad protection (Scottish VI). When I joined him a collapsing snow mushroom just missed us. We were surprised, as the wall was still in shade. There were only steep snow gullies and huge cornices left to overcome. Aritza took two more pitches, and finally Viktor masterfully traversed to the ridge. At 5:30 p.m. we stood at the top of the wall. We were 50 meters vertically and 200 meters horizontally from the summit of Siula Grande. We prepared for a bivouac in snow holes on top of the cornice. It was cold, the wind was blowing, and our sleeping bags were far away. We kept moving our fingers and tried not to sleep. At about 4 a.m. it started to snow. First we thought it was coming from the fog but soon found it getting serious. We descended our line of ascent. We made 21 rappels: 13 from ice screws, 3 from bolts, 1 from a piton, and 4 from snow sabers. It was constantly snowing, and avalanches were

Before the traverse that leads out of the wall on west face of Siula Grande. Victor Mlinar


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burying us. Fortunately, the wall is too steep for a big avalanche. At 2:30 p.m. we got to the tent under the wall, tired but happy and safe. In the morning we descended to BC, leaving wet ropes and the tent. New snow covered our tracks on the glacier, but we had no major problems. It snowed all day, and in BC it was raining. Finally, base camp, beer, Cuba libres. Then rest, rest, rest. The weather was beautiful. Marselindo retrieved our equipment from the base of the wall. He is 62 years young and walks so fast that we had problems catching him. He is quite a legend. We were waiting for donkeys on July 21, and the weather was sunny but windy. We returned by another path to Cajatambo, the nearest phone and road. On the 24th and 25th we rode back to Huaraz. And finally we chose the name of the route: Noches de “Juerga� (27 pitches, 1,000 meters, ED 65-90-degree ice; mixed Scottish VI). MATIC JOST, Slovenia

On thin ice in the middle of the west face of Siula Grande. Victor Mlinar

Central Puscanturpa, Insumision. Spanish climber David Rodriquez Lopez opened a route, Insumision, on Central Puscanturpa (5442m), a beautiful mountain. The route ascends an oblique couloir that goes almost directly to the summit. The 450-meter route was ascended and descended in less than a day and is graded D, snow 65 degrees. JUANJO TOME, Per


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Brazil Salinas, various routes. Salinas is known as the best place for long, adventurous routes in Brazil. It’s only a three-hour drive from Rio, but the place is wild and peaceful. Just a small village with a café and a small grocery store. It’s possible to ask for meals at the Refugio de Agua, a place like paradise an hour and a half from the wall. Salinas features steep granite domes from 400 to 700 meters high, with little equipment needed. There are a few bolts in the slabs. Almost half the routes have been opened by Sergio Tartari, the owner of the Refugio de Agua and the “seigneur”of Salinas. Sergio, who is one of the most “complete” climbers of Brazil, can be of great help with advice on equipment and approaches, which are not always obvious. The 400-meter Capacete route at Cerj can be a good introduction to local rock and protection, as can the 700-meter historical Leste route at Pic Major. Otherwise the best routes, according to many Brazilian climbers, are Decadence Avec Elegance (17 pitches, all free up to French 7a+) and Paradoxo. Decadence Avec Elegance, which we opened in 1999, was so named because we came with a power drill, and Sergio was jealous. We gave it to him one day, and he quickly bolted some belays! EMMANUEL RATOUIS, France

Bolivia Northern Apolobamba. In July 2000 over four-weeks, Paul Bielen, Peter Boerstoel, Michael van Geemen, and Peter Valkenburg climbed 17 peaks above 5000m in the northern Apolobamba region, including one probable first ascent and six possible new routes. The Dutch team started from a 4880m camp on the shores southeast of Lago Chucuyo Grande. From there they ascended the short west ridge of Chucuyo Grande (5530m) and repeated the south ridge of Palomani Grande (5769m). They established the first route on the south face of Flor del Rocca Sud (300 meters, D 60 degrees), battling deep powder snow. On July 11 Boerstoel and Valkenburg opened a new route, the Central Pillar (300 meters, D+/TD-), on the east face of Nevado Saluyo Sud (5800m), finding mostly solid rock up to V+. At the same time Bielen and van Geeman established the Southeast Spur (300 meters, D) on the north peak (5770m) of Nevado Saluyo. They found mixed climbing up to IV- and 70 degrees, with awkward, deep powder snow. This pair then repeated the 1980 Italian West Ridge route on Chaupi Orco (6044m, the Apolobamba’s highest summit) and opened a four-pitch route of very loose rock (IV/V) on the west face of Montserrat Norte (5650m). On July 15, on the southwest face of Sorel Este (5471m), a possible new route (300m, TD-) was made by Boerstoel and Valkenburg. They found good conditions, with a hard-ice 70-degree crux high on the face between two serac barriers. On the southwest


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face of Ascarani (5580m) the group repeated the 1996 Currie-Ryle route (300 meters, D 55 degrees). They then moved camp to near the Paso de Pelechuco road crossing, a location allowing good access to the Katantica Group. On the west face of Katantica Oeste (5630m) they repeated the 1992 British route (350m, D-). Boerstoel and Valkenburg made the first ascent of 5610-meter Kantica Central’s south face (200m, D+ 65 degrees) during a traverse from Katantica Oeste to El Presidente. The route on this peak’s west ridge was repeated, along with those on the southwest ridge of Pelechuco Huaracha (5650m) and the west ridge of Katantica Estes (5590m). Boerstoel and Valkenburg made the possible first ascent of a 5470m, previously unnamed, summit on July 27. From the Pelechuco Road about one kilometer west of Agua Blanca, this summit is easily seen. They climbed solid, compact rock on the 550-meter north face, with a short crux of 6a (French). They called the peak Pico Pedros and descended the east flank. MOUNTAIN INFO, High Mountain Sports 223

Chearoco Valley. During five weeks in the summer of 2001 a British female team comprising Adele Pennington, Catrin Thomas, Nancy Brooks, and I enjoyed a successful expedition to this remote and underdeveloped region. Although the trip was hampered by extremely bad weather, the team managed to establish one possible first ascent, make several new routes, and attempt others during only 13 days of good weather. The team established their base camp at the head of the Chearoco Valley, after a two-day approach walk from Lloco Lloconi. There is limited information on both Chearoco (6104m) and Chachacomani (5998m). Both apparently receive few ascents because of difficult access and lack of information. To the best of the team’s knowledge the only previous expedition to this area had been by a Reading University team in 1962. During the team’s stay they did witness a German commercial company trying both Chearoco and Chachacomani, and they learned that a German Youth Expedition had been there a few years earlier, but no further information was available. After exploratory work Thomas and Gilbert made the first ascent of 5520m Dome 1, via its south ridge (PD). The pair detoured from the final summit ridge due to poor snow conditions. After descending through patches of wind slab, they continued into the main glacier bowl and picked a route through large crevasses to the summit. Pennington and Brooks carried out a reccon on the north ridge of Chearoco, reaching a high point of 5630m, and another reccon on Quellani, reaching a high point of ca 5315m. Thomas and Gilbert had planned to attempt the south ridge of Rumca I (5240m). The pair made good progress onto the ridge via the western face, but was soon forced to abandon their attempt by poor rock. They retreated and traversed onto the south face. They made excellent progress up the face directly to a high point of 5040m, through mixed terrain and ice-smeared rock (Scottish IV/V), before being caught in collapsing debris, which caused a hasty retreat. Thomas, Gilbert, and Pennington made another attempt on Rumca I via the east ridge. Having crossed a complex glacier system to gain access to the ridge, the team made good progress but was forced to turn back at 5360m. Two 50-meter rock routes were established on excellent granite low on Quellani, but further exploration for rock climbing proved futile. Thomas, Gilbert, and Pennington then made an ascent of Quellani (5912m) from the north. A short, steep 50-meter slope led to a scramble to the summit. Weather-worn slings on the summit indicated that this was not a first ascent.


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However, an amazing route (PD). The weather broke, with nine consecutive days of snow. With time running out Thomas, Gilbert, and Pennington made a final attempt on Rumca III via the stunning south face arĂŞte but felt they would be taking an unnecessary risk to continue under such conditions. DI GILBERT, United Kingdom

The south face of Illimani, near La Paz, showing Nada es Seguro, 2001. Karen McNeill

Illimani, Nada es Seguro. On April 25 Bruce and Sheila Hendricks and I took the 3 p.m. bus from La Paz to Cohoni. During the ride we chatted with locals and were able to hire an arriero (mule/horse driver), whose horses would carry our equipment into Illimani. Before we left Cohoni repeated emphatic instructions were given to our companions to ensure that they took us to the rarely visited south side of the mountain. Several hours later we realized that our instructions had been misunderstood, and we were heading to the base of the regular route. Bruce and Sheila took over navigating and led the way to the south side of Illimani. Minero Mesa Qala is a dilapidated mine at the base of the mountain. Arriving at dusk we set up camp among the ruins. Our arriero descended so that the horses could feed at a lower elevation. During our hike the mountain had tricked us with lines that appeared to be on the south face, but from the mine we had a better view of the south face and discovered that the features were part of the southwest face. We awoke the next morning to blue skies and feasted on the views. A good portion of the day was used to memorize details of our chosen route, which was the westernmost (leftmost) line on the south face proper. By 3 p.m. our companions arrived to ferry remaining equipment around to Puente Roto. Our intentions were to meet them late the following day after descending the west ridge. After their departure we began the hike to the base of the route. It took three hours to traverse moraine, cross smooth slabs of granite, and ascend a glaciated snow cone. The top half of the route sported a large snowfield, so it was decided to climb during the cool of night. Using headlamps to light our way, we began to climb pitches of ice, using rock anchors. Unfortunately, by dawn we were only ten pitches up and still had a lot of elevation to ascend. The technical crux of the route had been the first pitches of waterfall ice. We decided to continue up, knowing that it would be possible to move more quickly through the alpine bowl. The conditions varied from


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deep, unconsolidated snow to smatterings of shallow ice and several broken rock bands. As the afternoon wore on the blue skies departed, and clouds descended upon the mountain. The summit ridge was reached by the evening of the 28th. As we arrived a storm began swirling spindrift in our faces and reduced visibility, so we dug a snow cave and spent the night crammed in our packs. By morning visibility had improved somewhat, and we were able to proceed along the ridge, being careful not to walk off into space. As the summit was gained, the weather deteriorated again, and hailstones violently stung exposed skin. We spotted footprints and began to follow them down. Luck was not on our side, though, as the prints vanished in the wind. For a second night we were forced to dig a snow cave. During the evening the clouds momentarily lifted, and we were given a clear view down the mountain. With no tent or sleeping bags to keep us warm at camp, we stayed put. By morning the clouds had descended once again, but we were able to find our way down. At Nido de Condores a local guide, who had awaited our arrival, fed us hunks of bread and cheese that we washed down with numerous cups of tea. Feeling refreshed the three of us hiked back to Cohoni and spent a final night there before catching an overloaded bus back to La Paz. The bus ride was the crux of our entire adventure. We called the route Nada es Seguro (“nothing is certain”), 1,450 meters, V WI3+. KAREN MCNEILL, Canada

Condoriri Group, Huallomen, southwest face, Bon Anniversaire Annick. In 2001 I spent a few days climbing in the well-known Condoriri group near La Paz. The snow/ice conditions were very good considering we were there at the end of July. With a friend, Martin Imgrüth, I climbed a route on Huallomen’s southwest face that would appear to be a first ascent. It is an obvious line cutting through the rock face. When I talked about it with the guides in La Paz no one could tell me if it had already been climbed. The best information I managed to get was from Jose Camarlinghi, of Andean Summits, who told me that it was previously a Bolivian guide’s project that he didn’t complete. Jose said he hadn’t seen this line in such good condition for many years. After walking 20 minutes up the Tajira glacier we turned left to reach the base of the triangular face. To get to the bottom of the line we climbed a snowy couloir for 200- to 250-meters. The first pitch followed a diagonal ramp, from left to right, leading to a chimney. We belayed with two pegs at the base of the chimney. We climbed the vertical chimney (UIAA IV+) on poor rock and then a thinly iced gully to belay on friends. Following up the gully it steepens to 75-80 degrees and then a snow wall of 8590 degrees. Belay on ice screws. The gully continues with good ice then a very steep mixed section. Belay on cams. From there the ascent became easier up a gentle snow couloir leading to a section of poor rock. After this last rope length the couloir continued for 150-200 meters only interrupted by a little mixed section. The last difficulty is a poor rock chimney (UIAA IV) leading to a saddle. From there the view is very impressive. We then followed the Low on Bon Anniversaire Annick. Martin Imgrüth


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saddle ridge to the base of a rock tower that we avoided to the right by an easy section that leads to the upper slopes of the normal route. We descended by the normal route after reaching the end of these slopes having decided not to follow the ridge to the true summit of Huallomen. This route is about nine rope lengths from the start of the diagonal traverse to the saddle. We found poor rock sections, poor and thin ice, steep snow sections, and very little in the way of good Huallomen: (1) Bon Anniversaire Annick; (2) unknown route; protection except at the belays. All (3) British route. Jacques Pahud this made the ascent a bit exposed, although the hardest sections are not very long. No material was left on the route. With more ice and less snow it could be easier to protect. We called this route Bon Anniversaire Annick. To the left of the start of the route (traverse) there is an ice line going up to the left which seems to have been climbed. We found the hole left by a snow-stake at the top of the last chimney (saddle). That led me to think that those who climbed it carried on by the upper part of the line we climbed. From the base it seems the easier and more obvious way to finish this ascent. JACQUES PAHUD, Switzerland

Cuernos del Diablo, north face; Gigante Grande, Via Loco. On May 26 Brent Loken, Bruce Hendricks, Brent’s father, and I drove in Brent’s jeep from La Paz to the Quimsa Cruz. We stopped for the night in the tawdry mining town of Viloco, where we were able to convince a few locals to put us up in the Evangelical Church and to porter to our base camp. Bruce and Brent had decided to put our base camp at Taruca Umana Pass. This site makes good granite accessible but is a half an hour from water. In the vicinity of the pass we climbed a number of one- to three-pitch routes. We found that it was comfortable to climb in the sun on north-facing rock, but that southfacing rock was darned cold. Many of the cracks were filled with dirt and moss, but the granite itself was perfect. The best-looking reasonably accessible peak for longer routes was Cuernos del Diablo, and twice we climbed there. Our first climb on Cuernos led on new ground for about five pitches on the left side of the north face, with climbing up to about 5.10a. The approach had proven to be more complicated than it appeared, though, and with daylight dwindling we retreated. Two days later we came back to Cuernos and started up a route to the right of our first attempt. After Bruce started with a Tuolumne-like left-facing corner, we veered left onto unclimbed ground, with face climbing and then cracks that were sometimes dirty and up to 5.10. Then we connected, we believe, with a 1987 German route known locally as La Clasica for the last couple of beautiful hand- and fist-crack pitches to the top (IV 5.10-). It seems that no one had climbed the highest of the 30-foot tall splinters that make up the horns of Cuernos. Brent then drove out, while Bruce and I took the bus from Viloco south to Laguna Laram Khota, a lake with a roadside view of the southwest face of Gigante Grande (18,858'). Two obvious


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ice gullies split the lower cliffs of this 2,100-foot face. The right-hand one had been done in 1993, while the shorter but much steeper left-hand one was unclimbed. We hiked in with two porters, finding that Yossi Brain’s guidebook is wrong in recommending that you hike around the east side of the lake. We camped on dirt below the glacier beneath the face. As we scouted the face the upper snow slopes avalanched down the route in the afternoon sun. We decided to spend the next day just watching the face to see if this was common, and scouting the descent. That day was colder and the face did not avalanche, but we agreed to either be out of the couloir by 3 p.m. or else hide to the side until after sunset. We started an hour after dawn on June 4. The first pitch was on thin, moderately steep ice with solid metamorphic rock but poor protection. As the chute twisted and steepened, better cracks appeared, but Bruce still had to work carefully on the crux fourth pitch. He started out on slightly overhanging rock that led immediately to a headwall of vertical mixed ground. After another pitch or two it was near 3 p.m., and we hid off to the side under an overhang. Nothing came down, and at dusk Bruce headed off for what proved to be the last surprisingly difficult pitch, a tenuous one with near-vertical “snow-ice.” From there we climbed and belayed into the night on moderately demanding ground by moonlight, encountering some of the worst rock anywhere and feeling the effects of dehydration from not bringing a stove. We reached the summit ridge around midnight. The continuation to the top would have been moderate, but over complex ground with loose rock, so we elected to descend. Contrary to Brain’s guidebook, the “northwest ridge” we descended is a complicated face that requires weaving around cliffs and lots of loose rock. Our descent included about five rappels, and we made it back to our camp at dawn. We named the route Via Loco, and Bruce thought it might be the most technical alpine route in Bolivia. ANDY SELTERS, AAC

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Top: Cuernos del Diablo north face, two routes by Loken, Hendricks, Selters. Bottom: Gigante Grande’s southwest face: left is Hendricks-Selters, 2001; right is 1993 route. Andy Selters (2)


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Roraima as seen from the west. ZAG BARR

Carrying all the gear to the “triple point” (the border of Venezuela, Brazil, and Guyana), we spent six futile days searching for the ramp down the backside that would lead us to the base of ne Prow. Conceding defeat, we abandoned our dream of climbing The Prow and instead did the more accessible German Route (IV 5.12), which begins near the hiker’s trail. Climbing the steep featured sandstone, gazing out over the jungle, our minds wandered back to The Prow. Hanging at the belays, we chatted about returning someday and actually arriving at the bottom of the route, and maybe even climbing it as well. ZACBARRand PETERMORTIMER*,unafiliated *Recipients of a Helly Hansen Mountain Adventure Award

PERU CORDILLERAHIJAR~CHI~~ Cordillera Huarochiri, Various First Ascents. This range, known locally as the Cordillera Pariacacca, is located south of the mining town of La Oroya. Names for the range, such as Cordillera Central and Nevados de Cochas, that have been applied by expeditions are unknown to local inhabitants. The range contains some 100 rock and ice peaks from 5000 to 5751 meters. About half of them have seen ascents.The most common route of accessis La Oroya-Pachacayo, but in the last few years, Peruvian mountaineers have also opened a new Lima-San Mateo-Yuracmayo approach, which yields accessto the western side of the range.


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In July, the Peruvian climber Albert0 Murguia and I inaugurated the northern approach from La Groya to the San Cristobal mine; it is very good for mountaineering among the northernmost peaks of the range. All three approachesinvolve driveable roads. In May, 1999, alone, using the Pachacayo approach, I made the first ascents of Cerro Surao (5150m), and Uchuctunshu (5050m). A week later, Murguia and I made the first of Cerro Chuctuc (5000m), and an attempt on Cerro Entabladas (5 loom). A year later, in July, 2000, Murguia and I put to use the hitherto untried north accessvia the San Cristobal mine. We made the first ascent of the fine ice peak of Jatun Jaico (5302m). Murguia then had to return to Lima. After three days marooned in my tent by snowstorms, I climbed Nevado Chujupucro (5150m) and the unnamed 5200-meter nevado that I christened Yurachucclju (“White Cricket”). All three were first ascents.A week later, in mid-July, I entered the mountains by the San Mateo-Yuracmayo approach and made the first ascent of the rocky peak of Riguis (5000m), and climbed two other peaks higher than 5100 meters that were crowned by cairns erected by local highlanders. In late July, Murguia returned to the western side with Guillermo Portocarrero and climbed Nevado Paccha (5350m). Two weeks later, Murguia returned alone and made another first ascent, that of a ca. 5300-meter ice peak located between Paccha and the massive Nevado Vicufiita (5500m). EVELIOECHEVARR~A CORDILLERABLANCA Alpamayo, Ferrari Route, Crawding. Heading to the Blanca for a classic route? Get ready to take a number and wait. After climbing the Ferrari Route on Alpamayo one day in early July, Jordan Campbell, Rick Leonadis, Charlie French, and I were astonished to watch close to 30 people crowd the route the following day. From conversationswith other climbers, these massivenumbers seemedto be a daily feature on this particular route, and many parties who planned to attempt the route were turned away. We also heard a third-hand report from another Colorado climber that during one day in August an estimated60 people crammedonto the route. CAMERON M. BURNS,Basalt Bigfoot Coalition

Huascaran Norte, Attempt and Tragedy. On July 12, Peruvian mountain guide Marco Perez and Duncan Elliot, a South African mountaineer, left Huaraz to climb the north face of Huascaran Norte (6654m). The chosen route for the climb was the Paragot Route, established by a French team in 1966. In reality, however, their climb turned out to be a combination of the French route and the Northwest Ridge, climbed by an Italian team in 1974. On the evening of July 17, Perez and Elliot were surprised by an avalanchejust one pitch below the Northwest Ridge at about 6400 meters, from where the summit could be reached easily. Perez was hit by blocks of ice, and Elliot was severely injured by a serac that hit him on the back. They fortunately had cellular phone coverage and were able to call for help immediately. This triggered a huge rescue effort that involved many people and institutions. However, despite hard and coordinated work, the stricken party could only be reached on July 20, unfortunately too late for Elliot, who had died the day before. Perez, weak and dehydrated, was hauled off the wall and brought back down to safety. Elliot’s remains were left on the mountain per the wish of his family, who had been contacted in South Africa. Two weeks


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Huascaran

Sur (I.) and Norte. The route taken by Elliot and Perez on the north face is shown. ANTONIO

G~MEZ

BOH~ROUEZ

later, Perez returned to Huaraz with Elliot’s brother to leave a plaque near the mountain with an epitaph in memory of Duncan Elliot. ANTONIO

G~MEZ

BOH~RQUEZ,

Spain

Huandoy Group, Various Ascents and Descents. In June, Stephen Koch, Kris Erickson, Chris Trimble, Nat Patridge, Rob Buchanan, and I established Base Camp at an aqua blue lake near the toe of a glacier on the north side of the Huandoy group, one of the most rugged and impressive cirques in the Cordillera Blanca. Our main objective was to climb, ski and snowboard the impressive northwest face of Huandoy Norte (6400m), a 55- to 60-degree face that topped out 1700 meters above our camp. To prepare, we spotted a beautiful line off the shoulder of Huandoy Oeste. On June 6, we skied the rarely (if ever) touched face, later dubbed “Los Bonitos Penitentes,” which topped out at about 5600 meters. It sported 50-degree turns over a large cliff and some of the strangest snow I have ever turned in. Wild. Blue skies and warm temps, and the sound of our skis and boards slicing through slushy penitentes, made for a truly sublime experience. On June 11, we left Base Camp at midnight, arriving at the base (5400m) of Huandoy Norte at 6 a.m. We started climbing, ropeless, up 60-degree snow and 70-degree sections of water ice to reach the co1 (62OOm)at 1:30 p.m. Snow conditions were less than ideal for the descent and soon the weather crapped out, engulfing us in a white-out. Considering the poor visibility, the sportiness of the snow, and the serious consequencesof a mistake, we deemed the descent too dangerous. Down climbing and rappelling (with a single headlamp) brought us to the base of the face around 8 p.m. A quick brew-up and hours of glacier travel brought us back to BC, 25 hours after we started.


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On June 22, Nat Patridge, Kris Erickson, Chris Trimble and I descended Huascaran (6768m) from the summit via The Shield, a 400-meter, 50- to 60-degree ice face that hangs in the middle of the west face. The snow was soft, edgeable and smooth the whole way. The line was well sustained, with not a turn under 50 degrees (after the upper flat football fields, anyway). Carving turns in easy, tumable snow at 6000 meters, toying with the void lurking below, was a real treat. HANSSAARI,unafJiliated Huandoy NOW, North Face, Attempt, and Northwest Face, Solo Ascent. It was 7 a.m. as Ed Diffendal and I began the task of flagging down a taxi in Huaraz, Peru, our sights set on climbing Huandoy Norte. As we flagged down a taxi, we realized that it just was not the sameheading off to climb without our partner and good friend Sean Ogle, who was unfortunately still in bed, sick. His company and Spanish-speaking skills were missed on the taxi ride into the Paron Valley. Despite illness, Sean was planning on catching up with us the next morning. Once Ed and I arrived at Laguna Paron, we spotted an unclimbed line on the north face of Huandoy Norte. We took off immediately, leaving Sean to fend for himself. He was so sick, we were sure he would not show the following day; little did we know that he was en route. Ed and I took off for the long hike up to Huandoy Norte through a heavily crevassedglacier. Our motto was “light, fast, and furious,� and we brought along only the essentials. We left Sean a note to catch up with us, but forgot to tell him where we were. Ed took the first lead of the day, almost plummeting into the bergschrund as the bottom of the lip broke off, leaving him hanging by his poorly seatedtools. Somehow he managed to hang in there and not drag us both into the bowels of the beast. Sean, meanwhile, was on his way, eager to arrive and join us on the climb. For Ed and me, many pitches of steep ice, the extreme cold, and lack of sleep left us exhausted after our second day of climbing. As the rotten vertical ice taxed our bodies and minds, we chose to retreat, leaving our dream of a new route in a quick style behind. Little did we know that Sean was alone climbing on the face just next to us. He figured that we would be on the route that we had proposed to climb the night before at the bar. Sean soloed the Northwest Face of Huandoy via a brilliant variation, climbing on the rim of the exposed north face and the giant rock buttress below. The climb took over 42 hours from top to bottom. He climbed this route sans bivy gear, stove, etc., running out of water on hour 20 of his push up the mountain. We returned to Huaraz to find that Sean had taken off to meet us! We began to get worried, as we had all the ropes and gear he would need to descend.One more day passedand we were getting ready to head back to the Paron to look for Sean when a knock came at our door. In came a note explaining that Sean was tine and resting up in a refugio on the other side of the mountain. Badly dehydrated and exhausted, he had climbed up the northwest face and then downclimbed the standard route on the south side. An excellent effort, to say the least. ROBBIEWILLIAMS

Nevado Ulta, Northwest Face, Attempt. Early July found me slightly crazed and very skinny from a month of wild times in the Cordillera Blanca. Dysentery and excessive celebration played their part, but a 25-hour, 1500-meter attempt on Huandoy Norte and a six day round-


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The northwest face of Nevada Ma, showing the Northwest Face (left) (Earl-Trimble, 2000; does not reach summit) and (right) the South African route (Cheesmond-Dawson, 1977. CHRIS TRIMEILE

trip ski/snowboard descent of the Shield route on Huascaran Sur (see note above) had left me feeling relaxed and gluttonous. The arrival in Huaraz of a highly motivated old friend had snapped me out of my reverie. Jim Earl had arrived in Peru while I was on Huascaran, and had acclimatized by climbing two new routes in the Paron Valley. Our main ambition was to climb the stupendous 1600-meter north face of Huascaran Norte via a line near the Catalan route, but after four days of storms, load carrying and vomiting (by me) at a 4700-meter high camp below the face, we retreated, moaning. With only five days left before my departure, we scrambled to find an accessible yet inspiring objective (luckily, an easy task in the Blanca). Although accessible by car in only a few hours from downtown Huaraz, Nevado Ulta (5875m) towers 2000 meters above the rough Paso Ulta road, and had been scaled only a handful of times, by two existing routes. We had hoped to attempt a futuristic ice line on the unclimbed north face proper, but a large band of wet, blank granite down low turned our attention to the northwest face, first climbed in 1977 over five days by Dave Cheesmond and partner. The 1977 line climbed the right edge of the face to the west ridge and continued to the summit, but there were no routes (that we knew of) directly to the summit via the steep central face. With only three days remaining until I had to be in Lima, one-push style was the only option. We departed our high camp at the leisurely hour of 6 a.m. in a light snowstorm, simulclimbing 600 feet of snow as steep as 65 degrees to the first belayed pitch, a beautiful icedup dihedral with cams in good granite for pro. Steep icefields interspersed with short, intricate ice pitches led to the crux curtain, an amazing cascade 200 feet wide and a ropelength high with many difftcult variations. Traversing in from the right, we were able to climb the curtain via a sustained,just-off-vertical groove of crusty Andean snow and ice separatedfrom


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Jim Ear/ swinging for Jesus on the northeast face of Nevada Ma. CHRIS TRIMBLE

the wall by a foot. The climbing was spectacular, but not overly difficult, as rest steps were easily gained with a light kick through the curtain. We climbed the upper face via the large central couloir that divides into a maze of flutings 500 feet from the summit. Clouds had filtered in, making route tinding difficult. Which fluting would lead to the real summit cornice? Of four doors, we chose the left-center line, and climbed it in whiteout conditions to its top just below the wild meringues of the summit ridge. Was this the right mushroom? At the last anchor, during a brief clearing, we could see the true summit cornice 60 meters to the west, and only 30 meters higher, across a number of gravity-defying spines and disintegrating snow mushrooms. Close, but no cigar. The Northwest Face (ED90�, 1000m) of Nevado Ulta (5875m): 12 hours up, five hours, 14 V-threads, two rock anchors, and a bunch of down climbing, with intermittent snow throughout. What a blast! CHRISTRIMBLE,un@inred

Paron Valley Aguja III and Caraz I, Attempts. In mid-June, I hooked up with Stephen Koch in Huaraz for some fine climbing in the Paron Valley. We spent a day carrying loads up from the refugio, then got hopelessly cliffed out trying to descend directly to the lake (not recommended). What followed, however, was a pleasant week spent in the high country of the Blanca. We soaked up views across the valley of Huandoy Norte. Our campsite was remote and seldom visited. We left late one morning to climb five pitches of steep snow and ice in a narrow couloir on its south-southwest side to just below the summit of Aguja III. The main objective, however, was the south face of Caraz I. Our intended route was a directissima left of the Albi Sole route, that passedthrough the summit rock pyramid directly to the summit. Two thousand feet of snow and ice to 65 degreesbegan the day. Next came 600 feet of steepice and mixed terrain, with rotten ice in places,to below the rock pyramid. One steepcrack pitch led to a narrow stance where a diagonal feature appearedto lead out right, through the steepestpart of the rock, to the summit snows. Unfortunately, the rock was horrendously loose, so we could not safely push the route to summit. We rappelled 16 ropelengths, with somedown climbing, to reach the base of the mountain. I believe the route is climbable by a party willing to take the risks of aiding on steep,very loose rock in a remote location. JIM EARL,unufzliated


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L.aEsfinge, The Riddle of the Cordillera Blanca, New Route. On May 1, Todd Offenbacher, Bill Posner and I arrived in Lima, Peru, with the goal of climbing a new route on La Esfinge. Bill Posner traveled with us with the intent of helping us complete somefilming and video projects for Resort Sports Network. We immediately continued to Huaraz at 10,000feet. Our intent was to organize supplies in Huaraz, plus make brief acclimatization outings into the surrounding hills, as basecamp for the wall is at 15,000 feet. This plan was rapidly foiled, as all three of us in successionbecamevery ill with the Peruvian version of Montezuma’s. We spent the five days in town struggling around, shopping, and running to the toilet. We befriended the owner of the local Thai restaurant, Naresuan Butthuam, who would accompany us to basecamp to cook the best Thai food ever and to do some rock climbing during our preparation for the route. Thus prepared,the four of us and seven porters drove to the Paron Lake and hiked the four hours to basecamp, one hour from the baseof the wall. Over the next five days, we ferried loads, filmed, drank and ate, and fixed the first five pitches, I55 meters (three ropes) direct to the ground. Thereafter, Todd and I were on our own, as Naresuan and Bill were neededelsewhere. Our intention in arriving in the Blanca in May was to beat the crowds we anticipated on La Esfinge for the coming season.We paid for bagging what we felt was one of the last good lines on the east face in bad weather currency. We originally wanted to climb another new route on the 950-meter southeast face, but after scoping, this wall, which houses only one line, seemeddevoid of connecting systems that would comprise a natural and aesthetic line. We committed to the wall, hoping for significant amounts of free climbing. However, we were hammered every day like clockwork by a paisley of rain, snow, and hail. After two days of fixing, we led three more pitches, established our portaledge, spent a soakedand miserable night, dried the next morning, and fixed three more. On the fifth and final day, we jugged our lines, pulled them with us, and climbed three more steep mixed aid and free pitches, including the A3 crux. Upon reaching lower-angle ground, we chucked our haul bag and any extra weight we could. We then freed and French freed to the top into the night in a snowstorm, and summited to a break in the weather. With nothing but a gentle breeze, we stood and gazed at the Paron Valley giants, lit by a full moon, as they emerged from a silver fog bank filling the valley. We descendedthe north ridge and returned to our base camp after 22 hours. Two days later, we returned to the wall, jugged our lines, re-led two pitches and retrieved our portaledge and haul bag. We beat a hasty retreat to the tune of the wettest storm yet. We named our route after Antonio Bohorquez’s 1998 AAJ article The Riddle of the Cordillera Blanca (VI 5.10 A3). The porters met us the following day and we were soon dancing with the locals at El Tambo. NILSDAVIS,unafiliuted

La Esfinge, Cruz del SUI;New Route. Silvo Karo (Slovenia), Mauro “Bubu” Bole (Italy), and I traveled to Peru on my birthday, June 23. Upon our arrival at Base Camp (4650m) below La Esfinge (a.k.a. the Sphinx) on June 27, we had some problems with the altitude. The third day after our arrival at BC, Bubu had to go back to the valley. After his return, the whole thing ran smoothly, and our climbing could really start. Silvo managed to climb the first pitch on June 29, with me belaying because of Bubu’s sickness. I rated the first 35 meters 6b+. It was good for warming up. The crack had to be cleaned a little bit-there was some soil and vegetation-but in general the rock in this part of the face was very good.


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Silvo and Bubu planned primarily to climb on the southern face, but the rock quality was poor, and the face only got about two hours of morning sun. Because their intention was free climbing, they decided to go to the left part of the eastern face, which has sun for the half of the day. Silvo and Bubu had a portaledge and fixed rope on the lower parts, equipping the route and allowing easy access to BC, but planned to climb the upper part of the face without fixed rope in a single try. We also needed the fixed ropes for my filming and photographing. On July 3 and 4, they continued to climb, equipping, cleaning, and then freeing pitches up to 7c+. After a day of rest they continued, adding more free pitches to a large shelf under a smooth column in the middle of the lower part of the face, which we named the Nose. It was now obvious that we were adjusted to the altitude. On the right side of the Nose another three new pitches (7b+, 7b, and 7a+) were added. Now they were climbing Silvo Karo on pitch 2 (7~) of Cruz del Sur (Karoeverything onsight. Bole, 2000). BORIS STR~&EK The first pitch on the Nose is extraordinarily beautiful and photogenic, following on a dihedral up to a smaller column and then over smooth rock above. They had to climb and drill at the same time, which they managed to do onsight. The climbing continued with cracks that had to be cleaned, and that day we stopped above the Nose. The next day, they climbed another three easier pitches and reached a steep shelf in the middle of the face, meeting the 1987 route. Up to here, we had fixed ropes; above, it was necessaryto continue without descending. That day I climbed alone to a peak to the right of the Sphinx (5380m) to try for photos. The tour itself was interesting and beautiful. I climbed its right couloir, went over the peak, and then descendedits western ridge to the Sphinx and the left couloir. In spots I had to rock climb up to 5b, and the snow in the couloir was 30 to 60 degrees.We had a day of rest, and then we planned to climb to the summit. On July 10 at first light we set out for the face, although Bubu did not feel very well, probably because of the food. That was our seventh day on the face. Within two hours we were on the top of the 11th pitch, where our ropes ended. Silvo and Bubu were climbing, and I was jumaring behind them. The upper part was a little bit easier than the lower part, but all on mostly good rock. Five very long pitches (6a, 7a+, 6a+, 6b+, and 5a) in dihedrals and cracks brought us, at 1:30 p.m., to the top of Sphinx, where we had a wonderful view of Lake Paron and neighboring peaks.We enjoyed one and a half hours in the sun on the summit. Bubu did some acrobatic tricks on the rock, and then at 3 p.m. we started back down. During our


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descent we took some ropes and other equipment, and some we left for the following days, when we went one more time to the face and filmed some material. On July 13, we said goodbye to everybody in the base camp and went to the valley. Silvo and Bubu thought for a very long time about how to name the route, and then at the end we named it after a constellation in the sky that we could see every evening and which can be seen only in the southern hemisphere: Cruz de1 Sur (Southern Cross). There are 33 bolts and 16 pitons on the route, of which 17 bolts and 12 pitons are for belays. The most difficult pitch, pitch 2, was given 7c+, the obligatory free spots in the route are up to 7a, and the route is 800 meters long and 650 meters high. Some Friends and chocks are needed; a variety of pitons would be advisable, as would double 60-meter climbing ropes. The sun shines on the face from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. A return trip for us would be worthwhile, especially because of the beautiful colors and sunsets, and the friendly people. BORISSTRMSEK, Slovenia La Esfinge, Here Comes the Sun, New Route. In late May and early June, United Kingdom climbers Brian Bigger and Lucy Regan established Here Comes the Sun (E3 5c A3), considered by many parties to be the best line on this fine face. The 700-meter-high route on the east face climbs the obvious nose-like feature, beginning with the initial four pitches of the French route Papas Rellenas, then breaking right to diagonal across the prominent headwall via a stellar line of discontinuous flakes. They fixed ropes over seven days, spent another six days on the wall in good weather, and placed nine bolts. Most pitches were freed, with Regan leading the serious crux aid pitch on hooks, expanding nailing, and RURPS, with huge fall potential. Basedon irzformationfram IAN PARNELL (U.K.) and ANTONIOG~MEZBOH~RQLJEZ (Spain) L.a Esjinge, Here Comesthe Sun, First Free Ascent. From July 14-18 (with one rest day), Leo Houlding and Sam Whitaker (U.K.) made the second ascent and first free ascent of the Bigger-Regan route Here Comes the Sun (E6 6b, 700m). Houlding’s account of the climb, and his observations on style, appear in an article earlier in this journal. La Esjinge, Little Flufi Clouds, New Route. A large team of British climbers arrived in Peru at the start of July. On arrival at the Sphinx, my climbing partner, Neil Dyer, and I set about looking for a potential new free route that could be climbed without resorting to adding fixed protection and could be climbed ground up. The most feasible line we could devise through our binoculars was the line that becameLittle FZu$j Clouds (IV ES 6a/5.11d X). The first day resulted in only two pitches being climbed, though the second pitch proved to be one of the bolder pitches of the route. I led the pitch at about 5.1 lb R. Neil and I then abseiled back down to the ground, stripping our gear and pulling the ropes as we went. The second day was a bit more successful, as we managedto climb the first six pitches, all onsight. We changed positions when releading the gottom pitches, so Neil led the bold second pitch and I led the first. We continued alternating leads with Neil leading the final sixth pitch. This was an excellent, 50-meter, arching crack and the most strenuous pitch at 5.1 lc. We then again abseiled to the ground, leaving abseil gear on the belays but pulling the ropes down. For the third day we bivied at the foot of the route so we could start climbing at first light.


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Again we started from the bottom of the route, Neil led the first pitch; alternating leads, I then had the opportunity to lead the excellent sixth pitch. We had the bottom pitches pretty well rehearsed, so our progress was fairly swift up to our old high point. The next couple of pitches were quite straightforward and took us to the foot of two large chimneys; they were part of an existing aid route which to the best of our knowledge hadn’t yet been freed. Thinking the meat of the hard climbing was over, we were shocked to find the first chimney to be quite horrific. The first half was very loose and strenuous; there were some bolts on this pitch, but the adequate surrounding natural protection meant I didn’t find it necessary to clip them. The pitch was certainly the toughest at about 5.1 Id X. The rest of the climb was of a modest standard and the rock went back to being the immaculate textured granite we grew to expect from the Sphinx. By the end, Little Flu& Clouds turned out to be exactly what we hoped for. We managed to climb the whole route without the addition or use of any fixed protection, and every pitch was climbed onsight at 5.11 or below, a grade attainable by many. Although the line wasn’t totally independent, it was certainly the most natural line for free climbing and we feel that that is enough to justify its independent existence. PATCH HAMMOND,United Kingdom La Esfinge, Dion’s Dihedral, New Variation and First Free Ascent. Looking at the Sphinx (La Esfinge) and following its features and lines, it rapidly becomes obvious that one feature dominates all others. That is the 150-meter left-facing comer, the aid line Dion’s Dihedral. The comer begins about two-thirds of the way up the crag and looms darkly over the lower slabs, cracks, and walls. The aid line follows a fairly direct route into the comer along some natural features and then uses rivet ladders up the blank walls. Nit Sellars and Mark “Zippy” Pretty devised a potential free line through binoculars. Their line succeededin linking all the features, but only by some devious and winding route finding. Nit and Zippy then set to work on free climbing the route. They quickly succeeded on the first four pitches, all of which were about 5.1 I+. They mainly followed the aid line, though at times it was necessary to perform large detours in order to get around some of the rivet ladders. These early pitches were certainly the route-finding crux. Above, the climbing looked more obvious, but strenuous and sustained. At this point, Zippy sadly becameunwell and was unable to continue, so I took the opportunity to join Nit and try to finish the route. The first day was a chancefor me to climb the pitches already climbed by Nit and Zippy. Nit and I quickly worked through these until we were back at Nit and Zippy’s high point. The next pitch was a steep,slanting linger crack. It was by far the most physical point of the route and the only pitch that was not onsighted. We both felt it to be a tough 5.12b. This pitch was not part of the original aid line and was well protected with traditional gear. From the high point, we abseiled to the floor and left the ropes fixed. The second day started with the rather grim task of jumaring back up to our high point. From there, a couple of 5.11 pitches soon took us to a point the aid climbers used for their portaledge. We decided to adopt the same strategy, but to help with the hard work of hauling, Neil Dyer came along to give us a hand. While Nit and I were free climbing, Neil jugged and hauled a portaledge up the fixed lines to our bivy site. The superhuman effort was much appreciated. As Neil happily abseiled back down to the ground and back to camp, Nit and I set up the ledge and went to sleep. Above us lay a couple of reasonable-looking pitches and then the comer itself. If we were


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going to have a chance of free climbing it, we had to climb light and fast. We started the day by lowering the portaledge, extra ropes, gear, and sleeping equipment to the ground. This involved tying all our spare ropes together and just lowering everything, which left us committed with two ropes and a rack of gear. The pitches into the comer were enjoyable cracks and slabs and were soon climbed. The first pitch of the comer turned out to be one of the best pitches I have ever climbed. A perfect 55-meter pitch of laybacking and bridging finished on a little ledge with a double bolt belay. We felt the grade was sustained 5.12a. The next pitch up the comer was slightly less strenuous but quite a lot bolder. This led to the linal hard pitch of the route; the aid line here followed a seemingly blank comer, so we devised a line across the slabs to the left. Nit led the pitch, and it was certainly the most memorable of the route. Fifty feet above good gear, Nit found himself wobbling on a very tenuous slab move. The penalty of a fall would be lOO-foot swing into the comer and the loss of much crucial time. Fortunately, Nit pulled through and the pitch was in the bag; 5.1 lc X seemeda fair grade for the pitch. We continued on to the top, weaving around the easy angled slabs and comers to reach the summit of the Sphinx once more. The line taken by the free version of Dion’s Dihedral (VI E6 6bf5.12b X) was purely dictated by the easiest way up the wall into the huge comer. Although no fixed protection was added on our ascent, we did rely quite heavily on the bolts left by the aid ascent. The belay bolts were particularly useful and the route would have been a lot harder without them. However, a number of the rivet ladders did seem to be a bit pointless, as it was possible to climb the features on natural protection, avoiding the blank granite walls. PATCHHAMMOND,United Kingdom La Esfinge, Lobe Estepario, New Route. In July, I completed the route Lobo Estepario (VI A3 6b obl., 650m). (This was thefirst solo ascent of L.a Esfinge-Ed.) All of the belays are equipped with double expansion bolts, except for pitch 13, which has only one bolt. Ten bolts were placed by hand at the belays. I made seven bivouacs on the wall. There is a dangerous flake plastered to the wall with mud at the end of pitch nine. The route starts in an obvious black water tunnel to the left of two obvious thickets of brush. From the last belay, the 13th, there was 170 meters of IV/IV+ terrain. For gear, you need two setsof Friends to number 4, one set of microfriends, one set of nuts, 25 assortedpins, one set of hooks, and one copperhead for the first pitch. A portaledge is not necessary: it’s possible to sleep at belays 3, 4, 5, and 7; and it’s very comfortable to sleep at belays 2, 8, 9 (the “Hotel Ledge”), and 13. You can rappel the route. It has not been repeatedand, apart from the initial part of the first pitch, which is all hooking, the route has great potential as a free climb. JONASCRUCES FERNANDEZ, Spain La E.$nge, TodosNurcos. Spaniards Jose Femandez and Daniel Lacueva (“Papiol”) attempted to climb the southeast face of La Esfinge by a new route, but becauseof the poor quality of the rock and the absenceof a direct, logical line, they decided to go for the east face. They climbed four pitches between the routes Papas Rellenas and Ganxets Glace’. Due to diarrhea and dehydration, they left fixed ropes and descendedto Huaraz. The team returned to the wall July 16 and did not descend until they had reached the summit the night of the 23rd by their route Todos Narcos (A3 6c, 750m). ANTONIOG~MEZBOH~RQUEZ, Spain


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La E$inge, 1985 Route, Rapid FreeAscents. British climbers Nit Sellars and Marc Pretty free climbed the 1985 route (Bohorquez-Garcia) in eight hours, rating it 6c+/7a (5.1 lc-). A week later, Miles Perkins and Adam Wainwright, also British, repeated the route in seven hours. It seemsthat no one has repeated the original 1985 route in its entirety: repetitions usually use variations of at least one pitch after the central ledge (called “Plaza de las Flores”). Parties also don’t climb the last pitches (which lead almost directly to the summit), preferring to finish over easier terrain to the right. ANTONIOG~MEZBOH~RQUEZ, Spain La Esfinge, Intuition, New Route. After paying our dues with the requisite Peruvian stomach funk, my partner, Taki Miyamoto, and I headed into the Paron Valley, in the northern section of the Cordillera Blanca. What would be a leisurely two-hour hike for the acclimatized and porter-assisted took us fools, bent over by obscenely large haulbags, all day and then some to recover from. Rising to 17,466 feet out of the Huandoy massif, the 2,000- to 2,500-foot walls of La Esfinge offer extraordinary climbing on impeccable granite in an exposed alpine setting. This year, La Esfinge’s base camp resembled an alpine Camp 4, complete with slack line, an inhouse bouldering circuit, and diverse languages and accents. Our route, Intuition (8 X, 10 R, 12c, 11 R, ll+, 12a, lo+, 10, 9, 7) takes an extremely direct line up the clean, steep left side of the east face. Connecting discontinuous cracks, the climbing is most often balance-intensive face climbing on small holds. Blessed with the typically incredible Blanca weather, the climb unfolded smoothly, and the quality of rock and free climbing we encountered was impeccable. Every pitch is long and fun. The protection is often tricky and sparse:a fall on any of the pitches could result in some big air, but due to the clean, steep, ledgeless nature of the rock, all of the climbing can be considered safe. We used bolts for most belays and on some of the pitches, and all were placed on lead, by hand. It is a route we hope other climbers will enjoy repeating. Taki and I had an incredible experience amidst the power of the Cordillera Blanca and want to give our sincere thanks to the American Alpine Club for the support. DAVIDSHARRATT*, unafikzted *Recipient of an AAC Mountaineering Fellowship Fund award Chinchey Group Palcaraju Oeste, South Face, New Route, Previously Unreported. In September, 1999, Frederic Brehedon and Benoit Peyronnard established TempCtede Joie on the south face of the 61 lo-meter, rarely climbed Palcarju Oeste in the Chinchey Group northeast of Huaraz. They approached from the Ishinca Valley and camped at a co1 between Palcaraju Oeste and Ishinca. Their 600-meter route ascends ice flutings on the right side of the face to gain a small, prominent cornice on the east ridge. From here, they rappelled without summiting. The route was graded TD/TD+, 12 pitches, mostly 60- to 75-degree ice and mixed, with vertical climbing at the entry and exit. (High Mountain Sports 215)


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CORDILLERARAURA Cordillera Raura, Various New Routes. Our team was composed of Germans Dieter Ruelker, Joerg Sting], Axe1 Jahn, Jan Lettke, and me as leader. After three weeks of classic ice climbs in the Cordillera Blanca (the Simpson Spur on Ranrapalca, the West Face Direct on Tocllaraju, the Southeast Face on Artesonraju, and the East Face of Caraz I), we switched to a basecamp in the Cordillera Raura, only a few kilometers southeastfrom Oyon, a small mining city at the head of the road from Churin into the Raura. From a beautiful campsite at 4700 meters near Laguna Yuracocha, we made a handful of climbs, some of them new. On July 16, we made the first ascent of the 700-meter south face of Cerro Chacua Grande (5405m) in a direct line (V 65”). The summit was previously reached only once, 29 years ago! Polish climbers A. Bilczewski and A. Zyzak, who reached the summit on August 6 in 1971, used a route on the west pillar. On July 18, we attempted the south face of Chacua Norte (5165m), a minor summit on the long rocky ridge between Chacua Grande and the saddle to the south (this saddle was formerly crossed by one of the main trails of the Inca empire). After six rope lengths of easy but pleasurable rock climbing, we reached the summit, where we found no marks of previous ascents. It’s still uncertain if the summit had been reached before, but doubtless our route through excellent limestone rock was a new one and so we named it American Sport Poll0 (IV, 300m). The next day, we ascendedCerro Rumi Cruz Sur (5360m) via the icy south face and tinally over the rocky west ridge, which was an easy but nice climb. Ours was probably the second ascent, after that of the Polish climbers in 1971. Finally, on July 20, I made a solo traverse of the three minor summits of Chacua Sur (5 160m), Chacua Central (5 195m) and Chacua Norte (5 165m). The climb from southeast to northwest was easy (II-III) but dangerous due to very loose rock. By the way, very close to our camp site we explored a fantastic bouldering area with hundreds of possibilities on oversized blocks. If you are acclimatized for bouldering at 4700 meters above sea level, it’s really scenic there! MARKUSWALTER, Alpine Club Saxony CORDILLERAHUAYHUASH Jirishanca, East Face,Attempt. On July 7, Aritza Monasterio (Peru), Marjan Kovac and Pavle Kozjek (Slovenia) made an attempt to climb a new route on the east face of Jirishanca. They approached the glacier between Yerupaja Chico and started on a buttress on the left side of the face. Since the weather in the Cordillera Huayhuash was extremely poor in the beginning of July, they found a lot of new powder snow on the face, and after some 700 meters of climbing they abandoned the attempt. They descendedthe sameroute. PAVLEKOZJEK.Slovenia Nevado Cuyoc, La Face B, New Route, Previously Unreported. On August 18, 1999, Jerome Blanc-Gras and Sebastien Laurent climbed a 500-meter new route that was primarily mixed (up to M5). Their route tops out on a rocky tower just right of the summit, and parallels the


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normal route on this 5500-meter peak. The peak is close to Laguna Viconga, in the southeastern part of the Huayhuash. (High Mountain Sports 2 15) Puscanturpa Norte, via Macanacota, New Route. On August 1, the French climbers Frkderic Paurrage, Alban Faure, and Guillaume Arrisani climbed the northwest face of Puscanturpa Norte (5652m) by a new route. The route begins a few meters to the left of my September, 1999, attempt with Koky Castafieda and is called Via Mucanacota (ED+, 600m). They bivouacked on ledges at 5030 meters and 5170 meters. This route has some moves of Al and a maximum difficulty of 7b/c (French). ANTONIO G6m

BOH~RQLJEZ, Spain

Puscanturpa Norte, showing 1. k&n route (Anfonieth-Mondme///-Blanch/-Mora, 7984). 2. Via Manacota (Arrisani-Faure-Paurrage, 2000). 3. Pasta Religion (Baudry-Daudet-Lombard, 2000). 4. 7975 Italian route (attempted by Biancadini-Bianchi-Casartelli-Veronelli in 7974; reached 300 meters below summit. Completed by Bianchi-BoseWBiuzza-Caneva-da Polenza-Milani-MoraPozzoli in 7975). ANTONIO G~MEZ BOH~ROUEZ


CLIMBS AND EXPEDITIONS: PERU Puscanturpa Norte, Pasta Religion, New Route. From May 24 to June 24, we (Lionel Daudet, Francois Lombard, Xavier Baudry) opened a rock climbing route on the northwest face of Puscanturpa Norte (5652m). This face is extremely steep, grooved with high geometrical columns, and blocked off by a huge overhanging zone. The face is 800 meters high from the base to the summit. The steep part is 350 meters high. Two previous expeditions, in 1975 and 1988, only brushed against the face and veered off toward the ridges. The question of the direct route was still asked. We were ready to get on with the climb on May 28. We opened a wonderful route in delicate artificial climbing. The rock itself was gorgeous. We reached the summit on June 9 and thereafter we freed all the pitches. The route turned out to be very sustained around F’7a+(5.12a). It took us 16 days to open the route and we spent eight nights in portaledges. We only left 19 bolts in the whole route, mainly at belays (zero to three

285

1994 World Cup climbing champion Franqois Lombard on pitch 72 (6b) near the top of the buttress after climbing the waN. LIONEL DAUDET

L/one/ Daudet at the base of Puscanturpa Norte. Behrnd h,m can be seen (I. to IX): Yerupaya, Sarapo, Siula Grande, Carnrcero, Jurau, and Trapecio. XAVIER BAUDRY


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in the pitches). While freeing the route, we used small Friends and small nuts with shock absorberson quickdraws. We had great meteorological conditions. Due to our very special diet (!), the route is called Pasta Religion. LIONELDAUDET,France CORDILLERAVILCANOTA Cordillera Klcanota, Various Ascents, Previously Unreported. In July, 1999, a seven-member British team led by Andy Owen made several ascents, some perhaps new, from a base camp near Laguna Saranaro in the seldom-visited southeastern Vilcanota. Ascents included the SoutheastRidge of Nevado Jatunano Punta (5812m) via Cerro Soranano Snowpeak (5540m), the southern slopes to Southeast Ridge of Navado Apucucho (5560m), and the Southwest Ridge of Nevado Japu Punta (5852m). (High Mountain Sports 215)

BOLIVIA CORDILLERAREAL Cerro Ventanani, Ruta de Los Amigos, New Route and Cerro Sancayuni, WestFace Hanging Glacier Route, First Solo Ascent. On July 8 and 9, I established one new route and made a first solo ascent in the Linco Valley of the Cordillera Real. The Linco Valley is located just

Peaks of the Linco Valley, Cordillera Real, Bolivia, as seen from the southwest. 1. Point 5440. 2. Cerro Chekapa (ca. 5460m). 3. Unnamed (ca. 5360m). 4. Nevado Chekapa Sarama (ca. 5220m); 5. Cerro Ventanani (ca. 5398m); 6. Point 5320m. 7. Cerro Sancayuni (ca. 5400m). 8. Cerro Kallhuani (ca. 5492m). Ruta de 10s Amigos ascends the obvious glacier headwall on Cerro Ventanani. The West Face Hanging Glacier ascends the thin strip of glacier on the otherwise rocky west face of Cerro Sancayuni. MAT-T WADE


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north of the Condoriri Valley and requires three hours of desperateoff-road driving to reach. Another two hours of hiking is required to reach the base of the glaciers. On July 8, I left my camp at the base of the glaciers and climbed the west face of Cerro Ventanani (5400m) for the first ascent.A two-hour approach on the moderately crevassedglacier led to the 500-foot west face. I climbed the smooth 50-degree headwall to the summit, enjoying perfect n&C conditions and blue Bolivian skies. I descended via the gentle south ridge, the only route previously climbed on this peak. I called the new route Rutu de Los Amigos after a friendship I developed with my camp guard, Felix, a local Aymara Indian. On July 9, armed with technical tools, a rope, and a few ice screws,I climbed the West Face Hanging Glacier route on Cerro Sancayuni (54OOm)for the first solo ascent.This route was first climbed in 1983 by Stanley Shepard,Dave Bishop, and Frank Zaftan. A short glacial approach led to the beginning of the real climbing. A ribbon of 80-degreewater ice led elegantly through a daunting seracband, providing accessto 1,000 vertical feet of steepn&e on the upper face. I climbed a pitch of brittle ice through the narrow passageand gained the long, smooth slope above. Once on the face proper, I found the 50- to 60-degree angle and Styrofoam conditions ideal for pied troisieme technique with two tools, and the consistent steepnesslent awesome exposure.One and a half hours after leaving the talus, I crossedthe bergschmnd and pulled onto the summit ridge. A short walk along the knife-edge crest put me at the north summit. I descended via the ascentroute, down climbing the upper face and rappelling the water ice pitch. I spent July 10-l 1 exploring adjacent valleys. I discovered a plethora of new route potential on neighboring 5000-meter-plus peaks. MAT-IWADE Condoriri Area, Various Ascents and Map Correction. The 2000 Cordillera Real Expedition from the Colorado State University Outdoor Adventure Program climbed a number of peaks in the Condoriri area, and made an ascent of a rarely climbed, but spectacular, glaciated peak. Our eight-person team was comprised of Rodney Ley (co-leader), Jim Davidson (co-leader), Roger Boyd, Aaron McEntire, Lawrence Pollack, Darrin Sharp, Rachel Steeves,and Shawn Zeigler. We first spent five days in the Condoriri getting acclimated by climbing several standard routes from a base camp at Laguna Chiar Khota (Black Lake). We climbed Austria (50OOm), Tarija (5060m), and Pequefio Alpamayo (5370m) and made an unsuccessful attempt of Illusioncita (5150m). We then moved east over an unnamed 5000-meter passjust south of Aguja Negra and made camp at 4700 metersjust south of Cerro Zongo Jisthafia (ca. 5 140m). Our mule driver and basecamp guard, both local Aymarans, said they had never seen any alpinistas climb Cerro Zongo Jisthafia, even though it is just two kilometers from an established trail between the popular Condoriri and Huyana Potosi climbing areas. On May 25, we approached Cerro Zongo Jisthafia over moraine, and crossed the lightly crevassed glacier on its southern flank. At an elevation of about 5000 meters, we ascended the left-hand (western) edge of the glacial headwall on a long, narrow prow of consolidated snow (protected with pickets). After 120 meters of snow up to 60 degrees, we emerged onto a flat plateau. From here, a low-angle ridge of firm snow rose northward to the summit (5140m). We descendedvia the southeastern ridge of the glacier. Though we have found no published accounts of previous ascents,we did find a cairn on top. Several peaks on the popular l:SO,OOOtopographic sheet of the Condoriri by Walter Guzman Cordova are mislabeled. Cerro Zongo Jisthafia appearsto be mislocated on the map and mislabeled as a non-glaciated peak four kilometers due east of Laguna Chiar Khota. It is


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more accurately shown on the recent (1999) 1:135,000 topographic map by Walter Guzman Cordova as a glaciated peak that is four kilometers northeast of Laguna Chiar Khota. JIM DAVIDSON and RODNEY LEY CORDILLERAQUIMSACRUZ Mocoya Valley and Eastern Taruj Umana Valley, Various Ascents. On July 22, Will Hair, Bobby Model, Dave Shewell, Kevin Fredrick, and Rai Farrelly left La Paz on an exploratory rock climbing trip to the Cordillera Quimsa Cruz. Beth Malloy joined the group a few days later. Although the Quimsa Cruz Range is the smallest, lowest and least-visited of Bolivia’s four main cordilleras, it is easily accessedand offers a stunning array of climbing. The southern portion of the range consists of glaciated peaks, though none higher than 5800 meters, and the northern portion of the range is an area of granite peaks and spires. A seven-hour jeep ride from La Paz brought the group to the dusty and lonely mining town of Viloco. Four miles beyond Viloco, the character of the range changed dramatically, and towers of granite could be seen high in the mountains. The first valley past Viloco is the Mocoya Valley, and we based our climbing activities here for the next 13 days. We hoped to establish a number of first ascents,but we weren’t sure what to expect. The granite in the area is of exceptionally good quality, but upon closer inspection many of the cracks tend to be discontinuous, flaring, and dirty. Also the south-facing walls, by far the most impressive and potentially unclimbed, saw very little sunlight and were often icy with patches of snow. The rock on the high ridges (generally above 4800m) was amazingly featured with knobs for face climbing, but lacking much for natural protection. Two Argentineans camped in the valley informed us that quite a bit of climbing had been done in these valleys over the last few years by a variety of South American parties. We were able to climb two towers in the Mocoya Valley. The first was a spire on the west face of what is called Middle Tower (5297m), which we climbed via five pitches of 5.10 to 5.11 wide cracks. The second spire (4796m) was located directly above our camp. Since we found no evidence of any previous ascent,we assumedit to be a first ascent (Urban Dog Spire, 5.10). The majority of our climbing took place in the Eastern Taruj Umana Valley, the next valley north of our camp. A well-used miners’ trail climbs up to the co1 that separatesthe valleys, providing easy access to a number of beautiful spires and walls. Referring to names given by the German expedition of 1988, we climbed Pica Penis, several routes on the west side of Grobe Mauer, and Peak Pelao. Although most of the major lines and peaks have been climbed, the area is a wonderful place to explore, with miles of spires and jagged ridgelines. The valleys are filled with lakes and provide beautiful camping among huge granite boulders. As a note to the new generation of climbers, the bouldering is phenomenal, and we established a number of tine problems in the Mocoya Valley. During July and August the weather is stable with brilliant blue skies, although the days are short and cold. Local climbers from La Paz suggestedApril and October as being much warmer months to climb rock in the Quimsa Cruz. WILL HAIR*, unafiliated *Recipient of an AAC Lyman Spitzer Climbing Grant Award


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Taruca Umana Valleys, New Routes, Previously Unreported. In August, 1999, Britons Roger Barton, Mark Bramidge, Jim and Sue Savege,Catrin Thomas, and Iain Wright established 18 new routes in the Taruca Umana valleys of the northern Quimsa Cruz. They initially climbed from a base camp at the confluence of the Laguna Chillhua Khota (eastern) and Laguna Barras Khota (northern) valleys, then later from a camp at the abandoned mining village below Laguna Chillhua Khota, at 4420 meters. New routes, all climbed onsight with only wires and cams (no fixed gear), included the north and east faces of Erste Mauer, the large southeast-facing slabs of Taruca Umana (4852m) and Nuevo Zongo (4920m), a route on Cuemos de Diablo (527lm), and Tower IV of the Mama Okilo Group (4900m). New three- to six-pitch routes on the excellent granite of the Cerro Taruca Umana pyramids were climbed, including Day In Day Out (E2 5c, four pitches, Bramidge-SavegeSavege)on the northeast face of the Red Pyramid. Four new routes were established on Erste Mauer’s steep north face, including Cuts Like a Knife (El 5c, four pitches, Bramidge-Sue Savege-Wright). To the 1987 German Route on the north face/northeast ridge of Gross Mauer (ca. 49OOm),VS 5a variations were climbed, while on the peak’s eastern side, Lejos Lad0 (HVS 5a, Barton-Bramidge-Thomas) was put up to the co1 between Cuemos del Daiblo and the Grosse Mauer. Barton and Thomas made a long, complex new route (TD-, HVS 5a) on the north face of the Diablo, the final 200-plus meters finishing on the northwest ridge. Also climbed were the northwest ridge of Cerro Torrini (5 13lm, D+ V+) and a small tower (5021m) they called Pica Sally at the northern head of the Laguna Barras Khota Valley. These were assumedto be repeats. (High Mountain Sports 215) Taruca Umana Vallqv and Cerro Auchuma, Various New Routes. Based on a conversation with Sue Savege,we decided to concentrate on further exploration of the Taruca Umana valleys and of the unexplored Cerro Achuma and Cerro Jankho Willkhi ranges. We were in Bolivia for the whole of August. The team, mostly from Wales (Cymru), comprised Mike Rosser, John James, Wayne Gladwin, Sharon Abbott, Paul Westwood, and Brian Cummins (expedition doctor). After a few days in La Paz acclimatizing and buying food, we traveled in two jeeps to the Quimsa Cruz area. We eventually arrived at a base camp in the Taruca Umana Valley. We were not entirely where we wanted to be, but a six-hour walk, mostly on old mining tracks, led to an ideal campsite next to a laguna (lake) at 4400 meters. From where we were now situated, some of our objectives in the Taruca Umana Valley could be achieved, but disappointingly, to establish any routes in the Jankho Willkhi Range (one of our objectives) was now out of the question. The maps did not show the small mountain range that separatedus from the Jankho Willkhi. On the positive side, the potential in our new surroundings in Taruca Umana Valley was absolutely mind-blowing. The question was which line to attempt first. After a day spent acclimatizing, the group focused their climbing efforts on the fantastic granite slabs of the pyramids of Taruca Umana. A 40- to 60-minute walk led to the base of the cliffs. John and Wayne climbed The Poachers, a four-pitch, 105-meter VS that followed a brilliant crack line, in three hours. Over the next two weeks, ten routes with grades up to E2 5c were produced on the pyramids, including Crack Araca, a lOO-meter HVS; The Corkscrew, a 175-meter VS that contains one of those unusual twisting moves through large boulders; Valley Boys (E2 5c), an excellent 112-meter route that combined excellent slab and crack climbing with occasional runout sections.


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During our reconnaissance, we spotted a small range of unclimbed peaks in an area known as Cerro Auchuma in the next valley. To get to the Cerro Auchuma Range required a long and heavily laden haul over a pass at 4800 meters and back down to a camp at 4400 meters. We then found ourselves in a position to attempt three unclimbed peaks situated at the head of this valley. The next day dawned cold but clear. We made a traverse across all three peaks.There was little technical climbing involved, and nine hours after leaving, we arrived back at the camp, having completed the “Travesia de las Tres Hermanas” (Traverse of the Three Sisters), at 4995 meters, give or take a meter or two between the height of each peak. The summits of each gave clear views of the Jankho Whilliki Range, but it also confirmed that the best approach to them would be via valley systemsrunning to the west rather than our southerly approach. MIKE ROSSER, United Kingdom Southern Cordillera Quimsa Crux, Various Activity. The idea of a possible expedition to visit the southern region of the Quimsa Cruz was first proposed in September, 1999, following Sue Savege’s successful trip to the northern region. Having limited information concerning the area, Sue and I set about researching possible mountains to visit. Finally we decided to explore the alpinesque peaks in the area of Corichuma (5675m) and to establish a base camp at Laguna Choca Kkota. This area appearedto offer a great deal of potential for new routing and possible first ascents. With funding from the British Mountaineering Council, The Mount Everest Foundation, and the Alison Chadwick Fund, a team of six female climbers (Sue Savege,Catrin Thomas, Di Gilbert, Sarah Nuttall, Clare Waddingham, Adele Pennington) was assembled.The team left the United Kingdom in July and flew directly to La Paz. After organizing supplies, retrieving lost baggage and acclimatizing, we left La Paz and were dropped off at the side of the road nine hours later. After a very uncomfortable camp on a 30-degree slope, we ferried all the equipment to base camp (4500m). With perfect weather and surrounded by mountains, we set about our exploration, initially scrambling on unclimbed peaks below the snow line and climbing on a granite buttress close to the base camp. “Base Camp Buttress” was ascendedby Di and Sue on a route called Bakers Oven (El 5b) and by Clare and Sarah on a loose and not recommended line (V. Diff). In addition to completing new routes on Cerro Huari Taranca and on the southwest ridge of Cerro Salvadora, we were able to recce the area and acclimatize. Within a couple of days, we were all ready to tackle our first alpine routes. In two teams, we set off with separateobjectives and successfully completed an ascent of an unnamed peak we called Les Tres Marias (5480m) and an ascent of the west peak of Cerro Yaypuri (5500m). At approximate alpine grades of PD+, these mountains, which had no recorded ascents,enticed us to look at possible lines on the south ridge of Korrichuma. Two routes onto the ridge were made. along with an ascent of Cero Hualla Kkota as well. Gaining the south ridge from the east was perhaps the better choice, and a delightful slab took Sue and Di to the central tower on the ridge. The western approach was not so profitable and is definitely not recommended. After somemore new routes on our basecampbuttress,two teamssetoff to explore new lines on subsidiary summits of Chiaro Jancho Kkuno (5460m). A superb line named PassosCelestios straight up the south face was made to the eastpeak. The following day, this route was repeated and a traverse west to an unnamed peak that we called “Pica Helado” (5400m) achieved.With just a couple of days left and the threat of unsettled weather, the team concluded their trip with


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a day out on the upper tier of Ba~e Camp Buttress. On this day. five new rock routes were climbed. With the arrival of snow, the team walked out, satisfied with their exploration. ADELE PENN INGT0:-.1.

Uni1ed Kingdom

A RGENTINA NORTHERN ARGENTil\E ANDES

lncalzuasi Region . Various Ascents. On the last days of January. a truck left the members of the Argentine-C7ech Incahuasi Expedition in base camp (4400m) on the slopes of mighty Yolcan Incahuasi (6638m) on the Argentine-Chilean border. Czech members were veterans Ylastimil Smfda (67 years old) and Jan Cervinka (69 years old). two spectacular guys with many Himalayan expeditions under their belts. The Argentine group was comprised of Nestor Perez. Santiago Rocha and me. We had 500 liters of water brought by the truck because in the region there is a Jack of this vital element. The zone had very strong winds throughout the expedition. We ascended to 4000 meters for acclimatization but my two Argentine friends gave up some days after because of poor health. We made a first camp at 5 150 meters on lncahuas i's north ridge, but after two ascents there, a new camp at 5450 meters, a torn tent, and other problems, I decided to give up Incahuasi and ascend other virgin peaks in the zone. These problems didn't disturb my friends, who continued on. On February 2, l headed south from base camp through a lava-and-ash zone toward a subsidiary volcano near the Incahuasi base. I headed to the volcano's rim and descended a linle bit because of fierce winds. Final ly I reached, solo. the sununit of what I caUed "Yolean Negro del lncahuasi" (5 106m, 27" 00' 31" S, 68° 15' 46.8" W). The wind made me tumble, so I descended to the crater. which was full of giant rocks. On February 7. I headed south once more. chasing vicunas toward another virgin peak. I called it ''Yolcnn Rojo de l Jncahuasi" (5000m, 27° 00' 44.9" S. 68° 15' 03" W) because of its red color. I descended to its perfectly rounded crater. On February 9. I headed north toward the minor summit of the volcano San Francisco (60 16m). I had reached rhe principal summit in 1997 by a new route (noted in that year's AAJ). !took a ridge and found a trickle that descended from the top. By late afternoon I reached the summit (5450m). On top, there was a huge cairn made by the Incas or probably by Walter Penck in 1913. The wind once more made me tumble; 1 descended to the crater, which has a beautiful. perfectly round Jake with a huge rock in the middle. l descended to camp at 8 p.m. happy to find the Czechs. who had ascended lncahuasi the day before. I returned to Buenos Aires, but the incredible Czechs ascended Ojos del Salado on February 23. MARCELO SCANU,

Buenos Aires. Argentina

P UNA DE ATACAMA

Nacimiento. New Route, Prel'iously Unreported. Between December, I 999. and March. 2000. T returned to the Bonete-Pissis area in the southern Puna de Atacama. south of the well-known Ojos del Salado. On December 23, W. Zieglmeier. M. Betzl, and I climbed a mountain normall y known as Casadero (6658m, 27° 12' S. 68° 33.5' W). but it seems that most of the Argentinian climbers call it Walter Penck, even thoug h W. Penck. a German geologist and geographer who worked in Argentina from 1912 to 1914, had never been on


Shall We Take a Drill? The riddle of style in the Cordillera

Blanca

LEO HOULD~NG,United Kingdom

The /ads at La Esfmge base camp, w/th Huandoy m the background.

LEO

HOULDING

hall we take a drill?” I asked tentatively. With only a few days left before Patch and Neil were due to leave, this was the last time we would see each other before meeting in La Esfinge base camp. We were about to go to Havoc, a techno club in Manchester, and expedition planning did not seem to be atop the agenda. “Why do we need a drill? Look at the picture: the rock’s broken and well featured. I’m sure we’ll be able to climb naturally.” Patch pointed to the shot in the Rock & Ice Super Guide. His purist’s perspective impressed me. Although Sam had never climbed a big wall, he agreed. “What about pegs?’ “We definitely need to take a selection of pegs,” said Adam, the most experienced amongst us. “Pegs are real pain in the arse-heavy and slow. We want to find lines we can climb in

S


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our usual style. OK, it’s a bit bigger than Gogarth, but it isn’t El Cap.” The style that Patch was referring to is the way in which we normally climb at home in the U.K. A team of two climbers alternates leads, sharing the fun pitches. The second follows and cleans everything free. If necessary,he carries the load. There are no bolts; we do not use pegs (though some routes do contain them). Instead, we carry a massive rack, climb on two thin ropes and carry lots of long runners to limit rope drag. If the leader falls, we switch leads. If the second leader also falls, the decision as to whether to redpoint or use a point of aid and come back another time is made depending on the extenuating factors (hours of daylight remaining, distance above the ground, etc.). The above is not a statement or rule about how you should climb. It is just the style in which my friends and I are used to climbing. However, having seen other climbers’ styles, and having had the chance to climb in our style on cliffs considerably larger than Gogarth (the routes of which are only three pitches long), I have come to realize just what a respectable style it is, and how pathetic some other styles are. I respect that different people enjoy climbing in different styles. I don’t want to sound elitist, but it is the 21st century, the good new lines are running out and style is everything. What I’m really getting at here are bolts. Specifically, bolts on big walls. Climbing is a game and, quite simply, using bolts is cheating. What is the point in searching out great new challenges and then destroying them? It seemsthat to some, creating a route means more than climbing one. On July 12, the last members of our comically disorganized “expedition” arrived in La Esfinge basecamp. We did not have a drill. The decision not to bring one was never really made, but nobody had one and nobody wanted one. We are real climbers willing to play by the rules. La Esfinge is a purist’s dream. The lines it holds are subtle and complicated, but they exist naturally. The rock is of a fairly easy angle and broken enough to provide sufficient natural protection. We had very little information about the crag. The Rock & Ice Super Guide showed four routes, one free and three aid. We split into teams and chose our lines. Sam and I picked the thin rising line of open corners that led up the center of the wall to the large “S” roof at two-thirds height before it then fizzled out right. It looked quite hard and in a few sections difficult to protect. We hiked our gear to the base and chose our starting point. A wrestle with a bush, then a blank section leading to an easy angled line of ledges, would take us to the open comer. The bush had a good go at me, but I fought my way through and onto the rock. Some friction climbing without any gear brought me to the first interesting section, a smear move out left. It didn’t look particularly hard, but if I fell, I would deck from about 30 feet. After a brief search, I managed to dig out a selection of not entirely satisfactory wire placements ten feet lower. I returned to my high point and contemplated the move. Then to my horror I saw a hideous, ugly galvanized spot scarring the face of this gorgeous Peruvian beauty. It was a bolt. Not even a bolt-just a drilled hole with a bolt sleeve in it. I realized that we were not on a new route, but my disappointment was withheld, as I still had to deal with the move out left. The aid-climbing fool who had defaced this beautiful compact slab had assumedthat people following his route would have a selection of masonry bolts suitable for screwing into the sleeve. Unfortunately, we are climbers, not construction workers, and carried with us only climbing tools. I sussedout the move, committed to the shiny smear and made it to the ledge without using the pointless hole. It wasn’t that hard.


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La Esfinge, showing 1. The Southeast Face (Bohdrquez-San Vincente, 1988). 2. East Buttress (De La Cal-Madrid-Olivera-Polanco, 1987). 3. Cruz del Sur (Bole-Karo, 2000). 4. Original Route (Bohdrquez-Garcia, 7985). 5. Riddle of the Cordillera Blanca (Davis-Offenbacher, 2000). 6. Lobo Estepario (FernAndez, solo, 2000). 7. Papas Rellenas (Cruaud-Devernay-Peyronnard-P/are, 1999). 8. Here Comes the Sun (Bigger-Regan, 2000). 9. Todos Narcos (FernBndez-Lacueva, 2000). 70. Little Fluffy Clouds (not shown) (Hammond-Dyer, 2000). 11. Ganxets Glacb (Ortufio-Salvadd, 7996). 72. Intuition (Sharratt-Miyamoto, 2000). 13. Dion’s Dihedral (Dolecki-Isaac, 7999). 74. North Ridge (Grad/-Huber-Koch-Schmidt, 7955). ANTONIO G~MEZ BOH~RQUEZ

Now the disappointment kicked in. Not only was I disappointed that our “new” line was in fact an established route, but I was also heavily demoralized by the fact that the first interesting section of this route had been destroyed. As we proceeded up, we found one of these ugly spots at every interesting section. Whoever put them there was obviously more interested in forcing a route than doing a climb. The benefit of not being the first people to climb this line was that all the gear placements had been dug out, enabling us to climb onsight. I wasn’t too concerned that we weren’t making a first ascent; surely this would be the first free ascent. What bothered me was the pointless vandalism of the rock and the subsequent spoiling of our adventure. I know that the bolts were pointless because we climbed past every single one of these ugly spots using the age-


SHALL WE TAKE A DRILL? old technique that some seem to have forgotten: the runout. Whatever happened to rising to the challenge? Is it becausesomebody has traveled so far and invested so much of their time and money that they feel they have earned the right to destroy the point? The second pitch was where we found our adventure. It was Sam’s lead. From the unnecessary bolt belay, he moved left into the open comer we had been aiming for-and how very open it was. It was, in fact, more of a groove. The rock, a beautiful golden red, glowed in the warming sun. He traversed onto the left wall of the groove and scoured the blank slab, searching for an edge or two. Not far above him, a thin line of small ledges (or possibly big edges) led up through cracked ground to an obvious rest ledge, and so onto the tasty looking section that would prove to be the crux of the route. Eventually he found a couple of small crimps, but no gear. Then another ugly spot winked and laughed at Sam in his precarious, exposed position. He returned to the belay and we discussed going down to get some tent pegs that we might be able to hammer into these irritating holes. It really is frustrating trying to summon the psyche for a bold section of climbing, knowing only too well that if we had brought our construction tools, bold it most certainly would not be. It has a profound effect on the vibe of the situation. Sam decided to go up and have another look. With the ugly spot now banished from his psyche, he committed to a balancy high step and made it to the ledgy edges and bomber gear. Forty feet of fun, safe terrain and he was on the rest ledge contemplating the steep intimidating groove above. “Leo! I think this might be your pitch!” he concluded. Sam came down and I went up. The groove had a very thin crack in its back. I arranged a cluster of 1 and 2 RPs and equalized them onto one rope 15 feet above the rest ledge. I downclimbed to the rest, clipped my other rope into the bomber cams at the ledge, and bounce tested the RPs. They held. Above my little cluster, the crack virtually closed. I could see the scars from knifeblades been and gone. It would have been easy to aid. Painstakingly, I began the process of deciphering the moves of the groove, up and down, up and down, until quite suddenly my traitorous left arm abandoned me. We were above 4500 meters. At such altitudes, lactic acid becomes an even more menacing enemy to the unwary trad climber. The pump had taken hold, followed shortly by the fear. I was 15 feet above my none-too-inspiring cluster, facing a 30-footer onto a slab if they held and a really unappealing prospect if they failed. My purism gave way to my cowardice. I fled for safety; we went down to get the pegs. Early the next day I was back at the RP cluster. I tried in vain for too long to place a blade with one hand from a free position just above the RPs. After wracking my knuckles several times, dropping a peg and losing my rag, I gave in and sat on the cluster while I hammered in a piton to back them up. It didn’t go in well; in hindsight, I wish I hadn’t placed it. By now, we had spent hours trying to negotiate this steep little groove. It was time to free it or frig it. I lowered to the ledge, rested, and went for it. A little way above my high point, I fiddled in a 0 RP, did a move that was harder than it looked to a hold (obscured by a small exotic cactus) that was smaller than it looked, and found myself committed. My left arm on a countdown, I bit the bullet and busted several difficult moves until finally I was past the steep part, and my weight was back on my legs. I felt quite sick and incredibly relieved. A good wire out right, then another 80 feet of much easier climbing spoiled only by two more unnecessarybolts, and I reached the shady belay. A tine pitch. The heat I had generated while climbing in the sun in a t-shirt dispersed quickly and by the time Samjoined me


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at the belay I had developed a sniveling cold (which stayed with me for the rest of the trip). We were forced by blank rock to deviate from our original line. A traverse left followed by two dirty pitches of an adjacent route brought us to a ledge where we could traverse back right. There was a heavily overbolted belay on the ledge. Perhaps there were so many bolts for the hauling convenience of the Spanish aid soloist who had been raining used toilet paper down our route. Perhaps not, but eight bolts in two square meters of rock is over the top for safety. Whoever placed them put them there for lazy convenience. A fantastic airy layback pitch put us back on track. The sickle crack was, for me, the most traumatic pitch. Our only 00 Alien, fumbled and dropped in a crucial position, spoiled my fun and caused a brief humor failure. A little soul-searching and abusive screaming uncovered the bottle to keep going without any protection through the next hard section. A fall would have put me on Sam’s head from 35 feet. The satisfaction of sending the pitch onsight made it worth (for me at least) all the trauma. Sam led a long wandering pitch through loose rock and long runouts to a hidden ledge system colonized by more bizarre Peruvian cacti. These were large spiky bushes with impressive four- to six-foot flowers reaching out of the face of La Esfinge. Trippy. I let Sam take the next lead, as I wanted the “S” roof. A dream pitch-a small slab to a big roof and overhanging groove-led a full rope length through another roof to a ledge. It went onsight, but only becauseof a kindly placed, handsoff, back-and-foot rest right in the center of the big roof-and well-needed, as the roof is above 5000 meters. To the top from the ledge was considerably easier then the rest of the route: long runout pitches blemished only by more of our aid-climbing friends’ pointless holes. We bailed right at the top instead of climbing the two scrappy looking pitches to the highest point of the wall. On the summit we met Adam and Miles, who had climbed the 1985 route free in an impressive seven hours. Theirs was a little quicker than Nick and Marc’s eight-hour ascent, and considerably quicker than the ten-day first ascent. Patch and Neil had arrived before us and had already begun their route when we got there. They had chosen a line based around the two large, left-facing comers in the center of the wall. They had climbed the most difficult-looking section of the route-the first four pitches-onsight without incident. This successinspired them to attempt the route in the best possible style. They didn’t fix any ropes, opting instead to reclimb the start of the route every day. They took a standard rack, no pegs and of course no drill. By the third day they had reached the top of the first big comer, where the angle of the rock eases. They decided to take a rest day before going for the route from the base to the summit in a single free push. They set off at first light and made good progress over the initial, by-nowfamiliar ground. A great stroke of misfortune overtook Patch on the fifth pitch when a side pull that he had used on the previous days broke, resulting in an unexpected fall. They reached their high point and made a difftcult traverse into the base of the second corner. It had looked quite reasonable, but upon closer inspection the hollow truth was revealed. The comer was a jumble of dangerously loose chunks of granite. Patch led the pitch without touching any of the blocks. The real danger was for Neil, who belayed directly below the corner. (Patch and Neil climbed with 50-meter ropes; apparently it is possible to belay in a considerably safer position on the left with 60-meter ropes.) The pitch warranted the unappeaiing grade of E5 5c, a grade reserved for only the most horrifically loose or dangerous routes. From the top of the comer, several easy pitches brought them to the summit.


SHALL WE TAKE A DRILL?

Sam Whltaker On ptch 8 (Ed 6b) during the fjrst free ascent of Here Comes the Sun. LEO HOULDING

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THE AMERICAN ALPINE JOURNAL, 2001 Their ascent was not a by-the-book onsight, but who cares. They know it was. They weren’t climbing in good style to prove a point to anybody other than themselves. They opted to rise to the full challenge of La Esfmge without compromise. They had invested their time, money, and energy into finding a real adventure, leaving the wall the way they found it: free for others to enjoy the same adventure with no ugly spots. It would seem that their route, Little FZufJ Clouds, follows a very similar line to that of the aid route, Ganxets Glace’, although we were not aware of this at the time. Two friendly Spanish aiders creating a route to the left joined the Brit’s route at the fourth belay. For some reason, they found full big wall tactics necessary to scale La Estinge, and were heavily equipped with static fixing lines and portaledges. At the fourth belay, which Neil and Patch had used repeatedly, the Spanish found it necessaryto place three bolts (for their convenience, no doubt). Retrobolting should not be accepted. Patch, climbing with Nick, also freed Dion’s Dihedral, a brilliant, obvious corner at the extreme right of the wall. It looked compact and hard, but the climbing turned out to be easier than it appeared.To avoid the 30-rivet ladder the aid climbing rapists had drilled straight up the comer at a blank section, Patch and Nick followed the natural line: a rising traverse on the left face leading up and then traversing back into the comer along the lip of a small roof. I believe this was the crux pitch. Aid climbing is so artificial. When I aid a pitch, I usually refer to my ascent as a frigged or failed attempt. It’s just not climbing-it’s cheating. Of course, it has its place on the immense hairline cracks of BafBn Island, high-altitude walls of the Himalaya and for the majority of today’s climbers on El Capitan. But La Esfinge is not such a crag. Two other free routes were ascended on La Esfinge in the summer of 2000. The American Dave Sharratt and JapaneseTaki Miyamoto climbed a blank wall between the lines of Dion’s Dihedral and Little Flu&y Clouds, Intuition (V 12~) took them ten days to clean and to drill 24 bolts. Apparently, the climbing was good but unprotected in places. Silvo Karo (Slovenia) and Mauro “Bubu” Bole (Italy), both of whom are accustomed to bold climbing, climbed the largest, steepestpart of the east face via a vague nose. They took eight days and drilled 33 bolts to free the impressive Cnrz del Sur (V 5.13a). Both of these routes looked fantastic, and I would like to climb them. However, I would have far preferred to have come back and attempted to climb these fantastic lines, particularly Cruz del Sur, onsight without bolts. This is the real challenge in climbing; anything else is a second-rate attempt. When Johnny Dawes attempted the nose of Strone Ulladale (on an island in Scotland’s Outer Hebridies) onsight and found it too intimidating and committing, he didn’t pull out his drill and chip his way to the top. He backed off and vowed to come back better prepared or leave it for the next generation. It awaits its ascent. What is it that drives people to create a route at the expense of an inspirational line? The phenomenon is short-sighted and seemingly wide-spread. Of the many international climbers we met at the base camp, all of them intending to do new routes had brought a drill (except, of course, for our Irish friends Joe, James, Donal, and Al, who had forgotten theirs and who had a successful trip without it). In many climbing cultures, it seems that dirty ethics and poor style are acceptable. In mine they are not. It is the nature of the rock that must determine the style in which we climb. La Esfinge could have been developed without any bolts. It’s a shame to see such a perfect, naturally free crag raped by aid climbers’ drills. It is no longer futuristic. Stop destroying the challenge, which is the point of climbing. Leave your drills at home!


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SUMMARYOFSTATISTICS AREA: Cordillera Blanca, Peru ASCENTS(all of the following lie on the east face of La Esfinge, 5325m): Here Comes the Sun (Bigger-Regan, 2000) (E6 6b, 700m), second ascent and first free ascent, Leo Houlding and Sam Whitaker, July 14-18 (with one rest day). This route uses the first four pitches of Papas Rellenas (Cruaud-Devemay-Peyronnard-Plaze, 1999). Little Flufi Clouds (E5 5c, 650m), first ascent, Patrick “Patch” Hammond and Neil Dyer, July 1215. Dion’s Dihedral (Dolecki-Isaac, 1999) (E5 6b, 450m), second ascent and first free ascent, Patrick “Patch” Hammond and Nit Sellars, July 17-19. Bohorquez-Garcia route (Bohorquez-Garcia, 1985) (6c+/7a), free ascent, Nit Sellars and Marc Pretty, July 11; free ascent, Miles Perkins and Adam Wainwright, July 18. PERSONNEL:Marc Pretty, Patch Hammond, Leo Houlding, Neil Dyer, Nit Sellars, Miles Perkins, Adam Wainwright, Sam Whitaker

Twenty-year-old Leo Houlding makes his base close to England’s Lake District, but he is currently traveling and climbing professionally. He started climbing at age 10 and was brought up on the classic traditional routes of the Lakes. He moved to North Wales in 1996, where he climbed a string of the renowned bold test-pieces onsight, and established some cutting-edge “headpoints” (leads that were first rehearsed on top rope). His preferred style is traditional climbing, and his passion is freeing big walls and bold climbing, though he also loves bouldering. He is best known for making the second ascent, with his friend Patch Hammond, of the Huber brother’s Leo Houlding on La fsfinge base camp boulderroute El Nifio (5.13c, 1000m) on El Cap ing circuit. LEO HOULDING COLLECTION virtually onsight in 1998. Other notable ascents include the first onsight ascent of Master’s Wall (E7 6b, 5.12d X) and Trauma (E9 7a, 5.13~ X) in North Wales; the first ascents of Sweden’s Savage Horse (E9 6c, 5.13b X) and Norway’s The Shield (E6 6b, 5.12d R, 900m); and the first ascent of Passageto Freedom (E7 6c, 5.13c/d R) on El Capitan.


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LEON

El Portrero Chico Milesky Wall, Rest Day alla Pagoda. In

January, Roland0 Larcher, Fabio Leoni and Marco Curti, all from Trento, Italy, established a new route, Rest Day alla Pagoda (7c+) in the Milesky Wall sector in three days. The route has six pitches which range from 25-40 meters each. With the help of a battery-powered drill, they climbed from the ground up, placing bolts while hanging from hooks. They wanted to create a route with a high degree of difficulty that presented notable mandatory difficulties and that asked of future ascensionists a certain commitment to climb it. The team climbed all the moves free during the first ascent, then redpointed it. On January 30, Rolando Larcher and Fabio Leoni made a one-day redpoint ascent. The individual pitch difficulties are 6b+, 7a, 7a, 6c, 6c+, 7c+. Rest Day alla Pagoda is a wonderful overhangRoland0 Larcher on the sixth pitch of Rest Day alla ing climb. Descent was made with douPagoda. MARCO CURTI ble ropes. Larcher and Leoni repeated onsight the gorgeous Time for Living (8a) in the La Infamia sector. The six pitches (7a+, 7a+, 7b/c, 7b/c, 7c/8a, 7c) are all overhanging. In the Virgin Canyon sector, they bolted four one-pitch routes: El Balota (7b), MK Patacca (6b), Jesus (6a+) and Gil (6a). ERIK SVAB,

Italy

SOUTH AMERICA PERU CORDILLERABLANCA

Alpamayo and Santa Crux, New Routes. On June 15, Kenzo Suzuki (Japan) left Base Camp

(4850m) at 11 p.m. and climbed the 1979 Tomo Cesen route on the southeast face of Alpamayo until he reached the Andes route. The next day, he climbed original ground to the


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top, then downclimbed the French Direct route on the southwest face. With Toshiyuki Hirose, Suzuki then established a new line on the southwest face of Santa Cruz. On June 24, they left ABC (50OOm),reaching the summit the next day. They graded the route TD+. KAzuvu~l

SASAKI,

Editor, Run Out

Shaqsha, South-Southeast Face. On May 23, Xavier Carrard, Abel Calana, Juan Morales, Marcos Nilio, Franc0 Obando, Hector Reyes, CCsarVargas and Aritza made a possible first ascent with their route Felix Cumpleafios Momo (85” IV+, 700m) on the south-southeast face of Shaqsha(Shacsha,5703m). From a camp at 4990 meters in the Quebrada Rurec, the group climbed the route and returned to Base Camp in a 17-hour push. ANTONIO

G~MEZ

BOH~RQUEZ,

Spain

Nevado Rlirec, Brevete Seguro. On May 23, Koki Castatieda, Williams Davalos, Saul

Angeles, Chinchilla Zarate, Toni Ortiz and Felix Vicencio made a possible first ascent on Nevado Rdrec (5700m) via the southwest ridge of the south face. The route, Brevete Seguro (max. 60” ice and snow; 90” to reach the summit), took 14 hours round-trip from a camp at 4600 meters on the moraine of the Quebrada Rurec. BOH~RQUEZ, Spain ANTO~OG~~UIEZ Huantscin, North Face, New Route. Slovenian climbers Grega Laden, Matej Flis and Iztok

Mihev climbed a new route on the north face of Huantsan (6395m). They entered the face on June 29 at midnight and reached the top at 8 p.m. the next day. They arrived back at Base Camp one day later in the afternoon. The route, Koroska (VI 6a+ M4/5 85”, 1400m), was named after the climbers’ province. The climbing was carried out under huge seracsand was very dangerous. They did most of the climbing at night. During the day, they stayed in a snow hole. Rock pitches were surprisingly compact, but the snow was very loose. They wanted to rappel the route, but serac fall forced them to traverse to the north summit and descend down the North Ridge (TD-, Booij-Egeler-Terray). GREGA LADEN,

Slovenia

Ishinca, Northwest Face, Magic Mushrooms. On July 6, while still acclimatizing in the Ishinca valley, Vasja Kosuta and I established the new route Magic Mushrooms (IV 80”,

500m) on the northwest face of Ishinca (5530m). We started early in the morning from our Advanced Base Camp at the lake near the Ishinca Glacier. We were very close to the beginning of our climb. After approximately half an hour’s walk over the moraine, we started climbing. We began with about 150 meters of not very steep ground (40-45’). Then, somewhere in the middle, it became steeper and we had to climb a steep slope with a little snow, in some places mixed (70”). After that we reached a big barrier of overhanging seracs (quite scary!) and started a long traverse to the left under the seracs on a slope the angle of which was 50 to 60 degrees.We wanted to climb vertical ice at the left end of the seracs,but the ice was very bad, so we decided to climb the rock to the left (initially 80”, then IV- for 15m). From there, we continued over the upper snow field (50”) to the top of the mountain (after digging through the snow cornice, 70”). It took us seven hours to reach the summit and another two or three to return to camp. MATIJA

KLANJSCEK,

Slovenia


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Churup, Northwest Face, Primorska Smel: On July 11, Simon Markocic, Vasja Kosuta, Borut Golja and I established a new route, Primorska Smer (V+ A0 80”, 500m), on the northwest face of Churup (5493m). We started at 2 a.m. from a base camp at the lake. As for the other climbs on the left side of the main wall of Churup, we went to the beginning of the glacier, then up, then made a long traverse to the right (first we tried to climb directly to the line of our route, but there was no snow in the gorge and the rock was very slick and crumbly). We started to climb early in the morning. At first it was not too steep (45”), then it became steeper (50-60”), then we encountered some mixed parts (III+, 80”). After two hours, we reached the first big rock barrier with a small cave on its left. Vasja climbed the barrier (V-, 30m) in very bad conditions. The snow didn’t give any purchase and protection was bad, though the rock was very good granite. This pitch ended up in deep snow (60”). Luckily there were four of us, so we managed to “dig through” this steep slope, which ended with the next (bigger and overhanging) rock barrier. Simon started to climb with one hand free, one ax and crampons. He aided with a piton over one overhanging section (AO), but otherwise climbed it free (V+. 20m). The next slope was about 60 degrees. After that we continued to the right. The main difftculties were over. We only had to climb one steeper “chimney” (70”); otherwise, it was a 50-degree snow slope. We ended on the ridge on the right side of the mountain. We planned to traverse it to the top, but it was very warm and began to snow heavily so we decided to descend. We made seven rappels with double ropes (50m), four times on pitons, three times on snow stakes.We downclimbed the bottom section. All together it took us 16 hours. MATIJA

KLANJSCEK.

SIovenia

Pisco West, Southwest Face. Gustav0 Montalvo and Alejandro Perez Rayon (Mexico) made a possible first ascent on the southwest face of Pisco West. Pinches de Gibe?,(TD, 90” mixed,

60-70” snow) involved six pitches with SO-meterropes and was climbed in ten hours. ANTONIO

G~MEZ

BOH~RQUEZ,

Spain

Chacraraju, East Face, The Shriek of the Black Stone. 1999 was an El Niiio year in Peru, and climbing conditions were very poor. Andrej Markovic and I were members of a Slovenian expedition. Our main goal was to open a new route on the east face of Chacraraju East (Huaripampa, 6001m). After finishing our acclimatization on Ishinca (5530m) and Urus (5495m), and after Andrej soloed his 1996 route on Ranrapalca (6162m) (see AAJ 1997, p. 232), we set up Base Camp under Chacraraju East. Ten days later (unstable weather, running out of food), we started climbing. We needed two carries to transport all our gear, food and equipment to beneath the face. Each of us had 30 to 35 kilos in his rucksack. On July 28, we slept under a great overhang; just after we started to climb the next morning, a big piece of ice fell where we had been sleeping. The first day of climbing was the hardest, especially for the second, who had almost everything in his rucksack. The leader had just the equipment necessary for the pitch he was climbing. We climbed the main snow slope on the right followed by a snow ledge to the right (55-70”), then some rock and mixed pitches (V to VI) and 60- to 70-degree snow in the dark. We reached an overhang and started digging a ledge for our first bivy. We were exhausted and fell asleep soon after drinking some hot tea and eating tasteless soup. We did not hear the alarm clock the next morning and overslept. The day before we had been climbing beneath seracs; when we woke, we heard them breaking and falling down. We decided


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to wait a day and rest. The following morning we reached the main rock section in the middle of the face, the hardest part of our route. We climbed some rock and snow pitches as well as the first pitch of aid (Al), which was combined with a 70-degree powder snow slope. When we woke the next day, the mountain was covered in clouds, and snowing now and then. We climbed one very long pitch (VII- A2) and a 70-degree powder snow slope beneath the seracs.We spent the night in the middle of the seracs digging a snow hole from midnight until 4 a.m. during a snow storm. It was my turn to cook, but as I was trying to convince Andrej to eat I noticed he was already asleep. The next morning it had stopped snowing and was pretty sunny. We decided to dry all the gear. A very big piece of granite fell a few meters from our hole. We were terrified, but we came up with a name for the route: The Shriek of the Big Stone. The next day we started climbing early in the morning with just the climbing equipment and one thermos of warm tea. We had a lot of unnecessary equipment for extreme technical climbing, but still, we were able to climb faster. We climbed rock, snow and ice pitches up a snow ramp toward the small ridge on the left side of the summit. There were two hard pitches, first with aid (A2+) followed by a pitch of free climbing (VII-), then 70to 90-degree ice (we had left our ice screws in the snow hole and climbed that pitch without a belay). We reached the small snow ridge in the dark; a strong wind had started blowing after sunset. We called the upper section of the mountain “the pyramid.” It offered easy to very hard rock climbing (from III to VII) and also snow/ice climbing (50-90”). We reached the summit around midnight or 1 a.m. in even stronger wind and a few minutes later started to descend. After five long rappels we downclimbed the snow ledge to the right, made one more rappel and soloed another pitch down to the snow hole. We retrieved the equipment we had left behind that morning, made two more rappels to the great snow field/ledge in the middle of the face, then soloed left along the ledge to the main snow slope and serac. We continued descending, moving right along the snow field until we reached the crevasse and the glacier. It was August 3; we had completed our route, The Shriek of the Black Stone (Krik Smega granita) (VI/VII A2 90”, ca. 950m, 25 pitches) in six days alpine style. Juan JUHASZ, Slovenia Chopicalqui, West Face, Piece of Happiness. In July, I climbed a new route on the west face of Chopicalqui with Bostjan Perse. The name of the route is Piece of Happiness (D 80”, 500m). We started to climb at about 5400 meters and finished at 5900 meters. The snow conditions were good. The last 200 meters were climbed on hard black ice.

ANDREIZAMAN, Slovenia Yanawaka, Attempt and Possible First Ascent. On July 1-2, Pedro Arias, Juan Padilla and I attempted Yanawaka (La Petia Negra de Paron, ca. 4900m) via a line up the center of the peak’s vertical north face. (The locals of Paron that I asked in 1985 used three names to refer to this mountain: Yanakawa, El Cerro Negro [the Black Peak] and La Pefia Negra [the Black Cliff]. In the Quechuan language of Huari and Huaraz, “waka” means “a cliff with the form or design of a person or animal” [although it also means “ancient tomb” in Huaraz and Tarica] and “yana” means “black.“) After 200 meters, we abandoned the route due to an abundance of moss and other vegetation in the cracks which required too much time to clean and created dangerous rockfall.

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At the Laguna de Paron, we told two South African climbers, Mike Cartwright and Malcolm Crowans, of our attempt. Three days later, they climbed the mountain by an easier route that eventually gained the northeast ridge. They named their route Solar Shield (5.9, 650m). This may have been the first ascent of the mountain. ANTONIO

G~MEZ

BOH~RQUEZ,

Spain

Unnamed Peak, Mission Control. Kent McClannan and I climbed a new route on an unnamed peak west of Shaqshain the Cordillera Blanca. The granite wall, which tops out at ca. 16,000’, is clearly visible from a base camp midway up the Rurek Valley and can be identified by the low vegetation-to-rock ratio. On this wall’s east face, Mission Control (IV 5.1 l+ A2+) was completed over three days between periods of unsettled weather in June. The route follows an obvious right-leaning, right-facing dihedral system for four pitches, then follows the ridge for an additional eight pitches. Most of the harder climbing was encountered in the first half of the route, with the crux (the “Jules Verne Simulator”) coming at the end of pitch 2. We rappelled the steep yet shorter section of the wall just south of the summit. There was no sign of previous route activity elsewhere on the peak. CAMERON

TAGUE

Ranrapalca, Scandinavian Direct, Solo. On July 24, Pavle Kozjek (Slovenia) made a solo ascent of Scandinavian Direct route (ED inf) on the north face of Ranrapalca (6162m). It

took him three hours to climb this ca. lOOO-metermixed route (the topo of the first ascensionists indicate 12-15 hours for their ascent). He couldn’t get information about the other ascents of this route, which seemsto be a little bit overgraded. He descended the Northeast Face route. FRANCI

SAVENC,

Planinska zveza Slovenije

Paron Valley L.a Esfinge, Dion ‘s Dihedral. On June 23, after two weeks of effort, Larry Dole&i and I climbed to the 5325-meter summit of La Estinge, completing the first ascent of a big wall aid route on the mountain’s east face. La Esfinge is a beautiful alpine tower of orange granite that hosts four previously established routes on its east and southeast faces. Our original objective was to add a second route to the cold 900-meter southeast face, but due to lack of time (only 16 days total to acclimatize, ferry loads, climb and descend), we focused on the shorter right side of the east face. Although only 500 to 600 meters in height, this area of the wall had the steepest,cleanest rock on the mountain. We set our sights on a soaring orange-streakedcomer that dominated the upper part of the face, which was separated from the ground by 200 meters of thin features and seemingly blank sections. After a couple of easy free pitches, the tricky aid began with three pitches of hard nailing and heading interspersed with some rivets. The crux (A3) arrived on the fourth pitch, which took two days to climb due to intricate route finding and long sections of copperheads with ledge fall potential. During these initial days, the weather wasn’t the perfect Peruvian blue sky that we had heard about, but at least it was consistent: sunny, warm skies in the morning would last until about 3 p.m., when clouds would build up, resulting in an evening snowstorm. The


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following morning would then be back to clear skies. After four days of fixing, we committed to the wall with food and water for five days and our double portaledge. We had hoped for free climbing, but the huge orange comer turned out to be more aid, taking everything from birdbeaks to #5 Camalots. Luckily, route finding was zero in the laser-cut dihedral and the pitches went quicker than expected, allowing us to top out three days later. We rappelled the route the same day we summitted, reaching the ground well after dark and in yet another swirling snow storm. The 11-pitch route was named Dion’s Dihedral (VI 5.9 A3) in memory of young Canadian alpinist Dion Bretzloff, who tragically had been killed on Yerapaja three weeks earlier. SEANISAAC*,Canada Larry Doleck

on the f/r.st ascent SEAN ISAAC

of Dlon’s

Dihedral

*Supported by a grant from the Canadian Himalayan Foundation

La Esjkge, East Face, Papas Rellefias. Cedric Cruaud, Gired Devemay, Benoit Peyronnard and Pierre Plaze made the first ascent of the route Papas Rellefias (ED 6c+ A3,600m) on the

east face of La Esfinge (5325m) from July 20-25. The route appears to go to the right of Bohbrquez’s 1985 route. ANT~NIOG~MEZBOH~RQUEZ, Spain CORDILLERAHUAYHUASH Siula Grande, West Face, Avoiding the Touch. On June 16, Carlos Buhler and I completed a new route on the west face of Siula Grande in the Cordillera Hauyhuash of Peru. This was the same mountain face on which the British climbers Joe Simpson and Simon Yates endured the great survival epic described eloquently in Simpson’s book Touching the Void. Our route followed the Simpson/Yatesascentuntil approximately the middle of the face, at which point we climbed up and left into a gully that went directly to the summit. In 24 pitches of climbing, the route was constantly technical with sections of thin ice up to 80 degrees.Our attempt to descendthe north ridge proved to be terrifyingly tedious. Slow progress on the dangerously corniced ridge prompted a decision to rappel a line to the left of our ascent.Twenty rappels (two on rock, 18


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on ice) put us on the glacier, having spent three and a half days on the ascent with another two and a half on the descent. We called our route Avoiding the Touch (WI4, ca. 1OOOm). MARK

PRICE,

unafiliated

BOLIVIA CORDILLERA

Cardillera

REAL

Real,

Various

Activity,

From July 5-July 19, a group of students and faculty from Appalachian University’s State Geography Department engaged in field studies and research on the Altiplano and in the northern Cordillera Real in Bolivia. Undergraduate geographers Louisa Gibson, Jordan Hill, Mark Isley, Shannon Higgins, Alisa Fisher, Trey Schweitzer, Paul Turner. Daniel Ezell, Patrick Kennedy and Dave Hammerman, and graduate students Breece Robertson and Scott Cecchi Carlos Buhler avordrng the touch while descendmg were led by Department Chair Dr. the north ridge of Siula Grande. MARK PRICE Mike Mayfield, recent masters graduate and instructor Baker Perry and graduate student and ASU Outdoor Programs Coordinator Joe Quinn. The group was joined in La Paz by Dr. Andrew Klein of Texas A&M University. After completing a rural mapping project related to accessto primary health care in the village of Puerto Acosta on the northeast end of Lake Titicaca near the Peruvian border, the group traveled to Sorata to stage for the glacier research segment of the course. Research Base Camp was established in the co1 between Illampu and Ancohuma at Laguna Glaciar at 16,500’ after a two-day trek from Sorata (8,500’). Under the direction of Dr. Klein, the glacial lake perimeter, the extent of the ice on the lake and the headwall above it were mapped using a GPS unit. Data collected will be analyzed to compare and quantify the rate and amount of change at Laguna Glaciar. Dr. Klein will incorporate this information into an overall world snow cover and global climate change model. During the research phase, Perry, Mayfield, Hill, Isley, Schweitzer, and Kennedy, joined by Fred Bahnson, who accompanied the group to BC, and Bolivian Pablo Chugar, attempted Ancohuma, spending the night at Camp0 Alto (ca. 18,600’) before being forced to descend with moderately severeAMS. JOE QUINN


CLIMBS AND EXPEDITIONS:

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on ice) put us on the glacier, having spent three and a half days on the ascent with another two and a half on the descent. We called our route Avoiding the Touch (WI4, ca. 1OOOm). MARK

PRICE,

unafiliated

BOLIVIA CORDILLERA

Cardillera

REAL

Real,

Various

Activity,

From July 5-July 19, a group of students and faculty from Appalachian University’s State Geography Department engaged in field studies and research on the Altiplano and in the northern Cordillera Real in Bolivia. Undergraduate geographers Louisa Gibson, Jordan Hill, Mark Isley, Shannon Higgins, Alisa Fisher, Trey Schweitzer, Paul Turner. Daniel Ezell, Patrick Kennedy and Dave Hammerman, and graduate students Breece Robertson and Scott Cecchi Carlos Buhler avordrng the touch while descendmg were led by Department Chair Dr. the north ridge of Siula Grande. MARK PRICE Mike Mayfield, recent masters graduate and instructor Baker Perry and graduate student and ASU Outdoor Programs Coordinator Joe Quinn. The group was joined in La Paz by Dr. Andrew Klein of Texas A&M University. After completing a rural mapping project related to accessto primary health care in the village of Puerto Acosta on the northeast end of Lake Titicaca near the Peruvian border, the group traveled to Sorata to stage for the glacier research segment of the course. Research Base Camp was established in the co1 between Illampu and Ancohuma at Laguna Glaciar at 16,500’ after a two-day trek from Sorata (8,500’). Under the direction of Dr. Klein, the glacial lake perimeter, the extent of the ice on the lake and the headwall above it were mapped using a GPS unit. Data collected will be analyzed to compare and quantify the rate and amount of change at Laguna Glaciar. Dr. Klein will incorporate this information into an overall world snow cover and global climate change model. During the research phase, Perry, Mayfield, Hill, Isley, Schweitzer, and Kennedy, joined by Fred Bahnson, who accompanied the group to BC, and Bolivian Pablo Chugar, attempted Ancohuma, spending the night at Camp0 Alto (ca. 18,600’) before being forced to descend with moderately severeAMS. JOE QUINN


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CORDILLERAAPOLOBAMBA Sunchuli Pass Area, Ascent. On June 9, Yossi Brain (U.K.) and I climbed the northwest face

of an unnamed peak just northeast of the Sunchuli Pass. This face is located between what are named Cuchillo II (5450m) and P 5450 on the 1993 Paul Hudson map. We climbed the glaciated face directly through a rock band up to a large, well-built miner’s cairn just 100 meters south of the summit and then traversed the summit ridge to the true summit at about 5400 meters. This involved a 300-meter ascent on well-consolidated snow up to 55 degrees with a 50-meter mixed pitch (M3) in the middle. DAKIN

COOK

El Cuchillo, New Route. On June 10, Yossi Brain (U.K.) and I climbed a new route on El

Cuchillo (5655m). We started up a difficult, 250-meter, narrow (20-30m) icefall on the south side of El Cuchillo that involved short sections of technical 90-degree-plus alpine ice. This initial section (250m) took almost ten hours with one fall through a seemingly bottomless hole in the icefall and the breaking off of a large triangular block of ice on a 90-degree-plus move. The aforementioned block of ice was significantly slowed by the quick responseof my nose, which blocked its downward path The last 350 meters of the climb was accomplished more rapidly in a light snowstorm on up to 60-degree snow to the summit. The descent was made down the Northeast Ridge route. DAKIN

COOK

Soral Este, Southwest Face. On July 24, Fred Bahnson, Baker Perry and I climbed the south-

west face of Soral Este to its lower, southeast summit (5460m). Our approach was made up through the moraine just southeast of the obvious rock pinnacle that divides the long-tongued northwestern glacier from the wider but shorter southeastern glacier tongues. After a short two-hour roped climb through icefall and seracs,we reached the southwest headwall and proceeded unroped up 60- to 65-degree snow directly to the lower summit. The descent was made via the route of ascent. DAKIN

COOK

Pica Integral, Southwest Face. On August 24, Joe Stock and I left La Paz at 3 a.m. for the

southwest face of Pica Integral, a “small” satellite peak of Huayna Potosi. The southwest face of Pica Integral (18,640’) may have been climbed in earlier years, but the rapid recession of snow and ice on many of Bolivia’s peaks gives routes such as ours an essentially different character. After a quick two-hour drive, we made the approach and were at the base of the face at 7 a.m. After an initial grunt and heave-ho, we were over the bergschmnd and on route, ropes still in the packs. We made quick work of the initial climbing, mixing it up at 5.7 rock and 60-degree-plus ice. From there, the ground steepenedand we roped for the following nine pitches, with the crux coming three pitches below the top. The first was a traverse pitch of M4-: clean a time bomb of rocks from the vertical terrain, mantle, repeat four times. From there, Joe led a stunning two-hour pitch through a gully of M4+ climbing interspersed with unconsolidated snow. This led to a quick 5.7 pitch to the top of Pica Integral at 4 p.m.. We opted not to continue onto the summit of Huayna Potosi and arrived at Zongo Passat 8 p.m.


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No name for the route, which we give the Bolivian grade of two llamas and a chicken. BRENDAN

CUSICK

Various Activity. Team members Simon Cooke (leader), Toby Spence, David Gerrard, Andrew Naslas and Kate Ackroyd arrived in La Paz on July 26. Traveling through Charazani, Lagunilla, Jatunpampa,and lncachani, we reachedSunchuli on the 3 1st.Base Camp was established next to a small lake where the watercourse is diverted for the mining village. On August 3, all members had an acclimatization day up the “small rocky summit” (Pt. 5490m, a.k.a. the Nubbin) next to Pt. 5680m. The ascent was made by a gully formed between the rock of the south side and the snow slope, with an escapemade from deep powder onto rocky ramps, before returning to finish with a wade up the gully. All members reached the ridge; Simon and David carried on up the loo-meter ridge via a scramble to the summit. On August 5, Toby and David climbed a new route (AD) on Cuchillo I (5560m) via the southeast buttress/face (initially Ill rock then mixed) to join Simon and Kate (who had climbed up the normal route) at the top of the buttress. All four then continued up snow patches to the summit. On the 7th, all members made an easy plod up the glacier on screeand snow slopes to the top of Pt. 5600m southeast of Cavayani. On the lOth, Toby and David made a first ascent (PD+) of the rock needle (which we called the “Aiguille de l’lndex Finger”) eastnortheast of Pt. 5680m. The route involved a glacier slope to the ridge, rock (In) to avoid seracs, then Scottish II to the ridge. The needle was Ill+ and loose. On the 12th, David and Andrew climbed Cuchillo II (5450m) via the south ridge (PD) from Paso Sunchuli. On the 13th, Toby, David and Andrew attempted Corohuari (5668m) along the west ridge from Paso Sunchuli (PD), but failed due to bad rock. On the 15th, Toby and David made the first ascent of Pt. 5680m (we’d suggest the name Huay Huari). The route went up a gully and buttress via the west face (rock Ill, ice Scottish II). They then continued to traverse over Pt. 5600m and Cavayani (D). The team left BC the next day. The area is definitely worth further visits with several possible unclimbed lines and a few virgin tops. Apolobamba,

SIMON

COOKE,United Kingdom

Various Ranges, Various Activity. Luke Aspinall, Toby Johnson, John Marsham and I planned a three-month expedition to Bolivia, with the intention of climbing in the Cordilleras Apolobamba, Real and Quimsa Cruz. However, things very rarely go to plan. After establishing ourselves at the usual Condoriri Base Camp on July 8, we ascended Pequefio Alpamayo (normal route), Illusion (normal route), Ala lzquierda (west to east traverse) and attempted the southwest face of Piramide Blanca. On approaching Cabeza de Condor, I was hit by rockfall, which resulted in a severe skull fracture and a two-week stay in the hospital before returning home with Toby. Luke stayed in La Paz working, while John climbed with non-expedition members for the remaining two months. On August 28, John, Sam Maffett (Australia) and Gina Tent (U.K.) took the bus to Pelechuco in the Apolobamba and set up BC east of Chapui Oreo (6044m). Over two days, they climbed two peaks on the ridge extending east from Chapul Oreo Norte (PD and D-). They then failed to climb Chapul Oreo by its east ridge due to poor snow. After moving BC to the lake shore on the west side of Chapul Oreo, “Flora de Rota” was attempted by its south ridge; the party came within 15 meters of the summit. Finally, Chapul Oreo was climbed by


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the west ridge (PD). All these routes with the exception of “Flora de Rota” were probably new routes, but only Chapul Oreo is a peak large enough to be marked on the Paul Hudson map. It should be noted, however, that there is a color topographical map of the Apolobamba, though the IGM insisted it either did not exist or was not available. On August 21, John and Sam set up a high camp at the foot of Pica Schulz and ascended it by the southeast ridge. The following day they climbed Illampu by the Southwest Face route and Huayna Illampu by the Northeast Ridge. With unseasonable snowfall during midSeptember that made rock climbing almost impossible in the Quimsa Cruz, John and Dana Witzel (Canada) managed to climb nothing in these splendid Aiguilles. MARK

CRAMPTON,

Edinburgh University Mountaineering Club

Cordilleras Quimsa Cruz, Various Activity. In July, after a visit to the Cordillera Apolobamba, I joined Scotsman Russell Small and Australian Sam Maffett in La Paz for a trip to the Cordillera Quimsa Cruz. We took public buses to the village of Rodeo and backpackedup the jeep road to Laguna Altarani at 4850 meters. (The summit UTM [ lOOO-meter]grid locations mentioned below are as shown on the Bolivian IGM maps “Mina Caracoles” and “Yaco.“) Russ and I climbed the previously unclimbed east ridge (PD) of Cerro San Luis (5620m) [678,00OmE, 8120,400m N] by hiking around the north side of Laguna Altarani, then climbing northeast up a glacier to its head at the low point of the east ridge. We followed the ridge west on moderately steep snow and loose rock to the summit. We descendedby the south and southwest ridges. After an ascent of Cerro Santa Fe (5210m) [ 677,300m E, 8116,900m N] via the northeast ridge, Sam, Russ and I climbed a peak shown as “Cumbres Khasiri” [678,9OOmE, 8119,300m N] on the Yaco map (5410 meters on the map, 5320 meters by altimeter). This peak is 0.9 miles southeast of Cerro San Luis, and 1.3 miles east-northeast of Cerro Monte Blanc0 (Don Luis). We hiked around the north side of Laguna Altarani, and climbed the left side (AD) of a moderately steep (30-50”) glacier on the west face of the peak. This is a distinctive and attractive peak, which I had thought might be the “Altarani” of other expeditions, but there was no evidence of a previous ascent. We built a cairn and descended the south edge of the sameglacier that we had ascended. I returned to La Paz, while Maffet and Small climbed Gigante Grande (5748m) via the glacier north of Laguna Congelada and the south ridge, and Jacha Cuno Co110(5800m). CRAIG PATTERSON

Cerro San Luis, showing fhe route on the east ridge climbed by Patterson and Small. CRAIG PATTERSON


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Cerro Presidente, Attempt and Tragedy. On September 25 at 8~30 a.m., Yossi Brain and a young Canadian woman, Dana Witzel, were killed in a slab avalanche on Cerro Presidente (5700m) in the Apolobamba range of the Andes. Four of us, Yossi, Dana, Eric Lawrie and myself, had gone into the range, near Pelechuco, the day before and set up a high camp on the long flat glacier below Cerro Presidente, Cerro Apollo 11 and Cerro Radioaficcionado. We had planned to attempt two or three new routes on these peaks during two days at high camp. The week before we had had an unseasonably long period of rains and snow in the high mountains, but the snow conditions on the glaciers were relatively good. Yossi and Dana set out on one rope about five minutes before Eric and I and reached the base of the 300-meter headwall before us. They started up the lower low-angle wall on the right-hand side, encountering knee-deepsnow some 50 meters up; at this point the wall had an inclination of some 30 to 40 degrees.Meanwhile, seeing the snow conditions, Eric and I circled around the small bowl at the base of the wall on firm snow to attempt the left-hand side. I yelled to Yossi our intentions. He then started moving to his left; I think that he was looking for firmer snow on steeperground, both to make climbing easier and to avoid avalanche danger About ten steps to the left, as I was watching him, he kicked into the still-deep snow and a large horizontal crack, about 50 meters above him and some 100 meters long, appearedsuddenly. A slab avalanche engulfed them both and carried them some 50 meters down to the bowl below the wall. As the avalanche settled, we saw Dana’s lower leg rise up once and fall back down. We immediately headed for that spot and uncovered Dana within 15 minutes and started cardiopulmonary resuscitation until we were unable to continue. We were unable to resuscitate her. After resting. we followed the rope and uncovered Yossi, who was buried under one and a half meters of snow in the heaviest part of the avalanche. We moved the bodies further down the slope, covered them well to protect them from birds and descendedthe mountain. The next day, a group of guides taking an annual course under the direction of two French guides from Chamonix arrived to effect the body recovery, which went as smoothly and efficiently as anything I have witnessed in Bolivia. Yossi’s remains are to be crematedin La Paz and his ashesscatteredon Illimani, the mountain that is the symbol of La Paz and which rises majestically over the city. Dana’s remains are to be returned to Canada,accompaniedby her brother. DAKIN

CORDILLERA

COOK

DECOCAPATA

Cordillera de Cocapata, Exploratory Climbing. My attention was drawn to the Cordillera de Cocapatanear Cochabambaby Evelio Echevarrta’s description of its granite peaks as a potential “rock climbers’ playground” (see “Cordillera de Cocapata, Bolivia” in The Alpine Journal 102, pp. 154-160). The temptation to play proved irresistible. Ignoring dismissive remarks from Yossi Brain (“No snow, shite rock, why bother?“) and relying on first-hand accounts such as 1911 visitor Herzog’s “bizzarely formed peaks,” “ steep rocky horns” and “extraordinarily impressive black tower” and Echevarrfa’s “excellent gray granite” and “long, steep slabs,” the Yorkshire Ramblers’ Club mustered five climbers (David Hick, Tim Josephy,Duncan Mackay, Rory Newman and Michael Smith) to visit the range. We spent two weeks among the 5000meter peaks as one part of a larger, six-week trip encompassing Peru, Bolivia and Chile. We were the first climbing team into the Cordillera de Cocapata since 1911. Ten hours’ driving from La Paz, an overnight roadsidecamp and two hours spent skirting the range saw our small group at Pefias on the northern side of the central group with all requisite


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food and fuel. Within the hour, our fixer-cum-climber, Javier Thellache, had a local family providing horses and porters for the several kilometers’ pull up toward the lakes below the group. Jatnncasa-Sankhayuni There is no local infrastructure to support mountaineering, so the family was convinced we were seeking gold or gems, hunting, poaching their trout or intent on making a film. Camped by Lago Chacapata (4450m) on alpaca grazing ground, we enjoyed good weather with only a few hours of snow in two weeks. The 12 hours Cerro Wlllpank/ I seen from the south across Poma of daylight invariably saw the sun Apacheta and an intervening low ridge. Willpanki’s slabs shining throughout to raise the are unclimbed. Josephy and The//ache ascended the /eff temperature well above freezing skyline. (though the light to moderate winds were chilling, especially in the shade). Excellent meals were prepared using much better quality food than I had been able to find on previous visits. Distractions from climbing included passing alpaca herds and herders, condors and caracarassquabbling over a pony carcassand a small earthquake. Jatuncasaprovided easy angled slab climbing (40”) for 500 meters with poor protection but was probably not Herzog’s Incachaca as previously supposed.The descent, as with most of the climbs, was loose and involved abseils. Sankhayuni’s main top was probably Herzog’s peak and was gained via two chimney gullies. The second summit was climbed in four unprotected pitches while the fifth gave the soundest rock in the area and a contorted route to find the true top on this serrated ridge. Willpanki required a small camp distant from our base and yielded interesting conversations with a local hunter and farmer. The attractive long steep slabs to the east await another visit. We pioneered routes on the southwest ridge of the main peak (despite considerable amounts of poor rock, so OK, Yossi, you were right) and the obvious cold, shaded southwest ridge on Willpanki II. Mountain scrambling over new ground was found on Malpasso and unnamed peaks south of Willpanki and Pututini in the north. The area provided easily accessible exploratory climbing unlikely to give anyone a world class reputation. Andean Summits provided excellent logistical support and are aware of other “off the beaten track” areas. MICHAEL

SMITH

MICHAEL

SANTA

SMITH,

Yorkshire Ramblers’

Club

VERA CRUZ

Pica de la Fortuna, Ascent, and Germ Santa Vera Craz, Ascent and Discovery. The SantaVera

Cruz is the smallest range in Bolivia. With an extension of only 20 kilometers between the villagesof Huanacotaon the north and Ichoco on the south, thesemountains, which carry the south-


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emmost glaciers in Bolivia, rise rather inconspicuously. Henry Hoek, who first wrote about them when describing his 1904 trip, devoted a whole chapter to the Santa Vera Cruz. However, he only traversedit on his way to the Quimsa Cruz range, without ascendingany peak. Thirty-five years had to elapse before another German, Josef Prem, undertook to explore those unknown nevados. Prem was no doubt one of the pioneers of Bolivian mountaineering. In 1939, he soloed Cerro Santa Vera Cruz (5560m) along the north ridge. A few years later, his fellow countryman, Federico Ahlfeld, followed the same route. Then again, there was a lapse in the history of this range: 40 years later, Evelio Echevarrfa, a mountaineer who came to know this range best, climbed the small ridge peak of Cerro Calacala (4600m), situated north of the lake of Huariananta. He returned on two occasions, attempting The southeast face of PICO de la Fortuna, home to Cerro Chupica (Aimara: “blood Khespicala (Gonzalez-Martinez-Navarro, 1999). red”), some 5100 meters high, but failed, climbing to a few meters below the summit, the second needle of the five that crown the peak. On May 8, Javier Navarro, Isidro Gonzalez and I accomplished the first ascent of Pica de la Fortuna (5493m). This difficult mountain demanded 17 hours of continuous effort, on a flank averaging 50 degrees, but reaching 70 degrees in some stretches. We christened this route Khespicala (Aimara: “precious rock”). The last pitch (unstable rock) brought us to the summit of this beautiful mountain, which, this year, thanks to “La Nina,” was plastered with heavy snow. Had it been done a year earlier, this sameclimb would have been a mixed route, and a very exposed one. Two days later we headedfor Prem’s mountain, having decided to attempt it by a new route we named Jenechent (Aimara: “unending fire”). We avoided the crevassesby climbing up the western slopes (max. 55”). At the summit we made two discoveries steepedin history: one, Prem’s card, conserved inside a little tin box for some 60 years. And two, an archaeological find, which, according to the Bolivian archaeologist Oswald0 Rivera, datesback to the last or JAVIER

SANCHEZ

MARTINEZ


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/ferns from the Tlwanaku culture found on the fop of Cerro de Santa Vera Cruz. JAVIER

SANCHEZ

MARTINEZ

expansive period of the Tiwanaku culture, that is, some 800 years ago. It must have been an offering to Pachamama(Mother Earth). A cloth called aguayo was wrapped around all the ceremonial objects: a small wooden container, two altar vases with geometric drawings, also wood, a thorn needle and a human clavicle bone used as a tool, and a small spoon. Also included were some teeth, probably of a small rodent, and some silver cloth pins called tupus. This was all that we found on this high shrine at 5560 meters. It is astonishing that some 800 years ago, someAndeans literally climbed (there is no easy way up) this sacredmountain. They may have had goals different from ours, but perhaps they carried the samebelief as those of us who go to the hills do: that peace and inner calm are found only in the heights. Pica de la Fortuna (Peak of Fortune) gave us good luck and the achachilas (mountain genii) opened before us in the Cerro SantaVera Cruz what they had kept hidden for centuries. A great paradox for us now is to try to understand why these mountains, so accessible from La Paz (four hours by bus) may have been forsaken by climbers who nowadays always seek first ascents. Lack of information is very likely a major reason, but perhaps we must also think that at present there is no real spirit of exploration, but a fear of what is not well known. At the gates now of the 21st century, we have been conditioned to consume only what is offered to us, including mountains, and we have been losing sight of the value of the adventure of climbing a mountain about which there exists no history and no information. Today, there are places, not too far away, still undiscovered and summits still untrodden. JAVIER SANCHEZ

MARTINEZ

Note: Besides the two great peaks mentioned by Sanchez, this small range has a few more rock peaks, among which are cerros Trinidad and Huariananta, both around 5400

Additional


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263

meters. Aside from short scientific and geographic notes, this range had received to date no other detailed mention except one that appeared in the article “Climbing in the Bolivian Andes” by Josef Prem (1945 AAJ, pp. 322-332). EVELIOECHEVARR~A

CHILE Monte Trinidad, Northeast Face. Pablo Pontoriero and Diego Cannestraci put up a new route on the northeast face of Monte Trinidad (ca. 17OOm)on February 10-l 1. The route, Vimos con Pete (6b+, 450m), follows a crack system in the center of the face. Due to the prevailing

humidity in the area, one encounters moss and lichen on new routes. Despite this characteristic, the rock is an excellent granite. They set up Base Camp on the bank of the Cochamd River, a five- or six-hour walk from the village. From there, they made the approach to the base of the route in four hours. This final part was made easier becauseof the trail opened by Simon Nadin (U.K.) the previous season. On February 10, they climbed the first seven pitches and bivouacked on a ledge. The next day, they climbed the last two pitches and descendedto the base of the route. They left only two bolts at the end of the seventh pitch. At the moment of writing this account, there was a group of Brazilian and Italian climbers in the valley working on new routes. The place holds an enormous potential, with granite walls of 700-800 meters. FACUNDO

CHILEAN

Jose, Club Andino Bariloche

PATAGONIA

“DOS Hemanos,” First Ascents. The team (six Chileans and two Argentines), met at Puerto Natales, Chile, in early February, 1999, and after receiving the necessary permits from the national authorities, sailed north toward Puerto Eden in Isla Wellington. The ferry, which had Puerto Montt as its final destination, took two days to reach the small Alacaluf village. Some days later, we continued through the channels in an small fishing boat. We spent three more days in heavy seasto reach the bottom of Fiord Falcon, where we established Base Camp at 49” 34’ 35.8” S, 73” 50’ 26.2” W. The boat left immediately to avoid the icebergs; the plan was for it to return in March. The camp was well above sea level so as to be protected from the big waves that would come from time to time from a large nearby icefall. Two other camps were established, allowing us to reach four virgin summits with mixed difficulties in rock and ice in a range we called “DOS Hermanos” at 49” 33’ S, 73” 47’ W. (DOSHermanos lies to the west of Risopatron, right over Fiord0 Falcon.) Peaksclimbed are as follows: Primera (1250m) (49” 33’ 36.1” S, 73” 47’ 25.8” W), February 28. San Jorge (1560m) (49” 34’ 01.3” S, 73” 45’ 05.0” W), March 1. Escondida (1750m) (49” 34’ 04.3” S, 73” 44’ 58.2” W), March 2. Punta Chilena (2100m) (49” 34’ 01.0” S, 73” 45’ 03.0” W), March 9. Weather conditions were poor and only Punta Chilena was climbed on a sunny day. There are other interesting summits like Punta Argentina in DOSHermanos, Risopatron Sur and P. 3018 (unnamed and the last unclimbed 3000-meter peak in Patagonia) awaiting future expeditions. Also in Isla Wellington, well above Puerto Eden, there are several virgin mountains. l l l l


Peru-Bolivia eAAJ 2000-2011 (rfs-copy)