Friday, July 11, 2014

Cara Sur de Pico Italia o Pico Triangular

A week after we made the new route on the south face of Pico Milluni, we made another new route on Pico Italia or Pico Triangular or Pico Integral (18,550').  It's Bolivia so naturally we don't know what to call this lovely face.

It was a little higher, a little longer, a little harder to descend and, overall, a lot more difficult  even though the Pico Milluni route had a technically harder crux.  We called it the Wormhole (M4, WI4, 5.6, 500m plus a long ridge descent on good but loose rock) for reasons that should be obvious after seeing the following photos.

Roberto about to enter the lair of the worm:

Thin ice and not the best granite but totally awesome for people who suffer from the alpine sickness:

Gregg at the end of the initial difficulties:

A beautiful thin strip of hard snow and ice led upward:

Notice the gap in the rock above Roberto:

Some times you just have to let your tools dangle and grab the rock:

Roberto encounters the Wormhole:

And has to remove his pack:

Gregg also has to remove his pack:

Notice that I have cleverly taken the smallest pack and can worm my way through:


Getting to some fun ice:

Roberto and the lake below that would work pretty well for ice skating:

Gregg handles some steep ice:

An endangered elephant serac:

Mmmmm, 40 meters of steep ice guard the top:

Like a dream come true:

The uber-classic south ridge of Huayna Potosi:

Illimani and Mururata:

At last, the summit:

The west face of Huayna Potosi showing its true angle:

We descended a bit and then made a rappel:

I was initially freaked out by the loose rock and the exposure but the fine late afternoon light and generally mellow nature of the climbing was relaxing:

I think this was the place where I saw the col we were trying to reach and felt some great relief:

Then I pulled a rock off which was roughly the size of a desk.  Maybe not a CEO size desk but still.  Here's where I came to rest:

And then it got dark:

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