Illampu, Northwest Face, Tiquimani, South Face and Huayna Potosí, West Face

South America, Bolivia, Cordillera Real
Climb Year: 1983. Publication Year: 1984.

On June 8 Žarko Trušnovec, Slavko Sveticic, Milan Cernilogar and I set up Base Camp at 14,750 feet in the Aguas Calientes valley. After some bad weather we moved up to bivouac on the glacier below the northwest face of Illampu, but without Cernilogar, who was suffering from a bad toothache. On the 14th we climbed what may have been a new route of UIAA IV + difficulty. We climbed three successive icefields to the ridge crest and thence up the snow ridge to the top of the face. We bivouacked in a snow hole. In the morning we climbed the difficult exposed corniced ridge to Illampu’s main summit (6367 meters, 20,890 feet). We next turned to the south face of Tiquimani (5595 meters, 18,356 feet). On June 23 we started up an imposing buttress which led to the summit, thinking we were on a new route. We found pitons and later were told that we had repeated the Austrian route with a variation in the upper part where we avoided an ice couloir. It was mostly a rock climb with some ice climbing. We descended rappelling 1650 feet on the opposite side of the mountain. After more bad weather we were driven to the base of the west face of Huayna Potosí, where we made another route, one to the right of that just climbed by other Yugoslavs. On July 3 we started up the center of the face, climbing séracs, and we bivouacked on the huge glacier. On July 4 we followed the S-shaped couloir to the summit. We descended the normal route to the Zongo Pass. This extremely difficult climb had UIAA rock of IV + and ice up to 80°. For our last ascent Trušnovec and I chose Ancohuma’s west ridge. On July 8 we climbed the big icefield and then the snow ridge. From the end of the ridge we descended to bivouac at 20,000 feet on the summit plateau. Because of slight frostbite, we did not visit the actual summit but descended from there.

Janko Humar, Planinska Zveza Slovenije, Yugoslavia

Editor's note: The new route on Illampu reported here later was learned to be a repeat of a Spanish route from 1978. Details can be found here.