American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Bolivia, Huayna Potosí, Probable New Route on the West Face, Cordillera Real

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1990

Huayna Potosí, Probable New Route on the West Face, Cordillera Real. Martin Wolf and I camped at the foot of the west face of Huayna Potosí and on July 28 started at 5100 meters up a relatively objectively safe spur on the right side of the face. After climbing about 400 meters, we left the spur and traversed upward to the left to ascend the summit wall to the highest point (6088 meters, 19,975 feet). The rock was granite of UIAA IV+ difficulty. There was mixed climbing in the upper part of the spur. We left the safe rock of the spur at 5500 meters and diagonaled left up a steep ice couloir. Since this is in the shade during the whole day, the ice is extremely hard and brittle. It is the crux and the most dangerous part as there is falling ice and rock. There were other blank ice sections on the summit wall so that at dark we had to bivouac in a bergschrund at 5950 meters with a -25°C temperature. We climbed the last 100 meters of the face on the morning of July 29 and found a gap in the summit cornice, which allowed us to emerge on the sunny summit at nine A.M.

Erich Gatt, Österreichischer Alpenverein

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