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South America, Bolivia, Cerro Taruj Uma?a, East Face and Other Climbs, Araca Group, Cordillera Quimsa Cruz

Cerro Taruj Umaña, East Face and Other Climbs, Araca Group, Cordillera Quimsa Cruz. Our Swiss expedition was composed of Hanspeter Bricher, Gian-Andri Tannò and me. We placed Base Camp in the eastern fork of the Taruj Umana valley at the same spot as the German Bayreuth party of 1987. We did the following climbs in the Araca group: Cristal (4850 meters, 15,912 feet) by the bolted route of the Bolivian-American party (see above). Because of high winds, we did not try to free-climb it. It was impressive and quite hard to protect in the upper part. (5.10a, Al); Cerro Taruj Umaña (4852 meters, 15,918 feet), first ascent of the red east face. We called the route “Buscando el sol” (Seeking the Sun). Although this interesting five-pitch route follows the central crack system, it offers mainly face climbing. The cracks are used for protection. (5.10a); P 4900 (16,076 feet) in the northern fork of the Taruj Umaña valley, easy, good views, a first ascent; Calsonani Sur (5050 meters, 16,568 feet), east ridge, second ascent; Cuernos del Diablo (5271 meters, 17,293 feet), a repetition of the route “La Clásica,” very beautiful, 5 pitches, apparently a third ascent (5.8). The climbing, all in July, was generally good but it was quite cold and windy. The Base Camp site needs a lot of cleaning! We also ascended Nevado Ancohuma (6430 meters, 21,096 feet) in the Cordillera Real from the Sorata valley and Cerro Parinacota (6330 meters, 20,768 feet) from Chungará, Chile.

Christian Plüss, Schweizer Alpen Club