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South America, Ecuador, Chimborazo, West Face, New Route

Chimborazo, West Face, New Route. On February 7, I climbed (solo) a new route on Chimborazo's west face. The route lies between the Southwest Ridge (regular route) and the Whymper Route (approximate west ridge) and follows a long series of ephemeral frozen waterfalls which form in the rock-bands in the center of the face. I left the lower hut at 4:30 a.m. and reached the first water ice at 6:15 a.m. at 17,000 feet. Three series of falls were followed in a direct line (the most continuous set of falls) to 18,500 feet. Here my path crossed the traversing Whymper Route and I continued directly up to maintain the purity of the line and to maximize technical difficulties. More steep ice (70°) was found in the last 300 feet below the false summit. I reached the main summit (20,703 feet) at 9:30 a.m. and was back at the lower hut at 11:00 a.m. I descended the Southwest Ridge. The route is graded III/IV with water ice to 85° (N.E.I. IV).

Steven House