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South America, Ecuador, Iliniza Sur, La Araña

lliniza Sur, La Araña. On September 4, Joe Deck and Larry Goolsby of Bellingham, Washington, ascended lliniza Sur (5266 m) via a new route on the west face. The first part of the ascent involves a glacier traverse from the Refugio Nuevo Horizontes to the west flank of the mountain. Take the trail through the moraine from the refugio as if going toward the base of the standard route on the north face. Once on the glacier, however, continue around the mountain on glacier to a point below a prominent, northwest-facing rock wall capped by ice. Continue past this feature and angle leftward up a snow ramp. Once on the west flank, continued traversing is impossible because of crumbling rock cliffs. The steep part begins here and ascends a 10-meter ice wall of 85° that lies between the overhanging seracs and ice fall. The ice here was rotten and would not take screws. Past the ice wall, the route angles slightly to the right, but more or less on a direct line to the summit. The route is continuous 55-65° hard snow and glacier ice with a relatively flat terrace at about the 5100 meter level. At its upper reaches, this line possibly joins the route described by Hunt (AAJ v 26, n. 58; 197198). We descended the same route, but descending via the standard route is likely easier and safer. The ascent took five hours from the refugio (4650 m) and three hours to descend. Protection was generally poor, with pickets being the most useful for anchors. Helmets, ice gear and several pickets are required. We dubbed the route La Araña after Larry’s tarantula.

Joe Deck, unaffiliated