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South America, Bolivia, Cordillera Real, Various Ascents

Cordillera Real, Various Ascents. A small and somewhat exploration-oriented Anglo-Irish expedition organized by OTT Expeditions (U.K.) visited the Nigruni/Jankho Kkota Region from late June to mid-July. This area of medium altitude peaks, which lies immediately south of Chachacomani in the Central Cordillera Real, still offers plenty of scope for exploration and discovery despite a new road, which makes access to certain rarely climbed peaks somewhat easier, which has been recently built from Laguna Jankho Kkota over the Paso Mullu and down to the jungle.

Brian Gebruers, Lindsay Griffin, Dave Liddall and Robert Hester, accompanied throughout their stay by either Erik Monasterio or Juan Villerroel, worked from a base camp at the ca. 4700- meter Lago Jankho Kkota and climbed on the peaks referred to as the Warawarini and Keakeani Groups on the new Cordova map entitled Nigruni-Condoriri (a colorful production but not as good as the old IGM Lago Khara Kkota map). On July 2, Gebruers, Griffin, Liddall and Monasterio climbed Pico 5,385m (Pico Perseverance) via the southeast glacier slopes (F+) and on the following day the same team minus Gebruers but with the addition of Hester climbed the east-southeast ridge of Cerro Wila Lloje II (ca. 5580 m, PD). Late in the day all reached a small shoulder just below the summit, from which Monasterio scampered to the top. On the 4th Gebruers and Monasterio made the probable first ascent of the south face/couloir of Pico 5550m which gave them some enjoyable snow/ice climbing and a fine rocky finish. Two days later Gebruers, Griffin, Hester, Liddall and Monasterio climbed Cerro Pacokeuta (ca. 5589m) and Cerro Pacokeuta East (ca. 5565 m) via the southeast face to east ridge at PD+/AD. The main summit offers a magnificent panoramic view of the entire Cordillera from Illampu to Illimani. On July 9, Griffin, Hester, Liddall and Villerroel made the first ascent of Warawarini IV (ca. 5480 m: PD), approaching from the east with an overnight camp. The following day brought bad weather but the main snow fall held off long enough to allow Griffin and Liddall to make the first ascent of the West Couloir of Pico 5580m at Scottish III (some loose mixed ground). On the 12th Griffin, Liddall and Villerroel made the first ascent of the south face of Cerro Wila Lloje (5596 m: TD) which was likened to a smaller version of the Triolet and had a certain degree of seriousness due to lack of reliable belays and some exposure to potential serac fall. The route was in good condition and climbed in a round trip of 18 hours from their camp, with a lengthy descent of the 1970 Japanese Route down the east ridge, northeast face and Morokho Kkota Valley mostly carried out through the night.

In October, 1995, the American Liam O’Brien with two Bolivian guides Gregorio and Juan Mamani climbed Jankho Huyo (5512 m) and then continued to Jishka Pata (5508 m), crossing over eight peaks in two days. From here they made what they believe to be the first ascent of an unnamed summit of 5670 meters in the Jachcha Pata group. On July 14, 1996, the Anglo-Irish team reached the vicinity of the Jachcha Pata group after a two-day traverse of glacier systems draining south and east, and in the afternoon of the same day Gebruers and Griffin climbed Pico 5670m via the south face and east ridge (PD/PD+). The latter gave a very pleasant granite scramble to the summit. The team then walked out east via the Vinuara Plains to the new road where they were picked up and transported to La Paz.

Lindsay Griffin, Alpine Climbing Group