American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

The Jallawaya/Nigruni-Mountains, Various Ascents

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1998

The Jallawaya/Nigruni-Mountains, Various Ascents. The Jallawaya/Nigruni-Mountains, part of the Cordillera Real, have a lot of small glaciers. The highest peak is Jallawaya (5660m). A small rough road accesses the range, but if there is a lot of rain and snow, the “road” is impassable (there are a lot of river crossings, with no bridges and stoneslides and landslides). For the approach, you need a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Theft can be a problem, so we made our base camp near a shepherd’s hut at 4600 meters. During the last few years, the glaciers and steep ice faces have receded very quickly. On the steep faces, you now have more rock, but its quality is bad, with a lot of rotten rock and loose blocks. You can also have problems with rockfall.

We climbed in February, when there is more snow and ice on the steep faces. This meant that the conditions for mixed climbs were acceptable. In the main season (June-September), most of the faces will be pure rotten rock faces. But in February, we had a lot of bad weather! A big landslide destroyed the rough road to base camp on February 16, making the road impassable. We walked 30 kilometers back to civilization.

On February 2, we climbed Pan Durro (IV 65/70°, 450m), a new mixed route on the southwest face of Cerro Culin Thojo South (5350m). We left three pitons and found rotten rock. On February 12, we climbed Andalé (IV-, 55-65°, 380m), a new mixed route on the small north couloir of the peak P.5350m west of “Cerro Ventanani.” We left one piton and found rotten rock and rockfall. On February 14, we climbed Caramba (IV+ 65-70°, 350m), a new mixed climb on the east face of a subsidiary peak (P.5400m) near Cerro Wila Lloje. This was a first ascent. We left two pitons and one sling and found rotten rock and loose blocks. We removed all other pitons and slings from the new routes. We removed our rubbish at Base Camp and took it back to La Paz for recycling. To protect this part of nature is important. We even tried not to leave footsteps.

Eduard Birnbacher, Germany

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