AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

South America, Peru, Cordillera Blanca, Chopicalqui, North Face, Mirton Novice Extreme

Chopicalqui, North Face, Mirton Novice Extreme. On July 20, Pavle Kozjek (Slovenia) climbed Mirton Novice Extreme (TD/ED, 5+ 90°, ca. 800m) on the north face of Chopicalqui (6354 m). (According to Brian Sharman’s Climbs of the Cordillera Blanca of Peru, there are two existing routes on the northwest face; there is not a true north face to this mountain, so it is assumed the ascent took place on the northwest face.—Ed.) Kozjek’s first attempt (July 13-14) was unsuccessful. A day spent reconnoitering a route through the broken north glacier left him too tired to begin the climb the next morning. On July 19, Kozjek started at the Portachuelo Pass and crossed the less dangerous glacier below the northwest ridge. The next day he started at 4:30 a.m. and began up the center of the north face. The weather was cold and cloudy, ideal for climbing the face, where ice and stone falls are the main danger. Although the face seemed to be almost completely dry (rock only), there was more than 50% ice climbing. He climbed the ramp to the right, reached the buttress and followed it to the top of Chopicalqui Norte (6050m), avoiding the overhanging seracs below the top with a 100-meter traverse to the right. The rock was poor in the middle of the route. He descended the same route, with some rappels.

The climb (ascent and descent), which was undertaken with no rucksack, took about nine hours. It seems to be the best and safest way to climb the big Andean walls, which are often exposed to stone and ice fall.

Pavle Kozjek, Planinska zveza Slovenije