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South America, Bolivia, Cordillera Apolobamba, Cuchillo, New Route

Cuchillo, New Route. In July, Jeff Newsom and Chris Gardei (U.S.) gained Cuchillo’s (5655m) west ridge via the fourth snow and ice gully from the east (60-65°). The pair were forced down off the ridge on to the other side of the mountain. They then climbed west-facing scree slopes to join Cuchillo’s north ridge and moved up to a subsidiary hollow ice summit to the west of the main summit. The pair went through an ice tunnel and then continued along the ridge to summit Cuchillo in the dark on July 11. They said of their climb, “Overall we would grade the route a D, only because there were a few sections that were 70-80°. However, they were very short and in some cases could probably be avoided. The ice tunnel was about 20 meters long and we were forced down from the ridge because it was jumbled and very slow going. It would have involved some crumbly rock and rappelling, which we certainly couldn’t have done in a day.” They descended the east ridge.

Yossi Brain, United Kingdom