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South America, Peru, Cordillera Blanca, Churup, Northwest Face, Primorska Smer

Churup, Northwest Face, Primorska Smer. On July 11, Simon Markocic, Vasja Kosuta, Borut Golja and I established a new route, Primorska Smer (V+ A0 80°, 500m), on the northwest face of Churup (5493m). We started at 2 a.m. from a base camp at the lake. As for the other climbs on the left side of the main wall of Churup, we went to the beginning of the glacier, then up, then made a long traverse to the right (first we tried to climb directly to the line of our route, but there was no snow in the gorge and the rock was very slick and crumbly). We started to climb early in the morning. At first it was not too steep (45°), then it became steeper (50-60°), then we encountered some mixed parts (III+, 80°). After two hours, we reached the first big rock barrier with a small cave on its left. Vasja climbed the barrier (V-, 30m) in very bad conditions. The snow didn’t give any purchase and protection was bad, though the rock was very good granite. This pitch ended up in deep snow (60°). Luckily there were four of us, so we managed to “dig through” this steep slope, which ended with the next (bigger and overhanging) rock barrier. Simon started to climb with one hand free, one ax and crampons. He aided with a piton over one overhanging section (A0), but otherwise climbed it free (V+, 20m). The next slope was about 60 degrees. After that we continued to the right. The main difficulties were over. We only had to climb one steeper “chimney” (70°); otherwise, it was a 50-degree snow slope. We ended on the ridge on the right side of the mountain. We planned to traverse it to the top, but it was very warm and began to snow heavily so we decided to descend. We made seven rappels with double ropes (50m), four times on pitons, three times on snow stakes. We downclimbed the bottom section. All together it took us 16 hours.

Matija Klanjscek, Slovenia