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Cordillera Blanca, Nevado Quillujirca, Mission Control

Kent McClannan and I climbed a new route on an unnamed peak west of Shaqsha in the Cordillera Blanca. [Editor's note: This peak is now known as Nevado Quillujirca (5,040m).] The granite wall, which tops out at ca. 16,000', is clearly visible from a base camp midway up the Rurek Valley and can be identified by the low vegetation-to-rock ratio. On this wall’s east face, Mission Control (IV 5.11+ A2+) was completed over three days between periods of unsettled weather in June. The route follows an obvious right-leaning, right-facing dihedral system for four pitches, then follows the ridge for an additional eight pitches. Most of the harder climbing was encountered in the first half of the route, with the crux (the “Jules Verne Simulator”) coming at the end of pitch 2. We rappelled the steep yet shorter section of the wall just south of the summit. There was no sign of previous route activity elsewhere on the peak.

Cameron Tague