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

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

El Cuchillo, New Route. On June 10, Yossi Brain (U.K.) and I climbed a new route on El Cuchillo (5655m). We started up a difficult, 250-meter, narrow (20-30m) icefall on the south side of El Cuchillo that involved short sections of technical 90-degree-plus alpine ice. This initial section (250m) took almost ten hours with one fall through a seemingly bottomless hole in the icefall and the breaking off of a large triangular block of ice on a 90-degree-plus move. The aforementioned block of ice was significantly slowed by the quick response of my nose, which blocked its downward path. The last 350 meters of the climb was accomplished more rapidly in a light snowstorm on up to 60-degree snow to the summit. The descent was made down the Northeast Ridge route.

Dakin Cook