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South America, Bolivia, Cordillera Apolobamba, Pico Integral, Southwest Face

Pico Integral, Southwest Face. On August 24, Joe Stock and I left La Paz at 3 a.m. for the southwest face of Pico Integral, a “small” satellite peak of Huayna Potosi. The southwest face of Pico Integral (18,640') may have been climbed in earlier years, but the rapid recession of snow and ice on many of Bolivia’s peaks gives routes such as ours an essentially different character. After a quick two-hour drive, we made the approach and were at the base of the face at 7 a.m. After an initial grunt and heave-ho, we were over the bergschrund and on route, ropes still in the packs. We made quick work of the initial climbing, mixing it up at 5.7 rock and 60-degree-plus ice. From there, the ground steepened and we roped for the following nine pitches, with the crux coming three pitches below the top. The first was a traverse pitch of M4-: clean a time bomb of rocks from the vertical terrain, mantle, repeat four times. From there, Joe led a stunning two-hour pitch through a gully of M4+ climbing interspersed with unconsolidated snow. This led to a quick 5.7 pitch to the top of Pico Integral at 4 p.m.. We opted not to continue onto the summit of Huayna Potosi and arrived at Zongo Pass at 8 p.m.

No name for the route, which we give the Bolivian grade of two llamas and a chicken.

Brendan Cusick