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South America, Bolivia, Cordillera Apolobamba, Various Activity

Apolobamba, Various Activity. Team members Simon Cooke (leader), Toby Spence, David Gerrard, Andrew Naslas and Kate Ackroyd arrived in La Paz on July 26. Traveling through Charazani, Lagunilla, Jatunpampa, and Incachani, we reached Sunchuli on the 31st. Base Camp was established next to a small lake where the watercourse is diverted for the mining village.

On August 3, all members had an acclimatization day up the “small rocky summit” (Pt. 5490m, a.k.a. the Nubbin) next to Pt. 5680m. The ascent was made by a gully formed between the rock of the south side and the snow slope, with an escape made from deep powder onto rocky ramps, before returning to finish with a wade up the gully. All members reached the ridge; Simon and David carried on up the 100-meter ridge via a scramble to the summit. On August 5, Toby and David climbed a new route (AD) on Cuchillo 1 (5560m) via the southeast buttress/face (initially III rock then mixed) to join Simon and Kate (who had climbed up the normal route) at the top of the buttress. All four then continued up snow patches to the summit. On the 7th, all members made an easy plod up the glacier on scree and snow slopes to the top of Pt. 5600m southeast of Cavayani. On the 10th, Toby and David made a first ascent (PD+) of the rock needle (which we called the “Aiguille de l’index Finger”) east-northeast of Pt. 5680m. The route involved a glacier slope to the ridge, rock (III) to avoid seracs, then Scottish II to the ridge. The needle was III+ and loose. On the 12th, David and Andrew climbed Cuchillo II (5450m) via the south ridge (PD) from Paso Sunchuli. On the 13th, Toby, David and Andrew attempted Corohuari (5668m) along the west ridge from Paso Sunchuli (PD), but failed due to bad rock. On the 15th, Toby and David made the first ascent of Pt. 5680m (we’d suggest the name Huay Huari). The route went up a gully and buttress via the west face (rock III, ice Scottish II). They then continued to traverse over Pt. 5600m and Cavayani (D). The team left BC the next day.

The area is definitely worth further visits with several possible unclimbed lines and a few virgin tops.

Simon Cooke, United Kingdom