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South America, Peru, Cordillera Blanca, Paron Valley, La Esfinge, Lobo Estepario, New Route

La Esfinge, Lobo Estepario, New Route. In July, I completed the route Lobo Estepario (VI A3 6b obl., 650m). (This was the first solo ascent of La Esfinge-Ed.) All of the belays are equipped with double expansion bolts, except for pitch 13, which has only one bolt. Ten bolts were placed by hand at the belays. I made seven bivouacs on the wall. There is a dangerous flake plastered to the wall with mud at the end of pitch nine.

The route starts in an obvious black water runnel to the left of two obvious thickets of brush. From the last belay, the 13th, there was 170 meters of IV/IV+ terrain. For gear, you need two sets of Friends to number 4, one set of microfriends, one set of nuts, 25 assorted pins, one set of hooks, and one copperhead for the first pitch. A portaledge is not necessary: it’s possible to sleep at belays 3, 4, 5, and 7; and it’s very comfortable to sleep at belays 2, 8, 9 (the “Hotel Ledge”), and 13. You can rappel the route. It has not been repeated and, apart from the initial part of the first pitch, which is all hooking, the route has great potential as a free climb.

JonÁs Cruces FernÁndez, Spain