American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Bolivia, Cordillera Quimsa Cruz, Taruca Umana Valleys, New Routes, Previously Unreported

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2001

Taruca Umana Valleys, New Routes, Previously Unreported. In August, 1999, Britons Roger Barton, Mark Bramidge, Jim and Sue Savege, Catrin Thomas, and Iain Wright established 18 new routes in the Taruca Umana valleys of the northern Quimsa Cruz. They initially climbed from a base camp at the confluence of the Laguna Chillhua Khota (eastern) and Laguna Barras Khota (northern) valleys, then later from a camp at the abandoned mining village below Laguna Chillhua Khota, at 4420 meters. New routes, all climbed onsight with only wires and cams (no fixed gear), included the north and east faces of Erste Mauer, the large southeast-facing slabs of Taruca Umana (4852m) and Nuevo Zongo (4920m), a route on Cuernos de Diablo (5271m), and Tower IV of the Mama Okilo Group (4900m).

New three- to six-pitch routes on the excellent granite of the Cerro Taruca Umana pyramids were climbed, including Day In Day Out (E2 5c, four pitches, Bramidge-Savege- Savege) on the northeast face of the Red Pyramid. Four new routes were established on Erste Mauer’s steep north face, including Cuts Like a Knife (El 5c, four pitches, Bramidge-Sue Savege-Wright). To the 1987 German Route on the north face/northeast ridge of Gross Mauer (ca. 4900m), VS 5a variations were climbed, while on the peak’s eastern side, Lejos Lado (HVS 5a, Barton-Bramidge-Thomas) was put up to the col between Cuernos del Daiblo and the Grosse Mauer. Barton and Thomas made a long, complex new route (TD-, HVS 5a) on the north face of the Diablo, the final 200-plus meters finishing on the northwest ridge.

Also climbed were the northwest ridge of Cerro Torrini (5131m, D+ V+) and a small tower (5021m) they called Pico Sally at the northern head of the Laguna Barras Khota Valley. These were assumed to be repeats. (High Mountain Sports 215)

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