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South America, Peru, Cordillera Blanca, Milpocraju to Summit Ridge, Goulotte Gau Txoni

Milpocraju to summit ridge, Goulotte Gau Txoni. Kepa Escribano from Spain and Cristina Prieto from Chile climbed a new route on the west face of the 5,310m north summit of Milpocraju, located just south of the spectacular, well-known Nevado Cayesh. The ascent took place on August 1, the pair climbing a 330m couloir to finish on the ridge some distance left (north) of the summit. A direct line to the highest point was well-defended by a large and active barrier of seracs. Goulotte Gau Txoni starts with relatively straightforward 45°–60° slopes, which give access to a steep, mixed central section (60°–80° and IV+). The left end of the serac barrier must then be breached (50°) to reach the summit ridge. The pair rappelled from this point. They thought the route warranted an overall grade of around TD.

This is the first route on the west face of the north summit, though the west face of the main summit has been climbed by at least two lines—in June 1985 by the British team of Derwin, Gore, Hinkes, Payne, Peter, and Thorn (TD-, 60°–80°) and in June 1986 by Gigliotti and Marchini, who probably followed the British line to the snowfield and then climbed about 200m left of the upper gully to reach the summit directly.

Lindsay Griffin, High Mountain INFO