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South America, Peru, Cordillera Central, Nevado Llongote, Los Pecados se Rien!, I-Célines, and Longue, Haute, et Magnifico

Nevado Llongote, Los Pecados se Rien!, I-Célines, and Longue, Haute, et Magnifico. Two teams of young French climbers sponsored by the FFME visited the unfrequented Nevado Llongote massif in August. A group of four young men was joined toward the end of their stay by a team of five women. From a base camp at 4,400m, approached via the village of Yauyos (2,800m), Fréderic Auvet, Aymeric Clouet, Arnaud Drouet, and Thomas Villecourt on August 5 climbed the elegant left-hand pillar on the south face of Nevado Llongote (5,781m) to create a 550m route christened Los Pecados se Rien! This gave predominantly fine climbing on sound rock at D (4+ M4,60°–70°). This ascent led to an exit onto the west ridge, which they descended.

On the 9th Auvet and Villecourt climbed Nevado Llongote’s splendid east ridge, which they christened I-Célines. This 700m route had general snow-and-ice difficulties, rock steps of 4+, and was felt to warrant an overall grade of AD+/D. At the same time, climbing for two days on the 8th and 9th, Clouet and Drouet tackled the prominent pillar in the center of the south face, finishing just left of the summit. This gave an excellent climb at TD+/ED1, with technical difficulties of 6b+ on sound rock and ice/mixed up to 85° and M5. The committing route was christened Longue, Haute, et Magnifico. The two teams arrived on the summit at the same time and descended the east ridge together.

The women now arrived, to find most of the good lines already climbed. After setting up a high camp at 4,800m, they attempted one route, only to have one of their group, Fanny Delachaux, take a short fall, break her wrist, and damage her knee. Unable to descend, Delachaux was left while help was summoned. The men, who were packing up their base camp, quickly came, and the injured climber was brought off the mountain and eventually evacuated by mule. Aude Aznavour, Marie Rousselot, and Helen Claudel then managed the second ascent of I-Célines before leaving the region.

Llongote is the highest of a five-peak massif in the southern Cordillera Central and was virtually unknown before a visit by a Spanish expedition in 1963. The highest point, connected to its satellite peaks by delicate knife-edges and unstable corniced arêtes, proved a difficult challenge, and the first-ascent party was forced into an unplanned bivouac just below the summit. There were no reports of climbers visiting these mountains between the 1960s and the 1997 arrival of a British expedition to the highest peak, Ticlla (5,897m), in the northern part of the region (see INFO 189). Two members of this team moved south and attempted Llongote but retreated due to poor snow conditions. The French ascent may have been only the second of this enigmatic mountain.

Lindsay Griffin, High Mountain INFO