AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

South America, Bolivia, Pico Gotico, Via del arco

Pico Gotico, Via del Arco. Erik Monasterio, with the French climber Marie France Ducret, added a second route to the rock peak of Pico Gotico, marked 5,750m on the DAV map. This peak, a subsidiary summit west of the Ancohuma and Illampu massifs, received its name from the shape of its north and south ridges, which resemble the incomplete arches of Gothic cathedrals.

In July Ducret and Monasterio reached the Laguna Glacier Base Camp on the northwest side of Ancohuma and continued, placing a camp on the moraine directly below the west face of Pico Gotico at 5,250m. Starting up the left side of the face late in the day on the 30th, the pair fixed the first and crux pitch (6c and A2). On the following day they ascended the rope and continued for two more pitches (5/5+) to the northwest ridge. Nine further rope lengths, up to 6a/b, were climbed on the ridge before Monasterio, in deteriorating weather, continued alone for the final 150m to the summit. Conditions on the climb were difficult due to the strong prevailing wind, low temperature and melt water from accumulated snow. Pegs and a full rack were essential for protection. The route, climbed round trip from Sorata in 72 hours, was christened Via del Arco.

Lindsay Griffin, High Mountain INFO