Andavite/Chopiraju Central, Fight Club. In the summer we, both 21, spent several weeks in the Cordillera Blanca. During our first stay in the Cayesh Valley (climbing Maparaju, San Juan, and Andavite’s South Ridge) we got a good view of the south face of Andavite (a.k.a. Chopiraju Central), which looked really nice.
We then left, but a few days later returned to Cayesh base camp.
After a day of bad weather, on July 27 we started at 2:30 a.m. from base camp, and two hours later roped up and started climbing.
The face was quite dry, and we followed an intermittent line of frozen waterfalls leading to the big snowfield halfway up. (Here an escape to the south ridge would be possible.) Then the crux followed: steep, bad rock covered with thin ice, difficult to climb either with or without tools, poor protection. Pitch after pitch of steep snow brought us close to the final serac barrier. It looked frighteningly big and unstable, but we found a narrow couloir and, three pitches of steep, hard ice later, we reached the snow slopes leading to the summit. It was noon; the 800m face had taken seven hours. What a climb! We called the route Fight Club and, based on the information we got in Huaraz, it was the first ascent of Andavite’s south face. We think that conditions were extraordinarily dry, and under different conditions the seracs might be even more dangerous. The difficulties were varied, and we climbed most of the route simultaneously We descended the southwest ridge, with one rappel from snow anchors.
Tobi LochbÖhler and Moritz WAlde, Germany