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South America, Peru, Cordillera Central, Pariakaka, Peru 6 Mil

Pariakaka, Peru 6 Mil. Pariakaka is located in the Yauyos area between the borders of Lima and Junin, where such other snowy peaks as Collquepurco, Vicunita, Tunshu, Tatajaico, and Paca are found. From the main highway between Lima and Huancayo, go through Oroya and Pachacallo, finally arriving in Tanta, where there are telephones, hotel, and food, and one can arrange for an arriero and burros to get to base camp. It’s 17 km from Tanta to Pariakaka and took Guillermo Mejia and I a bit more than half the day. The moraine at the end being too difficult for the Burros to pass, we had to ferry loads.

The next day we went on a recon to the base of our proposed route, to mark our approach and get oriented. The weather was bad, cloudy and snowing lightly by 3 p.m. The following morning the weather continued poor, so we waited in base camp. On day three, September 1, we left base camp at 3:30 a.m., taking two hours to get to the base of the climb and our gear deposit. We

started up the southwest face, by a 75° ice slope with a small rock step, gaining a little more than 100m. We then arrived at a verglased wall, where Guillermo put in an anchor and, after bringing me up, set off on a 50m pitch. We continued, simul-climbing for 500m on an 80° ice slope, with vertical steps and easy mixed ground.

At 4 p.m. we gained another mixed section, the crux, vertical and technical, probably due to never getting sun. The exit was crowned with seracs that guard the summit. At 6:30 p.m. we placed an anchor and chipped at the ice to make a small bivy ledge.

The next morning we ate some chocolate and quickly got under way to reach the warmth of the sun and the top. Two mixed pitches with some aid, the second going through a roof formed by the serac looming overhead, followed by 20m of rock, deposited us on top about mid-day.

We descended the Normal Route, starting with a wall of rock, then going through a field of penitentes and crossing a couple of bergschrunds. The entire descent is riddled with crevasses and requires roping together. We arrived at base camp at 7 p.m., 40 hours after leaving our tent. Peru 6 Mil, 650m, VI AI7 (75°-95°) M8 A2

Diego Fernandez, Peru (translated by Bean Bowers)