South America, Bolivia, Cordillera Real, Pico Schulze, Southwest Face; Punta 5,505m
Pico Schulze, southwest face; Punta 5,505m. Three new routes were added to the southwest face of Pico Schulze (5,943m), a fine fluted snow-and-ice pyramid northwest of Illampu (6,368m) in the northern Real. These may be the first new routes on the face since the first one, 34 years ago.
In July young Catalonian climbers Pau Gomez, Faust Punsola, and David Sanabria established a new route on the right side of the face leading to the 5,850m col between Schulze and Huayna Illampu. Starting on the 22nd from Laguna Glacier (5,038m; southwest of the mountain), they reached a point just 60m below the col and bivouacked. The next day they gained the col. They did not continue to the summit but descended the far side and made their way north down to Aguas Calientes, returning to their camp at Laguna Glacier on the 24th. They rated their 400m route TD+ WI5- M5.
Later a French Alpine Club expedition of young female alpinists, accompanied by two guides, based themselves at Laguna Glacier. On August 11 Perrine “Perinnou” Marceron and Elisabeth Revol, with Arnaud Guillaume, climbed the couloir immediately left of the Schulze’s 1973 Original Route to gain the upper northwest ridge. The 11-pitch route lies immediately right of a prominent spur on the left side of the face. It gains ca 550m vertical and was graded TD-(80° and F4+). Four days later Toni Clarasso, with Perrine Marceron and Juliette Géhard, climbed the couloir on the left flank of the spur. Starting off in excellent weather, the team found steep and well-frozen snow, giving relatively easy climbing almost to the top of the couloir. However, the last section was deep, unstable, and impossible to protect. As the weather seemed to be deteriorating, the team made a rapid escape down the ridge. This was fortunate, as the storm, when it arrived, was severe. The new couloir was also ca 550m vertical and graded D+.
The French party put up two routes on Punta 5,505m, a subsidiary summit of Schultze. The climbs took parallel ice smears that flowed from the left edge of a large serac barrier down through the rock barrier below. After reaching the hanging glacier, the climbers followed gentle slopes to a final steeper snow face and the summit. The right-hand smear was continuous and more pronounced, climbing five pitches to the glacier (200m, M4 WI4+). Guillaume, Marceron, and Rivol climbed it on August 9. The smear to the left first led to a shoulder before angling back right, through a section of pure rocky terrain, to the glacier. Clarasso and Perinne Favier climbed this (200m, F3c M5 WI4+) on the 18th.
Lindsay Griffin, Mountain INFO Editor, CLIMB magazine