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South America, Bolivia, Cordillera Real, Chearoco South Summit, East Pillar

Chearoco south summit, East Pillar. On May 19-20, Denis Levaillant and Alain Mesili climbed the East Pillar of the south summit of Chearoco (6,127m or 6,014m). This is possibly the first route climbed on the vast east face of this remote triple-summited massif, located southeast of the Illampu-Ancohuma group in the central Cordillera Real. The pillar itself is 550m high and gave difficulties of 5+ (French) on good granite, with sections of mixed at 75° (M5) and 80° ice. From the pillar’s top, another 150m up a delicate, narrow, and classically Andean ridge, with unconsolidated snow, dramatic cornices, and no worthwhile protection, led to the summit. The pair climbed the TD+ route from a camp at 5,200m three hours’ walk from the face.

This central area of the Real, with adjacent peaks such as Cazalda (5,650m), Kelluani (a.k.a. Quelluani, 5,912m), and Chachacomani (6,074m), is the least explored of the range, and the exact lines of routes on the big peaks are not well documented. Despite a handful of ascents from the west and south flanks, Chearoco is infrequently climbed, and the east face holds many possibilities.

Lindsay Griffin, Mountain INFO Editor, CLIMB magazine