American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Cordillera Blanca, Nevado Ulta, Sandinista-Rifnik, to Summit Ridge

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2009

Nevado Ulta, Andinista-Rifnik, to summit ridge. On July 18, after two failed attempts in 2006 and 2007, Slovenian Viktor Mlinar and I made the first ascent of Nevado Ulta’s south face. The whole climb took four days from Huaraz. The first day, after crossing Punta Olimpica pass (4,950m) in an old bus, we descended to 3,885m where, at a bridge before the town of Pompey, we started the approach hike to the moraine camp. The next day we entered the long and wild glacier, negotiating snow and deep crevasses with full packs. We reached high camp next to a tall rock pillar (5,110m). On day 3 at 5 a.m. we approached the south face, crossing a loose snow slope and two bergschrunds. After climbing a slope of 60° we found the first part of the steep wall in good condition, with a pitch of 80°. We continued up icefalls to 90-95° to complete the 650m south wall and reach the summit ridge at 5,800m. The road to the summit looked too dangerous, so we did eight rappels back down, and around 5 p.m. returned to our high camp. Andinista–Rifnik (650m, MD+/ED VI/4+).

Aritza Monasterio, Basque, as told to Sergio Ramirez Carrascal, Peru

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