Hampaturi Group, Serkhe Khollu (5,546m), Los Alcaldes de Serkhe Khollu; Huayna Potosi Group, Charquini (5,400m), Beisley- Monasterio Route, second ascent
Cordillera Real, Bolivia
On July 20 Robert Rauch and I made what we believe is the first ascent of a route on the right side of the southwest face of Serkhe Khollu (the next major break to the right of La Venganza del Don Gringo). Our route, Los Alcaldes de Serkhe Khollu, follows an obvious moderate ice couloir on the right side of a prominent rock buttress to gain open snow slopes. Above these slopes, we climbed enjoyable mixed terrain for a few pitches to exit around the left edge of a serac band onto the main ridge, which we followed to the summit. We climbed 14 roped pitches plus a fair amount of unroped ridge climbing, and rated the climb IV WI4 M4. We descended west via the non-technical normal route. The ascent took us 14 hours car to car, and 18 hours from door to door in La Paz. Other than some irritating rockfall before the upper snowfields, we found the route relatively free from objective hazards, and quite enjoyable.
Previously, on May 31, we repeated the five-pitch mixed route on the south face of Charquini that Gregg Beisley and Erik Monasterio had established earlier in the year. [See report above.] A sturdy 4WD is required to attain the parking area near the foot of the Charquini Glacier, but this avoids a tedious hour or so marching up the moraine. Though it is not clear if this route will form every year, we would recommend it as a technical acclimatization climb. We walked west off the ridge in the direction of Milluni, then descended to the main glacier on the southwest side of Charquini.
Chris Clarke, Bolivia