Palomani and Matchu Sochi Cuchi groups, various ascents

Bolivia, Cordillera Apolobamba
Author: Boris Santner, Ravne Alpine Club, Slovenia. Climb Year: 2012. Publication Year: 2013.

Our Slovenian expedition comprised Marta Krejan, Stanko Mihev, Vinko Mocilnik, Domen Petek, Franc Pusnik, Primoz Steharnik, Sebastjan Zapusek, and I, all from the Ravne Alpine Club. On July 8 we left La Paz in two vans for Apacheta Pampa, and on the 9th traveled 20km with horses to our base camp below and southwest of Lago Chucuyo at 4,700m. On the 11th and 12th, Mihev, Pusnik, and Mocilnik climbed a new route to the rocky Pt. 5,595m on the ridge connecting Palomani Sur with Palomani Central. They climbed the southwest face at 50-60°, calling the summit Slovenski Turn. [This top was first crossed in 2003 during an Anglo-Bolivian traverse from Sur to Central]. At the same time Zapusek and I climbed Peak 5,600m in the Machu Sochi Cuchi Group via the southeast ridge, naming the line Koroska Smer (50-60°).

On the July 13, Sterharnik climbed the southwest face of Palomani Tranca Central (5,633m) and then skied back down. [This was possibly only the third ascent of the peak and first ski descent.] Meanwhile, over July 13-14, Krejan and Petek put up a new route up the southeast face of Palomani Sur (5,626m). They climbed through a rock band, making a 70° exit onto the upper snow/ice slopes, then continued to the final rocky pyramid, which they climbed from the right at M4. The route was named Krikosa.

On July 14-15, Zapusek and I climbed two peaks, Palomani Luka (5,570m) and its west summit, that lie on the ridge east of Palomani Sur. We climbed via the southern slopes. At the same time Mihev, Mocilnik, Pusnik, and Steharnik climbed the southernmost peak in the Montserrat Group, south of Lago Chucuyo. They named the ca 5,200m peak Koroska. [In 1997 Kevin Dougherty and Andy MacNae traversed most of the Montserrat Range, but their summits were higher, making it possible that Pt. ca 5,200m remained unclimbed.]

Over the 16th and 17th, Krejan, Petek, and Steharnik climbed the south face of Chucuyo Grande (5,523m), with Sterharnik making a first ski descent; the maximum angle was 60-65°. On the 18th we cleaned up base camp and left.

Boris Santner, Ravne Alpine Club, Slovenia

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