American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Pacokeuta, South Face, Partial New Route

Bolivia, Cordillera Real

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Davide Vitale
  • Climb Year: 2015
  • Publication Year: 2017

In October 2015, Mattia Buzzetti and I climbed an icefall on the south face of Pacokeuta (5,589m), which can be clearly seen from the Peñas–Laguna Jankho Kkota–Paso Mullu–Amaguaya road. The route was 120m, up to WI4, but we did not continue to the summit due to deep and dangerous snow on the upper face. We rappelled the line, which we named the Wist'unasa Q'asadiente, roughly translated as "twisted nose and missing tooth" in the interesting Spanish-Aymara mix my students speak.

Davide Vitale, Bolivia

Editor’s note: As with many of the lesser-known mountains in Bolivia, the history of climbing on Pacokeuta is unclear. The 1971 DAV (German Alpine Club) expedition, which thought it was making the first ascent and climbed the mountain by both the northwest and west faces, found a cairn on the summit. Until the 1990s and the completion of the road from Peñas over Paso Mullu to the jungle, Pacokeuta was rarely climbed. In 1995, Marite Perez (Venezuela), Harold Shoemaker (Holland), and Bolivian guide Juan Villarroel climbed a direct route on the south face, a 350m climb with snow up to 60°. However, the exact line is unknown. The following year an Anglo-Bolivian-Irish team climbed two routes up the southeast face and east ridge to both the main and slightly lower east summits (PD+/AD).

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