Negruni Group, Cerro Mullu Apacheta, Traverse via Southwest Ridge
Bolivia, Cordillera Real
On September 14, Chris Knight and I climbed a nice, diverse line that combined ridge climbing on good granite with the crossing of beautiful fields of penitentes. We drove to Laguna Jankho Khota, camped, and the next morning continued by car to an altitude of 5,000m at a col between Cerro Mullu Apacheta and Cerro Wila Llojeta. We then headed straight for the southwest ridge, where walking quickly turning to scrambling as the ridge became sharper. The granite proved to be excellent. After the first section we rappelled 25m to reach a penitente snow/ice field and crossed this to the next section of granite ridge. We continued along this to reach the second-highest top, where we stopped for lunch. After one more short rappel, we followed the ridge to the summit, feet scrambling over granite on the left with the right hand plunging an axe into the snowy crest.
From the 5,368m summit we continued briefly down the northeast ridge and then scrambled down to our parking spot. The overall grade was AD+, with loose rock on the ridge in obvious places. [The southwest ridge was followed in 1973 by Germans Heinz Goll and Alexander Schlee for what was most likely the first ascent of the mountain, although it is not certain at what point they accessed the ridge. Mullu Apacheta North had been climbed previously by Japanese climbers.]
Alexander von Ungern, Andean Ascents, Bolivia