Los Cuernos del Diablo, Northwest Face, Loro Paceño

Bolivia, Cordillera Quimsa Cruz
Author: Alexander von Ungern. Climb Year: 2016. Publication Year: 2017.

On May 13, during a UIAGM aspirant course, Pacifico Machaca, Sebastian Rojas, and I climbed a new route on the Cuernos del Diablo, right of the established route Inti Wiracocha. We believe our first four pitches were previously unclimbed, given that none of the protection points we used seemed to have been cleaned or used before. The natural line led us into the Condori Variant for a final two pitches.

Sebastian led the first and most difficult 50m pitch (6c+), following a dihedral that was overhanging for short sections. The second pitch was still sustained (6b). I led the third pitch, which was relatively easy (5c+), except for a little roof just above the belay anchor, and then one more strenuous and exposed pitch (6b+), before Sebastian led the two last pitches of the Condori Variant (6b and 6c). The granite was excellent throughout, the only downside being that some cracks were filled with moss.

Once on top we used the rappel stations on the line of Taypi K’ala, left again from where we climbed. We called our route Loro Paceño (six pitches, 6c+), which means “Parrot from La Paz.” Pacifico, who remained silent during the entire ascent (and generally is a rather silent person), earned this nickname while working in the lowlands of Bolivia, because he talks less than jungle parrots.

We found the grades of established routes in the area a little overrated, and have graded this route to make it comparable to what one would find on a sport crag. It was probably the most difficult and sustained climb I did during the year, although simul-climbing 900m of hard ice on the west face of Huayna Potosi with Sebastian Rojas was also a bit of a sufferfest.

Alexander von Ungern, Andean Ascents, Bolivia

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