Chachacomani Group, Unnamed Peak, La Travesia de Winnie Apu

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

Shortly after daylight on September 22, Chris Knight (Canada) and I left our base camp at 4,800m in the valley that leads northeast to the Chearoco Glacier (between Chearoco and Chachacomani). We gained 500m and then scrambled along the west ridge of an unnamed peak at 15°59'44.13"S, 68°24'21.91"W (5,533m Google Earth). This dry mountain lies directly west, across the Chachacomani Glacier, from Jakoceri. The ridge has two summits. Whereas we encountered cairns leading to the first top, we found no traces of previous climbing as we continued eastward along the crest toward the second and higher summit. Not all the rock was sound, but we managed to find short sections of vertical climbing on granite of excellent quality. Some of the scrambling connections were not bad either.

As we sat on the main summit, we spotted what seemed to be a recent massive rockfall onto the glacier on the south side of this mountain. Then, as we descended east along the ridge, we witnessed the collapse of a big section of rock in the middle of the south face. We therefore continued as delicately as possible, on a ridge that no longer seemed stable. We eventually descended a steep scree slope to the north and returned to our camp.

It was pretty clear that there normally is, or at least was, more snow at these altitudes. There was very little precipitation in the 2015–’16 rainy season, due to an El Niño phenomenon. This did not help already receding glaciers, and while we saw one collapse “live,” there are many signs of similar happenings all along the Cordillera Real.

We named our route La Travesia de Winnie Apu, referring to the town of Winnipeg, from which both Chris and Winnie the Pooh originated. Apu is an Aymara name for mountain spirits, and two important Apus, Chearoco and Chachacomani, had an eye on us during the whole traverse.

– Alexander von Ungern, Andean Ascents, Bolivia

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