American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Cuernos del Diablo, Southwest Face, Don Rayo

Bolivia, Cordillera Quimsa Cruz

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Lindsay Griffin
  • Climb Year: 2017
  • Publication Year: 2018

In April a group of aspirant guides underwent UIAGM training in the mountains of Bolivia, during which time they spent nearly two weeks visiting the Quimsa Cruz. They repeated several lines, and the Bolivian instructor Roberto Gomez, along with guide candidates José Miguel Rosen and Cristobal Señoret (both from Chile), put up the new route Don Rayo (named after their cook) on the left side of the southwest face of the Cuernos del Diablo (5,271m).

The sunnier northwest face of this fine rock peak has been well-developed since the first route in 1987 (see, most recently, AAJ 2017), but the southwest face has seen very little exploration. After walking 2.5 hours from base camp to the foot of this wall, the trio saw several alternatives and chose a 350m line left of the monolithic, steep slabs that characterize this aspect of the mountain. Difficulties were 6b A0 and almost entirely in cracks. A section of face climbing near the top of the route led to a 10m offwidth chimney followed by a completely run-out 15m section of 5+. Descent was by four rappels down the northwest face. The climbers feel this area still has extensive possibilities for new routes.

– Lindsay Griffin, from information supplied by Cristobal Señoret, Chile

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