Nevado Paca, South Face

Peru, Cordillera Central
Author: Marcelo Scanu. Climb Year: 2017. Publication Year: 2018.

After spending three weeks in the Cordillera Blanca in July, Argentineans Nehuen Conterno and Pablo Maximiliano Laumann visited the Cordillera Central near Lima. The pair had many objectives in mind in this little explored and documented region. On August 4, they ascended Tatajayco (5,342m) to gain a better vantage on the south face of Nevado Paca (5,600m, 11º 53´44 S, 76º 03´55" W). [Editor’s note: The first documented ascent of Nevado Paca was from the northwest in 2006. See AAJ 2016 for more information, including a downloadable map of the peaks in this area.]

On August 5 they began their ascent of Nevado Paca, climbing a direct line below the summit seracs. They climbed 300m unroped up a couloir feature before reaching the real difficulties. With poor snow and ice conditions, they found only a “psychological” anchor to secure themselves before starting 500m of steeper climbing. After seven and a half hours of tricky snow and mixed climbing, moving slightly right on the face, they gained the corniced southeast ridge near the summit. At times they reported using a snow stake to help advance through bottomless snow. Only Conterno, who weighs 15kg less than Laumann, could reach the true summit; Laumann said the snow horrifyingly collapsed underneath him.

Their descent was down the north face, then following small creeks through the moraine to reach their base camp again at Laguna Rinconada, 16 hours after they began. They called the route Una Realidad Diferente (800m, MD M5). Because of the poor conditions, they did not attempt other mountains in the zone.

– Marcelo Scanu, Argentina

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