Negruni Range, Peak 5,396m, Traverse via Southwest Ridge and East Ridge

Bolivia, Cordillera Real
Author: Lindsay Griffin. Climb Year: 2018. Publication Year: 2019.

In March, Bolivian resident Davide Vitale and friends traversed Peak 5,396m in the Negruni Range of the central Cordillera Real. As had been done in the past, the Vitale team climbed onto the southwest ridge from the south (AD), but from the summit they then descended the probably virgin east ridge (PD) to the col between Peaks 5,396m and 5,342m, then continued down easily from there.

Peak 5,396m is located in a small hanging valley east-northeast of Laguna Khuna Khota and north of the Palcoco Mine and Alka Khota Valley (approximately 16°6'55.83"S, 68°17'0.44"W). The Negruni is rarely visited and in the normal climbing season is now probably too dry to warrant much attention. However, at the time of the Vitale ascent, persistent rains had produced nice snow conditions (and incidentally great conditions for essential potato growth!). Locals suggested that Peak 5,396m was called Khuno Kollu, but as this translates to "snowy mountain," it is probably just a generic name.

As always, the history of climbing in the less-traveled areas of the Cordillera Real is vague, but in 1969 a highly productive Bavarian team made many first ascents in the Negruni Group, including Peak 5,396m, which they called BAE 3 (Knott-Ziegenhardt, May 25, south face and southwest ridge, see AAJ 1970.)

– Lindsay Griffin, with information from Davide Vitale

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