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Nevado Tacusiri, South Face to West Ridge (No Summit)

On June 7, Argentine Nehuén Conterno and Peruvians Rodrigo Mendoza and Jorge Sirva departed from Pitumarca (80km south of Cusco) and drove 30km to the small village Alkatauri. From there, they hiked one and a half hours to the base of Tacusiri (5,350m). Tascuri’s first known ascent was from the north in 1980 during a Japanese expedition to Ausangate (6,372m). (Tacusiri lies to the southwest of Ausangate.) The Argentine-Peruvian trio is one of a few attempts on the mountain via the south face.

They began at 4,800m following a couloir on the left side of Tacusiri`s south face and climbed eight pitches to reach the summit ridge on the west side. They encountered a mixture of deep powder snow, some ice, and poor rock. Once on the ridge, they decided against continuing to the summit because of the minimal daylight remaining. They couldn’t rappel the line they had climbed because of poor snow conditions and the amount of gear they would be forced to leave, so they made two 60m rappels from Abalakov anchors down the west face and onto the glacier. From there, they walked down easy terrain and circled around to the south face and back to the trailhead. The team did the route in a nonstop 18-hour car-to-car journey.

They climbers named their incomplete new route Expreso de Medianoche (D+ 65° M4), and they hope to finish the route to the summit with better weather and conditions.

– Marcelo Scanu, Argentina