Nevado Mariposa, Southeast Ridge

Peru, Cordillera Vilcanota
Author: Nathan Heald. Climb Year: 2020. Publication Year: 2021.

image_3In late July 2020, Luis Crispin and Thomas Schilter (both Peru) planned to try the unclimbed south face of Nevado Mariposa (5,842m; 13°47'7.92"S, 71°12'35.94"W) from the same base camp used to access the normal route on Ausangate. However, because of COVID-19 restrictions, the communities on the southern side of the mountain were not letting in any outsiders. They adapted their plan to the southeast ridge, accessed it from the north side, where the community of Pacchanta (Luis' village) was open to visitors.

On June 28, they left from Luis' house with horses, carrying the gear to the north side of Mariposa. Luis' brother Macario helped to porter gear to a high camp at 5,500m at the base of the peak. At 4:30 a.m. on the 29th, Macario returned by traversing the ridge to the peak Mariposa Sur (5,680m, a.k.a. Huekeriti or Huequeiriti); this is where previous teams have turned around (see AAJ 1970, 1978, 1981). Meanwhile, Luis and Thomas traversed mixed terrain along the knife-edged southeast ridge. Eventually, they had to rappel a 15m section to continue along the ridge, which widened after this point.

image_2Arriving at the top of Nevado Mariposa by 8 a.m., they discovered that the summit was split in two by a crevasse. Instead of going back down the southeast ridge (700m, D), they opted to descend the north face (upper part of the mountain’s normal route) by down climbing one rope length, then making two rappels off pickets and continuing with v-threads down the rest of the face. At 4:30 p.m. they arrived back at base camp below the north flank of Mariposa and camped for the night before hiking back to Pacchanta the next day.

— Nathan Heald, Peru, from correspondence from Luis Crispin and Thomas Schilter, Peru



AAJ 1970 pg. 166 (German Alpine Club ascent to P5,680m in 1969)

AAJ 1978 pg. 574 (Dutch Alpine Club, Ascent to P5,680 or Wekiriti in 1977)

AAJ 1981 pg. 230 (German Alpine Club, ascent to "Huequeiriti" in 1980)

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