Huanacuni and Extremo Huanacuni Norte

Bolivia , Cordillera Apolobamba
Author: Marcelo Scanu. Climb Year: 2021. Publication Year: 2022.


Julieta Ferreri (Argentina) and Marcelo Motta Delvaux (Brazil) made two visits to the southern Cordillera Apolobamba in June and July, when they explored the region around Huanacuni (5,798m, approximately 14°50'48.04"S, 69°9'20.06"W). They then returned in August for an eight-day climbing trip. Base camp was established next to Lago Nube, west of the massif, and Camp 1 at 5,000m below the southwest glacier.

In an 18-hour push, the pair climbed an existing route from the west, first climbing the southwest ridge to the top of Extremo Huanacuni Sur (5,450m, their name for the most southerly top of Huanacuni), then continuing up the south ridge of the main summit (65° and poor powder-snow conditions) to a point 20–30m below the top, where they were stopped by even steeper powder. They returned by the same route, but deviated to ascend Nevado Nubi (5,710m, the next summit south of Huanacuni) before returning to base camp. The climb was rated around AD+.

After a rest, they crossed a pass of around 5,250m to the north and reached the glacier below the west face of Huanacuni. From a camp at 5,100m they moved north and followed a rising glacier (35-40°) northward to reach the most northerly top of the massif—Extremo Huanacuni Norte (approximately 14°49'43.63"S, 69°10'14.01"W)—finishing up a slope of 50–55°. The overall ascent was rated PD/PD+ and they have found no previously recorded ascents of this small, pretty summit. 

— Marcelo Scanu, Argentina

Editor's Note: the history of climbing in the Bolivian Cordillera Apolobamba is inexact. Huanacuni itself was first climbed by Germans in 1957 and ascended at infrequent intervals since, though parties often fail due to underestimating the difficulty of the final ridge. Peaks at the northern end of the Huanacuni massif, which lie south of the road over the Apolobamba from Pelechuco and might include "Extremo Huanacuni Norte," were climbed by another German expedition in 1969. 

Media Gallery