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Normal Route: West-Southwest Ridge

Normal Route: West-Southwest Ridge

Normal Route: West-Southwest Ridge

Page Type: Route

Object Title: Normal Route: West-Southwest Ridge

Route Type: Snow, neve and rock

Time Required: A long day

Difficulty: USA III/AD/55 degrees/ sections of USA 5.3 rock-UIIA II

Route Quality: 
 - 6 Votes


Page By: El Tigre Valderrama

Created/Edited: Jun 16, 2002 / Jun 16, 2002

Object ID: 156572

Hits: 5048 

Page Score: 74%  - 4 Votes 

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Starting about 2:00 AM or so, you can be at the top by 6:00 AM. From the base camp on the Chiar Khota (4600 mts) Lake, look to the right of the Cabeza de Condor and you will find a valley. There is a path; however, the idea is to reach the base of the glacier that feeds a terminal moraine and a muddy lake at the far end of this valley. As you approach the glacier head right into the lateral moraine and get on its ridge. Be aware that the path will drop into the glacier in your left before a huge rock or boulder. It takes about 1.5 hours to reach the base of the glacier. Get your rope!

Now head up the glacier and, crossing it across to its left side on its flat part, start going up and reach the top. Variations exists here, but I saw crevasses the size of a bus so please be careful. Once at the top head right and towards the summit of the mountain called Tarija, and then thee you will have to balance on a very narrow section, not big deal, to finally decent a rock face of about 60 mts. Alpine (easy) belays are possible for those frightened at this point.

Route Description

And then you find the Pequeño Alpamayo. On its right face there is a direct route, but we will aim for the normal route on the west-southwest ridge, which you must follow to the top. If you look carefully you will find you are walking on a cornice, so try to stay off the border.

Easy climb, but guess what, the decent is very hard! Following the same route as the ascent, the snow will be sticky since now is later during the day, and the angle that the face has plus the light makes it a very scaring journey. Nonetheless, this decent is nothing but an excellent training and end of the climb. Be careful!

Essential Gear

Again: Crampons, ice axe and ability. Maybe a small set of stoppers for the rock section. If you think you need belays on the snow ridge, plan to use your ice axe or a snow picket if you like. No need for screws or other spacial gear.

Bring what ever makes you happy with glacier travel and the rope of course.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.


West-Southwest RidgeThis picture (by Mathias...on Tarija\'s glacier, 09/08/2007on Tarija\'s glacier, 09/08/2007Summit ridge of Pequeño AlpamayoPequeño AlpamayoCold flowers
Crevasses along the route to Pequeño AlpamayoSunrise on Pequeño Alpamayosteepest section of the...Pequeño Alpamayo base campon the south west ridge of...Low on the glacier on Pequeño AlpamayoSummit view from Pequeño Alpamayo
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