OverviewThere are many possible routes between the Southeast arête proper and the face that separates the arête from the normal route. All of these routes are more technically demanding than the normal route and will require some steep snow and mixed climbing. The routes on the right hand edge of this area offer excellent mixed climbing on high quality rock.
Getting ThereFrom the town of Caraz, hire a taxi to shuttle you to the Peron valley. The road ends at the end of Laguna Peron and a well beaten path leads from the parking lot towards Artesonraju. After reaching the far end of Laguna Peron, the trail forks. Take the left fork uphill towards the left edge of a large cliff/moraine on lower left hand flank of Artesonraju. You will pass numerous markers for the climbers who have died on the mountain. The trail ends at moraine camp, the logical starting point for all of the southeast arête variants.
Route DescriptionFrom moraine camp, cross a lateral moraine that separates you from the main glacier and skirt the glacial pool (visible from moraine camp) on its right edge. A small bridge will lead you over a stream and to the tongue of the main glacier. Follow the main glacier up the valley bellow Artesonraju until you reach a snow cone spilling over a rock band directly below the start of the SE arête variants. Front point up the cone to the tongue of the glacier and climb up and over the ice (WI 2-3 200 feet). Continue up the glacier to the base of the route making sure to avoid the numerous hidden crevasses that lurk along this approach.
Cross the bergschrund and choose a line that suits your level of ambition. The original southeast arête follows the crest of the ridge and is probably the most technically demanding of the lines (the blue route in the photo). Easier ground can be found by skirting around the rock bands just right of the arête.
In 2007, the bergschrund below the arête made the southeast arête proper, and all of the left tending variants, impractical as the only easy way of crossing the schrund was along the right edge of the face. We used a variant (red route in photo) that lead us through easy, but difficult to protect, mixed terrain above the schrund to a belay below a small rock outcropping. Several pitches of moderate mixed climbing delivered us to an intermediate snowfield between the rock bands (400 feet from schrund). We crossed the snowfield in right tending manner that left us below the base of an ice choked chimney (400 feet). The chimney yielded fun mixed climbing on good protection (~M5 400 feet), which ultimately dumped us off on the main southeast face. Some steep snow slogging up and right lead us to the normal route.
Essential GearSmall alpine rack:
Selection of nuts
2 Ice screws
2 60 or 70 meter ropes
For rapping the normal route:
Beware: many people have died rappelling the normal route of Artesonraju. It is much better to down climb with a rope backup than it is to trust your life to a picket.