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Southwest Route

 
Southwest Route

Page Type: Route

Location: Chile, South America

Object Title: Southwest Route

Route Type: Mountaineering

Season: Summer

Route Quality: 
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Page By: Uwe Kraus

Created/Edited: Mar 4, 2006 / Mar 4, 2006

Object ID: 178389

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Overview

Several routes with different degrees of difficulty lead to the 6629 meters high summit of Cerro Tres Cruces Central.

Most routes have one together: the ascent via the glacier within the summit range.

The high camp at the pass between Cerro Tres Cruces Sur and Cerro Tres Cruces Central offers an ideal starting point for the different routes to the summit.


Getting There

Starting at camp II, one traverses at the foothills of Cerro Tres Cruces Sur toward northeast. One meets again and again a path, which facilitates the ascending in the loose scree for something.

After one crossed a snowfield (S27 05,286 W68 48,477, 5578 m), one traverses further toward northeast, but gains more and more height, till one finally is below the pass and ascends now directly to the pass.

One establishes the camp (S27 04,986 W68 47,642, 5896 m) beside the highest situated lake in direct height of a snowfield, where one has usually good drinking water. The water of the lakes is salty and brackish.

Route Description

One leaves the camp at the saddle in northern direction and looks for a way over the strips of rocks, in order to reach the ridge with position S27 04,505 W68 47,420 (6297 m).

Alternatively one can go around this ridge, by going to the pass (S27 04,841 W68 47,757, 5968 m) in the northwest, traverse the slope to the north and climb finally toward position S27 04,607 W68 47,815 (6015 m) in northeast direction.

It’s true this traverse is time complex, but from the way finding however safe and simpler.

The ascent to S27 04,557 W68 47,768 (6085 m) is steep and through sand is additionally made more difficult. Alternatively one can traverse further into a desiccated valley and finally ascend to S27 04,535 W68 47,707 (6134 m).

From S27 04,557 W68 47,768 (6085 m) one traverses approx. 50 - 100 meters into the already mentioned desiccated valley and ascends from here likewise to S27 04,535 W68 47,707 (6134 m) over scree and stones.

Starting from S27 04,535 W68 47,707 (6134 m) up through scree and rocks along the ridge (this right, i.e. south) over S27 04,581 W68 47,683 (6160 m) and S27 04,578 W68 47,594 (6215 m) on the ridge (S27 04,505 W68 47,420, 6297 m). Before one lies now a flat depression, which changes into a valley. First along the eastern edge to position S27 04,467 W68 47,370 (6517 m), then further towards northeast, so that on the left (west) the dark grey rock are. One continues to ascend, climbs through the rocks, where one finally comes out at position S27 04,386 W68 47,310 (6408 m). Continue now further over scree and stones to position S27 04,323 W68 47,313 (6462 m) and finally to the beginning of the summit ridge (S27 04,271 W68 47,275, 6513 m).

The glacier directly to the summit is rather steep. Alternatively one can evade from here further to the east on the glacier and ascend then in the zigzag to the summit.

Essential Gear

Since in every case the glaciated summit area has to be used, crampons are absolutely necessary.

Images

Tres Cruces seen from the Laguna Santa