South Face Route

Page Type
Bolivia, South America
Route Type:
Ice climb with rock descent
Time Required:
Most of a day
III/D, 60degrees, 600m

Route Quality: 2 Votes

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South Face Route
Created On: Sep 1, 2005
Last Edited On: Sep 1, 2005


This approach is a nightmare. Its the same as for Cabeza up to the glacier. From there you head towards the face across the rather flat glacier.
To get to the glacier from basecamp:
Head up towards the summit on an obvious trail system. Continue as it gets quite steep taking you up to a ridge after about an hour. The ridge is narrow with quite a drop down to the glacier below so be careful at night. this ridge will lead you to the base of steep scree slope, aptly named "the scree slope from hell." This slope is steep and goes on forever on terrible scree. At the top you may have to scramble up some steep sections using big rocks for holds.
This should take 1.5-2hrs depending on your abilities to negotiate scree.
You will top at the edge of the upper glacier. There is a ledge for 2 tents here that could be used as high camp for those foolish enough to slog their gear up the scree. From here, cross the glacier heading to the obvious south face.

Route Description

From the glacier the route is quite obvious. Just look for a bridge to cross the bershrund(it was obvious when we climbed). After the shrund, continue up face trending left. It gets steeper and icier as you ascend. Exit face on far left(west) side of ridge. Continue to summit on east side via a sharp ridge.
About 2-4 hours from glacier depending on conditions.
Descent: Descend face if you bring enough pickets or the ice is good enough for v threads. Otherwise you can descend either ridge. We used the West Ridge which was a nightmare. Down climb for 300m on loose rock to reach a huge notch. From there look for an old rope anchor to rappel. Use 2 ropes for the rap(50m o.k). *Be careful to stay on the ridge proper, on the south side of it, and use snow if possible.* I went down a gully thinking it safer because it was less exposed. It became a nightmare. Every rock I touched was sliding and I couldnt exit the gully. I pulled off a huge rock that took me with it for several meters. I managed to stop myself but I got banged up pretty badly.

Essential Gear

2 ropes for rappel, pickets and screws and whatever else you think you need for an ice climb, some extra sling and nuts might be useful on the descent
(crevasses aren´t too bad so you could solo it, but I don´t recommend it because of the descent)

Miscellaneous Info

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South Face Route

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