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NAVADA PARON

Posted on: December 1, 2005


Nevada Paron, North Face, Bartonellosis, New Route. Owen Samuel, Mike Pescod, Tony Barton and I set off up the Santa Cruz Valley on June 2, two days after arriving in Peru. We set up camp at 4700 meters on the moraine ridge below the northeast face of Artesonraju in the Arteson Valley. After checking out both the unclimbed northwest face of Millisarju (5500m) and the north face of Paron (5600m), we chose the latter because the former was a very complex, serac-laced face. We watched the face for two days, during which two potential "ice" lines melted away in the hot summer sun. Believing our line would last, we planned a night ascent to avoid encountering too much falling rock and ice.

On June 5 at 9 p.m. Owen, Mike and I set off for the base of the route (Tony was not acclimatizing well). The glacier proved easy to cross and we started up the first chimney pitch ("Samuel's Cleft") before midnight. We found excellent ice of about Scottish Grade 4/5 with occasional loose rock steps and some easier-angled snow-slope traversing. Dawn broke as we entered the final funnel directly below the summit. We completed the ten-pitch ascent to just below the final summit snow mushroom (which we did not attempt due to the conditions) at 10:30 a.m. We then rappelled the west face to the Paron Glacier, where we traversed through some "interesting, serac-riddled terrain before climbing back up to the Artesonraju col and making an easy descent to camp. The entire trip took twenty hours. We named the route Bartonellosis (Scottish Grade 4/5, 400m), after a disease common to the Peruvian Andes, and for Tony Barton, who was the driving force behind the climb.

Nick Carter

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