Peruvians Climb Steep Snow in Ishinca Valley

Posted on: November 20, 2009

The upper pitches of Vuelo Del Inca (MD+: 80 degrees, 360m), a new route on the south face of Urus Central (5495m), Ishinca Valley, Cordillera Blanca, Peru, established by Beto Pinto Toledo and Erick Albino on October 16. [Photo] Beto Pinto Toledo collection

Peruvians Beto Pinto Toledo and Erick Albino have claimed a minor new route on the south face of Urus Central (5495m) as part of an eight-day trip to Peru's Ishinca Valley in the Cordillera Blanca. They climbed in alpine style and named the route Vuelo Del Inca (Flight of the Inca, MD+ or TD+: 80 degrees, 360m). Beto Pinto said the climb offers "good experience in mixed terrain with ice, loose snow and rock, although this makes the route very difficult."


The pair left their high moraine camp (4900m) at 6 a.m. on October 16. After encountering a pitch of sustained 80-degree mixed climbing, they followed 70-degree consolidated snow until just below the summit. This last pitch "was the most difficult with a lot of loose snow and little shelter from the elements," Beto Pinto said. Digging through loose snow, however, the climbers found cam placements in the underlying rock. They summited at 12:30 p.m. that same day, then returned to high camp via downclimbing and three rappels.

Later that trip, the pair climbed rock and ice to the summit of Urus West (5450m). They also became the first Peruvians to summit Palcaraju (6274m), one of the highest peaks in the range, after fixing 900 meters of rope.

Source: Beto Pinto Toldeo

Beginning Pitch 1, Vuelo Del Inca. [Photo] Beto Pinto Toledo collection

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