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Home » Climbing Notes » NEVADO COPA, SOUTH RIDGE


After acclimatizing on Nevado Artesonraju (6025m), Cesar Rosales, Miguel Martinez, Fabrizio Manoni and I turned to the virgin south ridge of Nevado Copa (6188m), an obvious route at the head of the huge glacial massif that dominates the Valle del Ri?o Santa. The ascent began June 13 from the Laguna de Lejiacocha and reached a bivouac at 4706 meters where we gained the south ridge.

The south ridge quickly presented significant technical challenges that engaged our Italo-Peruvian cordata deeply, both physically and psychologically. Pinnacles of rock alternated with meringues and walls of ice, which were often vertical and always inconsistent. After a hard second bivouac, we began the second part of the ridge, which did not give an inch and posed worse and worse problems for our safety. We were forced into a third bivouac, and our fuel ran out, and we began to experience thirst.

The fourth day of the climb, during which our fortunes were in danger, was the most difficult. The conditions of the last part of the climb were at the limit of the possible. However, when evening fell on July 16, we found ourselves above the last vertical wall of inconsistent ice. When we reached the summit, we became the first to scale the entire south ridge (ED+, 1400m) of Nevado Copa. Our companions at base camp mobilized and quickly reached us at 5400 meters on the descent.

— Enrico Rosso, Biella, Italy (translated by Linda Eklund)