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Rolando Morales Flores, Beto Pinto Toledo, Michel Bernuy Qiuto and I (all International Federation of Mountain Guides aspirants from the Casa de Guias in Huaraz, Peru) entered the Cordillera Blanca’s Rajucolta Valley on July 11 and set up base camp on the west side of Huantsan, at approximately 5175 meters. The next day we climbed the west face to the col north of Huantsan Norte (6113m), with only a half liter of fuel, food for two days, two sleeping bags, two mattresses, five Friends, seven Stoppers, five ice screws and six pitons. We climbed in pairs, some three meters apart, sharing a rope on the exit pitch. The first pitch contained mixed climbing on thin ice patches over rock with hard-won protection, followed by two pitches of vertical ice and snow up to ninety degrees. The fourth pitch had vertical ice and mixed climbing over rock slabs and four meters of vertical rock and ice that allowed us to exit the face–in total, 240 meters of a new route.

Rolando Morales Flores, Beto Pinto Toledo, Michel Bernuy Qiuto on their partial new route, The Wayqui Way (TD+: WI4 M4 90?, 850m), on Huantsan Norte (6113m) in Peru?s Cordillera Blanca in July. In achieving the summit, they became the first Peruvian rope team to reach the summit. [Photo] Christian Andreas Stoll Davila

We dug a snow cave and waited for the following morning to make a summit bid, but on Day 3 bad weather conditions kept us cave bound, and we ate all of the remaining food. On Day 4 we left our bivy at 2 a.m. and started the northwest ridge with just a liter of water and two PowerBars for the four of us. We climbed ten runout pitches using only deadmen as anchors. The most difficult part required crossing from the west face of the ridge to the east face over cornices and mushrooms. At 6:34 a.m. in perfect conditions, we became the first Peruvian rope team to reach the summit of Huantsan Norte. Fourteen rappels later, down the northeast face, leaving seven snow stakes, four pitons and all the cordelettes we had, we reached the glacier and our bivy at 5:30 p.m. Our supplies exhausted, we kept going, and at approximately 11:30 p.m., after twenty-one hours on the move, we feasted on the remaining food in our base-camp tent and drank from a nearby a water hole, having finished our almost-epic ascent of the The Wayqui Way, (TD+: WI4 M4 90 degrees, 850m; in Quechua, wayqui means “brothers”).

We?re Not Sure What?s Going on Here Department: Beto Pinto Toledo and Michel Bernuy Qiuto leading out on The Wayqui Way (TD+: WI4 M4 90?, 850m), Huantsan Norte (6113m), Cordillera Blanca, Peru. The four Peruvian guides from Huaraz managed the route in four days, the last one a twenty-one hour push to summit and return to camp. [Photo] Christian Andreas Stoll Davila