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First Ascent of Peak 34

Posted: Jun 12, 2013 10:58 am EDT

(By Nick Boudreau) While most climbers tread on name brand peaks, Colombians Camilo López and Anna Pfaff have an itch for the unknown. On May 21, 2013 they scratched that itch with a first ascent of an unclimbed, unnamed 16,941 ft. peak in a remote, unnamed valley south of the Calzonani Valley in the Cordillera Quimsa Cruz, Bolivia.


“Before heading into the cordillera we met with local La Paz climbing and trekking writer, Denys Sanjines, who gave us information on the unknown and unclimbed peaks of the valley,” said Pfaff. Sanjines arranged the 7 hour ride to the unnamed valley to the southeast of La Paz. The duo took another ride followed by a few hour hike to their Base Camp next to Lake Barroskhota at 14,700 ft.


“On the east side of the valley we found dry rock walls with good but vegetated crack systems. We scoped out the peaks in the area and waited out a few days of snow, rain and hail. When the weather broke we headed to our chosen peak. I started up the first pitch, a narrow offwidth. Camilo took over leading up the thin dihedral full of vegetation that he had to clean with an ice tool in order to find placements.”


“We had to bail at the top of the second pitch due to bad weather, barely making it back to Base Camp before the hail returned. The following day in splitter weather condition we continued on our route to the summit, finding great granite rock although sometimes covered in slippery moss.”


“The crux, led by Camilo was 60 meters of run out face climbing at a difficulty of 6B R. A total of 400 meters of climbing from the base led us to the sub-summit at 16,696 ft. we called ‘Aquisito Point’, in memory of our friend Mark Aquisito who passed away in 2012.”


“From Aquisito Point we followed fourth class terrain to the main wall. We simul climbed the last 100 meters via 5+ crack systems to the main summit. There we built a cairn and decided to name the peak ‘Peak 34’ in regards to it being Camilo’s 34th birthday. We saw no signs of the peak ever being climbed.”


“For the descending we were able to scramble down a steep moraine gully that divides Peak 34 with other walls and then back to the base. No rappel anchors were needed and no fixed gear or anchors were left on the wall.”


Pfaff also explained that there were many undocumented and unclimbed peaks in the Circo de Los Altares, ripe for climbers to explore. During the entire summit push they never came across another human.




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#Mountaineering #World #Bolivia #firstascent #Peak34 #CamiloLopez #AnnaPfaff


Camilo Lopez on the second pitch.
courtesy Camilo Lopez, SOURCE
Anna Phaff on the first pitch of Peak 34
courtesy Camilo Lopez, SOURCE
Camilo posing after successful summit of newly named Peak 34
courtesy Camilo Lopez, SOURCE
Cirque of peaks in the unnamed Bolivian valley
courtesy Anna Pfaff, SOURCE
Anna posing on their ride to the unnamed valley
courtesy Anna Pfaff, SOURCE