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Brits Make Second Ascent in Cordillera Oriental

Early last month, British climbers Dan Fitzgerald, James Wake and Matt Balmer climbed a new route on what they identify as Huarancayo Sur (circa 5,200m), a mountain in the Cordillera Oriental range of Peru. Their route, Boy Don’t Cry (Scottish V,4), stretches 350 meters up a gully on the mountain’s south flank. According to Balmer, this peak has only been climbed once before in 2006, making their route the second recorded line to the summit.

After a night bivouacking below a cirque on Huarancayo Sur’s south face, the trio began up the gully. “We were unsure of the conditions we would find, the true angle of the gully or it’s length,” said Balmer. Despite their uncertainties, Balmer said he was delighted with the climbing. “For 350 meters we climbed some of the finest icy-gully climbing any of us have ever done any where in the world,” he said. That night, after a day pushing through foul weather, the three excavated a small snow cave just 50 meters from the summit. The following day, they trekked five and a half hours back to their bivy site below the cirque. The week after, the trio attempted Huaguruncho Chico’s (circa 5,400m) unclimbed south face, though were forced back by dangerous conditions just 150 meters below the summit.