Route sketch

Route: Noches de "Juerga", WEST FACE OF SIULA GRANDE
Length: 27 pitches (1000 m)
Grade: ED; ice 65-90 degrees; mix scottish 6;
Time of the ascent: 30 hours.
Climbers: Viktor Mlinar, Matic Jošt, Tomaž Žerovnik and Aritza Monasterio.

 Route sketch   

3.7.  We left Huaraz and took a bus to Chiquian, where we hired the donkeys to get to Cordillera Huayhuash.  
  March to BC that we intended to place on 4300 m, half an hour from the lake Sharapococho. The weather was bad with some snowfalls. From BC we saw only Yerupaja, Sharapo and Trapezio.  
7.7.  Weather was still bad. We used the time for BC settlement.  
8.7.  The four of us (Viktor, Tomaz, Aritza and me) left the camp for Siula Grande. After 4 hours of walk we were at the end of very unpleasant moraine. Under the wall (ca 4900 m) we made a depot. We also took a good look at the west face of Siula Grande. The weather was quit good.  
9.7.  The day went by and we were resting and preparing the plan. Because of the glacier of great pretension we decided to put a tent with food and equipment under the wall. It was snowing in the afternoon.  
10.7.  With Marselindo (our cook) and loaded with heavy rucksacks we left for the place under the wall earmarked for tent. Marselindo left us at depot. On ca 5200 we prepared a tent and settled down for sleep. The weather was nice with some cloudiness in the afternoon. From BC to the tent was 6 hours walk.  
11.7.  We returned to BC to get some rest. The weather was still nice with some cloudiness in the afternoon.  
  In this two days we enjoyed resting and fishing. The weather was odd.  
14.7.  Upon well known moraine and glacier we left for the tent under the wall. Crevasse looked really strange so Viktor and Tomaž decided to rope it. After a hard beginning over the crevasse with some dry tooling Viktor traversed snow mushroom (powdered snow) to steep ice field and further to first rocks (Grade: Scottish 6). He drilled a bolt in, fixed a rope and roped down. First 55 m of huge wall was climbed. We slept in a tent under the wall. The weather was beautiful.  
15.7.  We started at night, the rope from yesterday was very helpful. Steep slope was 65 degrees constantly. The hardest pitches were in some kind of the vertical icefall with very hard ice. We intended to bivi in the half of the wall. But when the sunshine got into the wall, ice and rocks started to fall down. We were on ca 5800 m and very exposed so we quickly settled us a bivouac in a snow mushrooms on our left. We took a little nap on a small shelf. It was very uncomfortable. The weather was beautiful.  
16.7.  In the morning we first descended for 40 m. First pitch climbed Viki, next Aritza, then I took a pitch over steep bound with bad ice. Next pitch looked hard. I drilled a bolt in and roped down under the safe, overhanging rock. We decided to bivi here and for the next four hours we were digging shelf. With the sun, rocks and ice started to fall. But we were safe. The weather was good.  
17.7.  We started by night. We left sleeping bags, bivi sacks and some food in bivouac. First we used the rope from yesterday, then we easily traversed on left. Next two pitches were with bad vertical ice combined with rocks. Aritza climbed some more ice and very pretentious mix with bad protection (Grade: scottish 6). When I joined him, a collapsed snow mushroom touched us slightly. We were very surprised, while the wall was still in shade. There were just some steep snow gullies and huge snow cornices left. Aritza took two more pitches and finally Viktor masterly traversed to the ridge. At 5.30 p.m. we stood on the edge of the wall. We were 50 meters vertically and 200 meters horizontally from the top of Siula Grande. We started to make a bivouac in snow holes on the top of the snow cornice. It was cold. The wind was blowing, our sleeping bags were far away, so we kept moving our fingers and tried not to sleep. We wanted to survive.  

18.7.  At about 4.00 a.m. started to snow. First we thought it's coming from the fog, but soon we found out it's getting serious. We started to descend by the line of ascent. We made 21 descents: 13 on ice screws, 3 on bolts, 1 on piton and 4 on snow sabre. It was constantly snowing, avalanches were filling us in. Fortunately the wall is too steep for a big avalanche. At 2.30 p.m. we got to tent under the wall. We were tired but happy and safe.  
19.7.  In the morning we cleared up everything and descended to BC. New snow covered our traces on well known glacier, but fortunately we hadn't major problems. We left wet ropes and tent at depot. It was snowing whole day and in BC it was raining. Finally, base camp, beer, Cuba libre...  
20.7.  Rest, rest, rest. The weather was beautiful. Marselindo left us to get our equipment at depot. He is young 62 years and he walks so fast that we had problems to gain upon him. He is quit a legend.  
21.7.  We were waiting for donkeys and the weather was sunny but windy.  
  We decided to return by another track - to Cajatambo. First phone and nearest road, unfortunately little damaged.  
  Ride back to Huaraz. And finally we choose the name of the route: NOCHES DE "JUERGA"    


Design: Branko Ivanek, Ibiko d.o.o.