1. Hike on big broken rocks to the glacier We tried to find a way with not too many loose rocks and with as short as possible rock climbing sections. My body always needs a certain time to adjust itself to this effort requested, to the cold, to an intense work out in the middle of night … as result I have often short and heavy breathing the time to find my pace, which I have to say worried a little Beto at first.
2. Put on our crampons then walk on the glacier to the bergshrom Our walk on the glacier was surprisingly good. The snow conditions were pretty good except some parts where you have to kneel down and crawl. That is a good technique to repatriate your weight on the snow and avoid spending too much energy when walking on deep soft snow.
Climb the Face :
3. Pass the Bergshrom The wind on the top of Pisco was very strong and lots of fresh snow was falling on us. To protect us, we hide ourselves in the beginning of the giant crevasse "the Bergshrom". It was a very cozy the time to wait that the snow fall ends. To pass the Bergshrom we have to climb a very difficult section with an angle of 90 degree. Fortunately it was short, but it took many attempts to finally climb this part. What a start!
4. Start climbing the face We climb with one rope of 60m. It was a moderate section with good crispy snow, with an angle ~60 degree. We climbed this section pretty fast.5. Lower middle section on the face It is a steep section of mix climbs with hard ice and rocks. Angle 75 degree up to 90 degree 6. Upper middle section on the face I did not enjoy as much this climbing part mainly due to the snow conditions. The issue with soft snow is that we slide down as much as we climb. Moderate angle ~65 degree. 7. Final push : first attempt via the canaleta We wanted to reach the summit by using the canaleta, which from the distance seems doable. But once there, it was impossible and very risky to climb, so we change route, adjusting ourselves to the situation. 8. Pisco Face traverse As the canaleta was not open, we traverse the whole Pisco face from left to right. It was pretty exposed, so to avoid creating avalanches, we have to climb as close as possible to the mountain face where the snow is unfortunately the deepest and softest. It was the only way, but what a painful way! It took us about ~3h. It was so difficult to maintain the same altitude as we were sliding down at each step. The deep soft snow with a steep angle was literally dragging us down the face. We used many anchors (snow pickets, ice screws), and climb very carefully. In this situation you have to be patient, and keep up with your high spirit, and everything will be fine. At this point it was just a matter of time. 9. Summit of the South Face of Pisco Once again we have to climb along the face to avoid creating avalanches. It was probably the hardest part, not because of exhaustion, but because the terrible snow conditions. We finish the face happy, with a big smile on our face. We are a great team. We have different climbing style but so complementary. Beto is more a thinker, analyzing the terrain and optimizing his climbing moves, whereas I am more a doer, making quick climbing decisions and managing my energy. 10. Pisco Summit After climbing the face, we reached the normal route. We had a lunch break, took our time, relax … then we use this route to climb the last meters to the Pisco summit.
Sophie first woman in the world to climb Pisco via the Crudita route Summit Aug. 21st 2009
Crudita route, South Face of Pisco