This was my first trip to Peru and after 15 days I was still sitting in Huaraz without even setting a foot on any of the infamous South American ice faces. The weather was unstable and storms were depositing worrying quantities of snow in high mountains. The situation was bad enough by itself but went nasty when my partner decided that he’s not into climbing anymore and that he’ll wait the last four days that parted us from the flight home right there in Huaraz at Aritza’s house.
So I was alone and the base of Artesonraju is easily accessible in a short walk from the road end at Laguna Paron. At first I didn’t want to join crowds that normally siege the mountain though but finally had to admit that Artesonraju’s figure looks appealing. I spotted a nice icy line just left of the mixed central buttress.
The glacier under the SW face was covered with freshly fallen snow and since there was no trace I decided to just continue with my approach walk dodging the crevasses until the daylight fades out. I reached the bergshrund at 6.30 PM and attacked the huge icefield under the serac band in dusk, a few minutes later. The snow was OK and a short steep zigzag in serac band added some excitement to monotonous frontpointing. I reached the summit that glommed in moonshine at 11 PM. I was almost twelve hours ahead on my time schedule, happy and satisfied.
I descended the same route and rappelled the steep 30 meters step. It took me two hours to the bergshrund and another 30 minutes to collect my sleeping bag that I have left on the moraine. Dawn found me at Laguna Paron hitchhiking to Huaraz. I drunk the well deserved beer at Los Mineros only a few hours later.
I named the 800 m line Ars Nova – a new art – since there are not that many routes in Peru that would purposely climb through serac bands and graded it V 4+ – seracs.