On the morning of Sunday, February 20, 2022, the alpine rope of Ecuadorians Juan Carlos Torres and Jorge Pilataxi, achieved the first ascent of the north-eastern ridge to the north-eastern and maximum summits of the Antisana Volcano.
This project was planned for a long time, and this time we had the opportunity to make it happen. The conditions and the weather accompanied us for long moments in these 4 days.
The first day we started the trek from glacier Number 15 until we reached the base of the wall on the north-eastern face which had almost no snow, on the contrary, there was a lot of loose rock and a broken glacier; however, we were able to rest and make camp for the first night.
On the second day, we headed out to the ridge, where our real physical, technical and mental challenge began. We did several pitches of rock climbing on loose and mostly shabby rock. On the seventh pitch, a storm fell that forced us to set up camp on an ice mushroom impregnated on the wall of the ridge.
On the third day, we continue climbing, but this time we find ourselves with a more mixed terrain of rock and ice for about 6 more pitches. On the last pitch, we made another stop and set up camp again so that we could leave at dawn the next day and make the last ascent on the snowy part towards the summit.
When we managed to conquer its north-eastern summit, it was one of the greatest, most beautiful, most rewarding and most calming sensations I have ever felt. After several days of climbing that ridge of decomposed rock with very little protection, loose snow and many other physical, technical and mental challenges, we finally found ourselves at the much-dreamed-of summit.
At the time of descending, there standing on the northeastern summit, we had a few seconds of visibility in which we managed to see the Antisana maximum summit. We were able to record in our minds the correct path to reach the summit, since the mountain clouded over again and nothing could be seen.
After 3 hours we managed to reach the maximum summit, without a doubt it was another great feeling to know that we were already at a known summit and now, yes, to be able to descend to our base camp in the Crespos area, to be able to meet our other companions who waited anxiously for us. I have to emphasize that they were a fundamental part of this project, since teamwork is always important.
Starting the descent, the weather on the mountain turned very bad and it completely clouded over, and shortly after we were surprised that the path we knew for the return no longer existed, so we had to make our mark and find some steps to continue descending.
Coming out of the glacier we looked at our companions in the lagoon where they were waiting for us. My eyes filled with tears knowing that we always had the people of our team supporting us and looking out for us, so that we could return to our homes and hug our families.
Upon arrival, a big hug of gratitude and trust with my partner Jorge Pilataxi, my teammates and a bottle of Coca-Cola after all that ascent and descent, was the best way to celebrate.
Grateful to life and my family for all the support, patience and trust in this project that we have achieved with the greatest blessings.
Team: Daniel Saenz, Diego chela, Cynthia Bravo, Nicolas, Nataly Rodriguez. MONODEDO ECUADOR, Pablo Beler, EDELRID, Felipe Extremesports, Warax.Arte. Asociación Ecuatoriana de Guías de MontañaAuthor: Juan C Torres Velasco