I'm still in my sleeping bag, Seev woke me just a few minutes ago and is brewing up some
tea for the climb now. Actually I don't wan't to skim out of my sleeping bag. It's not really cosy, and I'm sure it won't get any warmer leaving my sleeping bag and the tent. But it has to be done! Today is the day, we are finally doing what we came for — Climbing 6000er peaks!

We're in the high camp for our north route of Ranrapalca 6162 m. The route is rated D+, harder then anything we did so far in the Cordillera Blanca. But that's fine. We have ice and rock protection gear on us, and if it gets too hard we can always start using it. The only problem is, last night was so brutally cold I didn't get much rest. Whatever, strapping on my crampons, tying in the ice tools and off we go. Seev seamed to have an unbelievable urge to get to the summit and took off with a speed I couldn't match, till I had to take a dump half way up. Try taking a dump in a 60° névé environment, I can tell you that much, it's not easy and quite exhausting. But after that my condition started to improve rapidly and I was up to speed with Seev.

I have to admit the third rock band gave a final twist to the route, the last mantle over the top out with a 900 m face below my feet took me a moment. You climb up to it and then you're already so out of breath that you just need a short moment to gather yourself, still at anytime the climb felt save and so:

«We did it! Our first 6000er peak, D+
free solo! Wuhu!»

That felt really good and not even the fucked up decent could take that from us! There was a rappelling station and since we had ropes in the pack we went for the fast way down. The first rappel had a loose rock the size of a torso at the top. Seev rocked it out so it wouldn't fall on him while he was descending, never a climb without anything going wrong. The rock cut our rope in half and we were left with down climbing the north east face on bad névé and crevasses. Needless to say that once we got to the col, our energy was at it's lowest and the short crossing of the glacier to our tent took us forever. 12 h camp to camp.

P.S. — The last two pictures of the series are made by Louis and show Seev and me coming down the north east face of Ranrapalca.

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