New Routing on the Sphinx

Dave Lucas, leader of the round-the-world Hotrock expedition has sent us the following report of their recent activities on the Sphinx i Peru: My self and two others (Boud Docter from Holland and Geoff Hall from Oz) have just come back from two weeks at theSphinx in the Cordillera Blanca in Peru. The wall ranges from 500m to 900m high. The weather at the moment is not ideal with daily rain and snow. The foot of the wall is at 4700m, which makes climbing a little bit more interesting. The weather we recieved allowed us to climb in the dry for about 1.5 hours a day. We put a new route up that links the base of the normal ´85 route to the top of pitch 5 of Cruz del Sur (F7a, F6b+, F6a, F5+). Due to the weather we were only able to do one pitch a day. The rock does not really provide masses of protection, the belay for the first pitch was completed by smacking, with hammer, a closed seam until it was able to take an RP so as I could spend the next 30mins hammering in two bolts, sort of safe in the knowledge that if the crumbling tussack that I was stood on would go, I would not fall the 15m to my last bit of gear. Oh yes and then it began to snow!!!!!! WE also compltede an onsight assent of the first three pitches of Cruz Del Sur (F6b+, F7c, F7c+). Although a little over graded we still were pretty happy with the attempt. One day of almost perfect weather saw us free the original route up to pitch 8 (F6c+).Our varriation start is the 15th recorded route on the wall. For info and topos on climbing at the Sphinx email Dave Lucas on