By Marcelo Scanu, Argentina
Pico Polaco (Cerro de los Polacos, ca 6,000m), southeast face, Acecho Felino.
While the highest peak in the Ramada is Mercedario, the most attractive is Polaco, immediately south. In January Javier Giuliani, Juan Manuel Leániz, and Fabrizio Oieni (Argentina) were active in this area. From the standard base camp at Pirca de los Polacos (3,600m), they first climbed a nice icefall (100m, three pitches, WI4) close to the col between Mercedario and Cerro Negro.
After a rest day Giuliani and Oieni started up a new route on Polaco. They established a camp at the edge of the glacier below the southeast face, where they endured a very cold night. Next day they rested and left the following morning at 5 a.m. After crossing five bergschrunds they followed obvious 40°couloirs, climbing quickly to avoid rockfall. At 5,500m Oieni gave up, leaving Giuliani to continue alone. After snow, ice, and a vertical icefall, he reached the summit, naming his 1,100m route Acecho Felino (90°). Descending the south ridge toward La Mesa (6,230m), he was involved in a small avalanche. After rappelling the bergschrund, Giuliani rejoined Oieni in camp, 14 hours after leaving.