American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Iowa Mountaineers Cordillera Blanca Expedition

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1962

Iowa Mountaineers Cordillera Blanca Expedition: Thirty-three members met in Lima, Peru on July 4 and during the next six days established Base Camp on a meadow at 13,500 feet in the Llanganuco valley (also but less correctly spelled “Yanganuco” ) of the Cordillera Blanca range. Climbing operations were directed and led by John Ebert, leader, Harold Walton, assistant leader, Hubert and Hans Schlapschi, Harold Goodro, David Bernays and Douglas Kerr. During the ensuing three weeks the following peaks were ascended or points reached near the summits. Twenty-four members in three parties using three high camps reached the summit of Pisco; ten members in two parties using three high camps climbed Chopicalqui; eight members using three high camps reached the saddle of Huascarán and turned back because of complications with the rescue operation of a Spanish expedition ; a party of three members using two high camps reached a point just below the dangerously corniced summit ridge of the north and south peaks of Yanapaccha; a party of two members reached a point 500 feet below the summit of the east peak of Huandoy and turned back because of dangerous rock and snow conditions. David Bernays, Francis Bernays and Frank Knight made the third ascent of Pisco Este. Three high camps were established. Six hours of climbing was required to pass through icefalls below the upper cirque. The highest camp was located at 18,000 feet at the lower edge of the cirque directly below the summit face. The fifth day after leaving Base Camp the party rested in Camp III and on the sixth day left at 5:00 a.m., going directly up the face below the summit saddle. Class four rock climbing was encountered in rock bands located between sections of fluted snow and ice. From the saddle both the north and south summits were easy scrambles over snow. The north summit appeared slightly higher. They started the descent at 1:30 and reached Camp III shortly after sunset. Three hundred feet of fixed rope were fastened in position in the upper portion of the snow flutes to expedite the descent. After the main Base Camp was evacuated Harold Walton took a party of eight up the Quebrada Ulta to climb Nevado Contrahierbas. They reached a point about 1250 feet below the summit and had to turn back because of insufficient time. Before returning home, several members climbed Rami-Rami near Huaraz and Mount Meigs near the summit of the Trans-Andean Highway.

John Ebert

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