American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Colorado Mountain Club Expedition to Cordillera Blanca

  • Climbs And Expeditions
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  • Publication Year: 1964

Colorado Mountain Club Expedition to Cordillera Blanca. In our first overseas expedition, 41 people went to the Cordillera Blanca. Base Camp was at the head of the Quebrada Honda, the longest valley on the west side of the range, above Vicos. During the three-week Base Camp period, two major peaks were climbed, Chinchey (20,413 feet) on July 4 by Dale Johnson, William Bassett, Joseph Fullop, John Walker, Harold Walton; on July 6 by John Filsinger, Arthur Lagace, Elton Young; on July 8 by James Moore, Stewart Turner; on July 13 by Richard Irvin, Jonathan Hough, Edward Gibson, James Petroske, Jane Wyss; and Tocllaraju (19,790 feet) on July 7 by Hough, Ross Watne, Gibson; on July 9 by Dale and Julie Johnson, Fullop, Jacinto de Paz (porter) ; on July 11 by Bassett, Robert Strader, Young, Walton; on July 14 by Filsinger, Robert Tripp; on July 15 by Irvin, Turner. Two routes were made to the previously untrodden Copap plateau, a high snowfield of some ten square miles. Six peaks were climbed for the first time. On June 29 Copapamparaju (5430 m or 17,250 feet) was climbed by Filsinger, Hough and Turner. This spectacular peak stands at the head of the lower section of the Quebrada Honda, east of the pass. The name was ascertained from local people by John Filsinger. It was quite difficult, owing to a steep and exposed section near the top. They climbed the north ridge from a camp at snow line directly west of the summit. On the same day Roger Neave, Frances Chamberlin, Norman Bullard, Robert Downey, Lagace, Janet Johnson and Young climbed Chaco (5320 m or 17,454 feet), a peak easily accessible from Base Camp, lying north of Palcaraju and the Quebrada Pacliash. Peak 5566 (18,262 feet), on the south rim of the Copap plateau was ascended on July 3 by Hough and Turner. On July 5 Neave, Miss Chamberlin, Gibson, Roseanne Lagace and Turner climbed Copap (5300 m or 17,389 feet). Peak. 5520 (18,111 feet), immediately northwest of Tocllaraju was ascended on July 14 by Fullop, Turner and Watne. Peak 5276 (17,310 feet) at the northwest corner of the Copap plateau (proposed name: Pacarish) was climbed on July 15 by Neave, Miss Chamberlin, Petroske and Strader. Two fine peaks were attempted unsuccessfully: Nevado Perlilla, on the north rim of the Copap plateau and the more northerly of the two sharp peaks on the ridge running north from Chinchey. Both had unstable and dangerous snow conditions near the summits. After the main period at Base Camp, Huascarán was climbed by the regular route on July 22 by Bassett, Filsinger, Moore and Tripp and on July 24 by Irvin, Fullop, Turner and Watne. The climbing leaders were John Filsinger and Jonathan Hough, who also scouted the Base Camp site and helped with preparations, Dick Irvin and Dale Johnson, who also organized the equipment; the medical officer was Yvonne Johnson, M.D.; general coordinator was Harold Walton. Twenty of the party were residents of Colorado; the other 21 came from all over the United States and Canada. Full details appear in Trail and Timberline for December 1963.

Harold F. Walton

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