American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Pongos and Uruashraju Groups, Cordillera Blanca

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1965

Pongos and Uruashraju Groups, Cordillera Blanca. We first reconnoitered the Pongos group from the north and then from the south. Leaving the Catac-Chavín road at Lake Querococha and going up the Quebrada Cotush, we set up Base Camp at 13,600 feet at the head of the Quebrada Pamparaju. From there, by climbing to the head of the amphitheater, with two high camps on the glacier, Macario and Emilio Angeles and I made the first ascent of the lovely ice peak Pongos Norte (18,635 feet) on June 6. Because of its form and beauty, the natives call this peak Jatunllacsha (in Quechua: jatun=big'; llacsha=withered one). On the southern side, entering from the Quebrada Pachacoto, we set up Base Camp at 14,500 feet at the head of the Quebrada Raria, where we had reconnoitered the year before. On August 10, from a high camp at 16,750 feet, the Angeles brothers and I made the second ascent by a new route, the south face and northwest ridge of the Nevado Pongos (18,737 feet). (First ascent by Terray, deBooy and Egeler in 1952 by the north face and southwest ridge.) We reconnoitered the Uruashraju group, departing from the town of Olleros (c. 11,000 feet) by way of Canrey-Pampa and Arhueycancha to reach Lake Collotacocha (c. 13,350 feet). From there we reached Base Camp at the head of the Quebrada Pumahuacanca at 14,150 feet. On July 29, Macario Angeles, my 15-year old son, Carlos, and I made two camps and climbed a virgin summit (c. 17,585 feet), situated above a col which separates the quebradas Rurec and Pumahuacanca. We called this "Uruashraju Chico.” On July 30 Macario and I tried to follow the glacier and climb to the summit of Uruashraju (18,815 feet). We reached the south shoulder of the peak, some 300 feet below the summit in altitude and some 250 yards south from it in distance, but did not follow the ridge because of unstable cornices. The best route would seem to be the north ridge, from the Quebrada Rurec, tried in 1957 by J. Lasner and W. Dixon.

Domingos Giobbi, Club Alpino Paulista

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