American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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South America, Peru, Ocshapalca, Cordillera Blanca and Attempt on Yerupajá, Cordillera Huayhuash

  • Climbs And Expeditions
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  • Publication Year: 1966

Ocshapalca, Cordillera Blanca and Attempt on Yerupajá, Cordillera Huayhuash. From June to August, we of the Andean Expedition of the Alpine Friendship Club of Waseda University in Tokyo made our first climbs in the Cordilleras Blanca and Huayhuash. The party was composed of Hidehiko Ida, leader, Yoshihiro Kondo, Takeo Sato, Hiroshi Hayakawa, Akira Miyashita and our Peruvian porter Victorino Angeles. We left Huaraz on June 14 and arrived at our Base Camp, a hut about 16,400 feet high in the Quebrada Yanaraju. After a week of acclimatization, our first snow peak, the Nevado Ishinca (18,143 feet), was climbed on June 20 by Ida and Kondo, followed on the 24th by Sato, Hayakawa and Miyashita. Our next aim was Ranrapalca. We set up Camp I at 17,400 feet and Camp II in a snow hole at 18,700 feet. Taking a route on the snow face near the north ridge, Sato and Hayakawa reached the summit of Ranrapalca (20,216 feet) on July 3. After two days’ rest we moved camp with the goal of the yet unclimbed Ocshapalca (19,295 feet). (A German-American expedition in 1961 reached a point 15 feet below and less than a rope-length away. See A.A.J., 1962, 13:1, pp. 107-18. — Editor.) Traversing a glacier we established Camp I at about 17,000 feet at the foot of the north ridge and Camp II at 18,000 feet on a shoulder in a narrow snow site on the same ridge. At two places in a rock chimney below Camp II we found old, manila, fixed ropes, frozen and tattered, of the 1961 party. We replaced them with our new nylon ropes. From Camp II on, there was an uneasy knife-edged ridge with soft snow on one side and blue ice on the other and small ice pinnacles appearing at frequent intervals. We fixed there some 1500 feet of nylon ropes. At six a.m. of July 10, Sato and Miyashita left Camp II for the summit. At ten they reached the highest point of our fixed rope, placed the day before by Ida and Kondo. This point was 100 feet below the summit and about 325 feet from it. From here on Sato and Miyashita had a difficult struggle of three hours to climb the three rope-lengths to the summit. It was 12:40 P.M. The top was so steep and narrow that until the snow was chopped, there was not even room for one man to stand on the summit. After evacuation of our camps to the Quebrada Ishinca, Kondo, Hayakawa and Miyashita climbed Nevado Urus Este (18,012 feet). In the Cordillera Huayhuash, we were able to explore a new route on Yerupajâ (21,758 feet) to the south peak from the Carhuacocha (east) side. On July 30 Camp I was established on the glacier and on August 4 Camp II was placed near the col between Yerupajá and Siulá at 18,650 feet. However, on August 13 we gave up farther advance, after reaching a high point of about 19,700 feet on the south ridge.

Hidehiko Ida and Yoshihiro Kondo, Alpine Friendship Club, Waseda University

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