American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Ishinca and Ranrapalca, Cordillera Blanca

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1966

Ishinca and Ranrapalca, Cordillera Blanca. In late April two friends from the University of British Columbia, Hamish Mutch and Gordon Dunham, turned up in Lima. Here was an opportunity to visit the range in the off-season. We decided on the Quebrada Ishinca since this had a high hut. Gordie and Hamish preceded me by several days, and by the time I had reached the hut on May 2, they had strolled up Ishinca (18,143 feet) the same day. We tried Ranrapalca in several days of fine weather. Although there was deep snow in places, once on the face we found good snow, but a lot of black ice in the final 300 feet. It took us two days to reach the summit (20,217 feet). The first night we returned to the hut. We quickly retraced our steps onto the face on May 7 after a day’s rest. The summit platform was covered with deep, crusty snow and it took all our energy to keep at it. The descent was in a snowstorm and we moved quickly to avoid the accumulation, which was reaching avalanche conditions in just two hours. Our route was similar to the one the Iowa party used later. The weather is not stable in May, but it was just as good as in late July and August of this year. The alpine flowers are in full glory at this time.

John Ricker, New Zealand Alpine Club

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.