American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Swiss Expedition from Bern to the Cordilleras Raura and Huayhuash

  • Climbs And Expeditions
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  • Publication Year: 1966

Swiss Expedition from Bern to the Cordilleras Raura and Huayhuash. Our expedition climbed for eight weeks. We were Ernst Schmied, Dr. René Gürtler, Felix Marx, Erhard Wyniger, Theo and Urs Marti, Christoph Feitknecht, Paul Roth and myself as leader. We were accompanied by the Peruvian porters Nemecio Espinoza, Donado Alzamora, and Pedro Baltasar. On May 26 Roth and T. Marti climbed Raura (16,240 feet), a minor peak above the Raura mine. The next day Marx, Gürtler and I made what is probably the second ascents of the westernmost two peaks (16,568 and 16,733 feet) of the Siete Caballeros, traversing from west to east. That same day Schmied, Feitknecht, U. Marti Wyniger and Roth made the second ascent of Patrón Gaico Sur (17,061 feet) by its rocky southwest ridge. On the 28th Marx, Gürtler, Roth, U. Marti and I made the probable third ascent of Condorsenca (17,454 feet). From the top of the pass on the Raura-mine road we climbed over hummocks and then up a steep snow couloir to the saddle. Moderate rock led to the poorly defined south ridge, which we followed over snowy slabs to the summit. We then moved in two groups to the Cordillera Huayhuash. The "high-road” group went by Laguna Surasaca, Pucaranra, over a 15,789-foot pass, Laguna Viconga, Cuvocpunta (pass, 16,350 feet), Huancacupatai valley, Hacienda Aqui- marca, Tapush Pass (15,750 feet), Pampa Incahuain to Jahuacocha, where Base Camp was set up at 13,450 feet. The second group with the baggage went from Chiquián with pack animals up the Yamac valley and over a nameless pass of 15,750 feet between Cerro México and the Minapata chain to Base Camp. Camp I was on the moraine of the Yerupajá Glacier at 15,750 feet and Camp II in the western cirque below Yerupajá and Rasac at 17,700 feet. On June 3 T. Marti alone made the third ascent of Rasac Norte (17,215 feet), climbing from Base past Rasaccocha and up a scree-filled valley and easy rocks to the top. This was repeated on the 17th by Roth and U. Marti. On June 5 Gürtler and Roth made the third ascent of Tsacra Chico Norte (18,088 feet), climbing from Rasac Lake to the western edge of the glacier and thence up rotten rock to a steep snow summit ridge. Marx and I made the fourth ascent of Cerro México (16,611 feet) on June 10 up the strongly weathered, rocky northwest ridge. This was repeated on June 20 by Roth and U. Marti. On June 15 Marx and Wyniger made the third ascent of Rasac (19,817 feet) from the western cirque of the Yerupajá Glacier and up the rock and snow east side. Schmied, Feitknecht and T. Marti repeated the climb on the 17th and Roth and U. Marti on the 18th. Two easy summits, Jahua Norte (16,185 feet) and Jahua Este (16,623 feet), southwest of Rasaccocha were climbed on June 21 by Marx, Gürtler and me. Our highest summit was Yerupajá Sur (21,375 feet), which was first climbed by the Argentines in 1958. Ours was a new route. All difficult parts were secured with fixed ropes, about 1350 feet in all. From Camp II the route led over the west face to the south ridge, which had already been prepared. On June 21 T. Marti and Wyniger climbed to within 500 feet of the south summit and bivouacked there. On the 22nd Schmied and Feitknecht left Camp II and together all four reached the summit at nine A.M. It was impossible to continue on to the main summit because of cornices. They descended that same day to Base Camp.

Willy Uttendoppler, Swiss Alpine Club

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