American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Ausangate, Jatunhuma, and Other Peaks, Cordillera Vilcanota

  • Climbs And Expeditions
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  • Publication Year: 1967

Ausangate, Jatunhuma, and other peaks, Cordillera Vilcanota. Our expedition was composed of seven members of the Academic Alpine Club Munich: Arnulf Rother, leader, Gundolf Engelmann, Uwe Kerner, Hans Albert Mayer, Michael Schneider, Dr. Karl Winkler and me. We finally arrived at Ocongate and the Hacienda Ccapana and continued on for two days to get to Base Camp on June 11 at 15,750 feet beside the moraine of a glacier that descends to the northwest from Campa I. On June 16 we made the first ascent of Tinki (17,881 feet), which lies just east of Caracol, and on skis the fifth of Campa I (17,995 feet). The next day we climbed a 17,290-foot peak north of Tinki. On the 18th the first ascent was made of Concha de Caracol (18,471 feet), between Caracol and Pachanta. We traversed Tinki, Caracol (18,436 feet) and Concha de Caracol on the 19th, all second ascents. On June 21 P5290 (17,356 feet), just north of Ausangate, fell to us. We made the second ascent of Campa II (18,409 feet) on the 22nd by the north couloir. Meanwhile a reconnaissance had been made to the east across the 16,500-foot pass and between the Jatunhuma and Cayungate groups. On the 23rd we climbed the high summit (19,718 feet) on the ridge between Cayungate and Ccapana, which we called Chimbaya. The chief difficulties lay in the nieves penetentes below the corniced west ridge and on a 200-foot powder-snow stretch on the steep ridge itself. We repeated this climb on the 26th, the same day making the second ascent of Mariposa ( 19,089 feet) by a new route, the north ridge. P 5230 (17,159 feet), northeast of Kakukiru, was climbed on the 27th and the second ascent of Ausangate Chico or Huayna Ausangate (18,701 feet). Three-peaked Jatunhuma was our next goal. Only the main summit (20,150 feet) had been climbed before by the Germans in 1957. We undertook to traverse it from south to north over the unclimbed south (19,948 feet) and middle (20,046 feet) peaks. We were climbing well on June 28 and finding it somewhat easier than we had expected, completed the traverse in one day. The knife-edged ice ridge to the main summit has no equal in the Alps. The traverse was repeated two days later. On the 29th we made the second ascent of Ccapana on skis.

We now felt sufficiently acclimatized and strong enough to attack the north face of once climbed Ausangate (20,788 feet). We placed a camp at 16,700 feet on the northwest ridge on July 2 but underestimated the difficulties and made less than 1000 feet on the first attempt. We divided, three reconnoitering the easier route from the south. The latter made two camps and completed the ascent on July 11, partially on skis. The north face party also divided, two attacking the difficult northwest ridge and the other two the north ice face. Difficult, rotten rock and steep ice forced both groups to bivouac at about 19,350 feet before they reached the summit on July 12. Other ascents included P 5450 (17,881 feet) east of Mariposa on July 7 and in the Pacco-Quello groups west of Sibinacocha (lake) two P 5550s (both 18,209 feet) on July 4 and P 5560 (18,242 feet), P 5600 (18,373 feet) and P 5520 (18,111 feet) on July 17. On August 11 we climbed Huayna Potosí (19,996 feet) in Bolivia.

Herbert Oberhofer, Akademische Alpenverein München

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