American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Purísima and Attempt of Peaks of Chinchey Group, Cordillera Blanca and Ango, in Next Range to the East

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1969

Purísima and Attempt on Peaks of Chinchey Group, Cordillera Blanca, and Ango, in Next Range to the East. Our small group, consisting of Richard Goody, leader, Donald Morton, David Redmond, my wife Ann and me, headed from Huántar up the Ruri Chinchey on the eastern side of the Cordillera Blanca. Base Camp was in a hanging valley on a lovely turquoise lake, Yuraccocha, 1500 feet up the south side of the quebrada, at the foot of the peaks of the Chinchey group. The local shepherds refer to the twin peaks in front of Chinchey as Puntancuerno the higher peak appears on Dr. Kinzl’s map as P 5959 (19,551 feet). After a reconnaissance from the summit of P 4960 (16,273 feet), we decided on a route near the eastern skyline as seen from the lake. Camp I was at 16,400 feet near snowline, Camp II at 17,400 feet and Camp III at 18,500 feet on the glacier. Attempts on the summits failed. Meanwhile, I had abandoned the other three climbers, bothered by the aftermath of a serious leg infection. Porters Glicerio and Eustaquio Henostroza and Rómulo Aranda and I pitched camp at 16,400 feet above the northern edge of the Ruri Chinchey and made on June 30 the first ascent of Purísima (the local shepherds’ name), the eastern outlier of the Copap group, which appears on Dr. Kinzl’s map as P 5177 but was closer to 5300 meters or 17,400 feet by our observations. We crossed from the east along a shelf on the northern side to ascend steep ice and rock to its sharp summit. A snowy tooth across the Mosna valley to the east in the next range parallel to the Cordillera Blanca, had kept attracting us. We descended to Pomachaca and ascended through Castillo and Huachis along the old Inca north-south road to camp at 14,500 feet at it seastern foot. Being the first outsiders into the region, we attracted considerable attention and not a little terror, which was added to by our waggish donkey driver. We later found out that when asked about the contents of the duffel bags, he had replied, "Human heads!" "But what are the gringos coming here to do?” "They are looking for young girls to start a baby farm," he stated. Notwithstanding, the natives gave us a warm reception. The ascent of Ango (16,811 feet) was easily made up its eastern rock ridge, which ended with a few rope-lengths of snow, by us four gringos and Glicerio Henostroza on July 10.

H. Adams Carter

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