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South America, Peru, Cordillera Blanca, Quebrada Quilcayhuanca and Huascarán

Quebrada Quilcayhuanca and Huascarán. The Iowa Mountaineers sponsored an expedition to the Quebrada Quilcayhuanca and Huascarán in July. Led by John Ebert with Dr. Harold Walton as assistant, 63 members participated. Base Camp was erected on July 7 in the Quebrada Tullparaju about two miles above where the Quilcahuanca forks. For a few days we explored the area and adjusted to the elevation. Thereafter high camps were erected within climbing distance of the summits. Deep snow, strong winds and rain limited the climbing for the first week, but then the conditions improved. The extremely large number of parties ascending the peaks makes it inadvisable to list all the names of the climbers. In summary the following ascents, none firsts except Atunmontepuncu Sur, were recorded: Choco (P 4965, 16,289 feet), west of Base Camp, was climbed by 15 parties of 51 persons; major leaders were Charles Armstrong, Paul Bloland, William Bennett, Barton DeWolf, John Ebert, Bill Hauser and Harold Goodro. P 4950 (16,240 feet), northwest of Base Camp, was ascended by a party of three, led by John Ebert. Atunmontepuncu Sur (17,192 feet) was climbed by 24 persons in five parties, led by Keith Newcomb, Armstrong, Walton, Goodro and James Moore. An attempt on Pucaranra (20,168 feet) was stopped at 18,000 feet by a huge crevasse. Chinchey (20,413 feet) was ascended up the wall and glacier to the Pucaranra-Chinchey col and then up the ridge to the summit on July 25 by Sven Olof Swartling, Roger Wiegand and Stephen Moore. Maparaju (P 5326, 17,474 feet), southwest of Base Camp, was ascended by 29 climbers in five groups, led by Swartling, Wiegand, Armstrong, William Isherwood, Joseph Braig, Goodro, Walton, Gene White and Stephen Andersen. (This peak is called Maparaju by shepherds on the eastern side of the range, but apparently has no name on the west. The New Zealanders, who made the first ascent in 1960 gave it the name of “Condor Peak” and a slightly lower altitude. — Editor.) Attempts on San Juan (19,170 feet) from the Maparaju-San Juan col failed because of deep snow and a jumble of crevasses and icefalls. Nevado Minas (17,912 feet) or San Juan Este was climbed on July 12 by Newcomb, Jack Sanders and Dave McClung. Twenty-six climbers left the Quilcayhuanca and headed for Huascarán. Base Camp was established at 14,000 feet and three high camps at 2000-foot intervals. Three groups of climbers headed for the summit at about three-day intervals. The following reached the summit: Mr. and Mrs. Gene White, Mark Bostwick, Ray Jardine, John Larson, Antonio Vargas, William Glinkman and William Isherwood on July 24; Warren Bleser, Marcelino Vargas, Joseph Braig, David McLung, Frank Knight, Hugh Clark, Robert Farley and Bill Haman on July 26; Stephen Andersen, William Feldman, Anthony Woodfield, Keith Newcomb, Harold Goodro, Dale Green and Jim Ebert on July 28. The number of climbers to reach the summit of Huascarán from one expedition is notable, but under the conditions that existed in July it was amazing.

S. John Ebert