American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Other Ranges, Cordillera Vilcabamba

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1970

Cordillera Vilcabamba. The first Australian expedition to the Andes climbed in the southern section of the Pumasillo group. The party of nine, Jack Higgs, Richard Bennett, Dot Butler, Mike Feller, Keith McNaughton, John Gamblen, John Retchford, Dr. John Sutton and I as leader, arrived in Lima in May. We travelled overland to Cuzco and then to Santa Teresa. With 35 mules we went 20 miles up the Santa Teresa valley and over the Yanama Pass to Base Camp I, which was occupied on June 21 about 1000 feet below the pass on the western side. On July 17, we moved Base Camp two miles closer to Lasunayoc. We climbed 19 peaks of which 13 were first ascents. A mapping project was carried out as well as a medical research program in conjunction with the Garvin Institute of Medical Research at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney. In this study of exercise physiology, various biochemical and hormonal changes were studied during acclimatization and exercise at altitude. The following ascents were made beginning with Quishuar at the south and east. (* indicates local names not yet officially approved. Altitudes are from our survey, calculated from the assumption that Pumasillo is 19,660 feet.) Quishuar (19,154 feet; first ascent by Japanese, 1965) on July 13 by Sutton, Gamlen, McNaughton, Wyborn; unnamed peak between Quishuar and Yanaccacca group (18,766 feet) on July 11 by Sutton, Gamlen, McNaughton, Wyborn; Yanaccacca* (18,702 feet; only the highest of the three peaks on the divide south of the Yanama Pass was climbed, the north and south summits remaining unclimbed) on July 7 by Retchford, Higgs, Feller, Wyborn via northeast face; Quellucocha* (18,360 feet; first climbed by New Zealanders, 1962, who called it Puerto de Yanama, a misleading name since it refers to the pass) on June 28 by Gamlen and McNaughton via northwest face; Asolccocha* (17,794 feet; first and easternmost of Yanama range) on June 26 by Butler, Bennett, Retchford, Feller, McNaughton, Gamblen, and on June 28 by Sutton, Wyborn; Nengroyoc* (higher south peak: 18,090 feet) south peak on July 6 by Sutton, Gamlen, Bennett, McNaughton via east ridge, and north peak on July 18 by Higgs, Feller via north spur; Ccelloccocha (18,177 feet; third and highest of Yanama range) on July 7 by Sutton, Gamlen, Bennett, McNaughton via north ridge; Yanacocha (17,838 feet; fourth of Yanama range) on July 13 by Retchford, Higgs via north face; unnamed peak west of Yanacocha (last peak of Yanama range) on August 6 by Sutton, McNaughton, via north rib and glacier; unnamed peak two miles north of Yanama Pass (16,930 feet; first ascent by New Zealanders, 1962) on June 24 by Butler, McNaughton, on June 26 by Higgs, Sutton, Wyborn, and on June 28 by Retchford, Feller, Bennett. In the eastern part of the Lasunayoc group the unnamed peak southeast of Lasunayoc col (18,144 feet; first ascent by Americans, 1956) was climbed on July 23 by Higgs, McNaughton, Sutton, Gamlen, on August 11 by Butler, Bennett, and on August 13 by Bennett, F. Kerr, Feller, Wyborn; Ttiyuyoc (17,660 feet; two miles northeast of Lasunayoc col; first climbed by Americans, 1956) on August 8 by Retchford, Wyborn; unnamed flat-topped snow peak northeast of Ttiyuyoc on August 7 by Retchford, Wyborn. In the chain running south from Lasunayoc the unnamed first peak to the south was climbed on August 4 by Retchford, Wyborn; the two next peaks south, immediately northeast of Tayancayoc*, both on August 1 by Mc-Naughton, Bennett, Retchford, Wyborn; Tayancayoc* on July 26 by Higgs, Gamlen. Lasunayoc (19,559 feet; first ascent by Americans, 1956) was the highest peak climbed by the expedition. The third ascent was completed by a new route on the northeast ridge and east face. We made two high camps, the first about 400 feet below Lasunayoc col and the second on the northeast ridge about 1200 feet below the summit. The top was reached on July 27 by Retchford and Wyborn, on July 28 by Feller, Bennett, Retchford and Wyborn and on August 10 by Sutton, Mc-Naughton and F. Kerr. (Miss Faye Kerr joined us from the British-Australian Expedition.)

Ross Wyborn, Australian Andean Expedition

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