South America, Peru, Cordilleras Vilcabamba and Urubamba, Terijuay, Plateriyayoq and Palanganayoq Groups, Cordillera Urubamba

Publication Year: 1971.

Terijuay, Plateriyayoq and Palanganayoq Groups, Cordillera Urubamba. The following made up our party: Bob Gunn, John Wild, Cathie Harding, Bruce Webb, Pat Webb and I, all from New Zealand and John Petheram from Rhodesia. We visited the most northerly extension of the Cordillera Urubamba. The Terijuay had been visited by an Italian party in 1963. (See A.A.J., 1964, 14:1, pp. 217-8 and Revista Mensile, 1964, p. 413.) A party from the Normal College of Bangor, Wales had climbed in the Plateriyayoq in 1968. (See A.A.J., 1969, 16:2, pp 440-1.) Both these groups climbed from the quebradas to the south. The northern approaches remained untouched. The earthquake delayed the arrival of some of our party. While waiting, the Webbs, Wild and I made an extensive reconnaissance of the system from Amparaes in the east to the jungle areas of Ocobamba in the west and a further short reconnaissance confirmed the feasibility of climbing the peaks from the quebradas to the north. The whole party went in on July 8 and followed a good mule track to the Quebrada Pampaminas through the villages of Choquecancha and Cachin. Base Camp was established in the quebrada at 12,400 feet on July 10. Heavy snow fell in this period and affected climbing conditions for a considerable time. After this the weather was generally good although mist rising from the jungle in the late morning was common on most days. Using high camps in the Quebrada Pampaminas and the neighboring Quebrada Plateriyayoq, we made the following ascents: Terijuay Group: Gatuyoq* (17,400 feet) by west ridge and south face and Q’enti West Peak (16,600 feet) by west ridge (second ascent; first ascent by Welsh in 1968); both by Gunn, Wild, Petheram, Nankervis on July 14; Iskay Chiptana Lower (East) Peak* (15,500 feet)by east ridge by B. Webb, Harding, Nankervis on July 15 (high peak climbed by Welsh, 1968); Plateriyayoq Group: Paykunapac Killya (16,000 feet) via east ridge from Quebrada Ñusta by Nankervis on June 21 (second ascent; first by Welsh, 1968) and via north face by Gunn, Wild on July 15 (new route); Pukara* (16,300 feet) by north face and east ridge by Gunn, Nankervis on August 1; K’uchupicchu* (16,000 feet) by east ridge by Nankervis on August 2; Palanganayoq Group: Q’em* (16,000 feet) by east face by Gunn, Petheram, Harding on July 23; Tana Yana Ñañakuna* (16,200 feet) by north ridge by Petheram, Nankervis on July 19; Yuraq Turan* (16,200 feet) by west ridge by B. Webb, P. Webb, Petheram on July 22; Yunka Waqaychaq* (16,600 feet) by south face and east ridge by Nankervis, Harding on July 25; and Palaganayoq* (16,800 feet) via east face to south peak and traverse to higher north peak by Gunn, Wild, Nankervis on July 21. The proximity of these groups to the Amazon gives them considerable glaciation despite their comparatively low height. Nevertheless a number of the climbs were on, at times glorious, granite. Part of the team made an exit to Ollantaytambo through the Quebrandas Tambillo and Dalganga while the rest returned through Cachin.

John M. Nankervis, New Zealand Alpine Club

*Indicates first ascent. Spellings differ from those used by previous expeditions but approximate better local pronunciations.