American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Cordillera Blanca, Chinchey

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1973

Chinchey. Our group consisted of Dennis Hegyi, E. Gregory Lee, Neil E. Paton, Timothy J. Ryan, Anthony W. Thompson, Joseph M. Weiss and me. We were international since Paton is from New Zealand and I am from the Netherlands, although the rest are Americans. Base Camp was established on June 20 just north and about 500 feet above Tullparajucocha. A week later we had two camps on the glacier and several caches and fixed ropes on the steepest sections to the col between Pucaranra and Chinchey when bad weather forced us back. On June 30, during the bad weather around Chinchey, all but Lee and Hegyi climbed Jatunmontepuncu (17,897 feet). Our route lay mostly on the south face and up the west ridge, which we reached a few hundred feet below the summit. After a day of rest at Base Camp we returned to Chinchey. We reached the previous high point easily and Camp III was placed in the col. On July 5 Lee, Ryan, Weiss and I set out for Chinchey. The snow slope is gentle at first but steepens up to a large bergschrund which cuts across the entire west face. We first tried unsuccessfully to climb ice chutes south of it. The north ridge of Chinchey was also too steep and we lacked protection. We dug a snow cave inside the bergschrund for the night. The next morning we used pickets and aid to get over the 10-foot-high gap. Then 400 feet of steep but delightful climbing put us on the small col between the north and south summits. An easy rope-length let us reach the top (20,413 feet) at noon. Five 150-foot rappels and seven hours later we were back to the col camp at 18,500 feet.

Leo F.P. van Swam, M.I.T. Mountaineering Club

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