American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Cordillera Blanca, Huandoy Sur, South Buttress

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1974

Huandoy Sur, South Buttress. The Salzburger Expedition had as its goal Huandoy Sur’s 4000-foot-high south buttress. (Climbed by Americans H. Abrons, T. Frost, H. and J. Kendall, I. and L. Ortenburger in 1964 and Argentines Fonrouge and Suárez in 1968, who started at the left foot of the buttress, and Japanese Sasaki, Nishiki, Noda and Nakejima in 1970, whose route the Austrians followed.—Editor.) From the right front of the buttress, the route led up a steep snowfield to a 650-foot, nearly overhanging rock step followed by a 400-foot almost perpendicular ice face with rock bands. This was surmounted by a snow gully, which despite its steepness was filled with powder snow and which in turn took us to a sharp ridge which led to the saddle above at 19,000 feet. Our group consisted of Joe Bachler, leader, Toni Sponer, Richard Franzl, Sepp Portenkirchner and me. We set up Base Camp at 12,625 feet between the lovely Llanganuco lakes on June 7. That same day Franzl and I reconnoitered the scree slope, fixed ropes for the porters on a rock band and found a site for Camp I at 15,750 feet. The porters demanded double pay after the first day’s carry and we fired them. We worked hard on the buttress for seven days, fixing 13,000 feet of rope on the rock section. Franzl and Portenkirchner were to start an attempt on June 15 while Sponer and I climbed an unnamed 5000-meter peak, just north of the Portachuelo de Llanganuco. However, they descended unsuccessful after a hard day. As Franzl was prusiking up a fixed rope, a huge granite block fell from 15 feet higher. Luckily he could swing a little to the side but got a head wound despite his hard hat. The next day, however, he joined Bachler and me as we set out for the saddle at two A.M. We got to the rock step in two hours but it was not until noon that we reached the powder-snow-filled gully. It was such hard work that I traversed left to the ridge, which was wearisome work clearing snow for belays. Finally I broke through a giant cornice just below the saddle. We set up our bivouac tent as the red ball of the sun sank. On June 17 the climb up the not too steep ridge to the 20,210-foot summit was glorious but exhausting.

Albert Precht, Österreichischer Alpenverein

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