South America, Peru, Cordillera Blanca, San Juan, Copap Group, Chinchey

Publication Year: 1974.

San Juan, Copap Group, Chinchey. After leaving the Vilcabamba (see also that section), we reached Huaraz on July 11. Geoff Spear- point had taken Radcliffe’s place, joining David Bamford, John Gates, Tom Clarkson and me. Because conditions had been bad, we headed for the Llanganuco. On July 13 Gates and I climbed Yanapaccha Sur (16,880 feet). On July 16 we set up camp at 15,500 feet below San Juan in the Quebrada Quilcayhuanca. The following day Clarkson, Spearpoint, Gates and I climbed Nevado Minas, an easy 17,910-foot peak west of San Juan. At six A.M. on July 18 Clarkson, Bamford and I set off for San Juan (19,170 feet) via the west ridge. The climbing really started at 9:30 when we reached an 18,000-foot saddle. From there we had to belay most of the way to the summit. To avoid snow mushrooms on the ridge top we were forced to traverse steep slopes on the north.

Bamford was able to continue in the area after the rest of us had to return home. He describes his climbing above the Quebrada Honda: “Bob Rowlands, a fellow New Zealander, and I on August 1 enjoyed an easy climb, Chaco (17,454 feet), east of Tocllaraju. We spent two pleasant days on the Copap plateau after gaining access to it by the Yanatsilca Glacier. On August 3 we climbed P 5300 (17,389 feet) and on August 4 climbed P 5410 (17,750 feet; possibly a first ascent), Con- dormina Sur and Condormina Norte (18,262 and 18,212 feet), the latter two on the eastern edge of the Copap group. On August 9 we reached the top of Chinchey (20,414 feet) via the west ridge.”

Graham McCallum, New Zealand Alpine Club