American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru—Cordilleras Huayhuash and Raura, Sarapo, Direct East Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1975

Sarapo, Direct East Face. Alfred Sperlich, Dr. Oskar Tutzer and I reached Base Camp at 13,625 feet at Carhuacocha on July 22. The weather had been bad for two months but improved two days after our arrival. We attempted the north ridge of Jirishanca Chico on July 25. Huge, unstable cornices had built up in the recent snowstorms and caused unreasonable risks; we quit some 150 feet from the summit. Our next goal was Sarapo. We pitched Camp I above a 1250-foot rock step on the true left side of the Sarapo Glacier at 15,425 feet. Very steep small glaciers enter this side of the glacier and prevent progress. The other side is badly cut up but we decided regardless to cross low down and ascend beneath the slopes of Carnicero, despite the threatening séracs. We often had to descend deep into crevasses or keep on the rocks of Carnicero. We got through this dangerous section in 12 hours to set up Camp II in a glacial basin at 17,550 feet at the foot of the east face of Sarapo. On August 2 we climbed the wall directly to the summit, keeping far right of the first ascent route. Only the surface ice was hard; underneath lay loose snow. We belayed with 2-foot aluminum pickets. The ice was porous. The face averaged from 70° to 75° and was all ice and snow except for a low rock band. We reached the summit (20,155 feet) at two P.M. after ten hours of climbing. We descended the same route, rappelling.

Wilhelm Studener, Österreichischer Alpenverein

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