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South America, Peru—Cordilleras Huayhuash and Raura, Puscanturpa Norte Attempt and Ascent of Puscanturpa Sur, Southwest Ridge

Puscanturpa Norte Attempt and Ascent of Puscanturpa Sur, Southwest Ridge. Ambrogio Casartelli, Ambrogio Veronelli, Carlo Biancadini and I attempted the southwest face of Puscanturpa Norte (18,546 feet) from July 26 to August 1. From Base Camp at 15,250 feet we climbed to a small snow slope which we traversed to the left another 150 feet to the center of the enormous buttress. We climbed this, some of it somewhat rotten rock, some very good rock, fixing rope and climbing at times with direct aid. Our high point was 17,450 feet, still 1000 feet from the summit. The reason we had to give up was for two principal causes. The contracted porters did not turn up, having gone with another expedition; we were forced to do hard transport work. Our doctor, Felice Boselli, fell sick and had to descend to the hospital in Lima. We then turned to Puscanturpa Sur (18,209 feet); we made the first ascent of the southwest ridge from August 2 to 4. From Base Camp we crossed the Cuyoc pass (16,400 feet) and descended to a little lake (15,400 feet). We climbed a prominent rock ridge to snow. It was possible to turn around several rock bands on rather steep snow. Séracs and huge, deep crevasses added problems. We followed the ridge crest to a plateau, above which we climbed the 50° to 55° snow, crossed a dangerous crevasse and ascended the ridge to the broad summit.

Graziano Bianchi, Club Alpino Italiano