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South America, Peru, Climbing in the Cordillera Blanca

Climbing in the Cordillera Blanca. Netherlanders M.A. Bonhomme, M.A. Briet, K.E.J. Dijk, P. Dekker, R. Staaftjes, J.K. Richert, H. Tollenaar and A.C.A. van Helbergen climbed the south (higher) summit of Alpamayo by the north ridge and over the north summit in early June. Mexican, German and French parties failed in their attempts on Alpamayo. In the southern part of the range, on August 20 New Zealanders John Atkinson and John Black climbed the east face of Pucaraju by its southern rib, mostly on rock. The final climb took six hours. A Spanish expedition led by Jordi Pons reached about 19,100 feet on Chopicalqui's southwest ridge before being turned back by bad weather. An attempt by a different Spanish expedition, led by Juan Hugas, to climb Pucahirca Central by the 1961 Italian route up the southeast ridge failed 150 feet from the summit, where a bergschrund halted progress. Michael Cohen, USA and Tony Parlane, New Zealand, climbed Pucaranra via the west face from the Quebrada Cojup on July 4. An Italian expedition failed on the north face of the same peak. Robert Boyd, Brock Wagstaff, Karl Gerdes and Paul Tamm, USA, climbed Chinchey by its west face on June 26. There were numerous ascents of Pisco, especially by European trekking tours. The Base Camp area there has become a disgraceful mess! Various ascents were also made of Copa, whose southern summit is 6188 meters or 20,303 feet high; this peak is gaining attention by climbers whose one ambition is to “get high.” Unfortunately, like Huascarán, it is mistakenly considered a “walk-up” and far too many ill-prepared climbers are attempting it. Yanapaccha Norte was climbed by members of the Club Andinista Cordillera Blanca: Gloria Cáceres, Alcides Ames, Curry Slaymaker, Dan Langmade, David Ciochetti, Joachim Packa, Pat Weidman and me.

Michael J. Rourke, Parque Nacional Huascarán