American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Cordillera Blanca, Alpamayo and Neighboring Peaks

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1976

Alpamayo and Neighboring Peaks. Mike Yokell, Matt Wells, Dan Manning, Steve Kentz, Carol Harden, Sue Giller, Jane Bunin and I established Base Camp at 15,000 feet at Pucacocha, northeast of Alpamayo. We made alpine-style ascents, using no fixed ropes or established camps. We were hampered by snow or rain almost half the days. Ascents were Alpamayo (19,510 feet) via the complete north ridge from the lowest point on the ridge between Alpamayo and Jancarurish by Yokell and me. (Climbing the lower part of the ridge added a day of technical climbing on a corniced ridge.); via the north ridge by Wells, Manning and Kentz, who joined Yokell and me at the col before the steep rise in the ridge, all continuing on to the north and lower summit on July 10. (On the descent we removed 1000 feet of unnecessary fixed rope, dead-men and pickets.); via the east ridge by Manning and me, a second ascent. (Using a 270-foot rope, we belayed 25 pitches along this mile-long, heavily corniced ridge and descended the north ridge. We were hampered by heavy snowfall every day during the four we spent on the climb, from July 15 to 18); Quitaraju west summit (c. 19,800 feet) by Wells, Kentz, Harden, Giller and Bunin on July 18 (Lack of time prevented climbing to the slightly higher east summit); Pucarashta (c. 18,200 feet) via the north side by Wells, Manning, Harden and Giller on July 23, a third ascent; Jancarurish (18,377 feet) via the southeast face by Wells, Kentz and me with Netherlander Frans Visser, a new route on this short, snow- and-ice face, just left of the east rock buttress on July 26; Tayampampa (18,618 feet) via the south ridge, approached by a prominent east buttress, on the next day by the same party. We spent our rest days around Base Camp flattening cans, burning trash and carrying out garbage. In addition we cleaned campsites and retrieved fixed rope high on Alpamayo. We hope future expeditions will have more respect for the area. It was clean when we left.

Bruce A. Carson

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