American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Yanacaico or Mitopunta, Southern Cordillera Huayhuash

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

Yanacaico or Mitopunta, Southern Cordillera Huayhuash. On June 20 David Isles, Harry Eldridge, Elliott Fisher, Nan Cochran, Charles (Chip) Morgan, Hall Hutchison and I headed over the small pass north of Cajatambo and dropped into the Pumarinri valley, which we ascended towards the east until we were below the Quebrada Yanacaico. We then climbed steeply to the north into that valley to place Base Camp at 14,500 feet at the edge of vegetation. Camp I was established on June 24 at the upper end of the valley at 16,000 feet above two lovely glacial lakes on the left lateral moraine. The next day all except for Nan Cochran climbed a couloir above camp to the col between what the local shepherds call Yanacaico (but which appears on the Instituto Geográfico Militar Yanahuanca map as “Mitopunta”) and Yanacaico Norte (c. 18,000 feet). We climbed to the summit of Yanacaico Norte, only the last rope-length being really steep. Fisher, Nan Cochran and I made the second ascent two days later. Most of the party continued on north along the western side of the ridge, hoping to climb the next peak to the north, P 5572, but a blank wall of perpendicular, smooth rock interrupted progress. On June 29, all but Nan and I again climbed the couloir and headed south along the ridge of Yanacaico (18,278 feet). They passed two false summits, climbed steep and corniced sections and finally reached the summit, a huge cornice which hung out to the west. We traveled for four days along the whole eastern flank of the Cordillera Huayhuash to emerge at Chiquián in our return to civilization.

H. Adams Carter

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