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South America, Peru, Cordillera Vilcanota, Chicllarazo, Cordillera de la Apacheta, and Other Climbs

Chicllarazo, Cordillera de la Apacheta, and other climbs. Chuquichanca (Cordillera Vilcanota) revisited. The Apacheta is the first high pass (15,436 feet, 4705 meters) on the Via de los Libertadores from Ayacucho to the coast, not far from Lircay’s celebrated Tambrayco. I had been lured to the place by Clements Markham’s narrative but felt that the charm has gone with the opening of the new road. I climbed Chicllarazo (16,925 feet, 5167 meters) from here on June 17 via Patahuasi and its west ridge. This is the gray glacier-hung peak seen east from the pass which on modern maps has unnecessarily been called “Nevado Portuguesa.” It serves as a first order triangulation point and affords a view of the eastern Andes ranging from Huaytapallana to Salcantay, and of the mysterious obelisk of El Tambrayco, just 18 miles northwest. Late on June 22 I left Hacienda San José down the Pariahuanca for Panti where suspicious locals stopped me in the dark. Hours later I managed to escape uphill to Pucacocha and along the irrigation ditch northward into Quebrada Taulibamba and a dense ceja vegetation. The inner valley turns west and leads up to Illaycocha. At nine A.M. I was just in time to see the green lake before fog closed in. An icefall descends all along the south ridge of Illayrazo to its end in the lake. The lower part of the ridge is an amazingly well carved knife-edge, called Laso Tumi—glacier’s knife—on Hacienda maps. I spent a night on Cerro Illaycocha (south of the lake, P 4690), quickly climbed Jatun Suni (16,010 feet, 4880 meters) and traversed into Jallalampa in almost constant fog and clouds. Jatun Suni refers to the flat-topped and southernmost glacier peak of the Huaytapallana Karu range, south-southwest of Illayrazo. A two-day excursion from Pucará, northwest of the Huarón mine, led me to the Chuchon entrance of Cordillera Callejón and up the Yuracyacu trail to a bivouac near Janchaycocha, Quebrada Ushpas, on June 27. At dawn I climbed Chururuyo (17,756 feet; P 5412 of the Miller survey) by its north side and east ridge. Locals rather seem to pronounce it Churuyoc. It provides a splendid view of all the lakes of the high puna, particularly in the morning, and of the distant Nevado Ulcumayo due east. On July 4 I passed the Cordillera Huaritanga from Huancayo to Huari, Chiquiac Pampa and the lake Yanacocha and climbed Cerro Asapara (15,879 feet, 4840 meters) the next day with excellent weather, then out to Añas and Trancapampa. A west-to-east traverse of the Acuyac ridge (16,404 feet, 5000 meters) offered a panorama of the lovely Laguna Pomacanchi (6 miles south) and the remote snow-peaks of Chumbivilcas and Coropuna. There is no water on Acuyac, the highest source found near Maychani (July 16). In the Marcapata valley, I made my way into the Chuquichanca granite area from San Isidro (see map in A.A.J., 1971, p. 418) and climbed Nevado de Comercocha (3 miles north of Yungate, c. 15,584 feet, 4750 meters); Yungate (c. 16,076 feet, 4900 meters), and Ananta (halfway between Nevado de Comercocha and Kiruyoj, c. 15,748 feet, 4800 meters) on July 26 and 28 respectively. On Yungate the route was up the northwest gully and the south ridge to the north (main) summit and down the west side.

Olaf Hartmann, Göttingen University