American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Cordillera Vilcanota, Colque Cruz Group, 1974

  • Climbs And Expeditions
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  • Publication Year: 1976

Colque Cruz Group, Cordillera Vilcanota, 1974. The British Commonwealth Andean Expedition consisted of Dr. Jeff Boyd, Howard Dengate and me, Australians; Mike Browne, Jim Jolly, Miss Jos Lang and Keith Woodford, New Zealanders; and Arthur Twomey, Canadian. With 19 horses hired from Mallma and Yanacancha, we moved to the head of the Quebrada Huiscachani de Yanacancha to establish Base Camp under the north face of Colque Cruz I at 15,750 feet. Weather and snow conditions were perfect during the whole stay. Colque Cruz had first been climbed by the Germans März, Steinmetz and Wellenkamp in 1953 from the south from the next valley parallel to ours, and again in 1965 by Japanese. Colque Cruz VI had been climbed by the Harvard Expedition in 1957. The other peaks appeared to have been virgin. No attempts had been made from our valley. During six weeks we made the following major ascents: Colque Cruz I2 (20,019 feet) via north face on June 4 to 6, 1974 by Twomey, Monteath, Woodford, Browne (a really fine, though relatively straightforward snow and ice route. We were caught out on the descent by wind and darkness at 19,000 feet and bivouacked until the moon came out before descending to Camp at 17,500 feet); Colque Cruz IV (19,521 feet) via north face by Woodford, Monteath and northeast ridge by Twomey, Jolly on June 15 and via a variation on the north face by Browne, Boyd on June 16; Colque Cruz VI (c. 19,685 feet) via northeast ridge by Woodford, Jolly, Boyd, Lang, Monteath on June 23 (We decided against the complete traverse of the Colque Cruz group because of dangerous cornices.); Colque Cruz III1 (19,521 feet) via a difficult ice route on the north face by Woodford, Jolly on June 27; Colque Cruz VI2 via difficult northeast face by Browne, Twomey on June 27; Colque Cruz III1 (19,685 feet) via north face by Lang, Boyd on June 26; Colque Cruz I2 via southeast ridge by Lang, Boyd on June 30 (200 feet from the summit on this new route, Miss Lang fell 60 feet into a hidden crevasse and spent two agonizing hours prusiking and climbing out). This ascent was the ninth new route on the Colque Cruz massif; three of them led to virgin summits. Other ascents included the following: Payachata or Cadarache2 (17,717 feet) via south ridge from Abra Yaucil by Browne, Monteath, Twomey, Woodford on May 29; Incaichuni1 (17,881 feet) via northwest face by Browne, Monteath, Twomey, Woodford on May 31 and via southeast ridge by Boyd, Jolly, Lang on June 11; Parioc1 (17,061 feet) via southwest face by Boyd, Lang on June 14 and via southwest-north traverse by Browne, Twomey on June 23; Kiru (18,767 feet) via northeast face by Jolly, Lang, Twomey, Woodford and via north ridge2 by Boyd, Monteath, both on June 17; and Incaichuni Oeste (17,225 feet) via west ridge by Monteath on May 28, by Jolly, Boyd on June 9, by Monteath, Lang, Betty Heslip on June 19 and by Pauline O’Connor on June 24. After a complete circle around the Vilcanota range, we moved into the Auzangate area and camped under its southwest wall. From here Browne and Twomey made on July 15 via the northeast ridge an ascent of Tacirani (17,553 feet), a fine rock and ice spire. In late July Jolly and the Australian Howard Bevan climbed the northeast ridge of Cayangate I (19,964 feet), apparently a new route.

Colin Monteath, New Zealand Alpine Club

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