American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Cordillera Blanca, Ranrapalca, Northeast Ridge Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1978

Ranrapalca, Northeast Ridge Attempt. Our team was almost the same as in 1973: Mile. Renée Turc, Gerard Maillard, Dr. Christian Hurbin and I. This July we got to a point about 425 feet below the north summit of Ranrapalca (19,948 feet). Our high camp was at the usual place, on the northeast ridge at about 18,000 feet at the foot of the first really steep face. It was with great difficulty that we found our way through the lower sérac barrier, which required placing four pickets and two étriers. We had to climb a 200-foot ice chimney in the heaped-up séracs. Above it was less broken, but we still had to cross two other séracs. There was little snow to there, less than in August 1973. On the other hand, the final part was terribly dangerous because of the instability of the snow, abundant and unconsolidated. Snow pickets offered no protection. We descended en rappel and found that all our fixed ropes had been melted out by the heat of the sun. We left Ranrapalca, knowing its defenses better.

Jacques Coffin, Club Alpin Français

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