American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Cordillera Huayhuash, Yerupajá, West Face, Yerupajá Chico, North Face, Yerupajá Sur, West Face, Rasac, East Face

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

Yerupajá, West Face; Yerupajá Chico, North Face; Yerupajá Sur, West Face; Rasac, East Face. Our expedition was composed of Eric Decamp, Bernard Due, Roger Pagny, Alex Smetanine and me as leader. We did all climbs alpine-style without fixed ropes. We had only one high camp, at 17,725 feet. Because we were well acclimatized, we could carry out these climbs in this way, depending above all on speed. On June 30 Decamp and I climbed the east face of Rasac. On July 13 we two made the second ascent of the west face direct of Yerupajá. We left our High Camp on the glacier at the foot of Yerupajá at two A.M. and got to the bergschrund at four A.M. There we used material we had placed on a reconnaissance to climb the 35-to-50-foot vertical and overhanging wall. Then we climbed 50° to 55° snow and ice to 20,675 feet, where, at noon, the real difficulties began. For 350 feet we climbed several little ridges of often unstable snow. A 100-foot traverse to the right let us gain an ice couloir which led to the summit at from 65° to 70°. In places the ice was very thin and scarcely covered the rock. We reached the summit at seven P.M., at dusk. We descended in the night, rappelling 250 feet each time from snow pickets, ice screws or bollards. We were back at High Camp at six A.M. Decamp and I made the first ascent of the north face of Yerupajá Chico on July 26. We bivouacked on the Toro col at 17,725 feet and left at 5:30 A.M. We were at the bergschrund a half hour later. We climbed the icefall on the north face, keeping to the right of the face, a climb of some 2300 feet. It was all ice and we had several lengths of very steep ice (70° to 75°) and others that were nearly vertical. Though shorter than the Yerupajâ route, it was technically much more difficult. We reached the summit at two P.M. in bad weather. We descended the same route en rappel. Pagny, Smetanine and I climbed the direct west face of Yerupajá Sur on August 1 and 2. We climbed to the left of the slopes of the west face of the summit, which would seem easier than the ones followed by other parties. We found 50° snow slopes and under the cornices some lengths of 60° ice. We descended the same route on August 3.

Bernard Muller, Club Alpin Français

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.