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South America, Peru—Cordillera Blanca, Chacraraju Este, South Face, Alpamayo, West Face and Other Peaks

Chacraraju Este, South Face, Alpamayo, West Face and Other Peaks. After two attempts, both of which were thwarted by bad weather, Steve Brewer and I made a new route on the south face of Chacraraju Este. Our route ascended in a more or less direct line to a point some 300 feet to the west of the summit and so was well to the right of the Japanese route of 1976. The weather was very bad. We climbed up the glacier and halfway up the face to a bergschrund on the first day. We had to camp in the schrund for two days before the weather improved sufficiently to let us climb the rest of the face to the crest of the west ridge. We hacked a spot for our tent out of the ridge top and then were trapped there for another three days in another storm, running out of food and fuel. On the final day, late in August, it took us one-and-a-half hours to traverse the ridge to the summit. We descended the same day. Just a week before we completed the climb, a Spanish party made the second ascent of Bouchard’s route up the south face of Chacraraju Oeste in two-and-a- half days. Earlier I had done the southwest face of Alpamayo with Robert Blatherwick, probably the third ascent of this lovely route first climbed by the Italians in 1975. I also did solo Artesonraju by its north ridge in four-and-a-half hours and climbed Chopicalqui by its southwest ridge with a German, Reinhard Zimmermann.

Mark Richey