American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru—Cordillera Blanca, Taulliraju, Abasraju, Santa Cruz, Huandoy Oeste, Chacraraju, Este, Solo

  • Climbs And Expeditions
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  • Publication Year: 1979

Taulliraju, Abasraju, Santa Cruz, Huandoy Oeste, Chacraraju Este, Solo. After an acclimatization climb of Pisco with François Lafaye in late May, I made five solo ascents. From the Quebrada Santa Cruz on June 9 in eight hours I made the fourth ascent of Taulliraju (19,128 feet) by a partially new route, the south face and south-southeast ridge. Halfway up the ridge, I joined the route done by the Chamonix guides at the end of May. This splendid, direct, mixed route rises some 2000 feet from the bergschrund to the summit. There were severe difficulties in the bottom half where it was difficult to find protection on narrow tongues of snow and immense ice-coated, smooth slabs. I descended the same route. Abasraju (18,209 feet) had beaten off all attempts because of its complex ridges and steep faces. On June 13 in six-and-a-half hours I made the first ascent by the direct east face, which was first mixed and then snow, a rise of 2300 feet with rather serious objective dangers. I descended the not too steep, but very broken south ridge to a snowy col at 17,500 feet, where I bivouacked; I descended the south face the next day. It was difficult to find the route on the descent. After a third bivouac at the foot of the southeast face of Santa Cruz at 17,400 feet, I climbed a new route on Santa Cruz (20,537 feet), the direct southeast face, in six hours on June 15. The peak is a massive, elegant, regular pyramid. My ice route had some 3000 feet of rise. The access to the foot of the face was rather complicated. I descended the Swiss route of 1948. The conditions were much worse than during my ascent of last year. These two climbs were part of a single five-day push. On June 29 I climbed the southwest face of Huandoy Oeste (20,853 feet) in seven-and-a-half hours. The climb was mixed but predominantly ice. From the bergschrund it rises 3000 feet to the summit. The technical difficulties are great in the mixed climbing in the lower half and on the ice cliff near the top. The access was delicate and the objective danger considerable. I descended the normal route. My last solo climb, done on July 5 in six hours, was the third ascent of Chacraraju Este (19,686 feet) by a new route, the direct south face. My route was to the right of the Chamonix guides’ route and did reach the actual summit, which theirs did not. The technical difficulties on the upper half were severe. It was 2150 feet from the bergschrund to the top. I descended the same route, rappelling down the upper part.

Nicolas Jaeger, Groupe de Haute Montagne

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