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South America, Peru—Cordillera Huayhuash, Siulá, East Face

Siulá, East Face. Our team consisted of Dr. Kurt Schoisswohl, Mario Blumenthaler, Michl Grüner and me. Our objective was a direct ascent of the east face of Siulá Grande. (Apparently this was different from the Catalonian route of 1963.—Editor.) Five days after our departure from Zurich on July 18, we reached Base Camp on Laguna Carhuacocha. Three days later we pitched camp just below the col between Siulá and Yerupajá at about 18,200 feet. We waited until August 2 for reliable weather and on August 3 dropped 650 feet to start the east face. Above the bergschrund we climbed three pitches in steep névé and then continued on the summit fall-line for 12 pitches on solid limestone, where we were threatened by frequent rockfall. We then did seven pitches on the adjoining ice face to the right (50° to 70°) to reach a 70° couloir. In the evening, after 15 hours of climbing, we got to the summit cornice. We bivouacked in a crevasse at the foot of the cornice. The following morning, in stormy weather, we started to descend the many cornices of the north ridge, by which Erwin Schneider had made the first ascent many years ago. Shortly before us, a group from Graz, Austria, and two climbers from Colorado had had to give up on this north ridge. The descent was difficult and dangerous and took us 12 hours. Some days later my three friends climbed the 16,400-foot mountain west of Pucacocha and north of Ninashanca via the limestone east ridge.

Georg Kaser, Österreichischer Alpenverein