South America, Peru, Cordillera Blanca, Rurec, Southwest Face and Pirámide de Garcilaso, Southwest Face

Publication Year: 1980.

Rurec, Southwest Face and Pirámide de Garcilaso, Southwest Face. Dave Wilkinson and I made two new routes in the Cordillera Blanca. On July 13 we climbed the southwest face of Rurec (18,701 feet), just south of Huantsán. The climbing was a straightforward 3500-foot snow slope. We soloed up and down the face. Our next objective was the southwest face of the Pirámide de Garcilaso (19,308 feet). The approach up the glacier to the foot of the climb was long and complex. We started the climb on July 22 and followed an icy couloir situated between snow flutings and went straight to the summit. Crossing a rock band a third of the way up the route proved to be the technical crux of the climb. Above the rock band, most of the climbing was on 50° to 60° ice, which in places was very hard and made front-pointing demanding work. We bivouacked just below the summit and completed the climb the following day. After a second bivouac on the summit, we descended the northwest face. Dave and I were dismayed at the amount of litter we found. In the future we hope that climbers will develop more respect for the beauty of the mountains and be aware of how litter can spoil it.

Richard Renshaw, Alpine Climbing Group

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