South America, Peru, Cordillera Blanca, Chopicalqui, South Face

Publication Year: 1980.

Chopicalqui, South Face. On August 3 H. Kamuro and I left Huaraz for Shilla and the next day continued on to the Mátara Glacier via the Quebradas Ulta and Mátara. We gave up our original objective, the east face of Huascarán as being too dangerous. We turned to the south face of Chopicalqui, which has a sérac belt low down, a steep face in the middle and a snow ridge at the top. We climbed the right side of the face. On August 5 we had a hard time finding the route and wasted much time in deep snow and on a vertical snow face. We bivouacked at the base of the middle part. On the 6th we climbed the face in a comfortably pitched ice gully with good belays. Having ascended two-thirds of the face we bivouacked at the mouth of an ice flute. On August 7 we followed the ice flute to reach the southeast ridge and bivouacked where the ridge meets the southwest ridge. The weather had turned bad the previous day and we were buried deep in the bivouac. On August 8 we climbed to the summit in deep powder snow, standing finally on the top at eleven A.M. Not knowing the best way down, we finally picked the southwest ridge, the normal ascent route. We had to descend to the Llanganuco; our ignorance of where the ridge would lead cost us a 21- hour continuous trip to get back to the Mátara.

Yasutsugu Uejima, Japanese Alpine Club