American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru—Cordillera Blanca, Yahuarraju, Northwest Face, Huantsán Norte's Western Summit, West Face and P c. 5500

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1981

Yahuarraju, Northwest Face, Huantsán Norte’s Western Summit, West Face and P c. 5500. On May 31 and June 1 Walter Sachatonicek and I made a new route, the 2600-foot-high northwest face of Yahuar- raju (5675 meters, 18,619 feet). We climbed onto the glacier to the right of the glacial tongue that descends to the lake at the foot of the face. The face was rock and ice, which in the upper part was difficult and up to 55°. The rock was very rotten. We descended the first-ascent route. From June 3 to 8 we were on Huantsán Norte. From Rajucolta- cocha we took two days to find a way through the very broken glacier to the foot of the west face of the western summit of Huantsán Norte. The ice on the lower part of the 55° face was bare and brittle; we had bad belays. We bivouacked a third night in the middle of the 3000-foot- high face. In the upper half the ice became better. We reached the western peak (c. 6000 meters, 19,685 feet) late in the afternoon and bivouacked near the top. Snow fell during the cold, windy night. We started down the Ortenburger route early the next morning. Since the northwest ridge was heavily corniced, we kept somewhat on the north face, which was probably more difficult than the west face we had ascended. We found some frozen-in rope on the face. We bivouacked in the col at the foot of the northwest ridge (Ortenburger’s Camp II). On the sixth day we climbed over P 5406 (17,737 feet) just west of the col and descended the flatter glacial basin back to Rajucoltacocha.

Karl Klinger, Österreichischer Alpenverein

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