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South America, Peru—Cordillera Blanca, Alpamayo, Southwest Face

Alpamayo, Southwest Face. Rudolf Riedl and I set up our Base Camp at Jancarurishcocha in the Quebrada Alpamayo on July 11 along with our friends from the Attergau expedition. (Austrians Karl Eichhorn, Horst Pelska and Franz Schaden of that group climbed the north face of Quitaraju on July 16.—Editor.) We set up Camp I with them between Loyacjirca and Quitaraju at 16,400 feet. On July 13 we two went through the long and difficult Alpamayo icefall, which we should have avoided by climbing below Quitaraju. Camp II was at 17,550 feet below the southwest face of Alpamayo. On July 14 and 15 we climbed the southwest face, bivouacking at 19,000 feet. We climbed Quitaraju on the 17th under ideal conditions. Before returning to Huaraz, we reconnoitered Santa Cruz’s northeast ridge. Like the Attergau expedition, we feel that because of the drought the first-ascent route is objectively dangerous from the enormous loss of snow, which has exposed rotten rock; it seems no longer climbable. (See photos.) The entire northeast ridge could be climbed but it would take a long time.

Reinhard Pöltner, Österreichischer Alpenverein