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South America, Peru—Cordillera Blanca, Alpamayo, Southeast Face, 1976

Alpamayo, Southeast Face, 1979. In the first week of July, 1979 Dave Jenkins and I climbed up the glacier at the foot of the southeast face of Alpamayo. We found 500 feet of fixed rope near the base of the face left a month before by Yugoslavs, who had made the first ascent of the face. We started into the gully system in the center of the face below the summit, mainly ice with an occasional rock step. At 19,000 feet we found an ice cave that led into a small ledge where we bivouacked, having arrived early in the day around two P.M. The next day we continued up a gully in the center of the face, passing several rock steps and tunneling through and climbing over successive cornices to break onto the east ridge less than 100 vertical feet from the summit. We saw no further signs of the Yugoslavs above the last fixed line 3000 feet below. (They followed the Yugoslav route except for the last thousand feet, where the American route kept a more direct line to the summit.—Editor.) We descended the north ridge, crossed under the northeast face and over the east col and back to Base Camp, arriving there at six P.M.

Rick L. Wyatt, Unaffiliated