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South America, Peru—Cordillera Vilcanota, Ausangate, Southeast Spur

Ausangate, Southeast Spur. Our group of 22 climbers and trekkers reached Upis (14,600 feet) from Hacienda Tinki on July 1. There the arriero's helper fell ill to a respiratory illness and died just as we managed to get him back to Tinki. After some minor climbs, we traveled south, past Pucacocha, over the Palomani Pass to camp at 15,600 feet. On July 6 Antxon Ibarguren, J.M. Sotillos, J.M. Rodríguez, J.J. Murúa, J. Quesada, Fernando Bernués, Mari José Lasa and I left to climb Ausangate by the route we had reconnoitered in 1977, a rocky southeast spur that rises without great difficulties to 19,000 feet. We branched left at 18,375 feet onto the glacier and continued on, surmounting a final 50° slope of some 500 feet to bivouac at 19,350 feet. On July 7 we crossed a long plateau in soft snow. A 10-foot-wide bergschrund was difficult to cross. We then climbed a final steep ice wall and a sharp ridge for 100 feet to reach the summit (6372 meters, 20,905 feet) at 3:15 P.M. It took 2½ hours back to the tents. We descended to Base Camp on the 8th. On the 9th Quesada, Sotillos, Carlos Ruiz and Iñaqui Martínez climbed Llaillahuay (5450 meters, 17,881 feet). We returned to Tinki by completing the circuit of Ausangate.

Ángel FernÁndez, Izadi Artecin de San Sebastián, Spain