American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru—Cordillera Vilcanota, Cayangate I, East-Southeast Ridge

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

Cayangate I, East-Southeast Ridge. Cayangate I was climbed from the south by Germans in 1957 and by English and New Zealanders in 1974 by the northeast ridge. We believe ours was a new route. From Laguna Pitita at the north-northeast foot of Cayangate I at 15,100 feet, by slabbing around the base of the mountain, we reached in an hour the moraine valley between Cayangate I and Jatunhuma. We climbed the moraine for another hour to the site of Camp I at 17,000 feet on the northern side of the steep eastern glacier off Cayangate I. From Camp I we crossed the broken-up glacier and climbed a not difficult rock rib for about 650 feet to the base of the snowy part of the ridge. Camp II on a shelf on the ridge at 19,000 feet was reached by ascending slopes of penitentes, rock and mixed snow and ice, on which we fixed 650 feet of rope. There was also one 50-foot descent of vertical bare ice. On July 5 we had one tiny two-man tent at Camp II; we three others slept under the stars. We were Battista Scanabessi, Andrea Giovanzana, Mario Meli, Gian Luigi Sartori and I. On July 6 we first climbed a very steep couloir, helped by the penitentes and another 650 feet of fixed rope, and then went along the easy ridge crest to the base of the final steep 250-foot upswing of the ridge, lovely and airy, which took us to the summit (6035 meters, 19,800 feet). The summit was also reached on July 12 by Piero Urciuoli, Gabriele Bosio and Ventura Tirabeschi and on July 13 by Dr. Melchiorre Foresti, Giovanzana and me.

Nino Calegari, Club Alpino Italiano

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