American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Cordillera Huayhuash, Siulá Grande, South-Southeast Spur

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1982

Siulá Grande, South-Southeast Spur. On July 12 Jean Baehler, Luc Défago and I were at Base Camp at 13,775 feet on the shores of Siulácocha to the east of Siulá Grande below the unclimbed south-southeast spur. On the 13th we fixed rope on a 1000-foot cliff which gave access to the middle of a glacier which could not be ascended from its base. We placed Camp I at 15,900 feet above rock of UIAA III to IV+ and a walk onto the glacier. On July 15 we took six hours to find our way through a very broken glacier with delicate crevasse crossings to the site of Camp II at 17,725 feet. After two days of load-carrying, we were at Camp II but were pinned there for two more days of bad weather. On July 21 we left camp with three days of food and climbed half of the spur (17 rope-lengths of snow and ice cut by three steep sérac barriers at an average of 55° to 65°) to reach Camp III at 18,700 feet. The next day we climbed a succession of little snow-filled gullies in nine rope-lengths to the shoulder at 19,700 feet but bad weather turned us back to Camp III, where we had left our tent and sleeping bags before making seven rappels directly down the face. On July 23 we climbed back up the rappels to the shoulder, where we dumped most of our equipment. We climbed to the summit (6344 meters, 20,814 feet), crossing the bergschrund and climbing four rope-lengths along a very delicate corniced ridge. The descent took ten rappels from pickets or ice screws down the shortest part of the south face and then down rather dangerous snow slopes.

Stéfane Schaffter, Club Alpin Suisse

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