South America, Peru—Cordillera Blanca, Ocshapalca, South Face

Publication Year: 1983.

Ocshapalca, South Face. Bernard Francou, Jean Michael Cambon and I reconnoitered a safe route on the east face of Cayesh but we could reach only 17,000 feet because of very bad weather. We moved across the range to Huaraz and then made a new route on the south face of Ocshapalca. It took us ten hours on June 20 to ascend. We rappelled down the same route in five. The 2000-foot-high wall varied from 55° to perpendicular. This extremely difficult ice route is comparable to the south face of Chacraraju in difficulty. We attacked the face a little to the right of the summit just on the right of a rocky spur that rises diagonally to the left. Above the spur we climbed six ice pitches on an ice slope to a series of gullies. We then ascended one nearly vertical pitch and another of 75° to reach ice flutes. We climbed seven more rope-lengths of 60° to 65° to gain the nearly vertical exit to the summit. I also soloed the less difficult east face of Vallunaraju, a beautiful granite wall.

Gian Carlo Grassi. Club Alpino Italiano