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South America, Peru—Cordillera Blanca, Quitaraju, Alpamayo, Artesonraju, Chacraraju Este and Other Peaks

Quitaraju, Alpamayo, Artesonraju, Chacraraju Este and Other Peaks. While we were in the Cordillera Blanca, the weather was rather unstable. There was little snow, which exposed rock and black ice and left bergschrunds open. We placed Base Camp in the Quebrada Arhueicocha at 14,100 feet on July 7. We placed Camp I at 15,750 feet and Camp II at 17,725 in the Alpamayo-Quitaraju col. The last 125 feet to the col were very steep. On July 11 Gilles Léon and I climbed the north face of Quitaraju unroped in three hours. On July 16 we two climbed the southeast face of Loyaqjirca while Jean Louis Delourme soloed Quitaraju’s north face. On July 17 Léon and I climbed the Italian route on the southwest face of Alpamayo, passing close to the body of my friend Serge Bériol, killed in 1980. By July 20 we had placed a light camp on the Artesonraju-Parón col. On July 21 Léon and I climbed the south face of Artesonraju, much of it 50° and 60° among séracs. We descended the delicate east ridge. An attempt on the west face of Pukajirka Sur failed in deep powder snow. We moved to the Quebrada Llanganuco. On August 2 an attempt on Bouchard’s route on the south face of Chacraraju Oeste failed because of much exposed rock this year. On August 5 Delourme and I climbed Chopicalqui by the normal southwest ridge. On August 8 Léon and I climbed the south face of Chacraraju Este to the summit ridge but not to the summit. The climb was sustained and difficult with pitches of 80° ice. We followed the 1978 Brewer-Richey route, which did continue along the ridge to the top. We climbed up the lower face to the flutes, traversed left and then ascended straight up to emerge on the summit ridge west of the top. The ridge appeared impossible and we stopped there.

Francis Mousel. Club Alpin Français