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South America, Southern Peru, Huayanay V, 1981, Cordillera Vilcabamba

Huayanay V, 1981, Cordillera Vilcabamba. In 1976 the Scottish expedition to the Huayanay Range indicated that three peaks remained unclimbed, namely Huayanay III (Nevado Palchaioj), Huayanay V (Huayallabamba) and Nevado Esquina. It appeared that Huayanay III and V were located behind the main range. At Kilometer 88 on the Cuzco-Quillabamba railroad, there is a valley running north with snow peaks at the end of it. On April 30, 1981, Steve Amstutz, Robert Randall and I set out from Kilometer 88. Tom Hendrickson and Nan Starbuck-Boardman followed two days later. We managed to get on a trail passing through the village of Jacas. On May 1 we established Base Camp at the head of the valley. On May 2 we crossed a 14,500-foot ridge behind Base Camp. The next day, departing at 2:30 A.M., Amstutz, Randall and I climbed Huayanay V in five hours of straightforward snow climbing. Henrickson and Starbuck-Boardman that same day put up an entirely different all-rock route on the same peak. Our altimeter showed 17,000 feet (5182 meters). A local called the peak “Quimsa Kocha Punta.”

John E. Saunders. Alpine Club of Canada