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South America, Peru—Cordillera Blanca, Huascarán Norte, North Face

Huascarán Norte, North Face. George Durand, Gilles Percia and I followed the Paragot-Seigneur route of 1966 on Huascarán Norte’s north face from July 1 to 3. We were to the right of Casarotto’s and left of the Belgian Johan de Skipper’s route. The first part consisted of very steep snow gullies up to 80°, then a delicate snow ridge to the base of the “Pear,” a rocky bastion in the middle of the face, where we bivouacked. We bypassed the Pear on the right because of rotten rock, climbing ice gullies of 80° to 90° exposed to rockfall and avalanches. The cloudy weather reduced these hazards. We then climbed a snow ridge to reach the very steep great ice-band traverse, which took us to the exit dihedrals. The beginning of the dihedrals was difficult mixed climbing, followed by magnificent granite. The climb compares favorably with the most difficult ascents in the Alps.

Daniel Lacroix, Club Alpin Français