American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru—Cordillera Blanca, Taulliraju, Entire Southeast Ridge

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1984

Taulliraju, Entire Southeast Ridge. Mark Miller and I made three unsuccessful attempts on the south face of Taulliraju in late May and early June which ended in bad weather. We decided to try the entire southeast ridge instead. On June 7 we approached up the Quebrada Santa Cruz, crossed the Punta Union and traversed down and northeast to reach the small glacial cirque under the east face of the mountain. This glacier is split by four spurs; we took the third which is the most prominent. We climbed directly up for three difficult rock pitches on the south face of the spur to reach its crest, where we bivouacked. Unable to follow the crest of the spur itself, we progressed the next day on the north side which was very icy and had some very sustained mixed climbing before we reached the broad plateau to the east of the main summit. The 1500-foot-high rock buttress took 12 hours to climb and was much harder than expected with pitches of UIAA VI and A2 on the rock and difficult mixed climbing higher up. We followed the flat southeast ridge, bypassing P 5240 (“Tuqtubamba”) on the north, and bivouacked under the south-southeast col at 17,400 feet. The south-southeast ridge had been climbed from this point by a party of Chamonix guides in 1976. We set out early on June 9 and climbed the ridge, which really was an extremely steep icefield, to reach the summit at three P.M. The climbing became difficult over the final 500 feet and was steep, thinly iced mixed pitches. We descended in a storm and bivouacked at the col again. The weather continued bad the next day, and we descended our ascent route by abseil.

Simon Richardson, Alpine Climbing Group

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