American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Bolivia, Illamptu, South Face, South Face, Yacuma and Ancohuma from the West

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

Illampu, South Face, Yacuma and Ancohuma from the West. In May we six climbers drove over the Huallata Pass to 1000 feet below the village of Cachi- pata to the Mina Candelaria del Illampu at 10,825 feet. With the help of four porters we carried our gear in two days to a lake at 16,575 feet below the glacier that descends due west from the peaks between Yacuma and Ancohuma (Glacier 8 on the Troll-Hein map, 1928 of the D & ÖAV). We enjoyed two weeks of almost perfect weather. We installed two high camps, the first at 18,050 feet on the rocky ridge which divided our glacier from the next one north, which descends west from Yacuma (Troll-Hein Glacier 7) and the second at 19,000 feet on the glacier west of Ancohuma. On May 24 Theo Dowbenka and I climbed to the 18,500-foot plateau south of Illampu and started up a new route on Illampu’s south face. (Another route was done by Kabl and Caha in 1967. See A.A.J., 1968, page 205.) The 50° to 60° snow-and-ice slope took two days to climb, with a bivouac at 20,000 feet. In the middle of the wall are crevasses and overhanging cornices. We got to the summit of Illampu (6362 meters, 20,873 feet) over hard ice on May 25. We descended the same route. On May 27 we two started up Yacuma’s unclimbed west ridge, on mixed rock and crevassed and corniced snow and ice. Some 650 feet up the ridge we had a section of water-ice between 19,350 and 19,700 feet and a 250-foot traverse below the summit cornice. From the summit (6050 meters, 19,849 feet), we descended more unstable snow on the north ridge and then traversed the west face to the west ridge and back to regain our higher camp. On May 25 Sebastian Hohenreiter, Gerhard Pösch and Sieglinde Rost approached from the west and then climbed the northwest ridge to the summit of Ancohuma (6427 meters, 21,086 feet). On May 29 Dowbenka and I repeated the climb. On June 6 Dowbenka and I bivouacked on the northern slope of the southwest ridge of Illimani and on the second day climbed ice, a 500-foot-high rock groove and UIAA Grade III rock to bivouac at 18,700 feet on a snowfield. On June 8 we climbed past many crevasses to a 19,525-foot flat place on the southwest ridge, up a small ice wall and along a narrow, unstable, crevassed ridge to 20,350 feet, where we bivouacked in an ice cave. On the fourth day we ascended the rest of the steep 55° ridge to a flatter foresummit of 20,500 feet, up a 70° ice step and over a last steep snowfield to the summit of Illimani (6462 meters, 21,201 feet). We descended the normal west ridge route.

Herbert Ziegenhardt, Deutscher Alpenverein

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.