American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru-Cordillera Blanca, Yana Raju de Cotush and Other Peaks

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1987

Yana Raju de Cotush and Other Peaks. Our party set out to make five possible first ascents in the Quebrada Shahuanca by going up and over the Wamashpunta, as a short cut. The first ascent of Yana Raju de Cotush (5185 meters, 17,010 feet) was made on July 14 by Michael Bizeau, Evelio Echevarria and myself. The next few days we waited out storms, only to descend and leave behind four beautiful summits, Nevado Shahuanca being the main prize. The following week we went to the Quebrada Ulta for the unclimbed soutwest ridge of Contrahierbas, which contains many first-ascent points. Due to constant avalanches and deadly cornices we turned back and down the newly completed road that goes over the Shilla Pass. At Base Camp we discovered our cache of food stolen, so take care, as eyes are always on climbers wherever they go! Two weeks later Evelio and I did the first ascents of Huirucancha (4995 meters, 16,390 feet) and Huachucancha (4970 meters, 16,306 feet), the two most prominent rock peaks in the Quebrada Conde. Across this quebrada the following day I soloed Sucu Jirca (or “Grey Peak,” 5130 meters, 16,831 feet) by the northeast face and discovered a large cairn on the summit. As there were no records, no military plates and no time to inspect, I concluded the cairn might possibly be Indian ruins.

Alex Echevarria

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