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South America, Peru?Cordillera Blanca, Santa Cruz, West Face

Santa Cruz, West Face. This summer, after two attempts with different partners, I was finally able to climb the west face of Santa Cruz on August 13. The route stayed on the west face rather than traversing to the west ridge, which is what the original party seems to have done. On my second attempt with Andreas Berliner, we started from the Quebrada Yuraccocha rather than straight up from Laguna Raucolta, as I had done with my previous partner, Thor Kieser. Thus we avoided the sérac-threatened amphitheater at the base of the west face. We worked our way around schrunds on the lower face and finally bivouacked at the highest. From there we climbed 1000 feet of 60° icy flukes to the final 50° slopes below the summit plateau.

Roger Gocking