Cayesh, New Route on West Face and Huascarán Norte Northwest Ridge

South America, Peru, Cordillera Blanca
Climb Year: N/A. Publication Year: 1989.

On June 30, Malte Roeper and I climbed with a porter and two donkeys to the head of the Quebrada Cayesh. The next day, the porter helped us pack to a glacier camp at 5100 meters. On July 2, we studied the route and on the 3rd we climbed to bivouac at 5500 meters in twelve hours. We climbed a 60° icefield to a prominent ramp, which we followed for four pitches (UIAA IV) to the yellow Italian fixed rope. We continued up the fixed rope for one pitch until it turned to the right. We traversed left to a dihedral (VI—) to reach mixed terrain, somewhat easier though with some 70° ice, to our bivouac. On July 4, we climbed with light packs to the summit. Three difficult pitches (V to VI—) took us to the ridge to the south of the summit. We followed this delicate ridge with its icy rock and steep snow to the summit, traversing around the foresummit on the left. We rappelled that same day to the glacier down our ascent route. Some of the rock was friable and some extremely compact. We needed knife-blades, Friends and Microfriends. The leader normally climbed the rock pitches in rock shoes. The Freiberg climber Max Krause and the Peruvian Antonio Simangas, who had attempted unsuccessfully last year to complete the Italian route, had made route suggestions. We feel our route is the most logical and possibly the easiest way to the summit. American Charlie Fowler climbed a route to the left of ours some ten days later with two bivouacs on the face. On July 14, we headed for Huascarán Norte, with the Spanish pair Ana Sese and Manuel Anson, hoping to climb either the Paragot north-face route or the Italian ridge on the northwest edge of the face. On the 15th, we climbed to the glacier, where Roeper developed a severe cold and had to descend. I joined the Spanish rope. In six hours on the 16th, we climbed the broken icefall to the foot of the snow slope. The access to the Paragot route seemed cut off by crevasses and the Italian route was too heavily corniced. We therefore climbed 60° firn snow and mixed terrain on the slope left of the ridge to bivouac in a bergschrund. On July 17, we ascended penitentes for ten hours to a narrow 85° couloir, which we ascended for two rope-lengths. We ascended snow and ice to join the Paragot route, where we hacked out a platform for a bivouac. On the 18th, we climbed the narrow ridge, a difficult rock step and a large snowfield to the fixed ropes where the Italian and Paragot routes join. We climbed another three pitches to a crevasse bivouac at 6500 meters. On July 19, we got to the summit over easy terrain and descended the normal Garganta route. We got good help for transport, etc. at the Casa de Guías in Huaraz. We did have dysentery problems and suggest choosing carefully the local restaurants.

Jörg Steinsberger, Deutscher Alpenverein