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South America, Peru, Cordillera Blanca

Cordillera Blanca. In 1993, the apparent return of political stability and less activity by the Sendero Luminoso resulted in a new interest on the part of foreign climbers in climbing in the Cordillera Blanca. The weather was less normal with more snow on the mountains in August than in April. The usual settled weather from May to September failed to materialize. Slovenes were active. [See below.] Australians Chris Turner and Mary Ambrose had an active season, culminating in a probably new route on Jangyaraju II (5630 meters, 18,471 feet) on the east-northeast face. They turned south up the Jangya-Urán and approached the rock face up the glacier. They climbed six pitches on generally firm granite. They descended to the west to a col and then north down to névé and finally east to Base Camp. Turner and Briton Andy Etheridge made the grisly discovery of a body frozen into a runnel wall during an attempt on the Ferrari route on the southwest face of Alpamayo. They retreated but returned the next day, July 12, to complete the route. On June 28, Frenchmen Anthoine and Stephane Cayrol and Basques Aritza Monasterio, José Luis Domeño, Borja Gartzia and Santi Domínguez climbed a route on the left of the Ferrari route on Alpamayo. The 300-meter-high five-pitch climb was on 60° to 75° ice. In the Quebrada Santa Cruz, Argentines did a difficult new route on the left buttress of Taulliraju. The line follows a thin avalanche runnel to the ridge where it joins the Italian route. The climb took them 24 hours. Mexicans Luis Antonio Rodríguez and Juan Carlos Gavilanes climbed the north face of Chacraraju Oeste from a camp at the foot of the wall. They bivouacked four times on the face, reaching the summit on August 6. Rodríguez suffered frostbitten toes. At the same time, Juan José Venegas and Higenio Pintado with two Argentines climbed Chacraraju Este, reaching the summit ridge on August 2, but not continuing to the summit. An Italian team appears to have succeeded on a very hard new route on the north face of Huascarán Norte. The summit pair disappeared, presumably on the descent. Despite the eventual recovery of their bodies, more details are not available at this time. Our expedition, consisting of Claire Cooper, Mark Harvey, Cat Moreton and me, climbed Ishinca, Urus Este, Pisco Este and Maparaju.

Adam Hanlon, England