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South America, Peru, Cashan Oeste

Cashan Oeste. Mark Richey and I made a new route and, we believe, the second ascent of Cashan Oeste (5701 meters, 18,705 feet). On July 25, we approached the mountain from the Quebrada Rajucolta via the steep, complicated slopes that define the lower quebrada and bivouacked at the base of the distinct snow-and-ice ramp that leads to the col between Cashan Oeste and Cashan Este. The following day, we climbed this ramp which offered steep ice and snow to the col, a climb of 400 meters. We then gained another 100 meters up the northeast ridge on difficult mixed rock and snow. The final pitch to the tiny, sharp summit was particularly problematic as the snow was extremely rotten and unstable and the summit itself severely corniced. We reached the summit at one RM. and made the long descent to camp in Rajucolta at nightfall.

Barry Rugo