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South America, Peru, Rondoy Attempt, Cordillera Huayhuash

Rondoy Attempt, Cordillera Huayhuash. Mark Richey and I attempted a direct new route on the west face of Rondoy (5883 meters, 19,301 feet) from the Quebrada Jahuacocha. We left our Camp on August 8 and spent six hours on the approach to the wall’s base across steep grassy slopes above the lake and through a convoluted glacier which spills down from Rondoy’s neighbor, Yerupajá. The next day, we started up a steep, sometimes vertical, ice gully for 350 meters and then climbed a mixed rock-and-ice section of 150 meters to a sloping bivouac. On August 10, we continued up more steep ice and attempted to traverse below a rotten rock headwall, hoping to gain a lower-angled mixed face above. The traverse proved dangerous as the rock offered no points of protection and the ice below it was rotten. Richey, who was in the lead, observed a large ice band which was detached in places and threatened to fall. We opted for descent and reached the base of the wall in ten rappels.

Barry Rugo