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South America, Peru, Various Ascents in the Cordillera Blanca

Various Ascents in the Cordillera Blanca. Our group's objective was to visit two valleys: Quebrada Ishinca and Laguna Paron, the latter for a possible wall route on the Sphinx and the former for its numerous alpine faces. In Quebrada Ishinca, our team attempted and succeeded on two variations of Ishinca (5530 meters) and Urus Este (5420 meters). Many mixed variations are still possible on the latter. In Laguna Paron, one peak, Artesonraju (6025 meters) was attempted via the southwest ridge/face. The team was stopped high above our last bivouac by an avalanche and a sick team member (an intestinal infection). However, a recon of the Sphinx face and of Huandoy Oeste revealed probable lines. Paron holds acres of virgin granite to be explored. Some of these cliffs are only a half-hour walk/hike from the Electro-Peru Station. Be kind to the two Peruvian station workers and they will be hospitable back! Logistically, climbing in the Cordillera Blanca was simple. There were no fees for climbing or entering Huascran National Park. The Casa de Guidas was professional and extremely helpful. The people of Peru were friendly and always willing to help.

John Gallagher