American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Cordillera Blanca, Caraz III and Santa Cruz Norte

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1998

Caraz III and Santa Cruz Norte. On July 15, Brett Wolf, Kris Erickson and Patrick Knoll completed a new route on the south face of Caraz III (5720m) in the Parón Valley. The route, The Usual Suspects (ED mixed V 85°, 600m), followed a line linking two couloirs up the central portion of the face. Several pitches of snow gave way to increasingly steeper ice and mixed climbing. The south face had been attempted in 1987, but the summit was not reached by several rope lengths, due to the lethal knife-edge ridge. Our line met the ridge only two or three meters below the atmospheric summit mushroom.

Several weeks later, Erickson joined me for another project in the Yuracohcha Valley. On July 29, in a 21-hour push, we climbed the southwest face of Santa Cruz Norte (5829m) via Caveat Emptor (ED, mixed 90°, ice to 95°, 750m). We were stopped short of the summit (which was about 100 meters higher) due to deep unstable snow on the double corniced ridge. I had attempted this line in late May with David Sharman, but I fell ill and was forced to retreat.

Brett Wolf, unaffiliated

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.