American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Cordillera Blanca, Yanawaka, Attempt and Possible First Ascent

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2000

Yanawaka, Attempt and Possible First Ascent. On July 1-2, Pedro Arias, Juan Padilla and I attempted Yanawaka (La Peña Negra de Parón, ca. 4900m) via a line up the center of the peak’s vertical north face. (The locals of Paron that I asked in 1985 used three names to refer to this mountain: Yanakawa, El Cerro Negro [the Black Peak] and La Peña Negra [the Black Cliff]. In the Quechuan language of Huari and Huaraz, “waka” means “a cliff with the form or design of a person or animal” [although it also means “ancient tomb” in Huaraz and Tarica] and “yana” means “black.”) After 200 meters, we abandoned the route due to an abundance of moss and other vegetation in the cracks which required too much time to clean and created dangerous rockfall.

At the Laguna de Parón, we told two South African climbers, Mike Cartwright and Malcolm Crowans, of our attempt. Three days later, they climbed the mountain by an easier route that eventually gained the northeast ridge. They named their route Solar Shield (5.9, 650m). This may have been the first ascent of the mountain.

Antonio Gómez Bohórquez, Spain

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