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South America, Peru, Cordillera Blanca, Ocshapalca, South Face

Ocshapalca, south face. Back in Huaraz after the Huayhuash, I rejoined my friend Iñigo Mujica (Note: Baró Ramon and Mujica had climbed on Chacraraju and Jirishanca Norte. See note in Huayhuash section.) A team of four was descending after finishing a new route on the south face of Ocshapalca, which joined the Gato Negro (Black Cat) route two pitches from the summit. Only three of the team members—Ander, Joanfra Farreras, and Olga Torras—had been on the wall. The fourth, Akraitz Yurrita, had been suffering intestinal problems.

I suggested that we join forces on a bid to finish their route to the top. My new companions immediately agreed, so off we went. Things went smoothly, since Akraitz was familiar with the area, and we had no trouble finding traces of our friends’ passage, as they had equipped the route for rappelling. We climbed rapidly, reaching our comrades’ high point before noon, and forged on for another three exposed pitches on typical Peruvian snow. We reached the ridge soon after 2 p.m. After the first three rappels we reached the existing rappel route, which allowed us to reach base camp before dark. This climb took place on July 30, and I was scheduled to fly back to Spain on August 2, so the rest was a mad rush to make the flight.

Oriol Baró i Ramon, Spain (translated by Oriol Solé-Costa)