American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Cordillera Blanca, clarifications and corrections

  • Climbs And Expeditions
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  • Publication Year: 2003

Cordillera Blanca, clarifications and corrections. AAJ correspondent Antonio Gómez Bohórquez, a noted Cordillera Blanca climbing researcher, sent the following notes regarding reports in the 2002 AAJ. In writing us with these corrections and clarifications he emphasized, "I would appreciate it if.. you keep in mind that it is not my intention to call into question the veracity of the people mentioned in my corrections. Thanksy'-Ed.

Santa Cruz Norte, West Face, correction. The June 12, 2001 attempt (AAJ 2002, pp. 294-295) of Jay Burbee, Jeremy Frimer, and Michel van der Speck on the "unclimbed" west face of Santa Cruz Norte was a repetition of the first part of the route climbed on July 24, 1967 by Akira Miyashita, Mitsuaki Nishigori, Takehiko Hayashi, and Kazutomo Kobayashi (Nishigori in Sangaku, vol. LXIII, 1968). The Japanese expedition climbed this route, gained the west ridge, and continued along it to the summit. It is incorrect to say that the west face had not been climbed and that the west ridge remains unclimbed.

Tuctubamba, Middle Earth, correction. The mountain that Topher and Patience Donahue ascended-also climbed a few days later by Clay Wadman and Christian Beckwith (AAJ 2002, p. 296)-is not Tuctubamba. The summit that they reached, closer and immediately to the southeast of Taulliraju Principal, could be considered Taulliraju Sur (South) or Taulliraju Sureste (Southeast). The peak is marked on sheet 0/3a of the 2002 edition of the Austrian Alpine Club map, where it is shown with an altitude of 5,400m (see also sheet 18-h of the Instituto Geografico Militar del Peru map). It is a characteristically sharp summit of ice and granite, confused in various publications with Nevado Tuctubamba, climbed by the Italians Andrea Farina and Nino Poloni in July 1960. The Donahue climb may be the first ascent of Taulliraju Sur, because it is unknown whether it was ascended since the attempt of Tomaz Strupi and Tone Stern on July 8, 1995. This Slovenian team encountered the remains of climbing gear on the northeast face-to the right of the Donahue route-and descended from the northeast ridge before gaining the summit.

Caraz II, south face variation, correction. The caption for the photo on page 299 of the AAJ 2002 says, "Descent is behind left skyline." This phrase contradicts the final paragraph of the note by Matic Jost (p. 300). Jost describes descending Caraz II’s original route, the 1955 route of Hermann Huber and Alfred Koch, which is the Northeast Ridge-the right skyline in the photo. From the summit, these Germans descended the ridge until close to the false summit, then the shorter 55"-60" couloir on the southeast face. From a radical point of view, if the climb of Fisher, Warfield, and Sheldrake in 1986 is considered an attempt, because they only reached the northeast ridge, the climb of Mlinar and Jost could be considered a new route, because they gained the summit or, for the purest mentality, a true variation of Huber-Koch route of 1955.

Artesonraju, northeast face, correction. The route climbed in June 2000 by Nemesio Matalobos and Ángel Terrén (AAJ 2002, p. 300) indeed seems to be a repeat, with a small variation, of Tim Arnmons and Peter Kelemen's route (July 1977) on the left (eastern) side of the northeast face (AAJ 1978, pp. 563-4). It is also worth clarifying that the route done in August 1965 by Georg Hartmann, Ernst Reiss, Ruedi Schatz, and Eugen Steiger on the northeast face (AAJ 1966, pp. 166-7), joins the North Ridge route climbed by Germans Erwin Hein and Erwin Schneider in August 1932. The Swiss expedition of 1965 climbed 200 steep meters on the north ridge and continued to the summit, and authors such as Ricker (Yuraq Janka) consider the 1965 route a variation of the 1932 route. These routes begin to the right of the East Ridge route done in July 1971 by Burton Janis, George Lowe, Mike Lowe, and Leigh Ortenburger, which had been previously climbed by Peter Gessner, Michl Steinbeis, Alfred Koch, and Helmut Schmidt in July 1966. This forgotten and ignored German first ascent, possibly the third to the summit of Artesonraju, was reported in the AAJ 1967, p. 388; the final part being climbed by Ammons and Kelemen.

Huandoy Sur, Oro del Inca, correction. The route that Slovenian Pavle Kozjek climbed in August 1995 and reported as new, calling it Oro del Inca (Inca Gold) (AAJ 1996, p. 215, and AAJ 2002, p. 301)) had been ascended unroped by Albi Sole and Greg Spohr in June 1979 and repeated by Mary Abrego, Javier Muru, and Gerardo Plaza in May 1980. The only new ground covered by Kozjek is a variation that avoids the initial horizontal rock barrier, via climbing at the far right side, and connects with the 1979 Canadian route. Therefore, the phrase in the final paragraph of Kozjek's 2002 note, "my fifth new route on big walls of the Cordillera Blanca" is incorrect. Likewise, it is important to clarify that the route descended by Kozjek (indicated in the photo in the AAJ 1996, p. 216) is not that ascended by Yves Astier. The French guide's ascent paralleled the Canadian route and led directly to the ice flute situated just to the left of the summit, that reaches a little further on the west ridge.

Palcaraju Oeste, Tocllaraju Sur, correction. Eduardo Mondragón and Martin Waldhoer did not ascend Palcaraju Oeste (AAJ 2002, p. 301) but Tocllaraju Sur, a secondary summit that some publications erroneously call Palcaraju Oeste or "Palcaraju Norte of some 5,750m." The cartography edited in 1939 by the German Alpine Society attributes an elevation of 5,670m to the summit in question, which is situated to the south of Tocllaraju, and shows a 5,550m pass that delimits the northwest ridge of 6,110m Palcaraju Oeste.

Huarnashraju, west face, correction. Slovenian Tomaz Zerovnik's name was misspelled as Toma Erovnik (AAJ 2002, p. 301).

Churup, 496spa-smos, correction. The route completed in 1972 by North Americans Ronald Fear, William Lahr, and Richard Ridgeway and Dutch climber Michiel Malotoux is to the right (not the left) of the Malinche route climbed by Spanish climbers Juan A. de Lorenzo and Francisco J. Palacios in August 1982. Some publications have indicated the opposite, leading Peruvian guide Ricardo Hidalgo to incorrectly believe that he climbed between the routes and descended by the 1972 route (AAJ 2002, p. 302).

ANTONIO GÓMEZ BOHÓRQUEZ, Spain (translated by Christian Santelices)

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