American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Cordillera Central, Yanashinga, Direct South Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year: N/A
  • Publication Year: 2004

Yanashinga, Direct South Face. José Li Linway, Diego Fernández, and I left the village of San Mateo (3,300m), arriving at Tíclio in the middle of the night and at the foot of the wall around 3:00 a.m on July 20. Roped as a team of three, with the third jumaring, we climbed two pitches of easy mixed terrain, followed a trough leading toward the central wall for two more pitches, then one more pitch traversing a lower ledge. Already we were at the foot of the great rock wall. The sixth pitch was a rock wall that ended in a leaning chimney. I had climbed 15m when I dislodged a flake, possibly 20kg. I held it in position for a moment, but its weight was too much, and I let it fall. It cut the rope up which José would jumar. Apparently José delayed taking out the lower anchor, and that saved his life. We lost about 12m of rope, which limited us on the following pitches. The following pitches reached M7 in difficulty, but exited onto a mixed slope with a good belay station. From here up to the summit we followed a pair of WI4 pitches. The Final three pitches had the worst rock we’d ever climbed, rock held in place only by snow that precariously secured them. One pitch was impossible to protect. It took a huge amount of work preparing those three belay stations, and still they were bad. We finished the route (550m, M7 WI4 A2X) and arrived at the rocky summit at 8:30 p.m. We descended the east face, with a bivouac imminent, a clear sky, but intense cold.

Guillermo MejÍa, Peru (translated by Molly Loomis)

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