American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Cordillera Vilcabamba, Pumasillo Group, Multiple Ascents

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2004

Pumasillo Group, multiple ascents. Sean Easton and I spent 20 days in the Pumasillo group of the Cordillera Vilcabamba, in south-central Peru. It is quite hard to describe the mountains we climbed because the new government 1:100,000 topos have many errors, and the locals have several different names for the mountains. The following is a list of what we did, and the coordinates included are on or near the summit. Peaks one through eight are found on the Machu Picchu map.

Peak 1: 5,108m (wrong on map) 181 726321 8634376. Unnamed on map, locals call it “Mandor,” it lies on the Quelca-Mandor pass. We climbed the east face (10 pitches, 5.9).

Peak 2: 5,050m (Cayco on map) 181 726699 8534336. Incorrect summit altitude on map, also called “Mandor,” we climbed the north ridge (6 pitches, mixed 5.4).

Peak 3: 4,935m 181 727325 8533732. Unnamed on map, also called “Mandor,” southernmost peak of group. We climbed the north ridge (3 pitches, 5.9).

Peak 4: 5,210m 181 732128 8532828. Unnamed on map, locals call it “Mayuyoc.” We approached from the south, dropped down and climbed the east face, 60° snow, 5.6. We found a tuna can on top, the only peak on which we saw evidence of previous ascents. [A 1959 Swiss expedition made the probable first ascent of this peak, calling it Nevado Paccha—Ed.]

Peak 5: 5,310m 181 731959 8533616. A snow ridge just south of what the map incorrectly calls the south peak of Choquetecarpo. Hike up the steep snow of the south ridge. Peak 6: 5,428 181 731779 8534164. Choquetecarpo S peak on map. The locals call it “Panta” (although there is another Panta three valleys over). We climbed the east ridge, 50° snow. [The Panta Group lies further west—see above report—and should not be confused with the locals’ name for this peak. The 1959 Swiss team who made the first ascent dubbed this peak“Pucapuca,” and a New Zealand team in 1962 climbed this same east ridge route—Ed.]

Peak 7: 5,512m 181 732621 8536496. Choquetecarpo on map. Called “Puca Puca” by the locals. We climbed the east ridge (1,100m, 5.8 M4 60°). [This peak was also first climbed by the 1959 Swiss expedition, and the east ridge had been climbed by a 1962 New Zealand team—Ed.]

Peak 8: 5,447m 181740716 8530832. East peak of Sacsarayoc on map. Called “Sacsarayoc” by the locals. The rest of the massif is known as “Pumasillo.” We climbed the north ridge up the 30m summit spire, 5.9.

On the trip I also climbed two other peaks, one with my brother Peter and one with another friend. Peter and I climbed a peak called Pitupaccha (5,090m), located above Incarajay, up the Quesqa valley from Wayabamba or Paucarcancha. We climbed the west ridge, easy 5th. Karen Perry and I climbed Jatunjasa (locally known as “Incachiriasca,” 5,338m). We scrambled up the north face, with beautiful views of Salcantay.

Conny Amelunxen, Canada

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