American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Cordillera Blanca, Yanawaca, Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2005

Yanawaca, attempt. Last May two Mexican friends, Carlos Bazua Morales and Emiliano Villanueva Rabotnikof, and I traveled to the Cordillera Blanca with the idea of opening a new route on the wall known as Yanawaka (also called Peña Negra, ca 4,900m). From Huaraz, we traveled by truck to the Quebrada de Parón. Once there we took two days to explore and study the wall. Our base camp was under a big boulder in the moraine on the approach to the wall, about 15 minutes from the northwest face. After deciding where to start, we fixed three ropes and pulled the two “pigs” to the third belay. We then rested, because two members had the flu.

Five days later, on June 1, we returned, jugged the three pitches, opened pitch four, and bivouacked. The next day we opened only one more pitch, and on the following day two more pitches in excellent, vertical granite cracks, with both free and aid climbing. Our fourth day back on the wall started with easy face climbing to a ridge and finished with pitch nine in an excellent dihedral. Day five brought exposed free climbing on the ridge, face climbing into a dihedral, and a long pitch 12. We continued up 4th class terrain between trees and continued on class 2 terrain. On day six we hiked up more class 2 to the 13th belay, then climbed a dirty crack to an old, dry tree. Pitch 15 involved a 5.7 hand crack that got us to the top of the big pillar at 4,408m. We had climbed 735m (VI 5.10 A2) but decided to descend. Two of us had strong coughs, and we had only two days more of food and water. We bivouacked at pitch 13 and on day seven began rappelling at 11 a.m., reaching the base at 9 p.m. The next day we left the beautiful Quebrada de Parón. Another 600m of unclimbed vertical rock remains below the top of the wall. We estimate five more days of climbing, and another two to descend.

Luis Carlos García Ayala, Mexico

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