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South America, Peru, Cordillera Blanca, Hualcán Peak, 5,350m (Nevado Libron), East Ridge, and Huichganga, South Ridge

Hualcán Peak 5,350m (Nevado Libron), east ridge, and Huichganga, south ridge. On July 10 Dave Sykes and I (both British) made what may be the first ascent of a peak that is in the vicinity of Hualcán. The peak is on the northeast ridge of Hualcán and, although unnamed to our knowledge, has the spot height of 5,350m. [This peak was reportedly climbed from the south in 1973, but unnamed. It seems possible, however, based on the geography, terrain, and the 1973 team’s report, that they may have climbed the next peak along the ridge to the east. If Peak 5,350m was previously unclimbed, Barton and Sykes have suggested the name Nevado Libron (Laguna Libron is below the peak) —Ed.].

I noticed this peak previously, when I was in the Quebrada Cancaracá Grande with an M.E.F.-sponsored expedition. However, we approached from the Quebrada Huichganga and climbed the mountain by its east ridge. An easy glacier led to the ridge and straightforward climbing to the foot of the difficulties. These consisted of five pitches of up to Scottish IV mixed (AD+). We gained the summit, though not a view, as we climbed in typically Scottish conditions of thick clouds and intermittent snowfall. We descended the south face. Four abseils and an easy traverse of the glacier put us back on our ascent route. It is perhaps worth noting that point 5,267m, named on some maps as Nevado Huichganga, appears to have been first climbed on June 25, 2002. Steve Head and Glen Stelzl climbed its south ridge at PD. I cannot find any more info regarding this part of the Blanca, despite a fair bit of digging.

Anthony Barton, United Kingdom