American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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South America, Peru, Cordillera Huayhuash, Siula Chico, A Scream of Silence, to Summit Ridge

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

Siula Chico, A Scream of Silence, to summit ridge. Our five-member Slovene expedition to the Cordillera Huayhuash had plans for a direct line on the southeast face of Jiris- hanca and a new line on the southeast face of Siula Chico. However, two members had health problems, so only three of us were active. We set up base camp Lake Carhuacocha, reached from Queropalca. My brother Anze, Ziga Ster, and I, on July 25, climbed to the middle of Jirishanca’s southeast face, but turned back because the wall was too difficult and objectively dangerous, and the weather was bad. [Their direct attempt shared a common start with Fear and Loathing (see photo AAJ 2004, p. 48), but after continuing left above the entry couloir (where F&L goes right), they climbed ice and mixed terrain trending back right, above and parallel to the 2003 line, to the base of the major (unclimbed) square rock headwall in the center of the face. They climbed along the right edge of the head- wall, retreating from just above its half-height—Ed.]

Four days later we approached the southeast face of Siula Chico in eight hours of glacier walking and climbing. We pitched a tent and spent a day watching the wall. The direct line on Siula Chico had too little snow, so we decided to try a gully between Siula Chico and Siula Grande. We had time for only a quick ascent. The next day, August 1, at 3 a.m. my brother and I started up the wall, while Ziga stayed in the tent, not feeling well. We took only one rucksack, with equipment for only one day. At the beginning we had problems with deep snow, but on the steeper part of the line conditions were good. The key was the wall’s 200m central part, with steep icefall climbing (70°-90°). The upper part, a nice couloir, brought us to a saddle between Siulas Grande and Chico. We then climbed for 11 hours. We tried to cross to Siula Chico, but the ridge was too dangerous and difficult. After gaining 50m in two hours, we turned around. At 8 p.m. we were again at the tent, 19 hours after leaving. The route’s 14 pitches are all ice and snow. Conditions were mostly good, except for the first pitch (deep snow) and the last pitch of the central part (bad ice mixed with empty snow). The route is composed of three parts: a 200m snowfield (60°-70°), a 200m icefall (70°-90°) and a 200m couloir (65°-85°).

We named the route, A Scream of Silence (5+/VI, 60°-90°, 600m), a memorial route for our good friend Matej Mosnik who died on Copa in the Cordillera Blanca in July.

Tine Marfnce, Slovenia

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