AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

South America, Peru, Cordillera Huayhuash, Puscanturp Sur, El Guardian de Pachamama, to Top of Rock Wall

Puscanturpa Sur, El Guardian de Pachamama, to top of rock wall. Oriol Anglada (Catalunya) and I wanted to make our own contribution to the mountains. When we arrived in Lima, a mountain guide mentioned the walls of Puscanturpa, describing their beauty and how little it got visited. After seeing a photo and speaking with a friend who had been there, we decided to direct our efforts there.

An exhausting three-day hike brought us to base camp (4,700m), a special place in a meadow directly below Puscanturpa Norte and the impressive north wall of Puscanturpa Sur (5,550m) [see note below]. Once we saw this wall, knowing there were no routes on it, we told ourselves it was here that we wanted to climb. With a lot of psyche and a hand drill, we opened the route in four days, from July 17 to 20. The route is 7c (6c+/A2 mandatory) with 16 pitches (670m), combining face and crack climbing on high- quality granodiorite that provided perfect dihedrals and some weaving between loose blocks, but mostly enjoyable climbing on good rock. [Of the two rock buttresses on Puscanturpa Sur, this route takes the more continuous, right-hand buttress.] Althoughtwo seracs threaten the peace of the valley, our route is free of serac danger. The base of the wall is at 4,800m, so acclimatization is important. We used 38 bolts, for belays and for protection. The rappel route reverses the climb. Our route ends before crossing a snow- field of penitentes (we only had rock shoes), about 200m from the summit.

Marisol Monterrubio, Mexico (translated by Bean Bowers)

Note on naming: As with many peaks in the region, some confusion surrounds this peak’s name and location. The name “Cuyoc” has been used synonymously with Puscanturpa Sur by some climbers (including Monterrubio), locals, and even maps. The true Nevado Cuyoc, or Cuyocraju, however, is just southwest of the Puscanturpa group, on the other side of Cuyocpunta (Cuyoc Pass). Puscanturpa Sur sits between the well-known Puscanturpa Norte and Cuyoc Pass, and likely picked up the incorrect name of Cuyoc due to this proximity to Cuyoc Pass.