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South America, Peru, Cordillera Vilcanota, San Braullo, West Glacier; Alccachaya, South Ridge; Quimsachata Este, Via de las Vizcachas

San Braullo, West Glacier; Alccachaya, South Ridge; Quimsachata Este, Via de las Vizcachas. In July and August I led an Andes expedition group in the southern half of the Vilcanota. We traveled to the mountains via the city of Cuzco and the village of Tinqui, then trekked through the northern Vilcanota past Laguna Sibinacocha. The expedition finished by trekking out through the remote southern Vilcanota to the town of Corani.

On August 4, from a camp by the Rio Mates, J. Bull, T. Frawley, N. Little, B. Woods, and I ascended the West Glacier of San Braullo (ca 5,674m by GPS). It was a straightforward snow and ice route at about Alpine PD.

The following day L. Biggar and I, and clients J. Bull and T. Frawley, made a first ascent of the long South Ridge of Alccachaya (5,780m; also known as Intermedio), which is the most prominent peak in this part of the range. This gave a long day at about Alpine AD, on a mixture of rock followed by a fine snow arête. We descended the northeast face.

Finally, on August 7, in sunny weather, the group climbed a fine granite slab followed by a short ridge on the northeast side of Quimsachata Este (ca 5,370m by GPS), grade about UIAA III or IV. L. Biggar led the route, Via de las Vizcachas, while J. Bull, T. Frawley, B. Woods, and I seconded. We were preceded up the easier lower slab by several vizcachas!

During the expedition various members also climbed other peaks, including Tacusiri (5,350m), Jatunñaño Punta (5,812m), and Quimsachata Oeste (5,400m).

John Biggar, U.K.