American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Nevado Ranrapalca, La Paliza del Ranrapalca

South America, Peru, Cordillera Blanca,

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Sergio Ramírez Carrascal, Peru
  • Climb Year: 2009
  • Publication Year: 2010

The south face of Ranrapalca (6,162m) ca 6km wide, with rock, ice, and snow rising for 750-850m. Peruvian mountaineers and guides (AGMP-UIAGM) Eloy Salazar Obregón, Octavio Salazar Obregón, and Eric Albino (aspirant guide) started in the Cojup Valley on August 26, proceeding until a fork of the valley brought them to a spot below the face, where they camped at 4,800m. The next day, in bad weather, they scouted a possible route. The glacier leading to the base was in horrible condition, with fragile ice, huge crevasses, and delicate ice bridges. After feeling confident about their route, they returned to camp. Surprisingly, the weather improved, so they ate a light meal, tried to sleep, and at 11 p.m. began their attempt. Early on August 28 they crossed a bergschrund and, a few meters higher, another, at ca 5,150m. The first 240m had loose 50-60° snow, which they simul-climbed. They then belayed 40m of mixed climbing and resumed simul-climbing on hard snow for 240m, reaching hard ice near the top of the face. After an overhanging final passage, they entered an 80° couloir that in 120m led directly to the ridge. On the ridge they hiked to the summit, which they reached at 6:30 p.m. They descended the 55° east face and returned to camp, completing the ascent in 20 hours and the descent in nine hours. La Paliza del Ranrapalca (850m, ED 50°-90795°).

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