American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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Huantsan West, Les Trois Mousquetaires, Huantsan North, Illusion

South America, Peru, Cordillera Blanca

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Sophie Denis, AAC
  • Climb Year: 2010
  • Publication Year: 2011

From the Rajucolta Valley on July 20, Beto Pinto, Rolando Morales, and I crossed the moraine onto the glacier, navigated extensive crevasses, and camped at approximately 5,100m. The next day, carrying little, we approached the bottom of the face It was a mess. Hip- deep snow made trail-breaking a challenge and increased the crevasse difficulties, but we finally crossed the bergschrund and began climbing the south face of the west ridge of Huantsan’s west summit. A nice couloir, 50-60° with deep snow and loose rocks, steepened to 70°, 80°, and 90°. At the end of the last pitch, we tunneled through a hanging mushroom, continued to the summit at 7 p.m., and endured an open bivouac. We called our route Les Trois Mousquetaires.

After resting all day, on July 22 at 8:00 p.m., we started climbing to Huantsan’s north summit. We passed some crevasses and climbed three easy (50°) pitches, then continued past some loose rocks and up a couloir of good 70-80° ice to pass a big mushroom on the ridge. We summited Huantsan North after 12 hours of climbing, named our route Illusion, and descended to our previous night’s open bivouac.

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