American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

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.

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.

Photos and Topos Click photo to view full size and see caption