Jirishanca, east face to east buttress, attempt
Peru, Cordillera Huayhuash
On May 27, 2012, German climbers Michi Wohlleben, Johannes Arne, Bergau Jahn, and photographer Hans Hornberger traveled to Lima to attempt Jirishanca (6,094m). From Huaraz they headed to Chiquian, and a few days later set up a base camp above Carhuacocha (ca 4,500m) and an advanced base camp above Laguna Chaclan (ca 4,950m). Their ascent began on the east face’s limestone wall via the 2003 De Luca-Piccini-Stoppini route called Suerte, which was not completed to the summit. [See AAJ 2004 for Jirishanca’s climbing history.]The team linked Suerte to the Egger-Jungmair route [AAJ 1958] on the east buttress/northeast spur, and after 10 days of climbing they descended from 100m below the summit due to soft snow.
Snow and hail turned the limestone face into mixed terrain early on. The Germans fixed ropes to a bivouac used by De Luca, Piccini and Stoppini before returning to base camp for a rest day. The following day they climbed from their highpoint to another bivouac at ca. 5,350m and spent the night in a snowcave. The next day they overcame difficulties on the headwall up to 6c+, WI5 +, and A1. They arrived in the afternoon at the ice shelf (ca. 5,800m) below the northeast spur and bivouacked in an ice cave.
The next day they reached a second platform of ice. After overcoming a difficult pitch, they climbed easier terrain to reach the summit ridge (ca. 5,950-6,000m). They made a decision to descend only 100m from the summit because, as Wohlleben wrote, "Climbing up might have been feasible, but getting down again would have been a problem due to sugar snow.” They rappelled through the night removing much of the fixed ropes and reached base camp at 2:30 p.m. and removed the remaining fixed ropes the following day before departing for Huaraz.