Pumahuacanca, northeast face
Peru, Cordillera Urubamba
. I left Huaraz on October 14 with aspirant guide Yonny Rosales to teach a guiding course. Our itinerary included Shacsha, Huruashraju, Rurec, and Cashan, in addition to some rescue training. After a couple of days in the mountains we decided to attempt a new route on the northeast face of Pumahuacanca (5,563m). I had made my own investigation of Pumahuacanca prior to leaving for the course. According to the AAJ, the most recent recorded ascent was completed via the northwest face in 1969 [AAJ 1970].
Our plan was to start on the east ridge before traversing onto the northeast face, so we took equipment for snow travel. We left camp at 6 a.m. on October 16, crossing along the right side of Tararhua Lake, and after one hour Yonni and I arrived at the base of the wall with six additional aspirant guides. We split into pairs, hoping to climb four different routes on the face.
Yonni and I choose a direct route, and after three hours of intermittent simul-climbing we reached the summit via our new route, El Sexto Teletubbies (300m, 5c+ 50-70°). On the summit we waited for the other teams and created a large cairn while enjoying the sun. Unfortunately, one of the rope-teams had suffered an accident when a large stone fell onto the leader’s fingers. We quickly descended to mid-height on the mountain to administer first aid, and after 11 hours of work we arrived back at our base camp.