American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Jurau B, northwest face to northeast ridge (no summit)

Peru, Cordillera Huayhuash

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Beto Pinto
  • Climb Year: 2014
  • Publication Year: 2015

On July 7, Daniel Araiza (Mexico), our cook William, and I left Huaraz and made our way toward the eastern Huayhuash. The next day we walked for three hours to reach Laguna Carhuacocha. On July 9 we hiked with all our equipment to a camp in the moraine, where we met our other team member, Florian Burger (Belgium), who had been acclimatizing. On July 10 we set up a high camp on the Yerupaja Glacier, just northwest of Siula Grande at ca 5,300m. 

On July 11 we departed early to scout a route on Yerupaja (6,635m) but concluded it was too dangerous and decided to head toward Siula Grande (6,344m) instead; however, conditions on this peak proved to be equally unstable. Having heard that nearby Jurao B (5,728m), located directly below Siula Grande’s northeast face, was still unclimbed, we decided to make an attempt on that peak. [Editor’s note: In AAJ 2007, an Italian team reported making the first ascent of the unclimbed peak labelled Pt 5,740m on the Peruvian map, which they called “Siula Antecima.” And in AAJ 2008, it was noted that this peak was Jurau B (5,727m). However, with new information it is now clear the Italians climbed Jurau A (5,617m). The primarily ice-covered Jurau B lies between the primarily rocky Jurau A and Siula Grande’s northeast face, and is believed to be unclimbed. Beto Pinto and party’s 2014 ascent described below reached the summit ridge but failed to reach the true summit.]

On July 12 we rested due to avalanche activity. Finally, on July 13 we awoke at midnight and headed toward the northwest face of Jurao B. After traveling through heavily crevassed terrain, we reached the base at 3 a.m. We found many snow mushrooms near the bergschrund and did some overhanging climbing to continue upward. Above, we followed snow and ice flutings (60° to 80°) to gain the upper northeast ridge. Below the ridge we found tricky climbing through large penitents. We reached the northeast ridge at 6:30 a.m., just as the sun was rising. From there we hoped to traverse south along the ridge to the summit, however we found it to be blocked by a dangerous 10m-snow mushroom. We called out route El Inca, El Cachaco y el Azteca (300m, AD 60–90°) and rappelled the route, reaching the base at 10 a.m.

Beto Pinto, Peru

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