In June, José María “Chemari” Andres, Christine Baschinger, Samuel Gomez, Jorge Valle, and I (all Spaniards) climbed new routes on the northeast faces of Jurau A (5,640m) and Jurau B (5,727m), which are the two main peaks on the northeast flank of Siulá Grande (see disambiguation note below). We climbed alpine style by logical routes, however did not reach the true summits of either peak.
We reached our base camp at Laguna de Siulácocha (4,290m) on June 13, following acclimatization climbs in the Cordillera Blanca.
Chemari and Samuel Gómez teamed up to climb a new route on Jurau A’s rocky northeast face. They left base camp on June 18 to make a high camp around 4,700m on the east flank of Jurau A and B, above Laguna Quesillococha. The next day they climbed seven pitches, encountering difficult snow climbing, and then bivouacked. On the second day they climbed nine pitches, reaching a second bivouac. On day three they made a summit push but were turned back a few meters from the top due to the dangerous state of the snow. They retreated to their previous bivouac and spent a third night on the wall. On June 22, they completed the descent to base camp by rappelling the face. They called the route Chanchos y Chacras (1,000m, 6c M4 + 65°); it is characterized mostly by rock climbing, with some stretches of mixed and snow climbing.
At the same time, Jorge Valle and I teamed up to climb Jurau B. We left base camp on June 19, using the same high camp around 4,700m. On June 20, we began climbing at 4:30 a.m. up a prominent goulotte on the northeast side and found good conditions (200m, WI4). We then traversed up and left on obvious terrain for 200m, then up and right for many pitches to reach the northeast rib. We followed the rib and then traversed left and upward on snow toward the lower northern summit (5,650m). After more than 18 hours of climbing, terrible snow conditions and a lack of protection forced us down approximately 20m below this summit. We bivouacked in an ice cave not far below our high point and then began our full descent at sunrise, making ten 70m rappels along with downclimbing. The route to our high point was 900m, WI4 + M6 75°.
– David Pérez, Spain
Jurau A and Jurau B, Disambiguation and Notes on 2018 Climbs: The 2018 AAJ perpetuated an error regarding the “Jurau” chain of peaks by noting that a 2017 attempt on the east face of Siulá Grande began on “Siula Antecima.” This should have been described as Jurau B, the modern name for this summit.
The Nevados Jurau were historically noted to be the chain of peaks extending north to south along the entire eastern flank of Siulá Grande, from Cerro Azulchocha in the north to Nevado Trapecio in the south. This was first documented in a 1939 German cartographic study, and the alphabetical enumerations of the Nevados Jurau were confirmed by the Peruvian government in 1969–1970. Jurau is the Quechua name for a local grass with a purple flower that grows at the base of these peaks.
Subsequently, however, a surge of climbing activity on the Siulá Grande massif and ensuing documentation labeled the 5,640m and 5,727m peaks extending from Siulá Grande’s northeast flank as Jurau A and Jurau B, northwest of the original Jurau chain. The “real” Jurau A and B are probably the 5,350m and 5,594m peaks extending from the northeast ridge of Nevado Carnicero (5,980m; Jurau C: by the alphabetical classification). However, despite the illogical labeling of Jurau A and B on Siulá Grande’s northeast side, it is best to stick with the modern working definition to avoid further confusion. [Sevi Bohorquez has prepared an excellent annotated map and photos, viewable on the AAJ website, to illustrate these discrepancies. Further information can be found at his blog on Andean climbing.]
Therefore, the initial Bernasconi-Bordella 2017 attempt on the east face of Siulá Grande began on the flanks of Jurau B (5,727m) not, as stated in AAJ 2018, on “Siula Antecima,” which is a subsidiary point northeast of the true summit of Jurau A (5,640m) and which was named erroneously by a 2007 Italian expedition. The primarily ice-covered Jurau B lies between the primarily rocky Jurau A and Siulá Grande’s northeast face.
The 2018 climb by José María Andres and Samuel Gómez on Jurau A ended a few meters below what we could call the northwest summit (ca 5,500m). This minor summit is almost 200m away from the true summit, which has just one recorded ascent, by Lindauer and Salger in 1964 (the peak was called “Nevado Bavaria” in AAJ 1965). Likewise, the 2018 climb by José David Pérez and Jorge Valle on Jurau B ended below what would be considered the northern summit (ca 5,650m), which was reached by Pinto, et al, in 2014 (AAJ 2015). The highest top of Jurau B remains unclimbed.
– Erik Rieger, adapted from information provided by Sevi Bohorquez, Peru