South America, Peru, Pirámide de Garcilaso and Alpamayo in the Cordillera Blanca, and Jutunhuma and Cayungate I in the Cordillera Vilcanota

Publication Year: 1958.

Pirámide de Garcilaso and Alpamayo in the Cordillera Blanca, and Jutunhuma and Cayungate I in the Cordillera Vilcanota. An expedition of the Swabian Section of the Deutscher Alpenverein established its base camp on the eastern shore of Parrón Lake in the Cordillera Blanca. Their chief objective here, the Pirámide de Garcilaso (19,308 feet), had repelled the Germans in 1955 and the British in 1956. Nick Clinch’s expedition had hoped to attempt it later in the summer. The Germans established Camp I at 15,750 feet and Camp II at 18,200 feet on the north ridge of the north peak. After surmounting a 50-foot ice step and then another shorter one, the leader, Günter Hauser, with Bernhard Kuhn and Horst Wiedmann, on May 23 reached the summit of Pirámide’s north peak (18,537 feet), but the jagged snow ridge precluded any further advance towards the main peak. The following day they climbed a steep ice slope to a col between the peaks of the Nevados de Parrón. With the Peruvian porter, Emilio Angeles, they reached the summit of Parrón Chico (18,209 feet), only two rope-lengths above the col. The next day the Germans returned to the col and climbed Parrón Grande (18,537 feet). They returned to Pirámide, attacking the northwest face, in the middle of which they reached a terrace. Thence they climbed one of the 60° ice gulleys that leads to the top. After a bivouac just below the summit, they climbed the remaining two difficult rope-lengths on the morning of May 29. Their next ascent, June 20, was that of Alpamayo (20,079 feet), on which they were joined by the fourth member of the expedition, Frieder Knauss. The Peruvian César Morales Arnao points out that this is the first ascent. The Franco-Belgian expedition of 1951 ascended from the north and were cut off from the highest point by séracs. The Germans climbed up the south ridge and reached the highest point.

Transferring their field of activity, the Germans moved to the Cordillera Vilcanota, where they found that some of their objectives coincided with those of the Harvard Andean Expedition. The Americans had already been turned back on Jatunhuma (19,994 feet) by a bulwark of ice, which the Germans ascended up a 150-foot crack in the ice. Hauser, Kuhn, and Wiedmann were joined by the American ambassador’s son, Theodore Achilles, on their climb on July 27. From Camp III, 1000 feet below the top, Hauser and Kuhn climbed on July 30 Cayungate I (about 19,685 feet) up steep slopes covered with breakable crust. They climbed three peaks to which they gave names: Kakakiru (18,865 feet) by Wiedmann and Knauss, August 2; Caracol (18,700 feet) by Hauser, Kuhn, and Achilles, August 3; and Mariposa (19,125 feet) by Wiedmann and the Peruvian Eugenio Angeles. On August 15 Hauser, Kuhn, and Achilles climbed Yayamari (19,710 feet). The ascent by Knauss and Wiedmann of Campa I (17,717 feet) was a fourth. It had previously been climbed by Austrians, Peruvians, and the Harvard Andean Expedition.