The trek around Peru's Cordillera Huayhuash is among the most engaging I have ever done It is one of the world's classic walks. Beginning in Chiquan on the northwest side of the range, the complete 100-mile circumnavigation can be done in an extremely comfortable ten to fifteen days. There is fantastic fishing in lakes Mitucocha, Carhuacocha, Jahuacocha, and Vjconga, and the views of Yerupaji, Siuli, Rasac, Rondoy, and Jirishanca are ever-changing and inspirational.
I have made two circuits of the Huayhuash, each time less for the climbing than for the trek itself, but each time a pack of climbing gear somehow managed to find its way onto the burro. On the first trip in 1983, the North Buttress of Puscanturpa Norte caught my eye, and there 1 made one of the best free rock climbing solos 1 have ever done. I also fell under the spell of the the South Face of
221 ▼ The South Face of Trapecio, Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru
Trapecto, which didn't look very difficult in the lower and upper regions, but the veil-like middle section was at once horrifying and ultimately attractive. The thought of climbing it was like contemplating an affair with the seductive wife of an ayatollah
In 1985, the burro was again overburdened with a climbing pack, this time containing ice gear. After doing the most difficult and insecure solo ice climbing of my life, I quit my climb above the crux rock band. Although the 500 feet of climbing from there to the summit looked easy, i had no more stomach for risk, and 1 rappelled and down-climbcd from that point, So far as I know, the route awaits a first complete ascent. Location; The South Face of Trapecio is near the southern end of the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru. First Ascent: Jeff Lowe, July 1985 (incomplete) Elevation Cain: About 2,000 feel, from approximately 16,500 feet to the summit at 58,500 feet Difficulty: Crade V, Wl6+ VS
Time: Probably a full day for a fast party, with a bivouac possible on the dcscent Equipment: Six or eight ice screws, two or three hook-type ice pitons, six or eight rock pitons (including several knifebiades), one or two dead-men, bivouac gear or not—at your discretion Season: June to August
Comments: In the 1980s there were a number of problems between trekkers and members of the Senders iuminoiQ (Shining Path). These Marxist rebels robbed and shot several tourists, not to mention massacring many locals in the guise of "liberating" the country from the "capitalists." However, since their ideological leader was captured and jailed in 1992, the situation seems to have settled down, and it now appears quite safe Tropecio (Pholo: Jeff L<m) to travel in the area.
Approach: Travel by bus from Lima to Huaraz, then by truck to Chiquian, where it is possible to hire an arriero (guide) and burro(s). The arriero can guide you to a campsite in a beautiful meadow at 15,000 feet, below the South Face of Trapecio, It involves approximately six days of walking—-time well spent, Route: Begin up a couloir/ramp system of bulging white ice in the middle of the face. About 300 or 400 feet of Al3 to 4 climbing leads to 40° to 45° snowfields, which are followed for probably 500 feet to the base of the crux headwall. The first rope-length is AI3 and 4 climbing in an open corner. The next pitch begins with a very difficult series of mixed moves, which are followed by easier going on thick, but quite steep, 85° blue water ice. The last pitch of the head wall is completely vertical for a full rope-length, a 10-foot-wide stripe of snow ice only I to 3 inches thick, The still-unclimbed slopes above the headwall are fairly uniform, at an average angle of 50° to 55° and mostly névé. However, there appear to be one or two steeper pitches (class 4 to 5?) through the upper rock bands.
223 V The Southwest Buttress of Taulliraju, Cordillera Blanco, Peru
Descent: My plan for the descent was to down-climb and rappel the East Ridge, which is mainly snow with some apparent serac and cliff obstacles, but nothing that appears too unreasonable. In fact, I made three rappels from the top of the headwall from rock pitons and down-climbed the remainder of the face. My descent required about two and a half hours.
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