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Jbetoo

Cordillera Blanca

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I'm headed to Peru next week for 25 days. Anybody been in the Blanca recently? I'm thinking of starting with either Urus/Ishinca or Pisco/Yanapaccha/Huandoy Oeste to get started, then going after some other more difficult peaks. More concerned with conditions on Huandoy but any information about these valleys would be much appreciated.

Two buddies are climbing there right now but won't get out of the mountains until I'm flying into Lima. Itchin' for info, that's all.

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Yeah, a group of climbing buddies just got back from there a few weeks ago. They warmed up on urus and ishinca with no problems with snow conditions at that time. They moved to a new valley to try Grande Paron and Artesonraju and ran into really crappy snow conditions due to the lack of snow this year. The crevasses were really open and made glacier travel a nightmare. Not much success for them on the second part of the trip.

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just so you don't leave peru disappointed due to late season impassible conditions in the blancas, here's my 0.02...

 

-make quick work of urus and ishinca. take in the views. note the massive broken-up slope of tocllaraju and gape at the various lines offered on the north face of ranrapalca and the impassible creavasse field below it. make mental note to show up next time between late may and early july.

-return to huarez, swing into El Tambo, swill a few bigdrink.gif, and listen to fellow climbers talk story about the season before they head home. this should also reaffirm the mental note made on top of ishinca.

 

at this point, hop the bus north to trujillo in the north coast country and enjoy some of the best surf the western hemisphere has to offer. (fly your surfboard or sponge with you down to peru or buy a beater in trujillo).

 

-head directly to chicama for the unforgetable super long lefts, rockband.gif

 

-then up to mancora and surf the green waters of mancora and other nearby breaks. the small town of mancora is awesome: great eats, great sheets, eclectic locals, art, nightlife, etc.

 

-drive the coast all the way back to lima, make plans to show up next time to the blancas in late june/early july and then off to the north coast in late july/august.

 

enjoy

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Thanks for the help. I'll for sure post a trip report when I return (August 20 after spending time in southern Peru).

One of my partners made quick work of Ishinca and Urus, then turned around one pitch from the summit of Yanapaccha, due to darkness. Late start, I guess. He's just chillin' until I arrive.

The other guy, after climbing stuff around Arequipa, is going for Artesonaju and Quitaraju this week. Conditions are reportedly still good (as of 7/16, at least) on several peaks. Might just do Copa and Pisco in addition to Urus and Ishinca and call it a trip. Then will indulge myself in Pisco -- the beverage.

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Chopicalqui is a possibility - though it's way busier this year than most years due to being the backup for many parties that had planned on Huascaran or Alpamayo which are both in bad shape I guess. www.cosleyhouston.com is a good source for beta on the Blanca and they have some TRs and photos from earlier this season.

 

Supposedly there's a cool 5.8ish alpine granite ridge route on Huamashraju ... my memory is a little fuzzy ... maybe it is in Quebrada Quilquayhuanca or something? If you ask around some of the local climbers though you might find out more. Could be a fun option if the snow/ice routes are out of shape

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Urus/Ishinca...to get started, then going after some other more difficult peaks

 

when your on top of urus scope out the lines on the north face/wall of ocshapalca.

 

this wall contains a handfull of 400+ meter "sporty" mixed lines and waterfall ice to steep snow-n-ice lines.

 

i've been on the face in mid-july 2000, and a friend repeated a german mixed line during 1st-week of august last year, and both agree that the approach from ischinca base camp is rather uncomplicated even later in the season.

 

follow a moraine and make a non-trivial glacial crossing, bivy, climb.

 

also, check in with the crew that run the ischinca refugio - good beta and damn good caliente chocolate con leche.

 

(i'm super-serious about the surf!)

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Let's keep our fingers crossed Jbetoo! I'm waiting in Lima right now for the late night bus to Huaraz. We're planning on giving Shaqsha a go on Sunday. We spent a week around Cuzco acclimatizing and hiking around Machu Pichu. There was fresh snow on some of the peaks above 5000 meters (roughly).

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Shaqsha is in fine shape aside from a short 80 degree section. Pisco is in good shape with no crevasse issues and one short 45 degree ice section. Chopicalqui is in good shape. There are a few crevasses to jump but nothing too severe. There are two steep ice sections on Chopicalqui but you´ll be fine with two ice tools.

 

cheers bigdrink.gif

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