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[TR] Shaqsha- West Face 7/20/2005

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Climb: Shaqsha-West Face


Date of Climb: 7/20/2005


Trip Report:

This climb had a little bit of everything! Started out by catching a taxi from Huaraz to the tiny town of Huanchipampa (sp?) where the driver tried to rip us off a few soles. Next, we had to wait for over an hour for a funeral procession. Turns out the approach trail goes right by the local cemetery so we stood there and waited for over an hour for respect. The first night we camped in a field at 4200 meters to acclimatize a bit more. We had spent some time in Cuzco earlier but we had been in Lima for almost 24 hours so we weren´t sure how that would effect us. The next day we plodded up to some slabs at the base of the glacier. Suddenly, a cowboy appeared out of nowhere! He wanted to help me move my pack up the mountain. At first I was a bit afraid he was going to take off with it but after talking with him a bit I decided to give it a go. He moved my pack a few hundred meters up the mountain until we caught up with Al. Next, our cowboy friend tried to put both of our packs on his horse, which didn´t make the horse very happy! He gave up on that idea after the horse looked ready to collapse after a few steps. Even though it didn´t work out, we were very thankful for his effort and I gave him a Canada tag as a souvenir and thanked him.

That night we had the most amazing campsite on a flat slab overlooking the glacier and surrounding valley at 5000 meters. The next morning we were off by 3am. We got a bit off route at the start and had to belay a pitch up between two seracs to get to the route shown in Brad Johson´s guidebook. If we had stayed as high as possible right from the start things would of been easier. The rest of the approach across the glacier was fairly trivial. We worked our way across the West Face, at one point we were forced to belay a pitch of 80 degree ice up a serac but the rest was non-technical. We used pickets for belays and screws for the steep ice. A bit of routefinding and one final steep pitch got us to the summit. We made three rappels down the glacier on in-situ pickets for the steeper serac sections. We made it back to camp by 2pm thoroughly exhausted. At one point I even had to rest on rappel! It was a great climb. I´m definetely going to enjoy a few days rest and relaxation in Huaraz before the next trip.



Gear Notes:

4 ice screws (used 3)

4 pickets (used 2)


Approach Notes:

taxi, horse (200 meters), trail from Huanchipampa

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Thats funny, we just tried to put up a new route on shaqsha about 4 days ago...Burros are the shit, fuck porters. We failed after 1500 feet of rock and 400 feet of ice...but summitted chopi today.

Glad to hear you summitted the nw face, that has seen few ascents in the last few years due to serac danger and route finding issues. bigdrink.gifthumbs_up.gif

the weather sur eis dependable around here, and it is huaripapa..LOL

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Thanks for the spelling correction! Now I just need to learn to say it properly.


Small world, I guess those must have been your footprints we saw then. Would have been even stranger if we bumped into you up there.


Maybe we´ll see you around! Happy Peru day!


By the way Skyclimb. Can you just pay to take out the burros and not bother with the porter then?




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By the way Skyclimb. Can you just pay to take out the burros and not bother with the porters then?


Answered my own question today...yeah porters suck! burros are cool but i don´t feel like feeding, paying for the burro driver as well cheeburga_ron.gif

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