OverviewThe Caraz peaks (3 in total) are located in the Laguna Paron area. Caraz II can be identified by three prominent couloirs on it's East face, that lead to a technical summit headwall.
The East face has no easy routes - the easiest is graded TD and doesn't reach the summit.
Getting ThereFrom Huaraz, take a colectivo to the township of Caraz (US$1). Hire a taxi or 4WD to take you up to Laguna Paron (a taxi costs approximately US$15 to $20 each way).
At the trailhead, walk around the left side of the lake, and follow the well defined trail up to the Moraine Camp for Artensonraju and Piramide de Garcilazo Norte. Porters can be hired for US$20 to take your packs to Moraine Camp.
From the Moraine Camp head up to the glacier below the East face and establish a high camp either on the glacier or one of the protected rock outcrops below. Be aware of possible serac falls when setting up your camp!!!
Routes - East FaceLeft Hand Couloir: The first recorded ascent of the central couloir was in 1997 by Ally Coull, Mark Kendrick and Muir Morton. They jokingly named the route the 'Superduper Couloir' - TD 500m, 80-90 degree ice/mixed. 'Superduper Couloir - Salida Directa de Los Gordes' ED1 700m, 90-95 degree ice, 6a, A2 was put up by Frenchmen Damien Astoul, Mathieu Detrie, Gaspard Petiot and Basile Petiot on 20-21 of July 2004. This rather aesthetic line follows the Superduper Couloirs inital steep ice pitches and subsequent couloir to the summit headwall. A more direct finish up loose rock for three pitches leads onto the summit ridge.
Right Hand Couloir: The first recorded ascentionists of this couloir were Fisher, Warfield and Sheldrake (no summit, 10 July 1986). The 'Australian Route' ED1 720m, W3, V+, A2 was established by Matt Scholes and Ant Morgan on 24-25 of July 2004. It climbs the Right hand couloir for 350 vertical metres before moving left onto the rib between the Right hand and central couloir. Seven 60m pitches of mixed terrain leads to the summit headwall, which was climbed at V+ and A2.
Central Couloir: This line is yet to receive a recorded ascent. The first two pitches look like thin, mixed climbing before giving way easier angled snow. The final mixed section and summit headwall could however prove very interesting...
Descent: The easiest way to descend the East face is by V-threads down the left couloir.
Other RoutesThe 2005 American Alpine Journal has an extensive listing of all known routes on the East Face (ISBN: 0-930410-97-1). Information regarding other routes on Caraz II including the South East ridge and North face can be found in "Escaladas en los Andes, guía de la Cordillera Blanca" by JJ. Tomé (ISBN: 84-89969-43-4).
Also, a great topo and guide to the South face of neighbouring Caraz I can be found in "Classic Climbs of the Cordillera Blanca" by Brad Johnson (ISBN: 1-890437-90-5).
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