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Huayhuash enthousiam .. dreaming or not?

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Huayhuash enthousiam .. dreaming or not?

Postby Stboo » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:47 am

Hello SPers :)

I was watching Touching the void and reading it for a couple of times and I wonder if climbing in Cordillera Huayhuash is a realistic dream or just another way too much rugged range to get into...? :roll:

I got 2 topo maps of this range at home and I've been looking at them and tried to create some itineraries or routes with the help of Biggar's books on Andean's mountains. Climbing in that region is probably MY biggest dream since 2 years. :D

Do you got some stories about this cordillera? Do you guys got ambitions about that region too? I'm thinking about Siula Grande normal route or Yerupaja west face.

Please tell me that I'm not alone with this dream?? :oops:

-Stboo-
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Re: Huayhuash enthousiam .. dreaming or not?

Postby Luciano136 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:44 pm

There are lots of guiding companies going out in the Cordillera Huayhuash and there are some climbs you can do. Siula Grande might be really hard but there are plenty of peaks to be climbed in Huayhuash. The reason it's a little less popular than the Cordillera Blanca is its remoteness but that's it really.

Realize the dream :)
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Re: Huayhuash enthousiam .. dreaming or not?

Postby paisajeroamericano » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:26 pm

i can't comment on your ability to climb any of the aforementioned peaks, personally i don't think i will ever be prepared to attempt any of the big three in that range: yerupaja, siula grande, or jirishanca - in fact, yerupaja is probably the only peak out of the 20 or so highest andean peaks that i don't ever intend to even consider climbing

that said, i have climbed and trekked fairly extensively in the andes and the 20-day mule trek i did in the huayhuash several years back was probably the most incredible mountain experience i've had so far in my life - the classic ~10-12 day hiking circuit alone is magnificent - i believe there are three worthwhile non-technical cross-country passes that can be taken to spice up that trip (the mules, if you have support, will take alternative routes, but can meet up with you at camp) - i believe there is also a ~6-7 day mountaineer's circuit that includes higher passes that cross some of the glaciers and get you closer to the big peaks - i assume mules would not be an option for this circuit, but it seems to be of moderate difficulty and is definitely something i hope to return for at some point

as far as climbing is concerned, i imagine there are several viable options of varying difficulty apart from the 3-4 primary peaks in the range, of course, you'd have to research those yourselves - i suspect if you look hard enough you could find something appropriate for just about any level - that said, i get the impression you may be operating at a much higher level of mountaineering competence than i myself intend to profess, so i don't mean to discourage you from realizing your dreams - rather, i encourage you to visit the huayhuash regardless of your intended goals once you arrive, as it is most certainly among the finest ranges in the world!!!
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Re: Huayhuash enthousiam .. dreaming or not?

Postby paisajeroamericano » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:32 pm

p.s. - i'm not generally a huge fan of the lonely planet guidebooks anymore, but if i recall their 'trekking in the central andes' book has some pretty good info that may assist with general logistical planning, although certainly not with climbing beta
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Re: Huayhuash enthousiam .. dreaming or not?

Postby Damien Gildea » Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:09 pm

Stboo wrote: ...a realistic dream or just another way too much rugged range to get into...? :roll:

I'm thinking about Siula Grande normal route or Yerupaja west face.


I don't think there's any problem getting in there, it's getting up on top of things which is the problem :wink: Everething looks very steep, with lots of cornices etc.

Does Siula Grande have a 'normal' route? There have been a few ascents of the south face, but that really only goes to the south summit - the main summit is a long way away along a corniced ridge. The west face has had a couple of ascents since the Simpson-Yates epic, including a new variant by Carlos Buhler and friend.

Yerupaja west face got soloed a few years ago, but generally no one climbs it regularly any more (Japanese NE face a few years ago?). It used to be popular many years ago but now it's too broken up and crevassed most of the time. Of course, this may change. There have been a few attempts on the eastern side of Jirishanca in recent years, but I'm not sure any of them reached the top(?).

Biggar's book is good, but does not have much detail. I think you'd need Frimer's book:
http://www.chesslerbooks.com/item/3018- ... dition.asp

D
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Re: Huayhuash enthousiam .. dreaming or not?

Postby sharperblue » Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:24 pm

Ditto on the need for Jeremy Frimer's book; it's actually a terrifically put together and researched guide. The Word on the street was that he was in the Huayhuash this season attempting a new line on Yerupaja :) - go Jeremy!

I'm not sure if there is a 'regular route' up Siula Grande; the geography of the big Huayhuash peaks seems to inspire hard technical lines and FA's or FA attempts rather than multiple repeats, and they're notorious as no-walk-off peaks. That having been said, Siula Grande's SSE Spur route goes at D+ "a purely snow route with cruxes in surmounting ice cliffs and seracs"

So much depends on snow and ice conditions though - we were told that the Huayhuash ice is coming down so fast that many routes' ratings are way out of whack now (meaning, the routes are either gone if ice or the lines are much more severe now) and that the glaciers are considerably more broken up and dangerous than in previous years. That's all anecdote, so take it for what it's worth!
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Re: Huayhuash enthousiam .. dreaming or not?

Postby Stboo » Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:08 am

Yes your right about Siula normal route. The normal is the most obvisous route to myself i.e. climbing south on Yerupaya glacier and gettin close to the col (5700m) and climb that corniched ridge all the way with 1 lenght of grade III rock on the start of the ridge (Biggar's books). A lot of commitment and yes nobody to make the traces in the deep snow.

I wonder how do the summit-ridge snow on Siula is deep. In THVoid it looks like pretty deep. I think they film some climbing sequences in the alps?!?

Well we all need to have dream of something. I dream about climbing in a remote place like C. Huayhuash! I'm only 25 so I'll get better in mountaineering by gettin on top of nevados like Alpa-Quita-Arteson and more... (triple pyramids! :D)

Thanks guys for sharing your infos! Gotta luv this website!

The 3 biggest nevados in Huayhuash looks so hard to climb. Can't stop looking at them. Jirishanca east face looks like a hell of a climb :o
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Re: Huayhuash enthousiam .. dreaming or not?

Postby MRoyer4 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:49 pm

I did some heavy research on routes in the Huayhuash last year when I was contemplating a trip of my own. I had all the guidebooks, maps, AAJs, recent photos, trip reports, etc. It was incredibly enticing, but in the end I decided the probability of success was too slim and elected to go elsewhere. Route conditions are changing dramatically, but one of the biggest obstacles I saw was the increasingly fractured glaciers. I saw at least one trip report that mentioned being unable to access climbs because they couldn't get through the glacier.

If it's your dream, go for it; but understand that following a guidebook route is not as simple as it is in the Blanca.
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Re: Huayhuash enthousiam .. dreaming or not?

Postby Boleslav » Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:02 am

some people climb Diablo Mudo while trekking Huayhuash circiut
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Re: Huayhuash enthousiam .. dreaming or not?

Postby scottmiller » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:06 pm

I was in the Huayhuash this season just been, attempting Rasac (6014m), while we also met some Polish chaps attempting Yerupaja. Hopefully the following will help elucidate your dreams / goals..

Access:
- 5 hrs on a bus to the village where you can hire burros and an arriero..
- approx 5 hours solid walk to basecamp (janaccocha lake or something). one of the polish guys did it in jandals (right nutter); needless to say he wont be doing it again! :)
- off-track navigation is essential as there are no routes once of the trekking track

Mountains:
- steep knife blade slopes, with many severely overhung cornices (avos releasing continuously)
- considerable lack of snow in 2010 season made many peaks mixed lines where previously were sound ice and snow lines
- glaciers are becoming increasingly cut up (as noted) so adds to difficulty of access

Resources:
- definitely want Frimmers book. Caught up with him in Huaraz, he would happily return emails if you email him for beta (my impression).

Other:
- our two parties were some of the very few going into the huayhuash to climb, it is very under-climbed, probably for all the reasons above! :)

Epilogue:
- neither our team or the Polish team summited. In the end the access prevented both teams from getting onto the mountain proper, and neither party are novice in Cordillera climbing!
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