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Climbing in Cordillera Blanca in 2012!

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Climbing in Cordillera Blanca in 2012!

Postby Stboo » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:23 pm

Hi SPers,

like my post said I will be climbing in the CB in early july for a month this summer. I was already been there and I wonder if regulations and permits have change in Huascaran NP.

Does park authorities still have the rule of the mandatory guide? Some of you uses Alpine club cards to enter the park and it seems to work well too.

I also heard that we need permits to climb and have a full sheet of informations to fill... (insurance, experience, etc.) Is that true or just rumors?

Now the fun parts!! :lol:

I want to know your plans for this season. Which mountains by which face. New routes. What's in and what's out of conditions (summer 2011)?

My wish list:

Tocclaraju west face direct
Ranrapalca Northeast face
Shaqsha west face (true summit) or south summit
Huandoys??
Quitaraju north face
Artesonraju southeast face
Alpamayo French direct
Huascaran sur Shield route

Planning on acclimatate via Hatun machay's sport routes.

Thanks :mrgreen:
Last edited by Stboo on Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Climbing in Cordillera Blance in 2012!

Postby bledl » Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:45 pm

What a pity!
Wanna be there in august. That`s too late, I guess...but I have similar plans.
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Re: Climbing in Cordillera Blance in 2012!

Postby Stboo » Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:35 pm

I will probably be there until 1st week of august Bledl. Then you'll just have to follow my path ;)
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Re: Climbing in Cordillera Blance in 2012!

Postby rgg » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:58 am

As for the park pass and permit situation in 2011, I updated the Red Tape chapters of the two Huascarán peaks recently. Take your pick, Norte or Sur. Nobody asked for a list of peaks that I had climbed, but if you can't show an alpine membership card, you can try to use it to persuade the officials that you know what you are doing.


Tocclaraju west face looked out of shape. Seracs and cornices making things dangerous, and the snow was gone on part of the face, making it a mixed rock climb. In contrast, the NW ridge route was in excellent shape.

I haven't heard if anybody climbed it, but the Ranrapalca northeast face looked all right from neighboring Ishinca. A few seracs on the lower part, but not nearly as much as on some other faces. A very big crevasse high up, but it appeared that it could be passed on the left side. In general, there was a bit less snow than what I saw in older photos, both on SP and Brad Johnsons guidebook. The last part below the summit ridge was mostly rock.

I heard that Huandoy might be possible from the Paron valley. From the east and the south, there were dangerous seracs high on the mountain. On the descent from Pisco, I saw an avalanche coming down, underlining the danger.

On the Shield, the normal route keeps to the left, but at the bottom a part of it was missing and a serac was hanging above it. In the middle, the ice was extremely hard, and I heard about climbers returning after a few meters because they found it too hard to get their ice screws in. And on the right, the steepest line, a big bergschrund blocked access.
Image
The Shield in 2011

I'm more into alpine climbing, but by the end of my trip, when I didn't have time for another big mountain anymore, I visited Hatun Machay. The routes are of excellent quality, and there are enough of them to keep climbing for weeks!


For more info, don't forget to check out the thread Conditions Cordillera Blanca 2011, and the summit log entries and trip reports of course.
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Re: Climbing in Cordillera Blanca in 2012!

Postby Stboo » Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:20 pm

Thanks RGG, are you planning a trip down there for 2012?

Surprising informations about Tocllaraju! I was sure that this will be a reliable face with a lot of ice and snow .. not rocks... :( Guess I have to plan accordingly!

Ranrapalca's northeast is also interesting. WOnder how much deep snow is on the summit plateau?!? Could be a painful climb up there at 6000m++

Huandoy from Paron valley excellent idea. I've look at some topos and it seems doable. Have you seen any pictures of approach and glacier climb from there??

The shield will be my last climb if I have a perfect acclimatization. I'll plan this one with the latest informations... so may-june 2012! :D

Same for me, I prefer Alpine climbing but at 4200m hatun machay will be a perfect acclimatization for the first couple days in Huaraz. I want to take my time before going to the alpine stuffs :)

RGG : You live in Amsterdam. Do you speak french ...!??

Thanks again! :D
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Re: Climbing in Cordillera Blanca in 2012!

Postby rgg » Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:44 pm

After spending some time further south, I was in Huaraz and the Cordillera Blanca from mid June 2011 to almost the end of August in 2011. And still it was much too short to climb everything I would have liked! My plans for 2012 are not fixed yet, but I'm thinking about the Alps at the moment.

Deep snow can make any route hard work, but I wouldn't be too worried for Ranrapalca. Looking at the map and at my photos, it's not very far to go to the summit of Ranrapalca once you've climbed the NE face. Even if there is indeed powder on top, how bad can it be, compared to climbing the face itself?

The northernmost peak I climbed was Pisco Oeste, which is east of Huandoy, so I don't have any photos of the north side. By the end of my stay, I was considering going to the Paron valley, and talked to a mountain guide about my plans. Huandoy wasn't one of them, but I would have had photos if I had gone there. However, he asked too much money, so I didn't hire him. Shortly after that, I met another climber and we decided to climb Chopicalqui instead. We only hired porters for that, no guide. It turned out to be one of the best climbs I did out there :D !

As for planning the Shield, ask around in Huaraz, at Casa de Guias and in the various agencies in town, just before going up there. And if the answers are not unequivocally positive, you could decide to go up there, have a look and decide on the spot; if the route is not in condition, you can climb Sur, Norte or both along the normal routes, so you'll still get some climbing done.

Personally, I wouldn't want to go and sleep at Hatun Machay straight away when coming from the lowlands. Most people cope better with the altitude after sleeping a few nights in Huaraz first and going on day trips. I met many climbers with limited time who slept too high too quickly and paid a price for that. No life threatening stuff, mind you, although I was slightly worried about some of them. Headaches and abnormal tiredness were the usual problems. And compared to me, they didn't have much of an appetite. Sometimes one or more extra rest days helped, sometimes it meant returning before the summit :cry: .

Je parle un petit peu français. Just enough to get by, not enough to carry a conversation.

Au revoir, Rob
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Re: Climbing in Cordillera Blanca in 2012!

Postby Stboo » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:24 pm

Merci beaucoup de ta réponse Rob! Realy appreciated to have different point of view for acclimatization and climbs!

For sur that I spend 2-3 nights in Huaraz before going to Hatun Machay. I will hike to 4000m 1 or 2 days and then go for some sportclimbs out there :D

I always refer to my experience when thinking about a climb. In Quebec (Canada) we have a lot of snow and while hiking on mountain top we usually see deep snow (waist deep). We get slower than 1km per hour so that's why I'm a little bit concerned about Ranrapalca'a summit plateau. Don't want to waste a lot of time and energy at 6000m. BTW you are right : looks like a 500-700m walk to the summit. (30 minutes to an hour could be a OK time).

2 months and a half and not enough for you!!! Big objectives Rob ahhaha
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Re: Climbing in Cordillera Blanca in 2012!

Postby rgg » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:03 pm

Stboo wrote:I will hike to 4000m 1 or 2 days


I would say, as long as it's a day hike, go as high as you headache allows you. For an easy day, buy something to have for lunch in Huaraz and some water, then take a collectivo up the Cordillera Negra, for example to Callan Punta at 4225m. Walk around a bit, perhaps hike up one of the easy hills out there that all offer great views over the Cordillera Blanca, have lunch and then go down. It's hard to get lost, because there isn't much vegetation up high and you can see Huaraz from far away. When it's getting too late, or when you're feeling tired, go back to the road and catch another collectivo back to Huaraz.

A popular day hike is to Laguna Churup, 4485m, and back. Collectivos go part of the way, but not all the way to the trailhead, but you can get a taxi, and arrange to be picked up again by the end of the day, or alternatively just walk down towards Huaraz.
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Re: Climbing in Cordillera Blanca in 2012!

Postby Gido » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:40 am

Stboo wrote:Huandoy from Paron valley excellent idea. I've look at some topos and it seems doable. Have you seen any pictures of approach and glacier climb from there??


Do you mean Huandoy Norte, the route which is included in Brad Johnson's guidebook ? My eye fell on this route some years ago, but I was strongly advised no to consider this one. The route itself is not that difficult but is very dangerous nowadays due to rockfall.
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Re: Climbing in Cordillera Blanca in 2012!

Postby kevin trieu » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:22 pm

Gido wrote:
Stboo wrote:Huandoy from Paron valley excellent idea. I've look at some topos and it seems doable. Have you seen any pictures of approach and glacier climb from there??


Do you mean Huandoy Norte, the route which is included in Brad Johnson's guidebook ? My eye fell on this route some years ago, but I was strongly advised no to consider this one. The route itself is not that difficult but is very dangerous nowadays due to rockfall.


i don't know about the NW Face from the Paron valley but i know anything from the east side from Pisco moraine camp in the Quebrada Llanganuco is suicidal from my attempt last season. but you do get one of the best sunsets anywhere and a really cool camp.
Image
Image

we didn't need a guide last season. you do need your alpine club card like the AAC. very important.

yes, it was true ONLY if you don't have your alpine club card. if you don't, they'll ask you to show pictures/proof of insurance/experience from your previous climbs. my friend showed the lady in the office his SPOT device and repeatedly stated that we were not a liability and that they don't have to send a rescue team should there be an accident. these procedures were strict because one week before a trekker on the Santa Cruz circuit got lost and had to be rescued.

there's also the cost of the permit. some said it was good for a week others a month. some trailheads you get check others you don't. some park authorities know about it and some don't. you just never know what you are going to get down there.
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Re: Climbing in Cordillera Blanca in 2012!

Postby Stboo » Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:22 am

Yes for sure a nice day hike to get to Punta Callan and spend some time out there. I've seen guys going up to 4750m on cerro japuhirca I think!!

Churup is also a spot to see. This also gives the opportunity to see and evaluate the hard route from the laguna :D

Thanks Gido for that precious advice! I think RGG told me higher that Huandoy N MIGHT be possible from Paron Valley ... Well if I get to Paron valley I will surely have a try on Arteson way before Huandoys!

Extraordinary pictures Kevin! BOUM!!! I love taking pictures to :) OFF-TOPIC but to you carry your big SLR out there for your climbs? I tried leading ice up to WI3 with my Canon XTi and it went pretty good so far!!

So well I think that I might get the Huandoys out of my wish list! I'm not suicidal and I wish to climb all my life!

BTW Kevin .. what is a SPOT device? You mean Black diamond Atc or Petzl grigri!?!? not really sure :S

What are your plans for the next season guys? If you have some!!!! :D
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Re: Climbing in Cordillera Blanca in 2012!

Postby kevin trieu » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:12 pm

that's just taken with cannon G10, not a SLR.

SPOT is a locator beacon, tracking & emergency signal: http://www.findmespot.com/en/

what's "next season?" something's in season somewhere. you just have to get there. :)
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Re: Climbing in Cordillera Blanca in 2012!

Postby Stboo » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:45 pm

Thanks for the link on SPOT. I saw a friend of a friend climbing Aconcagua with that device. It was pretty awesome to see him climbing along the way to the summit!

Yeah I know, there is always a season you just need to get there !! you are right. now I'm just trying to build a lot of ice climbing skills with this bizarre winter here in the north-east. :D

Will certainly have a closer look of that little camera! Wish to be a lighter climber and not carry my 4pounds SLR up those hills ehehhehehe
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Re: Climbing in Cordillera Blanca in 2012!

Postby rgg » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:26 pm

Here is a photo of the west face of Tocllaraju last year, so you can judge for yourself.

Image
Tocllaraju in 2011
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Re: Climbing in Cordillera Blanca in 2012!

Postby Gido » Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:36 pm

rgg wrote:Here is a photo of the west face of Tocllaraju last year, so you can judge for yourself.


In 2010 we avoided the rock zone high up on the west face by passing it on its left side and this without too much objective danger. This interesting picture of 2011 tells another story, dangerous seracs and I notice a lot of debris at the base of the face. I'm curious how this evolves, it could be the beginning of more trouble...
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