We had wonderful weather and were alone at the mountain- this is not normal at Alpamayo!
After an aborted first attempt, during which we encountered the frozen corpse of an Israeli killed in the July avalanche that whacked 8, Page Kyle and I hiked back up for the French Direct, but at 2am, freezing cold, we found only an impenetrable 30 foot overhangin bergschrund with a powder lip. We traversed to the Ferrari on easy ground, but then encountered 25 feet of grade 5 ice, and then emerged into the main runnel, which had been raked at least a few times by big cornice avalanches during the 2003 season, one of which killed the aforementioned Israeli. What was left of the route was WI4, brittle, and not a little ugly. I broke a pick, and the gargoyles above were snarling, but we kept going until about 3 meters from the summit, where our heads hit the overhanging mushroom. The past 2 pitches had been enjoyable aero ice and styro-snow. Fearing the loss of hours to gain only a few vertical meters, we rapped before the whole damned summit fell down. The fixed gear is mashed, but still bombproof. This route is very dangerous now, and Peruvian guides have abandoned it. I suggest a rating of TD or so, mainly because of the intense hazard of icefall.
-Barry Hashimoto, Huaraz, Peru
We did not have a nice view from the summit that day. Alhough the route was in perfect conditions. The nice part of this owercrowded mountain is that all belays stations where fixed, so we all went down quickly.
It was a very long day (Col - summit - col - BC) and unfortunately the sight on top was not much above Zero.
Had the fantastic view only for a few minutes, then it was clouded. But the feeling was great anyway.
We wanted to do the 'French Direct', but snowfall and fog prevented that.
Following the tracks in the snow we summited in the clouds - no view :-(
You can find my Trip-Report and more pictures by going to my homepage:
http://UlrichPrinz.de and then follow the links to Travel and Peru.