Early morning on Ranrapalca

To climb Ishinca means an alpine start. The first few hours you'll walk in darkness. It's a clear and easy trail; the mountain is climbed so often that route finding is no problem. Apart from having to get up real early, the biggest problem is that it's cold. A good reason to keep a good pace.

Then, after a couple of hours, the sun comes out. Even if it will take a while before it gets warmer, sunrise is quite welcome, and if you've been walking fast, or started earlier than most, this image of Ranrapalca, illuminated by the first light, is your reward.

26 July 2011.

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EricChu

EricChu - Nov 4, 2012 7:36 pm - Voted 10/10

Great shot, Rob!

Monumental peak - and then in that superb morning lighting...!!
Cheers,
Eric

rgg

rgg - Nov 5, 2012 7:09 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Great shot, Rob!

I've seen Ranrapalca from all sides last year, and it's monumental all right.

This is the steep north face. In his great book "Classic Climbs of the Cordillera Blanca", Brad Johnson describes a route up this face, 900m to the summit, D+, 8-10 hours. For the most part, the route follows the snow a little bit right of the rocky ridge. However, this picture shows markedly less snow than the one in the book, so the route must be getting harder. It's well out of my league already.

The summit is 6162m. It's not the point in the middle, it's further back. It may well be the lower point just left of center, but it could also be even further back, out of view, I'm not sure.

For good measure, here's a few more pictures of Ranrapalca from different sides.

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West face, from Vallunaraju
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East ridge, from Jatunmontepuncu
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NE ridge and NE face, from Ishinca

sharperblue

sharperblue - Nov 5, 2012 1:15 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: Great shot, Rob!

N and NE faces are not at all out of your league! they are actually surprisingly easy technically, but are - yes - getting more difficult and dangerous in terms of objective hazard (rock and ice fall). If you can climb YDS 5.8, know your crevasse protocol and lead AI3 you can roll right up those routes

rgg

rgg - Nov 6, 2012 7:07 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Great shot, Rob!

With the right partner, I'd consider the NE face, but not the N face.

It's a combination of factors. The NE face is less steep, and, just by the looks of it, less dangerous. I don't like the look of the big debris cones at the bottom of the N face!

Assuming that they are in good condition, I'd be happy on the snow and ice on both routes, but the rock sections are a different matter. It's not exactly top roping in a rock climbing garden. On alpine routes and in my big boots I've climbed up to UIAA IV, which I believe is about YDS 5.4/5.5 (Grade Comparison Chart on Alpinist). Hence I would want a partner with more experience with this type of routes.

SenadR

SenadR - Nov 4, 2012 9:25 pm - Voted 10/10

...

Nice shot my friend!

rgg

rgg - Nov 5, 2012 7:16 am - Hasn't voted

Re: ...

Tnanks, Senad

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