Regional discussion and conditions reports for South America. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the South American Climbing Partners section.
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by Archm » Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:52 pm

Thinking of Huascaran for next summer, anybody have any thoughts, experience ,comments or ideas ?

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by TYeary » Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:43 pm

What route are you thinking of?
The "normal" or the Garganta, can vary in condition from season to season. The crux is passing through the ever changing ice fall below the Garganta. In years past the objective danger was considerable and few parties ventured out. The warming trend has not been kind to the peaks of the Blanca, and conditions are variable at best. This year, seemingly, lots of climbers made the attempt, including my pal Kevin Trieu. For this route, it may well be a last minute decision, based on conditions you encounter next year. In 2002 I had friends killed on this route, so I have more than a passing interest. The Shield, or West Arete, would be a good alternative. This way you would only pass through the most dangerous zone once, on the way down.
The slopes above the Garganta leading up to the summit area are uniform and lower angled, but crevasses and seracs may present problems. Also, this area enveloped in a white out or cloud might make navigation difficult.
Many things to consider. Huascaran by any route is not a trivial outing.
Food for thought.

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by Archm » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:22 pm

Thanks for your reply Tony, I'd be looking at the normal route but as you say lots to think of, Sorry about your friends

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by Gido » Thu Sep 03, 2009 7:36 pm

The garganta route continues to be a hazardous undertaking. Also in the 2009 season Huascaran took the lives of two climbers and apart from that numerous avalanches occurred. I have this info from local guides.

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by farrgo » Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:54 am

From what I heard... these two persons died after an earthquake triggered a serac release. Regardless, very bad weather this season. I had two friends who spent nearly a week pinned down within a few hundred meters of the summit.

I agree with other posters, Huascaran is a peak of Himalayan proportions and ought not be taken lightly.

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Just back from Huascaran

by albanberg » Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:13 pm

Hi everyone,

I made it to the high camp at ~6000 meters a little over a week ago. There were high winds that night and a possibility of new snow on the top, so we decided to not go for the summit. One other person and a guide from a different group did go up but could not find the summit in the clouds and turned back as it was getting late. I was also a bit out of it from lack of sleep, a lack of food, and a small headache from the altitude.

My guide said that the two who died a couple of weeks before fell into a crevasse. He didn't have first hand knowledge of this take that as just another comment, although he is a local and knows the mountain well.

This ice fall does have a large amount of crevasse risk, but at least when I went up the route didn't seem too bad.

I hope to put up a bit more info sometime soon with some pictures...and I'm thinking of going back next year to try again.

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