A return visit
A few weeks earlier, I had been exploring Quebrada Ishinca
for the first time, and climbed Urus Este and Tocllaraju in the process.
Urus Central - the summit is on the left
Now I was back to have a go at Urus Central and Ishinca. Of the former, I could find very little information. I didn't know what the true summit was, or what the easiest way up there might be. I eventually learned that the summit was the one on the left, but even afterwards, I haven't been able to find out about the normal route. Well, we went there and failed to make it to the top, but had an epic experience, getting back down in the valley between 3 and 4 at night. I learned a lot that day!
Needless to say, the next day we didn't do anything except resting and eating.
The day after, my climbing partner was still recovering, so I headed out a couple of hours before sunrise to climb Ishinca by myself. It was mostly easy, but there was one memorable deep begschrund, right below the top on the SW side. It wasn't wide, but the other side was steep, so I couldn't simply step over it. I could have used a second ice tool, but since I only brought one for the climb, I used it to fashion a solid handhold in the hard snow on the other side. With the sculpting done, I pulled on the small bollard with my free hand, hacked my ice axe in the slope above and stepped across. After that, it was just a few more meters to the summit.
I descended on the NW slopes, making it a traverse. The descent route was Marginally steeper overall, but still easy, and there was no tricky bergschrund to get across.
One more time perhaps?
Should I find myself in the area again, I would be tempted to go to the Ishinca valley once more, if I find the right partner for it.
First of all, I have some unfinished business on Urus Central, although I would like to find out what the normal route is when I try again. In addition, I've read that Urus Oeste isn't a difficult climb, and looking at my pictures it appears to be quite easy from the saddle with Central, so that can serve as an acclimatization peak too. And, finally, perhaps have a go at the likes of Ranrapalca or Palcaraju?
Alpenglow on Tocllaraju