Slovak Climbing Team in Cordillera Blanca. The new route on the Sphinx.

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Trip Report
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Jun 15, 2003
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Created On: Oct 28, 2004
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The group of Slovak climbers and mountaineers (Dušan Beránek, Rado Staruch, Vlado Linek, Raso Šimko, Juraj Hýroš and Raso Križan) operated in the month of June 2003 in the area of Cordillera Blanca in Peru.
On 8 June 2003 all members of the expedition moved to Paron Valley and under the Sphinx they set up a base camp in the altitude of 4700 metres. After one day of preparations and observation of the wall they indicated a new line going through untouched slabs in the east face of the Sphinx. The following day Dušan Beránek, Rado Staruch and Vlado Linek started opening this new route with the support of the others members of the team.
On 11 June Raso Križan and Juraj Hýroš attacked the „Original Route" on the same east face of the Sphinx. Due to lack of water and insufficient acclimatisation they were forced to rappel down after having climbed the most difficult first part of the route (first 10 pitches). After this unpleasant experience they decided to move to the far end of the valley for better acclimatisation.
After few days of walking they reached the Camp I in the altitude of 5.200 metres just at the base of the south face of Artesonraju (6.023 metres). Next day (17 June) they made an attempt to reach the summit of Artesonraju through its south face,. The snowy and icy wall is over 800 vertical metres high and up to 60° steep. After 3 hours of solo climbing they reached the altitude of 5.950 metres, just 2 pitches below the top (around 100 metres). But due to heavy snowing and strong wind they turned back and descended the whole face down. Next day (18 June) they descended to the valley and got again to the base camp under the Sphinx.
In the same day (on 18 June) Dušan Beranek, Rado Staruch and Vlado Linek reached the top of the Sphinx having just opened a new Slovak route in its east face. They named it „Welcome to the Slabs of Koricancha" and they immediately started to plan its free repetition.
From 19 to 22 of June it was snowing.
On 23 June, in spite of morning snowing in the base camp, Raso Križan and Juraj Hýroš made a second attempt in the „Original Route" on the Sphinx. This time they significantly reduced the equipment in order to be able to climb in a fast style. They had 1 set of friends, 1 set of rocks, 6 carabines, 4 expresses, few slings and 4 litres of water. After 9 and half hours they reached the top of the Sphinx. Raso Križan climbed all pitches as a first one in a free style.
The same day on 23 June Dušan Beranek succeeded in one day freeing „Welcome to the Slabs of Koricancha" and proposed classification of the pitches as follows : 8, 7+, 9-, 8, 5 a 9/9+, 8+, 8+, 8, 6, 7-, 6 a 6+. It is probably the hardest free-climbed route on the Sphinx.
On 25-26 June Rado Staruch and Vlado Linek managed to repeat this route also in a free style and agreed with the proposed classification.
On 24 June Raso Križan, Raso Šimko and Juraj Hýroš left the base camp under the Sphinx and went back to Huaraz. Their intention was to do some ski-descends in the region. The previous goal - Huascaran, had to be changed because of at that time inconvenient snow conditions (icy surface) above the glacier Garganta (drawing from the information obtained from the Office of UIAGM Mountain Guides in Huaraz).
On 26 June Raso Križan and Raso Šimko armed with ski equipment set off on a trip to Llanganuco valley. Their goal was to ski down Nevado Pisco (5752 metres). Having spent a night in the base camp the next day they reached the summit and successfully ski-descended from the top the whole way back though the Normal Route as far as moraine starts. On 28 June they were again back in Huaraz.
On 1 July the same small group of skiers moved to Cojup valley. In the next day they reached the Perolcocha camp under the south face of Nevado Ishinca and east face of Nevado Ranrapalca. On 3 July they found a path through crevasses of the south face of Ishinca (5530 metres) and after 4 hours they successfully reached its summit. They ski-descended from the top along the west rib and though the south face following the path they had walked up. At 14H00 (after 7 and half hours) they were back in the camp, packed all the equipment and at the same day they descended through the whole Cojup valley to Huaraz.


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