Summited via the West Face Direct route August 2019. 100% ice conditions, AI4 D+ Full trip report here!
Full trip report: https://gethighonaltitude.com/2017/07/08/getting-high-with-the-altitude-junkies/
My second mountain above 6k, great experience, super weather. Mountain in top conditions. Did it 2 days from Ishinca base camp, going up w/o porters was quite challenging for me :) ... anyway I enjoyed the trip a lot ... was the only woman on the summit that day.
This was the 5th and final summit of our incredible 3 week trip. High winds plagued the mountain for days but we caught a lucky break and had to endure only the cold; the wind subsided enough that it was at least not knocking us around. The summit mushroom was in delicate shape; we had to traverse far left on funky chandelier ice and snow. Reaching the true summit required a confident leap over a large, gaping crevasse. Thanks to being very well acclimated the ascent took just over 5 hours from moraine camp. We descended via 2 not so comfy rappels over rotting crevasses with a single rope and downclimbed the rest.
Low snow on the Peruvian Andes in spring 2016 left many open crevasses on some mountain conditions. Having to back down from Artesonraju (numerous big open crevasses) and Huascaran Sur (Camp II only, strong wind for days), I moved to Tocllaraju just to make one summit in two days! It was still quite windy. Teams climbed the day before backed down at 5700m level citing wind making it unclimbable.
Beyond bergschrund, we need to set up protections at three different places, with the final short pitch over 80 degrees. Strong wind. The very last part of the summit was broken. Two teams (one climber, one guide each) summitted. 4 teams backed down before the steep traverse around 5700m level. Two rope rappel sped the descent.
Climbed 1:1 guided with Edgar Parra. Route in excellent condition, aside from a massive crevasse open right below the final two pitches to the summit. 6:45 from moraine camp to summit, with an hour spent route-finding on belay to get around that crevasse. A snowbridge over this same crevasse collapsed a few days earlier, killing three experienced Estonian climbers. The final two pitches are direct and clean. A very rewarding climb on an incredibly aesthetic mountain. Perhaps my new favourite!
There are some big crevasses, namely at the Bergschrund. It was a tough climb. Unfortunately 2 Argentinian climbers perished that day on a couloir next to the normal route.
July 2013 was very stable weatherwise in the Cordillera Blanca. Our team managed to climb Urus, Ichinca, Toclaraju (through the Bergschrund route), Huascaran Sul and Chopicalqui. We had to abandon halfway up the Pisco due to very bad weather.
Overnight trip from Huaraz. Std NW ridge out - gained via the cutoff.
Amazing climb...see Trip Report:
we had bad conditions on the Glacier. No track, unconsolidated snow. A thunderstorm took the decision to turn around before reaching the ridge. The day before and the day after the attempt the whether was fine.
Started from base camp directly, with good weather and conditions until the bergschrund. Earlier in the season the route apparently went farther left across a wooden ladder, but the ladder has since met its doom and the route now traverses up to the right. Crossing the bergschrund required a short but very steep climb up ice, followed by about 15m of 65 degrees to gain the very exposed ridge. We simulclimbed up to the next rappell and most of the rest of the way up the ridge was pretty straightforward. The weather started turning windy and everything fogged over, but as the guide knew the route well, we continued on. The final "wall" was 150m of 65 degrees, which we also simulclimbed. We rappelled down two pitches of 50m and downclimbed the last 50m of the summit pyramid, and rappelled the final pitch under strong winds and blowing snow over the bergschrund. Slow and careful going all around, but successful ascent and descent.
Despite recent heavy snowfall and high winds we reached about 200 meters shy of summit and had to retreat because lack of pickets for rappels.
Another attempt at the mountain. Although windy as usual, conditions were quite good. Reached about 5800m after getting a bit lost to realize we did not have enough pickets to come down. This year the route has an interesting short step and traverse, aside from that it´s a walk up.
At casa de guias they told us that liquid water is available at moraine camp. Well, there wasn't, and we did not bring enough fuel for melting snow and cook food.
The combination of starting out sick with diarrhea and not having later on enough fuel made us turn around shortly after we have gained the summit shoulder of the normal route.
The route switch-backed around large crevasses until we reached the bergschrund. The bergschrund was no problem to cross, we engaged into the 45 degree snow slope and encountered a near vertical section to gain the ridge. The snow/ice was of very 'sugary' consistency and the pickets and screws we set as protection were not very confidence-inspiring. We pitched this section out while other groups were overtaking us in simul-climbing technique.
Due to the minimal food intake and dehydration I ended up being totally exhausted when we gained the ridge and asked my partner to turn around.
The mountain and the surrounding scenery is just plain beautiful. Enjoy the climb, but be prepared and bring enough fuel!
Turned around at 5350m due to avalanche, lots of snow.
Very windy and cold.. but we made it. Woeha....great climb.
I echo the comments of Jake, very windy conditions and very soft/deep snow Jun 22-24. We never would have made it on the 23rd so we saved our attempt for the 24th and just BARELY made it (turnaround time was looming very near and 1 more mph of wind probably would have turned us away).
Route this year (so far): Uneventful climb to the first 'shrund. Then a surprising and exciting full 60m pitch of two tool technical climbing, all 60-85 degree. The 80-85 degree short 8m section was on very hard neve, I do not think a normal mountaineering axe would have been secure. Two semi-technical tools required IMO. I hope someone finds a easier way through this section later in the season as it can be a real bottleneck. After that pitch, some very short sections of 50-60 degree snow interrupt a mainly very moderate climb on the northwest ridge.
The summit pinnacle, often the crux was very easy for us this year, didn't even feel steeper than 50 degrees, and the very soft snow had giant buckets kicked in it. Rappelled the summit pitch because it was so crowded and then it was a no brainer to rappel the crux pitch above the schrund. Two 60m ropes do NOT reach below the shrund from the established rap anchors, be VERY careful when getting off rappel as you have about 5m to descend with consequences if you blow it. This is probably the most dangerous part of the climb because not only are you filled with the gleeful feelings of a fun rappel but you know that you are 99% of the way to safety, it is easy to get complacent and you are probably tired, hungry, thirsty, and getting baked by the sun by this point of the climb. Hope someone by now has put the rappel anchors lower down the slope!
We had to turn back at 5500m due to big amount of fresh snow, poor visibility and wind. There were couple more teams trying that day and I think one of them made it to the top.
Fun climb. Snow was compact but not icy. Perfect.