Peak(s):  Cordillera Blanca Peru - 22205
Date Posted:  09/06/2013
Date Climbed:   07/01/2013
Author:  I Man
 Climbing in the High Andes of Peru   

Artesonraju (6,025m/19,767ft) - North Ridge (D): July 3rd-11th
Huascaran Sur (6,768m/22,205ft) - Garganta Route (AD-): July 13th-18th
Alpamayo (5,947m/19,511ft) - French Direct (AD+): July 19th-23rd

***EDIT: I Will add photos and some more detail for those not wanting to leave this site.

Six weeks after Liam, Peter and I parted ways in Alaska; we met up in Lima, Peru. The goal was to stand on top of a few technical 6000m peaks. Peru had always been the main plan for the summer; Alaska was more of an afterthought. As I boarded the plane in Denver I was extremely excited to travel for a full month down to South America, hopefully having plenty of time to climb and less time spent sitting in a tent.

This year, I was able to swing two one summer, now that is the bee's knees. I feel incredibly lucky to have regular partners for big mountains, partners who always want to travel, climb harder routes on bigger peaks, and to do it in as pure a style as possible. The journey was as good as the climbs themselves, and with 3 people of similar interest, ability and risk tolerance, we were able to achieve all of our goals, and then some. Peru is an incredible place and this expedition was one that I will not soon forget.

Our main goal was Artesonraju (6,025m/19,767ft), a well-known difficult peak that just reaches the 6,000m mark. We chose the North Ridge instantly when we saw the route description in the book, it just jumped off the page. It was aesthetic, historic, challenging and promised isolation. A complex glacier would lead to a steep couloir and then a corniced summit ridge. We figured we would acclimate on the peak instead of doing a separate climb. Peter and I knew we had a lot of work ahead if one of us was going to lead this route and we spent a lot of the winter on ice. Our determination paid off big time, on July 9th we reached the summit.

Next we wanted to climb as high as we could, which made the choice obvious. At 22,205ft, Huascaran Sur is the tallest peak in Peru and in all of the Earth's tropics. It is the highest peak in South America that is fully glaciated and its summit is more elusive than the 5 peaks taller than it. The route is well known for its objective hazard but it is not that difficult technically. Since we were acclimated from Artesonraju, we decided to attempt to climb Huascaran in Alpine Style over 4 days. The objective hazard was not as bad as expected, but the technical difficulty surpassed what we were anticipating, throwing a 'one move wonder' ice lead and snow up to 50 degrees at us. On July 16th at 9am we had the summit all to ourselves.

Finally, we had a bit of extra time, least Liam and I did. I was considering a solo speed ascent of Pisco. Liam made no secret of his desire to climb the world famous French Direct route on Alpamayo. I was slow to warm to the idea, fearing the crowded slope and having to lead the entire route with ice raining down on me. By the time we were done with Huascaran, with a few big mountain leads under my belt and armed with some new information I gave it another serious thought. Over many beers, I agreed to go after Alpamayo with Liam. We would leave first thing the next morning. Getting all of our gear up to the glacier camp at 5,400m was tough work, but the scenery that awaited us made it all worth it. We left the tent at 2am on July 22nd, a full moon and clear skies gave us all the light we needed. Feeling relieved to be the first on the route, we made quick work of the glacier and crossed onto the face. We climbed through the night, fighting the cold and the unrelenting slope, I led 7 pitches of 55-65 degree snow and ice. The sun came up just below the final, crux pitch, one of the finest pitches I've ever climbed. At 7:45am I pulled off of the face and onto the summit. Surreal.

The full report and photos can be found on my site...

The Roo

Comments or Questions
Excellent write-up
09/07/2013 09:58
Made the jump to your TR on weebly and well worth it. Great write-up on your Peru trip, thanks for sharing.

What a trip!
09/07/2013 16:56
Your page is a great read. This HACE girl is inspired

09/08/2013 20:08
beautiful pics! thanks for sharing, sounds like an amazing trip.

Too long
09/09/2013 03:16
Didn't read

Brian Thomas
09/10/2013 03:38
is a very nice trip report. thanks for posting

09/10/2013 18:50
Those pictures are awesome!! Congrats on another kick ass season.

Wonderful TR, Matt!
09/11/2013 14:02
Such an amazing trip you fellas had down in the CB! Loved reading about all of the adventures, your thoughts, your fears, your emotions, etc. And, of course, the awesome pics. I have yet to get to the CB, but this gets me very excited to do so. You've had a heck of a travel/climbing year. Keep on truckin', man. Cheers!

Steve Climber
05/09/2014 12:26
Great report. Glad I finally got a chance to look through it.

   Not registered?

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

Please respect private property: supports the rights of private landowners to determine how and by whom their land will be used. In Colorado, it is your responsibility to determine if land is private and to obtain the appropriate permission before entering the property.

© 2022®, 14ers Inc.