QUEBRADA SANTA CRUZ CLIMBING
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QUEBRADA SANTA CRUZ CLIMBING

Alpamayo 5945m Technical Mountain

Grade: AD+

Nevado Alpamayo was nominated “ THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MOUNTAIN IN THE WOLRD” during a1966 photographic exposition in Munich, Germany. When viewed from Quebrada Santa Cruz, most people would disagree and wonder how it could carry this lofty title. However, in the early days, Alpamayo “muddy water “in Quechua was approached from the north, via Quebrada Apamayo. When viewed from this valley, the peak looks like a perfect snow pyramid.

First ascent: 1951. By J.Jongen/ G. Kogan/ R. Leininger/ M.Lenoir (France).

Currently the main route is French.

See Alpamayo Climbing

Quitaraju

Grade: D­­-

Quitaraju is a relatively easy 6,000m peak. two classics beckon from its north and west sides. If you are attempting Alpamayo, you should consider Quitaraju, as well. It provides a day of adventure, along with outstanding views of Alpamayo and Santa Cruz Grande.

Reach the Alpamayo- Quitaraju col in the same way.

The north face of Quitaraju is perfect for those who want to climb a straightforward snow route and climax on a spectacular knife-edge summit. Be careful of the possibility of slab avalanche conditions on the face early in the season.

Abseiling Quitaraju with prussic protection, be careful. This face can become quite slushy in the strong afternoon sun, making V-thread anchors unsafe and requiring more pickets.

Taulliraju 5830m

Grade ED1

Standing like a castle at the head of Quebrada Santa Cruz, Taulliraju provides the ultimate challenge in the Cordillera Blanca. Steep rock, snow and ice demand strong climbing skills and experience. Few experience Taulliraju’s summit.

ROUTE.-From the toe of the buttress, climb a narrow 400m ice gully tucked into the back of a gigantic granite dihedral. the first 5 or 6 pitches are Alpine ICE 3-5. Above this, the gully narrows, and the climbing becomes mixed ( up to M6). After a total of 10-12 pitches, the gully meets the crest of the snowy arête that forms the prow of the buttress. A bivouac platform can be excavated there.

From this first bivouac, follow the crest of the ice ridge for about 15 rope lengths, following the easiest way around towers, arête, cornices and couloirs, sometimes on the right side of the ridge and sometimes on the left. Most of the ridge is A1 3-45+. An ice cave, with a flat floor for a comfortable bivouac, can be found 50 or 60 below the rock band that bisects the ice ridge. this rock band is about 100m. Below the summit ridge.

One or two moves of aid are required to surmount the rock band and reach the steep snow and ice leading to the summit ridge. These last few pitches of steep honeycombed ice are quite scary and lead to the overhanging cornices barring access to the summit ridge. Once on the Summit ridge, look for a way to drop down onto the north side of the ridge. In search of a bivouac ledge. Descent as always be careful.

Artesonraju 6025m.

Grade: D

First ascent: August 19, 1932 by E. Hein and E. Schneider.

The north ridge is a long moderate climb that gets more committing as you get higher. On a clear day, you will be in the sun all day and have outstanding views of Santa Cruz, Grande, Taulliraju and everything in between. This route provides glacier travel, steep snow and an airy ridge, capped by a beautiful summit.

See Artesonraju climbing

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