International Expedition to Huantsan 2018 (Part IV)



In the heart of the most impressive and wild Cordillera Blanca, beaten by legendary winds, surrounded by vertical glaciers and endless ridges, imprisoned between the Nevado Rurec and San Juan, the Nevado Huantsan confirms itself as a symbol of inaccessible, right in an era where everything it seems accessible to man’s strength and tools, to his “domesticating” power and to the “toponym” simplifications offered by digital technology.

The Huantsan confirms its dangerous and difficult access even more in face of the heavy snowfall in the mountains: several incidents in the central Cordillera while we were engaged on our mountain (3 deaths on the Alpamayo and 2 on the Artensoraju). Despite this we were able to climb the Huantsan Norte (6113 m), the Cumbre de los Campos (proposed toponym, 5650 m), the Nevado Rurec (5700 m), the Cerro Huamashpunta (5305 m, integral ridge), exploring and collecting documentation on the valleys side of the Laguna Rajucolta, where we placed our Base Camp (4250 m).

I thank the three top teams – Cesar Rosales and Fredi Cruz (Peru), Asqui Ronald Choque and Evo Quispe Poma (Bolivia), Federico Moro and Pietro Contalbrigo (Italy) – start with great effort from Camp 2 to 5550 meters for the final action of July 15 with ascent of the North West Ridge and extreme night descent to the North Crest, as well as mountaineers and photographers Enrico Ferri, Francesco Vascellari, Malu Espinoza, Edwin Juan Pascual and the Indian Anindya Mukherjee for the efforts and collective work that has made possible the exploration of the mountains adjacent to the Huantsan and its ridges South West and North West, with its installation of high fields on different sides: high-level exploration mountaineering, with all the risks and hardships that we have taken.

In short: half of the climbing objectives was achieved, half outstanding in our new imaginary “load”, which we will only partially share (the road has been opened to close the two ridges to the main summit); on the other hand, I believe, the objectives of relationship between climbers and consortiums arrived from various parts of the world (three continents), with priority given to the importance of the local roped, after having reconstructed in recent years the history of the mountain and the connections between the protagonists of the exploration. Yesterday and today.

As we had written to friends, a mountaineering relationship, not performance. For me it is enough. In addition to being very difficult and not at all obvious. See you next time.

Alberto Peruffo, Leader of International Expedition to Huantsan 2018


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