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Summit Ranrapalca

Three out of Three in Peru!

Routes on Quitara­ju and Ran­ra­pal­ca. Joshua Jar­rin photos

Last year Bar­bara S. climbed her first three moun­tains in Peru. She fell so in love with the Cordillera Blan­ca that she decid­ed to come back for more. Know­ing Bar­bara’s strength and climb­ing skills, the best option was to set up a cus­tomized trip. For the first part of the expe­di­tion the logis­tics were shared with anoth­er cus­tomized trip led by Marc and Son­dra Rip­pre­rg­er. Instead of Chu­rup Lake (the clas­sic Moun­tain Mad­ness acclima­ti­za­tion hike) the team went to Ahuak Lake. With more than 180 km of the high­est trop­i­cal range in the world at our fin­ger­tips, there were plen­ty of good options near­by to stretch our legs, gain some alti­tude and enjoy the views.

Bar­bara next to Ahuak Lake with Wal­lu­nara­ju in the back­ground. Joshua Jar­rin photo

For the sec­ond part of the acclima­ti­za­tion we head­ed to the Cordillera Negra to Anta­cocha cliffs for some rock climb­ing. Sev­en pitch­es of mod­er­ate 5.9+ com­bined with the view of the Anta­cocha lake made for a beau­ti­ful day. These cliffs are right in front of the Blan­ca range and the view of dozens of snow capped peaks was a great added val­ue to the climb.

Joshua rock climb­ing in Anta­cocha. Joshua Jar­rin photo

Bar­bara on the 5th pitch of Noches de Adren­a­li­na” Anta­cocha cliffs. Joshua Jar­rin photo

Then it was on to the San­ta Cruz val­ley for three days, towards the Col camp of Alpa­mayo and Quitara­ju. Bar­bara had already trav­eled in this val­ley in 2014 when she climbed Arteson­ra­ju. It was great to see this moun­tain dur­ing the approach know­ing that it was a goal that had already been achieved, it was a good reminder of what we are capa­ble of.

Climbers on the route of Alpa­mayo, the same route the MM team fol­lowed to the sum­mit. Joshua Jar­rin photo

Quitara­ju, by the direct route, was the first moun­tain to climb, con­sid­er­ing that oth­er teams were head­ed for Alpa­mayo that day, which is an impor­tant fac­tor to con­sid­er when the route goes by a nar­row gul­ly. Twelve pitch­es of a hard snow ramp and a final ridge were nec­es­sary to claim the first sum­mit of the trip. The descent was by the same route, a strat­e­gy we would also use on the fol­low­ing attempts.

Bar­bara on the direct route of Quitara­ju with Alpa­mayo in the back­ground. Joshua Jar­rin photo

Sum­mit of Quitara­ju! Joshua Jar­rin photo

The deci­sion to attempt Quitara­ju first paid off on the next day since there were no oth­er teams on Alpa­mayo. Speed is the key for this ascent, a bit short­er than Quitara­ju but cer­tain­ly steep­er. The clas­sic Andean cor­nices formed by the mois­ture com­ing from the Ama­zon­ian basins on the range add the spicy note of some climbs in Peru and on Alpa­mayo in par­tic­u­lar. It requires the climbers to move fast before the sun heats the face. For Bar­bara it was not a prob­lem, in sev­en hours round trip she was back in camp cel­e­brat­ing her sec­ond sum­mit and con­tin­ued all the way down to base camp on the same day.

Tech­ni­cal sum­mit of Alpa­mayo. The real sum­mit 10 feet above had a dan­ger­ous cor­nice. Joshua Jar­rin photo

For the third and final peak of the trip we went to the Ishin­ka area, first to the hut at the bot­tom of the val­ley and on the sec­ond day to the Lon­go­ni bivouac. Both facil­i­ties belong to the Ital­ian orga­ni­za­tion Mato Grosso and besides the great ser­vice they pro­vide, it is nice to know that by vis­it­ing them the climbers are sup­port­ing a great non prof­it orga­ni­za­tion that has been ded­i­cat­ed to sup­port­ing the poor com­mu­ni­ties in the Andes since the 70’s.

Lon­go­ni bivouac with the north face of Ran­ra­pal­ca. Joshua Jar­rin photo

At 00h00 on the 21st of July we left the bivouac towards the north face of Ran­rapla­ca, a 900m face that reach­es the 6162m. The route, grad­ed TD, was the cher­ry on top” after two great sum­mits. Steep snow, ice and rock com­bined with great weath­er and con­di­tions, we couldn’t ask for more! Back in the val­ley the guardian told us that we were the first team of the sea­son to climb the face. Cer­tain­ly it was more chal­leng­ing that the oth­er peaks of the trip but more than that, it was a great climb that allowed us to start plan­ning more for future projects.

Bar­bara on the mid­dle sec­tion of the north face of Ran­ra­pal­ca. Toclara­ju in the back­ground. Joshua Jar­rin photo

Bar­bara on the last crux” of the north face of Ran­ra­pal­ca. Joshua Jar­rin photo

No clouds in the sky, a per­fect view of the Cordillera Blan­ca from the sum­mit of Ran­ra­pal­ca. Joshua Jar­rin photo