Mount Everest Foundation
Supporting the exploratory

Cordillera Carabaya

The Cordillera Carabaya range lies in Southern Peru and is remote and rarely visited, so offered a good opportunity for exploration and first ascents. Unfortunately, when this pair arrived at the nearest town, they could not find anyone who understood where they wanted to go. Eventually they met an English-speaking catholic priest, who kindly drove them to the roadhead and arranged two donkeys for the approach to base camp. Although they had planned to acclimatise on lower peaks before tackling their prime objective, after being snowed in for a few days, they decided to ‘get on with it’. and set out to climb the 600m South Face of Chichicapac, at 5614m the second highest summit in the range. The obvious line was threatened by séracs, so they climbed a direct route up the centre, until forced left at the headwall. After 10 hours on the face, they reached the summit in early evening and then made a rapid descent of the West Ridge. Difficulties were sustained at Scottish 4/5, with two crux pitches of 6, and they gave the route an overall grade of TD. Although there are few unclimbed peaks in the area, the team felt that there were plenty of unclimbed technical routes awaiting first ascents.

August - September 2011
Tom Ripley with Hamish Dunn (UK)

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