Last year Jessica and I had so many failed attempts at the Devils Kitchen Headwall that we ended up deeming just uttering its name to be unlucky. The fails were not climbing fails, per se... forgetting our boots at home, seriously bad ice fall conditions, etc. By the time we actually managed to give it a shot, it was in condition thin enough that I didn’t deem reasonable to climb half-way through. I bailed off an extremely sketchy screw placement in aerated ice and called it a season for the Headwall. [...]
We followed the traces of our boot pack from 2 days prior, almost completely erased by the constant spindrift. The snow was a ton more stable and far less of a pain in the ass to break trail through. (That wouldn’t last.) We pretty quickly realized that we didn’t do much research about the route, the lower section of which proved to be far longer than expected. [...]
Coming back to the Cordillera Blanca for the 3rd year in a row, this time with Jessica. We very quickly scrapped our original plan we made back home when arriving. With our limited number of days and being close to the end of the season, we decided to be conservative than originally expected and tick off a few of our to-do's.
Three seasons ago, I met a friendly Spanish-Argentinian duo in the Ishinca Hut. We would be climbing Tocllaraju on the same day, them from the West Face, and me from the Northwest Ridge. I snapped this photo as a memento for them, but it ended up being my cell phone’s background for the next 2 years. I couldn’t stop looking at it, thinking about it, what an epic route.
Yanapaccha is another one of the lower altitude and lower difficulty peaks that I have been wanting to climb for a little while. With the funky schedule in the Cordillera Blanca this year, I thought that it would be a great opportunity to knock this one out.
Huarapasca is a hidden gem of the Cordillera Blanca. Not appearing in any guide books and out of sight from pretty much anywhere, this amazing climb sits relatively untouched. It is also one of the very few single day climbs in the range that can be done car-to-car.
Vallunaraju has been a climb that I have been wanting to climb since the first day I arrived to Huaraz back in 2017. Towering over the city, the peak is dramatically obvious with it’s two “horns”. Although by the standards of the Cordillera Blanca it is neither very high nor very difficult, it had been calling me.