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Ancohuma Trip Report (#181)

  • Signed By: Bruce Cuthbertson
  • Date submitted: February 22, 2000
  • Date(s) climbed: 31st May 1998

Pitched up with an Irish lad and a Kiwi. We approached directly from Sorata,getting mules to around 4200m on the 1st day and carried on independantly. Set up camps at 4400m, base camp at 5000m (Laguna Glacial) and moved to 5500m for the 1st glacial camp. Our final camp was 3 in a 2 man tent at 5850m below the west face.

Summit day => Started at 3am to climb the west face to gain the south west ridge. The face was around 50 degrees with penitentes(unstable as sun hit the face). No worthwhile protection. Over slight lip to the ridge. The ridge moving along was an utter knife edge which was impossible to walk on. Facing in and axes in the other side of the ridge was the only option. Slightly nervewracking when at 6300m your axe creates large holes in the ridge itself. No protection possible. A massive crevasse line cut into the ridge thereafter and required care but once around it there was a straightorward if knackering climb to the plateau summit. Due to instability of the ascent route's penitentes we descended by the normal NW ridge route(solid ice - 50 degrees max - unroped apart from one bergschrund). Back to camp by 11 and retreated to camp at 5500m on summit day. Back to Sorata the following day.

Comments :

An excellent mountain with fantastic views to Lake Titicaca and thunderstorms in the cloudfilled Amazon basin. Great views of Illampu. Unbelievably stable weather for the whole week. Bitterly cold however - plastics didn't stop me from getting severe frostnip on the summit day and not regaining feeling in toes for 6 months. There was one other main party when we were there but above base camp it is easy to find quiet glacial camps. It is possible to camp on the right hand side of the glacier on moraine at around 5500m to avoid the extreme cold at night(around minus 20 to 30 degrees celsius).

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