The Info List - Huascarán

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HUASCARáN (Spanish pronunciation: ) is a mountain in the Peruvian province of Yungay ( Ancash Region
Ancash Region
), situated in the Cordillera Blanca range of the western Andes
. The highest southern summit of Huascarán ( Huascarán
Sur) is the highest point in Peru
, the northern part of Andes
(north of Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca
) and in all of the Earth
's Tropics
. Huascarán
is the fourth highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere and South America after Aconcagua
, Ojos del Salado , and Monte Pissis . The mountain was named after Huáscar , a 16th-century Inca
emperor who was the Sapa Inca
of the Inca
empire .


* 1 Geography

* 2 Climbing

* 2.1 History * 2.2 Huascarán
Norte * 2.3 Huascarán

* 3 1970 earthquake * 4 See also * 5 Bibliography * 6 References * 7 External links


The mountain has two distinct summits, the higher being the south one ( Huascarán
Sur) with an elevation of 6,768 metres (22,205 ft). The north summit ( Huascarán
Norte) has an elevation of 6,654 metres (21,831 ft). Both summits are separated by a saddle (called 'Garganta'). The core of Huascarán, like much of the Cordillera Blanca, consists of Cenozoic
era granite .

gives its name to Huascarán National Park which surrounds it, and is a popular location for trekking and mountaineering . The Huascarán
summit is one of the points on the Earth's surface farthest from the Earth's center, closely behind the farthest point, Chimborazo in Ecuador

The summit of Huascarán
is the place on Earth
with the smallest gravitational force.


is normally climbed from the village of Musho to the west via a high camp in the col that separates the two summits, known as La Garganta. The ascent normally takes five to seven days, the main difficulties being the large crevasses that often block the route. The normal route is of moderate difficulty and rated between PD and AD (depending on the conditions of the mountain) according to the International French Adjectival System .

Climbing Huascarán's has become increasingly dangerous due to climate change. On July 20, 2016, 9 climbers were caught in an avalanche on Huascarán's normal route at approximately 5800m, 4 of whom died.


The summit of Huascarán
Sur was first reached on 20 July 1932 by a joint German –Austrian expedition. The team followed what would become later the normal route (named today Garganta route). The north peak ( Huascarán
Norte) had previously been climbed on 2 September 1908 by a U.S. expedition that included Annie Smith Peck
Annie Smith Peck
, albeit this first ascent is somewhat disputed.

In 1989, a group of eight amateur mountaineers, the "Social Climbers", held what was recognised by the Guinness Book of Records (1990 edition) to be "the world's highest dinner party" on top of the mountain, as documented by Chris Darwin and John Amy in their book The Social Climbers, and raised £ 10,000 for charity.


Apart from the normal route, climbed in 1908 and rated PD+/AD-, all the other routes are committing and serious.

* Northwest ridge ('Italian' route), rated ED1/ED2 climbed on 25 July 1974 by E. Detomasi, C. Piazzo, D. Saettone and T. Vidone. * Northwest face ('Polish-Czech' variant), rated ED1/ED2, climbed on 14 July 1985 by B. Danihelkova, Z. Hoffmanova, A. Kaploniak, E. Parnejko and E. Szezesniak. * North face ('Paragot' route), rated ED1, climbed on 10 July 1966 by R. Paragot, R. Jacob, C. Jacoux and D. Leprince-Ringuet. * North face ('Swiss' route), rated ED2+, climbed on 23 May 1986 by D. Anker and K. Saurer. This route requires at least four days on the face. * North face ('Spanish' route), rated ED2+, climbed on 20 July 1983 by J. Moreno, C. Valles and J. Tomas.


As for the North summit, apart the normal route all the others are difficult.

* West ridge ('Shield' route), rated D+, climbed on 15 June 1969 by W. Broda, S. Merler and B. Segger. Approach as for the Garganta route but after the route develops over the knife-edge West ridge before getting to the summit icefield. * West ridge direct ('Lomo fino' oroute), rated TD-, was climbed on 7 July 2007 by M. Ybarra and S. Sparano. Approach as for the Garganta route but after the route develops straight over the West face. * Northeast ridge ('Spanish' route), rated TD+, was climbed on 18 July 1961 by F. Mautino, P. Acuna, A. Perez and S. Rivas. The route starts from Chopicalqui col, takes across the upper part of the Matara glacier and reaches the northeast ridge developing across cornices and snow mushrooms.


On 31 May 1970, the Ancash earthquake caused a substantial part of the north side of the mountain to collapse. The avalanche mass, an estimated 80 million cubic meters of ice, mud and rock, was about half a mile wide and a mile long. It advanced about 11 miles (18 km) at an average speed of 280 to 335 km per hour, burying the towns of Yungay and Ranrahirca under ice and rock, killing more than 20,000 people. At least 20,000 people were also killed in Huaraz
, site of a 1941 avalanche which killed over 6000 (see Palcacocha Lake ). Estimates suggest that the earthquake killed over 66,000 people.

Also buried by an avalanche was a Czechoslovak
mountaineering team, none of whose 15 members were ever seen again. This and other earthquake-induced avalanche events are often described incorrectly as "eruptions" of Huascarán, which is not of volcanic origin.

An earlier avalanche on January 10, 1962, caused by a rapid rise in temperature, killed an estimated 4,000 people.


* Cordillera Blanca
Cordillera Blanca


* Biggar, John (2005). The Andes
- A Guide for Climbers (3rd ed.). Castle Douglas. ISBN 0-9536087-2-7 . * Gates, Alexander E.; Ritchie, David (2006). Encyclopedia of Earthquakes and Volcanoes. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 9780816072705 . * Room, Adrian (1997). Placenames of the World. McFarland and Company. ISBN 0-7864-0172-9 .


* ^ A B C D Helman, Adam (2005). The Finest Peaks: Prominence and Other Mountain
Measures. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-4120-5995-4 . On the other hand Biggar gives 6,746 metres. * ^ A B "ultra-prominences". peaklist.org. Retrieved 2008-12-29. * ^ Room, Adrian * ^ Ricker, John F., Yuraq Janka: Cordilleras Blanca and Rosko, Alpine Club of Canada, 1977, ISBN 0-920330-04-5 , after Wilson, Reyes, and Garayar, 1967. * ^ "Tall Tales about Highest Peaks". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2008-12-29. * ^ "Gravity Variations Over Earth
Much Bigger Than Previously Thought". Science Daily. September 4, 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-01. * ^ Biggar, John * ^ http://amountainjourney.com/mountain-climbers-avalanche-huascaran-andes-peru/ * ^ "1932 ascent". huascaranperu.net. Archived from the original on February 15, 2012. Retrieved 2014-07-01. * ^ "Annie Smith Peck". Dr. Russell A. Potter. Retrieved 2010-12-05. * ^ Monge-Nájera, Julián (1995). ABC de la evolución. EUNED. p. 58. ISBN 9977-64-822-0 . * ^ "Mouth-watering challenge". Epping Forest Guardian. 21 September 2007. Retrieved 2011-05-31. * ^ "Geological Aspects of the May 31, 1970 Peru
Earthquake" (PDF). Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 61 (2): 543–578. June 1971. Retrieved 2014-01-01. * ^ U.S. Dept. of the Interior (October 1970). "The Peru Earthquake: a Special
Study". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 26 (8): 17–19. * ^ "The Village of Yungay and the Surrounding Countryside". Jay A. Frogel. Archived from the original on 2012-02-18. Retrieved 2010-12-05. * ^ A B "Sacred mountains: Myth and Morphology". Retrieved 2014-01-01. * ^ Gates Beech, Charlotte (2004). Peru. Lonely Planet. p. 308. * ^ "Historie československé expedice Peru
1970 (Czech only)". Archived from the original on 2014-07-09. Retrieved 2015-09-14. * ^ "1962: Thousands killed in Peru
landslide". British Broadcasting Corporation. 1962-01-11. Retrieved 2010-12-05.