HUASCARáN (Spanish pronunciation: ) is a mountain in the Peruvian
province of Yungay (
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 ) and in all of the
Huascarán is the fourth highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere
and South America after
Ojos del Salado , and Monte Pissis
. The mountain was named after
Huáscar , a 16th-century
who was the Sapa
Inca of the
Inca empire .
* 1 Geography
* 2 Climbing
* 2.1 History
* 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 .
Huascarán 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,
The summit of
Huascarán is the place on
Earth with the smallest
Huascarán 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
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
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
* 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
* 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
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
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.
* 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
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
* ^ "1932 ascent". huascaranperu.net. Archived from the original on
February 15, 2012. Retrieved 2014-07-01.
* ^ "Annie Smith Peck". Dr. Russell A. Potter. Retrieved
* ^ 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
Special Study". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 26
* ^ "The Village of Yungay and the Surrounding Countryside". Jay A.
Frogel. Archived from the original on 2012-02-18. Retrieved
* ^ A B "Sacred mountains: Myth and Morphology". Retrieved
* ^ 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.