Ishinca, 5530m Northwest Slopes
||Snow, Alpine, 3800', Grade III
|FA: ||First ascent of the Northwest slopes to the Northeast Ridge is unknown. The Northeast Ridge was first climbed by S.Turner, W. Basset, J Hough, and C.S|
|Season: ||June trough August|
|Page Views: ||1,934|
|Submitted By: ||TYeary on Apr 17, 2009|
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On the glacier near the top of the Northwest Slope...
Ishinca is one of the easier peaks and a good acclimatization climb. Great views of Ranrapalca, Tocllaraju and the Quebrada Cojup! If you are fit, Ishinca, like Urus Este, can be easily done in a day from base camp. A high camp near the small lake up the side valley makes this an enjoyable acclimatization outing.Easy snow and glacier climbing, except for the summit pitch, which is steep and a bit exposed.
From the footbridge, follow the trail on the right side of the stream. Just past the large boulders of the base camp area, the trail begins to gain altitude and eventually switchbacks up the slope to the right into a side valley with a small stream. Continue to follow the trail up this side valley past a meadow and more switchbacks. As the trail swings to the left across the mouth of the canyon, it passes through a rocky area which levels out at a small lake. Here the trail splits and the right branch takes you to the Southwest Ridge of Ishinca and Ranrapalca. Here you have a great view of Ranrapalca and the Ingament hut on the crest of the moraine just above. Continue to follow the smaller trail out across the basin and around the lake. Near the head of the lake you cross the inlet stream and look ahead and a bit to your left for cairns and a feint trail leading up hill to the toe of the glacier. 2-3 hours from base camp.
Begin climbing up glacier slightly trending to the right as you go. Easily passing some crevasses as you work your way toward the North Ridge. Here the glacier levels off and you can see the summit with the rock band on the north face. Make an end run around the rock face to the right side and climb the final 45-50 degree, 300 feet snow and ridge to the summit. Note; the right side of this final section is corniced. Take care not to climb to close to the edge on your right. Descend by the same route or, better, continue over the summit and down the Southwest Ridge for a great traverse of Ishinca.
Ice axe, rope crampons.
The small meadow in the side valley and the trail ...
Getting onto the glacier and the lower Northwest S...
Looking back from near the summit slopes along the...
Upper Northwest Slopes to North Ridge
Last bit to the summit from the near the base of t...
BETA PHOTO: Northwest Ridge and Southwest Ridge routes
|Comments on Ishinca, 5530m Northwest Slopes
By Wayne Crill
From: an Altered State
Feb 23, 2011
Tony you might change the route height here as its a little buggered up. I don't have heaps of Cordilera blanca experience but enough to consider this a three star route. For what it is especially, a non-technical snow hike with some good altitude and fantastic and spectacular views. Great intro or acclimitazation climb and just big fun. Highly recommend the loop N.W. slopes then descending the S.E. ridge line.
From: Arcadia, Califoria
Aug 3, 2011
Thanks Wayne, for keeping me honest! Don't know what happened with the route lenght value! I thought when done as a traverse, it was a great outing. True, there generally are no technical difficulties, but it is beautiful with great views, and it provides the needed acclimatization . I would say two stars for sure!