On the slab approaching Rinrihirca and NV. Taullir...
Definitely a secluded area. Its 8-10 miles from the remote villagers. The village is thirty plus miles from a town. To get to a hospital from that town is another hour away. Not near to civilization but it is a popular track. This write up is not about the track. I didn't know it existed then. This is about the mountains nearest to Punta Union Pass (height 4,750 meters). On the way to the mountain glaciers when it's sunny it's blind your eyes sunny. North of the valley basin or up left is the fluted south face head wall to Rinrihirca (5810m). It's appears low angle snow because of the buttresses steepness too inclining with overhanging seracs on top of them. These tall cliffs guard its flanks and a series of three long granite buttresses split up the lower face. Options are big wall rock or crevasse glaciation everywhere almost to the summit of fluted face or the central cliff bands to seracs then cornice traversing ridges to the top. There is a long (2 miles?) approach also to the glaciers. Up the lowest angle slab on the east (bring sneakers) or there is the nice ridge on the far west or left at the height of the central gorge's edge, continue up this border and it will become a ridge directly to the central buttresses. Directly east of Rinrihirca is Nv. Taulliraju (5830m) west face. It has had a few ascents. This mountain is a trekker's pride to photograph. It makes trekking Punta Union Pass phenomenal. The mountain has a abominable approach through crevasse glaciation to it's cliff line base. Possibly the best approach is down from the height of the Punta Union Pass into it's crevasses higher to the cliff line of the several disconnected buttresses (a route). There are many steep gullies that stripe the northern west face buttresses. These terminate just below it's summit on it's north west face. I saw a large avalanche go down the Lowe Route, from a summit cornice. Above and beyond the pass is Nev. Pucaraju (5025m) and finally to the south is Paria (5600m) with its long steep north face topped with snow ramps to the summit. This is a very nice trek. It is a very serious region and for technical mountaineering.
Start at Cachapama. leave the village heading east and follow the trail besides the Santa Cruz River several plus miles to the Valley basin between these highest peaks.
Featured Route For Santa Cruz Track and the Punta Union Pass
For many years I recommended avoiding this climb. I had not been on any glacier before. My multiple thousand foot ascent without a rope and at my limit of mental endurance had me thinking everyone should not do this route. This caste misguidance to my opinion is gone. If I had, had a rope, alone, going up it would have made a big difference. The climb with a rope and a few anchors would have been pretty good because it was out of the way and did no cause to making avalanches. I climbed what seem...[more]Browse More Classics in International
Photos of Santa Cruz Track and the Punta Union Pass Slideshow