Bill Rossbach, Peru Alpine Climbing • May & June 2004

Bill Rossbach, of Missoula, MT joined Kathy, Mark and Emery Dameron for 2 weeks of climbing and exploring in the Quebrada Paron in Peru's Cordillera Blanca.

This was the first time that any of us had been in this valley and it was exciting to see such spectacular new terrain. As usual we were joined by Emilio Alvarado, who served as organizer, camp chief and chef extraordinaire. Also joining us was Peter Alvarado, Emilio's son. Peter is a Aspriant guide and is currently going through the Peruvian guides training and certification program.

While Mark climbed with Emery, Kathy joined Bill for some good alpine exploring on Pisco and Piramide Norte. For more photos of this area see the page for Emery's climbs also on these same dates.

Other Recent Trips

Hiking into base camp on the shores of Laguna Paron. This is one of the shortest approaches in the Blanca, involving only about 2 hours of nearly level walking around the lake. The lake level was lowered some 100 feet in the early 80's to reduce the risk of inundation to the villages below.

Chacraraju rises above.


Base camp and Chacraraju.


Kathy and Bill started with a walk up to the edge of the Paron Glacier at the foot of Artesonraju.


After a few days of acclimatization Bill and Kathy put in a small high camp on the way up to Pisco West. The south face of Piramide towers over the camp.


The view across the valley to the Caraz peaks from near their high camp.


Bill on the upper part of Pisco. Huandoy, on the right, and Chaucerian Norte on the left form the backdrop.


Descending the glacier on the north side of the Pisco-Huandoy col. This is a tricky approach and a much more difficult proposition than the standard route on the south side of Pisco. Unfortunately, after tackling all the difficult climbing Bill and Kathy ran out of time and had to return without tagging the summit.


Sunset on Artesonraju from Base Camp.


After a rest in Base Bill and Kathy put in a high camp by the Paron Glacier with the goal of climbing Piramide Norte, the sub-peak on the left hand shoulder of Piramide Grande.


Piramide and the moon, from high camp above the Paron Glacier.


Bill climbing a short steeper section of the glacier en route to Piramide Norte.


Higher on the climb. Nevado Paron is the snowy summit behind Bill, with Taulliraju on the right and the Pucajirca peaks to the left.


Unfortunately, the last 200 feet of the climb presented a difficult pitch on completely rotten snow and ice, and the party decided it was wiser to turn back than risk a nasty fall. Bill and Peter descend the north ridge of Piramide Norte.


Piramide from Laguna Paron.


Lupines and Laguna Paron on the hike out. The road, and pick-up point are at the far end of the lake.


Bill, Kathy (struggling with a NY Times Crossword) and Emery wait for the the ride back to Huaraz.


We came out a day early in order to enjoy a Pachamanca at Emilio's house. Rocks are heated in a fire, then potatoes, various deliciously seasoned meats and small "humitas" are placed on the rocks, using various plants in layers to control the heat. The entire thing is then buried in earth, cooks for perhaps 45 minutes and the exhumed.

The Pachamanca is something we often enjoy at the conclusion of our trips with Emilio.


In front, Bill, Emery, Emilio and Kathy. Behind are Emilio's son Peter, his wife, Rosalina, a nephew (who's name I missed) father-in-law Bonifacio, Rosalina's sister Yolanda and her husband Pedro.

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