Tocclaraju fact sheet:
||6034m / 19790ft
||1939, by Brecht and Schweizer
|Best Climbing Months:
||June, July, August
||An ice fluted pyramid most commonly
accessed from Quebrada Ishinca. Standard route is NW ridge, recommended
climb of Tocclaraju was more complicated. Most important, the climb would
be done in two days, with climbing to a high camp on day 1, and do the
summit climb on day 2.
First clear view of Tocclaraju,
on the day of the Ishinca climb.
Sunrise over Tocclaraju.
On the fourth day in Ishinca
BC, we set off for Tocclaraju High Camp (5100m.) at 10:00am, and reached
it at 14:40am. Here, Mich, Tom and support team member Julio wonder around
a little bit.
Me in the High Camp, with Ishinca
and Ranrapalca visible on the other side of the valley.
Sight of Tocclaraju from High
Camp, with summit in clouds. The climbing route is roughly: reach the ridge
on the left of the picture, then reach the summit circling around the mountain
clockwise from the left ridge up.
By now everybody was eating paracetamol
to get rid of the headaches. Altitude sure is a killer... We left High
Camp at 02:00am on the fifth day and walked in moonlight for two hours.
After the moon had disappeared behind clouds, I managed to step on a snowbridge
that was very unstable and instantly collapsed. My head and arms remained
above surface, and the rest of my mody was tangling in the crevasse. With
a little help of Mich and Ivry, I managed to climb out again. No big deal
in the end...
After surviving a small snowstorm
at daybreak, we were ready for the final part. In the picture, Victor is
leading the final pitch to the summit, while Anders has tied everybody
to his harness so that he can no doubt safely take a picture.
It's getting cold: waiting for
20 minutes at close to 6000m...
...just standing there at a steep
But the reward is there: we reached
6034m. on Tocclaraju, with nothing higher to go, at 09:40am on June 2,
Looking down from the summit
on the height we covered, with High Camp visible (middle-right).
We went down after a short stay on
the summit, with clouds drifting in, just to find our tracks completely
It had started to snow a little bit, and the wind was back. That must have
erased the tracks. It looked nasty at the time, but we found the tracks
again and didn't have to sit out the storm.
After descending through the
clouds, visibility got much better. Ivry and Anders are looking good for
the final part of the descend to High Camp. We reached High Camp at 13:50,
and, after a short rest, we left again for Base Camp at 15:30, reaching
BC at 17:45. A long day: 900 meters up, and 1700 down again in 14 hours.
The sixth day in Ishinca BC was
a very nice rest day, with a marvelous well-deserved breakfast outside
in the sun. From left, clockwise, to the right: Elias(cook), Mich, Anders,
Daniel (BC manager), Jeroen, Roger, Ivry and Tom, with Victor taking the
Sunrise over Tocclaraju on the
day after the climb.
Descending again from Ishinca
BC, with the oxygen rich valley in the distance below.
Poverty in the trail-end settlement
Collon, after the BC descend...
Daniel and Julio are unpacking
the mule-loads, transferring them to truck.