Karma de los Cóndores
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View back toward Los Torres del Ishinca from the E...
On June 18, 2005 Kevin Gallagher and Wayne Crill completed a new route on the previously unclimbed 300m S. face of Huatun Ullokc (the Big Sprout) in the quebrada Ishinca of the Cordillera Blanca, Peru. This area is sure to continue gaining attention from alpine rock climbers. This fun route, the first new rock route developed in this quebrada, follows an aesthetic line with spectacular exposure and great climbing. Its easy access and moderate altitude (the base of the wall is at 13,500’) make it a great route for acclimatization. The trail up the quebrada Ishinca is one of the most highly traveled trails in the Cordillera because of its close proximity to Huaraz, and access to the Ishinca base camp, starting off point for many popular alpine summits. Four large, impressive, tower-like rock buttresses rise ominously from the forested slopes of the N. side of the quebrada, guarding the entrance to the valley.Huatun Ullokc is the third buttress passed upon entering the valley. The tall slender S. face, split by a single continuous crack system, is obvious from the Huascarán National Park entrance station where all climbers must register.
We first viewed these impressive rock features en route to Ishinca base camp, in August 2003. The route is accessed via a gulley beginning just before the entrance station to the park. The initial 120m of the face averages dead vertical to a large forested ledge. The upper 240m of the face is clean, grey to orange overhanging granite split by numerous horizontal roofs and bulges. We began on sight leading up the wall, however, vegetation, debris, and loose rocks often forced us to aid and clean sections prior to attempting free climbing. Two alternative 5.9 pitches begin the route, straight up past huge stacked flakes to a finger crack and flake on the left, or hand cracks past a slot and over a tree on the right. P2 is the standout pitch on the lower wall with steep, fun climbing up over a bulgy roof to a sustained beautiful overhanging finger crack and finally lower angle off-width to a nice pillar ledge. P3, the jungle pitch, continues up the corner, into a nice steep hand crack, then a wide chimney and up to the large forested ledge 1/3 of the way up the face. P4 begins lower angle face/corner up to steep hand cracks past an overhang to a ledge. P5 begins with fingers to a small roof, hands through a second roof passing another bulge to a good ledge below the ominous and imposing roofer madness pitch. P6 is the crux pitch with amazing position, climbing, and exposure, climbing through two large, intimidating horizontal roofs, past a Condor roost, true roofer madness. Climb up to and through the first 2m roof via hands to spectacular stance below the crux overhanging R. facing corner. Climb this finger, off-finger, to hands corner to the large 3m off-width roof crack and a balancy belay stance above the roof. P7, the Jenga pitch continues up the widening crack system through another bulgy roof stacked with loose blocks to a nice vertical hand and finger crack. P8 starts with spectacular dual finger cracks passing though two more roofs to a good ledge. The final pitch traverses up and right, around the arete to the sunny E. face and up beautiful knobby granite to the ‘summit’ sidewalk of the first tier.
We named the route Karma de los Cóndores, for the Andean Condors that flew around us daily.
Huatun Ullokc lies approximately 6 miles up quebrada Ishinca from Pashpa (~4 from Collon). The tower is the 2nd farthest to the E. of 4 granite towers on the N. side q. Ishinca maybe halfway to the Ishinca base camp. Maybe 100m before the National park entrance look for a small steep trail up a gulley to the base of hte wall, approximmately a 30 minute hike from the main trail. The route starts near a 20' R. facing corner 25m L. of an obvious small gear cave. The right starting pitch begins up this vegitated corner and the left start beings 10m L.
The pitches go at approximately 9, 11, 9, 10, 11, 11+, 10, 11, and 8. Pitches 4 and 5, and 7 and 8 can be combined into 60m rope-stretching pitches. Bring Gear to 4”, extra in the finger sizes, and two 60m ropes. Originally we rappeled the route requiring two ropes since P6 overhangs too far to get back into the wall, so we left one rope fixed on this pitch. Pitches 7-9 can be rappelled with the remaining single 60 m rope.
In July 2007 Marc Wolff and partner established Compania Vertical a 5 pitch 7b face route that climbs the upper E. face of Huatun Ullokc around the carner to the R. of Karma. In the process they established an excellent rappel line for both routes from the sidewalk summit to the large vegitated ledge above p3. This rappel also requires 2 ropes but is smooth an easy without the Roofer Madness shenanigans. Rappel Karma p3-1 to reach thhe base of the tower. p1 anchor is a bolt and solid KB, all other pitches have bolted belays. The only fixed gear on the route is a KB below the roof on the jenga pitch.
redpoint crux comes at the end of the pitch. Gruel...
Los Torres from base camp.
Kevin begining the roofer madness pitch
S. face of Huatun Ullock. Karma climbs the crack ...
Huatun Ullokc from the SE
in the midst of the good stuff
Kevin dispatching the difficulties
begining of the exciting p2
...burp... quiero mas Cusqueña por favor
Aug 12, 2013
Congrats on the route, it is VERY good! Roofs are insane! Look impossible, but go!
By Hamik Mukelyan
From: Pasadena, CA
Aug 12, 2013
What a route. The roof pitch might be one of the most enjoyable and most three-dimensional trad pitches I've ever done. Way to look at two impossible-looking roofs and think, "hell, let's have a go at it" to put up this route!
Vitaliy M. on the 5.11 approach pitch to the roofs.