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Fastest Known Time: Huascarán, 6768m

Huascáran Speed Ascent

At 6768m this is Peru’s tallest mountain and the 4th highest in South America. Guidebook time is 5-7days but on the 1st September 2019 I stumble back into the village of Musho having taken just 31 hours to summit + descend.

2 days earlier, I clamber out of a local ‘colectivo’ into the village of Musho at 3050m. Its 5pm and I start my ascent. At 4800m I crampon up and continue in the crisp night air to the base of ‘El Escudo’ at 5800m. From here it’s 600m of 60/65degree ice – bullet hard in places. My pace slows, and it takes almost 7hours to reach the top of El Escudo. I rest here, gasping in the thin air. The last 500m to the summit are exhausting and take almost 4 hours. I top out at 4:30 pm but with clouds rolling in there’s little celebration. I turn round quickly and follow the ‘normal route’ down, picking up faint tracks here and there. Camp 2 is deserted, and I continue past many crevasses to the moraine. It’s a relief to be on solid ground again. The descent to Musho is long and I jog sections to stop myself falling asleep and tumbling of the path. At 01:30am I reach Musho. Broken but delighted!!!

According to the Guides Office in Huaraz this might be the first single push ascent of the south summit. The route was everything I’d hoped for and more! Challenging/technical/adventurous!!! Conditions were excellent. So much fun moving light and fast in the mountain!!! Massive thanks to @Jacob.Adamiec for reckying sections of the route with me earlier in the week. Thanks to Eynor (refuge guardian) for supporting me from the refuge and @Karl.Egloff for advice from his mega speed ascent on the North Summit in 2016.

Training Lap on the North Summit in 2018
El Escudo: Route to the Summit

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