Curicashajana seen from the Alpamayo moraine camp

Curicashajana 5510m

A small peak that is located SE of the Alpamayo basecamp, and that dominates the upper Santa Cruz Valley. It is the southmost peak of the Pucahirca-Rinjirca chain. The peak has no characteristic shape but resembles a rocky and snowy ridge. After a tiring start through steep grass, one is rewarded with a challenging summit and outstanding views towards Taulliraju and Pucahirca. The peak is very rarely climbed. 
Summarizing: Better and only moderately more difficult than Urus and Ishinca, but without the masses!


S-slopes and W-face from the Alpamayo basecamp

The south slopes and W-face provides the most straight-forward way from the Alpamayo base camp to the summit. The climb up to the summit wall is easy scrambling and glacier walking. The broad W-face couloir is steep and culminates in a corniced summit pyramid. Not a climb for beginners, but a good choice for a warm-up for bigger peaks in the range. 
The south ridge could provide a good alternative, however, we did not try it, and there is no description of the climb in any guide book.

7h from the Alpamayo base camp, 2-3h for the descent.
From the Alpamayo BC, walk towards the main valley until the zig-zag path goes downwards. Now climb through the grassy slopes towards east. A grassy ramp is visible (not the one with the tree). Head towards the ramp which turns out to be a couloir which has an overhanging rocky wall to its right. Climb the couloir and the grassy slopes with short rock slabs until reaching a scree-filled valley at 4700m (bivy places can be found here). Head right and hike up a grassy moraine to meet the glacier at about 4900m, 3-4h.
On the glacier, gain the upper plateau by a steep ramp on the left. The upper plateau consists of huge crevasses, but can nevertheless be easy negotiated. Head towards the summit, then pass at the base of the summit wall towards N until meeting the broad couloir that comes down from the main summit. The couloir is moderately steep (50) and is about 180m in height. Climb the couloir (two technical axes are recommended). The summit cornice is then easily gained from E.

Time: 7h from the Alpamayo base camp.

Descent: Walk down the broad N-ridge which is only exposed on the first meters. After about 200m, the ridge becomes steeeper again. Now abseil on the lower plateau by using snow stakes (1x60m or 2x30m). From the lower plateau, the base of the couloir is easily reached.


1. The broad W-couloir right (N) of the main summit.

2. Descent by the north ridge. The summit cornice is behind.

3. The steep lower W-face is negotiated by abseiling.