Huascaran or Nevado Huascaran is a mountain in the province of Yungay-Cordillera Blanca, part of the Western Andes. At 6768 m, its southern peak (Huascaran Sur) is the highest in Peru and the fourth highest in South America, although a lower height of 6746 m from a more recent survey is also often quoted. The mountain was named after Huascar, a 16th century Inca chieftain who was the heir to the Inca empire. The summit was first reached in July 1932 by a joint German–Austrian expedition. The north peak (Huascaran Norte) had previously been climbed (1908) by a US expedition that included Annie Smith Peck. The core of Nevada Huascaran, like much of the Cordillera Blanca, are Tertiary granites.John F. Ricker, Yuraq Janka: Cordilleras Blanca and Rosko, Alpine Club of Canada, 1977, ISBN0-920330-04-5, after Wilson, Reyes, and Garayar, 1967.
On 31 May 1970 the Ancash earthquake caused a substantial part of the north side of the mountain to collapse. The block of falling ice and rock was about 1 mile long, half a mile wide, and half a mile deep. In about five minutes it flowed 11 miles to Yungay, burying the entire town under ice and rock, and causing the deaths of more than 20,000 people. Also buried by an avalanche was a Czechoslovakian mountaineering team, none of whose members was ever seen again.
This and other earthquake-induced avalanche events are often described incorrectly as "eruptions" of Huascaran, which is not of volcanic origin.
Huascaran gives its name to Huascaran National Park which surrounds it, and is a popular location for trekking and mountaineering. Huascaran is normally climbed from the village of Musho to the west via a high camp in the col that separates the summits, known as La Garganta. The ascent normally takes 5-7 days, the main difficulties being the large crevasses that often block the route.
The Huascaran summit is one of the points on the Earth's surface farthest from the Earth's center. www.abc.net: Tall Tales about Highest Peaks
Huascaran in Yungay, Peru
Ascenciones al Huascaran, Peru
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