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View of Nevado Huascarán Norte from Cordillera Negra
Elevation 6,768 metres (22,205 feet)
Location Yungay, Peru
Range Cordillera Blanca
Prominence 2,776 metres (9,108 feet) [1]
Coordinates 9°7′17″S, 77°36′32″W
First ascent 1932
Easiest route glacier/snow/ice climb

Huascarán or Nevado Huascarán is a mountain in the Province of Yungay -Cordillera Blanca, part of the Western Andes. At 6768 m its southern peak (Huascarán Sur) is the highest in Peru and the fourth highest in South America. The summit was first reached in 1932 by a joint GermanAustrian expedition. The north peak (Huascarán Norte) had previously been climbed (1908) by a US expedition that included Annie Smith Peck. The core of Nevada Huascarán, like much of the Cordillera Blanca, is made of tertiary granite[2]

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. At that moment there was a Czechoslovakian mountaineering team on the mountain, none of whose members were ever seen again, dead or alive. [3] This and other earthquake-induced avalanche events are often described incorrectly as "eruptions" of Huascarán, which is not of volcanic origin.

Huascarán gives its name to Huascarán National Park which surrounds it, and is a popular location for trekking and mountaineering.

The Huascarán summit is in a close tie with Ecuador's Chimborazo for the honor of "farthest point from the earth's center." The geoid that defines mean sea level is not a perfect spheroid, and determining the winner would require mapping the local gravitational anomalies at both sites to within a meter or two. [4]

[edit] References

  1. ^ Peru ultra-prominences on
  2. ^ John F. Ricker, Yuraq Janka: Cordilleras Blanca and Rosko, Alpine Club of Canada, 1977, ISBN0-920330-04-5, after Wilson, Reyes, and Garayar, 1967.
  3. ^ Yungay history
  4. ^ See the calculation on the talk page. If the heights given by Wikipedia for Chimborazo and Huascaran are correct, it is a close tie. But Huascaran is often only credited with 6,746 m, in which case Chimborazo is a likely clear winner

[edit] External links