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Huascarán or Nevado Huascarán is a mountain
Image:Himalaya_annotated.jpg|thumb|right|The Himalayan mountain range with Mount Everestrect 58 14 160 49 Chomo Lonzorect 200 28 335 52 Makalurect 378 24 566 45 Mount Everestrect 188 581 920 656 Tibetan Plateaurect 250 406 340 427 Rong River...

 in the Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

vian province of Yungay
Yungay Province
-Political division:Yungay is divided into eight districts, which are:-External links:...

, situated in the Cordillera Blanca
Cordillera Blanca
The Cordillera Blanca is a mountain range in the Ancash Region of Peru. Part of the larger Andes range, it includes 33 major peaks over high in an area wide and long.-Overview:...

 range of the Western Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

. The highest southern summit of Huascarán (Huascarán Sur) is the highest point in Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, and all the Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

's Tropics
The tropics is a region of the Earth surrounding the Equator. It is limited in latitude by the Tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere at approximately  N and the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere at  S; these latitudes correspond to the axial tilt of the Earth...

. Huascarán is the sixth highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere
Western Hemisphere
The Western Hemisphere or western hemisphere is mainly used as a geographical term for the half of the Earth that lies west of the Prime Meridian and east of the Antimeridian , the other half being called the Eastern Hemisphere.In this sense, the western hemisphere consists of the western portions...

 after Aconcagua
Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the Americas at . It is located in the Andes mountain range, in the Argentine province of Mendoza and it lies west by north of its capital, the city of Mendoza. The summit is also located about 5 kilometres from San Juan Province and 15 kilometres from the...

, Ojos del Salado
Ojos del Salado
Nevado Ojos del Salado is a massive stratovolcano in the Andes on the Argentina-Chile border and the highest volcano in the world at . It is also the second highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere and the highest in Chile...

, Monte Pissis
Monte Pissis
Monte Pissis is an extinct volcano in La Rioja Province, Argentina. The mountain is the third-highest in the Western Hemisphere, and is located about 550 km north of Aconcagua....

, Cerro Bonete, and Tres Cruces
Nevado Tres Cruces
Nevado Tres Cruces is a massif of volcanic origin in the Andes Mountains. It has two main summits, Tres Cruces Sur at 6,749 m and Tres Cruces Central at 6,629 m and a third more minor summit, Tres Cruces Norte 6030m. The former marks the border between Argentina and Chile...

. The mountain was named after Huáscar
Huáscar Inca was Sapa Inca of the Inca empire from 1527 to 1532 AD, succeeding his father Huayna Capac and brother Ninan Cuyochi, both of whom died of smallpox while campaigning near Quito.After the conquest, the Spanish put forth the idea that Huayna Capac may have...

, a 16th century Inca chieftain who was the Sapa Inca of the Inca empire
Inca Empire
The Inca Empire, or Inka Empire , was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in Cusco in modern-day Peru. The Inca civilization arose from the highlands of Peru sometime in the early 13th century...


It has an elevation of 6768 metres (22,205 ft). The core of Nevada Huascarán, like much of the Cordillera Blanca, are Tertiary
The Tertiary is a deprecated term for a geologic period 65 million to 2.6 million years ago. The Tertiary covered the time span between the superseded Secondary period and the Quaternary...

Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...


Huascarán gives its name to Huascarán National Park
Huascarán National Park
Huascarán National Park is a national park in the Cordillera Blanca, a range of the Andes, in Ancash of central Peru. It was also pronounced as Natural Heritage of Humanity and recognized as Reserve of Biosphere Core. The highest mountain in Peru is located in the park...

 which surrounds it, and is a popular location for trekking and mountaineering
Mountaineering or mountain climbing is the sport, hobby or profession of hiking, skiing, and climbing mountains. While mountaineering began as attempts to reach the highest point of unclimbed mountains it has branched into specialisations that address different aspects of the mountain and consists...

. Huascarán 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 Huascarán summit is one of the points on the Earth's surface farthest from the Earth's center, closely behind the farthest point, Chimborazo
Chimborazo (volcano)
Chimborazo is a currently inactive stratovolcano located in the Cordillera Occidental range of the Andes. Its last known eruption is believed to have occurred around 550 AD....

 in Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...


Climbing history

The summit was first reached in July 1932 by a joint German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

n expedition. The north peak (Huascarán Norte) had previously been climbed in 1908 by a U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 expedition that included Annie Smith Peck
Annie Smith Peck
Annie Smith Peck was an American mountaineer.Peck was born into a wealthy family, which made it possible for her to get a good education. She attended the Rhode Island Normal School, graduating in 1872...


In 1989 a group of eight amateur
An amateur is generally considered a person attached to a particular pursuit, study, or science, without pay and often without formal training....

 mountaineers, the "Social Climbers" held what was recognised by the Guinness Book of Records (1990 edition) to be "the world highest dinner party" was held on top of the mountain, as documented by Chris Darwin
Chris Darwin
Christopher William Darwin lives in Australia and works for High and Wild and the Australian School of Mountaineering, guiding canyoning, rock climbing, mountaineering, abseiling and nature walks. He is the great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin.-Biography:Darwin was born in 1961 in London...

 and John Amy in their book The Social Climbers, and raising £10,000 for charity.

1970 earthquake

On 31 May 1970, the Ancash earthquake
1970 Ancash earthquake
The 1970 Ancash earthquake or Great Peruvian Earthquake was an undersea earthquake that occurred on May 31 of that year. Combined with a resultant landslide, it was the worst catastrophic natural disaster ever recorded in the history of Peru....

 caused a substantial part of the north side of the mountain to collapse. The avalanche mass, an estimated 80 million cubic feet of ice, mud and rock was about half a mile wide and a mile long. It advanced about 11 miles (17.7 km) at an average speed of 280 to 335 km per hour. burying the towns of Yungay
Yungay, Peru
-Location:Yungay is located in the Callejón de Huaylas on Río Santa at an elevation of 2,500 m, 450 km north of Lima, the country's capital. East of the small town are the mountain ridges of snow-covered Cordillera Blanca, with Huascarán, Peru's highest mountain, no more than 15 km east...

 and Ranrahirca
Ranrahirca was a village in Peru, alongside the river Santa, near Huascarán, the highest mountain in Peru. It was hit by massive avalanches of snow, rocks and mud, originating on the slopes of Huascarán and triggered by earthquakes, on 10 January 1962 and again on 31 May 1970...

 under ice and rock, killing more than 20,000 people. At least 20,000 people were also killed in Huaraz
Huaraz is a city in Peru. It is the capital of the Departmento de Ancash and the seat of government of the Provincia de Huaraz . The urban agglomerations population is distributed over the districts of Huaraz and Independencia. It was estimated in 2007 to exceed 120,000...

, site of a 1941 avalanche which killed over 6000 (see Palcacocha Lake). Estimates suggest that the earthquake killed over 66,000 people.

Also buried by an avalanche was a Czechoslovak mountaineering team, none of whose members was ever seen again. This and other earthquake-induced avalanche events are often described incorrectly as "eruptions" of Huascarán, which is not of volcanic origin.

An earlier landslide on January 11, 1962, caused by a rapid rise in temperature, killed an estimated 4,000 people.

External links