Cordillera Blanca Climbing Huascaran Sur (6768m)
Timing: 6 or 7 Days
Grade: AD / some technical climbing / very physically demanding
Huascarán is the highest mountain in Peru and as such is the goal of many climbers coming to the Cordillera Blanca
In the past Huascaran was not been an especially technical mountain to climb and in some older guidebooks has been described as being non-technical and suitable for beginner level climbers – but in recent years changes to the glacier have made the going more difficult and technical. This, combined with the high altitude makes Huascaran a very physically demanding mountain to climb.
To climb Huascaran you need to be very well acclimatised to the altitude, in good physical condition, with good fitness and stamina. We always recommend clients do a trek of minimum 4 days followed by climbing a 5000m peak 2 to 4 days for extra acclimatisation and fitness before attempting to climb Huascaran
There are sections of steep and technical climbing on Huascaran. Climbers need to be experienced on steep ice and comfortable with using ice screws, snow stakes, anchor systems and descent by rappel. Huascaran is NOT a suitable climb for novice level climbers
Huascarán is subject to high risk of ice fall and avalanche and can also be heavily crevassed. The area between High Camp 1 and High Camp 2 known as the “caneleta and the traverse after the caneleta” is very risky due to overhanging seracs and risk of ice fall. If at the time of your climbing expedition, information received from previous groups indicates unstable and unsafe conditions, we will recommend an alternative climb for safety reasons. When planning your trip, it is best to have an alternative “Plan B” in place
Day 1: Drive 1 ½ hours to Musho where we load our gear onto donkeys and start hiking to Huascarán Base Camp at 4350m. Approx. 4 hours hike to base camp
Day 2: From here onwards we have to carry all equipment in backpacks. We climb for around 3 hours on rock and large moraine boulders until we arrive at the glacier where we put crampons on. From the start of the glacier a steep climb of 2 ½ hours to High Camp 1 (5260m)
Day 3: This is the most dangerous section of the route as we have to pass below a field of overhanging seracs with possibility of serec avalanches. There are also crevasses fields to negotiate. We need to move quickly across the risk area. There are sections of steep and technical climbing and you may have to ice climb 55 deg. to 65 deg on ice walls.
If there is serious risk of ice fall on the day you climb the guide will make the decision for the safety of everyone to turn back & that decision must be respected
5 to 6 hours to High Camp 2 (6000m).
Day 4: We leave at midnight to climb to the summit. Initially we have to negotiate around or climb through some large crevasses. We then have a section of less steep climbing before coming to some steeper sections of 50 deg. to 65 deg which have some traverses with exposed climbing before another long steady climb to the summit, taking care as there are crevasses all the way to the summit. We return to High Camp 2 with some rappels. Avarage from 11 to 12 hour day.
Approaching the summit
Day 5: Depart Camp 2 early to pass under the seracs fields while it is still cold then descend all the way back to base camp
6 to 7 hours descent.
Day 6: Walk to Musho 3 hours,meet our vehicle for drive back to Huaraz.
OPTIONAL Day 07: RESERVE DAY for bad weather or rest
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Contact us for more information and prices.
If you know, tell us the approximate dates that you would like to be climbing and the number of people in your group, as well as if you prefer a private climb or would be happy to join with other people.