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Cordillera Blanca Climbing Alpamayo & Huascaran Expedition

Timing: 23 days
Grade : Technical climbing

This is a comprehensive expedition program with the ultimate goals being the successful summiting of the technical Alpamayo followed by Huascaran, the highest mountain in Peru.

The program commences with acclimatization hikes around Huaraz followed by a trek into the Quillqueyhuanca Valley and climbing Maparaju for additional high altitude acclimatisation & strength as preparation for the challenges of climbing Alpamayo & Huascaran. There are rest days back in Huaraz between each climb.

The Peaks:

MAPARAJU 5326m (17474 ft)
Grade: F – non technical

The non technical Maparaju is a great peak to use for acclimatising for technical & 6000m climbs. During the climb, mountaineers are treated to spectacular close views of nearby Cayesh & Huantsan.

ALPAMAYO 5947m (19511 ft)
Grade: D – steep & technical climbing

Renowned for its almost perfect pyramid shape and uniquely Andean ice flutings, Alpamayo is on the “wish list” for many mountaineers.

The climbing is steep and technical with several hours of continual front pointing and using two technical ice axes on steep slopes averaging 55 to 65 deg and up to 80 deg. on short sections.

Climbers need to be experienced on steep ice, and comfortable with using ice screws, snow stakes, anchor systems and descent by rappel. The Alpamayo climb is NOT suitable for beginner climbers.


High Camp Alpamayo

HUASCARAN SUR 6768m (22205 ft)
Grade: AD / some technical climbing / very physically demanding

Huascarán is the highest mountain in Peru, and the highest of any mountain situated in the tropics. It is the principal objective of many of the climbers that visit the Cordillera Blanca.

In the past Huascaran has not been an especially technical mountain to climb, but in recent years changes to the glacier have made the going more difficult. This, combined with the high altitude makes Huascaran a very physically demanding mountain to climb.

Some years there are large crevasses on Huascaran which can be difficult to pass, or which require an alternative route to be found. Also, there can be some sections of steep climbing on hard ice in certain conditions. We recommend that clients have good basic climbing skills to climb Huascaran. Huascaran is NOT a suitable peak for beginner climbers.


Hisao Morales – Huascaran Summit


Day 1: Arrive Huaraz (3090m)

Day 2: Acclimatisation hike to Wilkawain Ruins (highest point 3450m)


Day 3: Acclimatisation hike to Laguna Urus (4400m)


Day 4: Acclimatisation Hike to Laguna Ahuaccocha (4560m)


Quillqueyhuanca Trek & Maparaju Climb

Day 5: Drive for an hour from Huaraz to Pitec (3750m). An easy walk up the valley Quebrada Quillqueyhuanca to camp at the top of the valley (4250m). 4 hours. In the afternoon hike up to the glacial lake of Laguna Tullpacocha (4350m) & return back to camp.

Day 6: Hike up to Cullichacocha Lake at 4500 m in the morning. In the afternoon we move our camp into the Cayesh Valley (4400m) situated at the base of Maparaju Mountain.

Day 7: Climb Maparaju. The climb to the summit is mixed, starting on the rock moraine then on the glacier with some moderate slopes mixed with steeper sections. From the summit are spectacular views of Cayesh & Huansan. Descend back to our camp in the Cayesh Valley. 10 to 11 hours for the day


Cayesh Valley , Maparaju is on the right

Day 8: Return hiking back down Quillqueyhuanca Valley to Pitec & return to Huaraz

Day 9: REST DAY in Huaraz. Prepare for Alpamayo Climb


Alpamayo Climb

Day 10: Drive 3 hours from Huaraz to Cashapampa. Then hike to Llamacorral following the famous Santa Cruz trek route. Altitude at Llamacorral 3750m. 4 to 5 hours

Day 11: Hike to Base Camp at the top of the Quebrada Arhuaycocha 4250m. 4 to 5 hours
Donkeys carry all equipment as far as base camp & return to Cashapampa. You carry just a light day pack on the trek in.

Day 12: Flexible. Rest Day while the porters carry gear to High Camp.
Or use this day as a bad weather day.
Or there is an option to continue up to an Intermediate camp Morena Camp today instead of going direct from Base Camp to High Camp in a single day

Day 13: First climbing on in places steep & slippery moraine rock. Once on the ice, the climbing is varied between easier slopes and steep ice slopes up to 70 deg. In some years there has been about 200m of ice cliff to climb and the guide may fix a rope here. About 6 to 7 hours testing climbing to reach High Camp, situated on a saddle between Alpamayo & Quitaraju at 5450m

Day 14: A steep & technical climb on ice to the summit with several hours of continual front pointing. Fixed rope may be used depending on clients skills and the number of other climbers on the route. Several rappels are needed to descend. Return to sleep at High Camp. 8 to 9 hours


Day 15: Return to Base Camp. 5 to 6 hours

Day 16: Return to Cashapampa. 7 to 8 hours and return to Huaraz in our private van.

Day 17: REST DAY in Huaraz. Prepare for Huascaran Climb


Huascaran Climb

Day 18: Drive from Huaraz to Musho. Hike to Base Camp 4350m 4 hours. Donkeys carry all equipment , you carry just a light day pack

Day 19: Climb at first on moraine rock and rock slabs, at times steeply, and then on snow & ice to High Camp 1 at 5260m. Porters carry tents, food and ropes but you need to carry your personal gear, climbing gear, clothes and sleeping bag. 5 hours.

Day 20: Climb to High Camp 2 at 6000m. We leave early and need to move quickly in some places because of risk of falling ice. There is some steep climbing with crevasses and seracs fields to negotiate around. There is approximately 45 minutes of steep technical climbing in most years and you may also have to climb into and back out of a crevasse. 5 to 6 hours

Day 21: Climb to the summit & return to High Camp 2. Again, there may be several crevasses to negotiate around and care is required. An 11 to 12 hour day

Day 22: Return to Base Camp. 6 to 7 hours

Day 23: Walk to Musho 3 hours, then return to Huaraz in our private van
Optional Extra Day Huascaran: Extra day for rest or bad weather (must be requested at the time of booking)

Download PDF for climb description & notes
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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 trekking & climbing and the number of people in your group, as well as if you prefer a private trek and climb or would be happy to join with other people.


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