Santa Cruz Trek with Climbing Pisco & Yanapaccha
Timing: 10 or 11 days Trek & Climb
Pisco 5753m (18875 ft)
Grade: PD / Moderate snow climbs – physically demanding
Yanapaccha 5460m (17913 ft)
Grade: AD- / some steep climbing, not suitable for first time climbers
Combine a 4 day trek of the famous Santa Cruz Llanganuco circuit with climbing two spectacular peaks in the
Cordillera Blanca. The scenic trek with crossing a 4750m high pass provides good acclimatisation for the climbing days. Access to both Pisco & Yanapaccha is from Llanganuco in the Demanda Valley where the Santa Cruz trek finishes, minimizing the amount of travel needed.
Pisco is an achievable climb for anyone who is well acclimatised and fit. Although Pisco is a beginner suitable peak, it is also a rewarding climb for experienced climbers. The climb is physically demanding and you do need to have good fitness and be strong.
Yanapaccha is situated in the Llanganuco Valley adjacent to Pisco, but is much less well known and less frequented by climbers. It is a moderately difficult climb with some steep sections and is not suitable for first time climbers, but an ideal peak for experienced climbers or novice climbers who have received instruction and are looking to extend their climbing level.
David (USA)/ Trekked Santa Cruz & Climbed Pisco & Yanapaccha said: I was exceptionally grateful for the professional service rendered by my guide Walter & his father Jorge who served as the cook. Walter maintained a slow steady pace and regularly inquired about my needs. On the mountains he provided expertise which made me feel very secure. A great team, could not have been better!
Day 1:Trek Starts: Drive from Huaraz to Cashapampa 2800m 3 hours. We meet our donkey drivers, load all equipment onto donkeys and start trekking. We hike continuously upwards following the Santa Cruz river, first we are in a narrow canyon and then after lunch the country opens up into a wider valley and we start to see the snow covered peaks. We camp in an open field near the river at Llamacorral 3750m 5 hours.
Day 2: An easier day hiking in a wide open valley. We pass by two small lakes and then we have our first glimpse of the famous Alpamayo peak. We camp at Taullipampa 4250m, a beautiful campsite surrounded by towering peaks and nestled near the bottom of Punta Union Pass. 4 hours.
Optional extra day: Stay another night at beautiful Taullipampa campsite. Options to visit Alpamayo Base Camp, Lake Arhuaycocha, climb Centillo Peak 5000m or have a rest day.
Day 3: Climb steadily up for 2 to 3 hours to the pass Punta Union 4750m then descend past a small alpine lake where we often stop for picnic lunch. Continue the descent towards the Huaripampa Valley before leaving the main trail and traversing through low bush to our camp in a secluded valley away from the main trail at Paria 3850m. 7 hours.
Day 4: At first we walk easily down the Huaripampa Valley passing through farming settlements. Then we climb to the road at Vaqueria where our private vehicle will be waiting to drive us over the 4850m Portachuelo Pass to our camp at Cebollapampa (3850m). 4 hours hike and 2 hour drive
Day 5:To Pisco: A short day. Climb on a good path to Pisco Base Camp. 4650m 2½ hours. Rest in the afternoon
Day 6: Climb over moraine rocks to Morena Camp. The route is over large moraine rock and is steep in places. Donkeys cannot come this way. Porters carry the tents, climbing rope, food and cooking equipment, but you need to carry your own personal gear. 4900m 3 hours
Day 7: 40 minutes climb on moraine to the glacier, then on the snow for about 4 to 5 hours to the summit. For most of the route, it is not overly steep or technically difficult, although the altitude does make it a challenge. There are occasional short steep sections and hard ice, or possibly a crevasse which the guides will help you to negotiate around. Return to Base Camp mid afternoon. About 10 to 12 hours total for the day.
Day 8: An easy descent down to the road at Cebollapampa 2 hours and relax in the afternoon.
Optional Extra Day: Stay at Cebollapampa Camp near LLanganuco Lakes an extra day for rest and delicious meals after climbing Pisco & departing for Yanapaccha.
Day 9 (or 10): To Yanapaccha: Our vehicle arrives at Cebollapampa with fresh supplies and we take a ride up the road a hairpin bend in the road called the “Curva” at 4580m. From here we hike to Yanapaccha Morena Camp for about 3 to 3 ½ hours until we reach the campsite. (5000m)
Day 10 (or 11): The initial ascent onto the glacier is usually a short steep ice climb & then there is more gentle terrain on the glacier We negotiate crevasse fields to arrive at the west face of Yanapaccha which we climb to the summit. The last 200m to reach the summit is steep 65 deg. About 3 to 4 rappels are required during the descent. Return back to Morena Camp & then walk back the same path back to the road where our private vehicle will be waiting for us (10 to 11 hours for the day) and we return back to Huaraz
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