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Santa Cruz Trek & Climbing Three Peaks in Ishinca Valley


Santa Cruz Trek                                                           Tocllaraju Rappel

Timing: 12 days Trek & Climb (plus rest day in Huaraz)

The Peaks:

Urus: 5495m (18028 ft)
Grade: PD- /Moderate snow climbing, physically demanding

Ishinca: 5530m (18143 ft)
Grade: PD- /Moderate snow climbing, physically demanding

Tocllaraju: 6034m (19797 ft)
Grade: D / Hard / Some steep & technical climbing – not suitable for beginners

For those looking for an extended trekking & climbing trip culminating in an attempt on a 6000m peak, we offer a combination with the scenic Santa Cruz LLanganuco trek for acclimatisation followed by seven days based in beautiful Ishinca Valley and climbing three peaks.

Peter from Canada said: … I would definitely consider another trip with Peruvian Andes next summer… The Santa Cruz trek was an excellent acclimatization for the three peaks we did afterwards; the peaks themselves were not all that technical (and when they were- e.g. the final bit of Tocllaraju) the guide showed that he was totally capable. It certainly was a thrill to actually stand on top of a 6000 m peak, given my 3800m Canadian Rockies perspective.

Tocllaraju has some sections of steep and technical climbing, and we recommend that clients have previous experience climbing on snow and ice with crampons and ice axe, and experience with belay techniques, anchor placement and descent by rappel. Tocllaraju is not a suitable climb for clients who do not have good basic climbing skills.

Donkeys carry equipment to Base Camp Ishinca Valley. Porters carry tents, food, climbing rope up to Morena Camp on Tocllaraju and return, but you need to carry your own personal gear.

Day 1: Trek 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.

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.


On Punta Union Pass Trail

Day 4: Follow easily down the valley Quebrada Huaripampa passing through farming settlements and villages, and then a short climb to the road end at Vaqueria 4 to 5 hours walk. Our private van will take us over the pass Portuchuelo 4767m, passing the famous Llangunuco Lakes and then to return to Huaraz.

Day 5: Rest Day in Huaraz and prepare for climbing

Day 6: Ishinca Valley Drive from Huaraz to the village of Pashpa or Collon. Hike to Base Camp at 4390m. 4 to 5 hours

Day 7: Climb Urus East face. A non technical climb to the summit followed by a steep descent on a moraine ridge back down to Ishinca Base Camp. 7 hours

Day 8: Rest Day

Day 9: Climb Ishinca on a steady slope and not too steep apart from the final 20 metres to the summit. Return to Base Camp. 9 to 12 hours depending on fitness.


On Ishinca – Looking Over to Tocllaraju

Day 10: Climb on moraine to Morena Camp Tocllaraju, carrying all equipment. Camp is a flat area in the rock moraine at 5300m. 3½ to 4 hours

Day 11: Climb to the summit Tocllaraju. There are long sections of relatively easy climbing mixed with steep and sometimes technical & exposed climbing. Return back to Base Camp in Ishinca Valley. 11 to 13 hours.



Day 12: Walk down the Ishinca Valley to Pashpa and return to Huaraz in our private van.

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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.


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