Mountain Climbing in the Cordillera Blanca


Mountain Climbing in the Cordillera Blanca

The Cordillera Blanca is truly a climbers paradise. Many people come to Peru just to visit this region and can sometimes reach several summits over 6,000m in a two week stay. Climbing is best done during the dry season (June to September) with optimum conditions usually in July. Acclimatization is essential so allow between 4 days and 1 week before starting the ascent depending on the height and difficultly of the mountain.
The peaks of Ishinca (5,534m) and Pisco (5,752m) are suitable for inexperienced climbers. Alpamayo (5,957m), generally regarded as Peru's most beautiful mountain, is suitable for intermediate climbers, while Huascaran (6,768m) can prove quite a challenge.
Huaraz is the largest town in the area and the most popular place to use as a base for exploring the surrounding mountains. There are many trekking and climbing companies in Huaraz that can help you plan your trip, provide suitably experienced guides and rent out equipment. However more serious expeditions should bring their own equipment. A great source of information can be found in the Casa de Guias (House of Guides) which is located in the Plaza Ginebra in Huaraz Tel (51 44) 72-1811. They keep a list of registered guides.

Recommended tour companies for mountain climbing include:

Monttrek Av. Luzuriaga 646, 2nd floor, Huaraz

MontaƱero Parque Ginebra 30-B, Huaraz.

Another excellent company is Pony Expeditions in Caraz, Jr. Sucre 1266, Caraz, run by Alberto Cafferata. Caraz is a small, quiet town 68km north of Huaraz and makes an excellent base for trekking and climbing.

Cordillera Blanca: Peaks which can easily be climbed by trekking
Peaks Duration (days) Altitude (m) Months for Climbing
Hatun Montepuncu 4 5415 all year
Huarapasca 2 5530 all year
Ishinka 3 5534 all year
Maparaju 4 5326 all year
Pastoruri 1 5220 all year
Pisco 3 5752 all year
Rima Rima 2 5203 all year
Tuco 2 5454 all year
Urus 3 5420 all year
Vallunaraju 3 5686 all year
Wamashraju 3 5434 all year

Cordillera Blanca: Peaks which can be climbed with a moderate difficulty
Peaks Duration (days) Altitude (m) Months for Climbing
Aquilpo 4 5050 May to Sept
Caullaraju 3 5597 May to Sept
Copa 4 6137 May to Sept
Chanpara 7 5878 May to Sept
Chequiaraju 4 5512 May to Sept
Hualcan 4 6122 May to Sept
Paria 4 5500 May to Sept
Raria 3 5576 May to Sept
San Juan 4 5884 May to Sept
Tocllraju 4 6052 May to Sept
Urhuashraju 5 5544 May to Sept
Yana 5 5393 May to Sept



Cordillera Blanca: Peaks which can be climbed with a degree of difficulty
Peak Duration (days) Altitude (m) Months for Climbing
Alpamayo 8 5957 June to Sept
Artsonraju 5 6025 May to Sept
Caraz 6 6020 May to Sept
Cayesh 8 5424 June to Sept
Contrahierbas 6 6050 June to Sept
Chacraraju 8 6108 June to Sept
Chinchey 7 6309 June to Sept
Chopicalqui 5 6354 May to Sept
Huandoy Norte 6 6393 June to Sept
Huascaran 6 6768 May to Sept
Huastsan 6 6395 June to Sept
Oxshapalca 6 5881 June to Sept
Palcaruju 5 6272 June to Sept
Piramide Garcilaso 6 5865 May to Sept
Pucaranra 7 6156 June to Sept
Pacahirca 7 6088 June to Sept
Quitaraju 7 6036 June to Sept
Ranrapalca 6 6162 June to Sept
Rataquenua 5 5338 June to Sept
Santa Cruz 8 6241 June to Sept
Taulliraju 8 5830 June to Sept
Ulta 7 5782 May to Sept

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