Yesterday we started the process of acclimatizing for the altitude we’ll experience while climbing 4 peaks in the Cordillera Blanca over the next two weeks. The 4 peaks we’ll be climbing include one over 6,000m (almost 20,000’!) and 3 over 5,000m. Tocllaraju is the highest peak on our itinerary at 6,034m (19,797’) and before we tangle with Toc, we need to make sure that we’re ready for the altitude.
To acclimatize for the Cordillera Blanca, we begin with moderate hiking to high elevation lakes and ramp up to camping at higher elevation and summitting the lower peaks on our itinerary. The lower peaks we have planned are still pretty high - between 17,900’ and 18,150’! These are Yanapacha (5460m), Urus Este (5495m) and Nevado Ishinca (5530m).
Hiking at 14,600' above Lake Churup on an acclimatization hike in the Cordillera Blanca.
To acclimatize for our low peaks, we started with a beautiful hike to Lago Churup at the base of it’s namesake peak, Churup. An ideal acclimatization hike for climbing in the Cordillera Blanca, the trek to Lago Churup is mostly easy, but quite high. The altitude ranges from 12,400’ to nearly 14,600’ if you take the extension to its smaller, higher sister lake, Lago Churupita. Round trip it took us roughly 6 hours at a leisurely pace that was perfect for getting ourselves used to the altitude without pushing too hard.
Panoramic views of the Cordillera Blanca during our hike to Laguna Wilcococha in the Cordillera Negra.
Today, we hiked in the Cordillera Negra, which provided panoramic views of the Cordillera Blanca and the peaks that we’ll be climbing. This hike will be a moderate trail hike ending with yet another alpine lake, Laguna Wilcacocha.
Our climbing will start tomorrow, as we trek into the Quebrada (Valley) Llanganuco where Yanapacha is the main attraction. Despite it’s standing as the lowest peak in the list, it's still a monster that tops out at 17,913’ and it's going to be a really fun and engaging climb. It features steep snow, pitched ice climbing and multiple rappels on the descent.
After we finish our attempts in the Quebrada Llanganuco, we’re on to the Quebrada Ishinca for our last 3 peaks, Ishinca, Urus Este and Tocllaraju. This valley is a very popular destination due to the multitude of climbs available there.
Stay tuned for updates on our progress!
VIEW ALL OF OUR 2022 CORDILLERA BLANCA BLOGS:
- Blackbird Teams arrive in Peru
- Arrival in the Cordillera Blanca
- Acclimatizing for Climbing in the Cordillera Blanca
- 100% Success on Yanapacha
- Arrival in the Ishinca Valley and Summit of Urus Este in the Cordillera Blanca
- The Ishinca Traverse: A Classic Climb of the Cordillera Blanca
- Tocllaraju Northwest Ridge: The Abnormal Normal Route