Peru Cordillera Blanca

Peru's Cordillera Blanca is one of the most magnificent mountain ranges in the world. It is renowned for beautiful, steep, glaciated peaks with excellent snow, rock and ice climbing. Couple that with stable weather in the summer months, and you've got a recipe for awesome alpine climbing!
Sunset on Cordillera Blanca in Peru
Skiers touring up a ridge on Cordillera Blanca in Peru during a Blackbird Guides ski trip
Sunset in Ishinca Valley, Peru
Climbers above a lake on Urus in Peru
Climbers top roping on Urus Summit in Peru
Climbers approaching the summit of Pisco in Peru
Climbers on Pisco in Peru

Overview

Peru's Cordillera Blanca is one of the most magnificent mountain ranges in the world.  It is renowned for beautiful, steep, glaciated peaks with excellent snow, rock and ice climbing.  Couple that with stable weather in the summer months, and you've got a recipe for awesome alpine climbing!

 

Peaks

We have experience on a variety of peaks and routes in the Cordillera Blanca.  Our scheduled trip for June 2022 is packed with awesome peaks and includes:

Yanapacha

Urus Este

Ishinca

Tocllaraju

 

Requisite Experience 

Climbing in the Cordillera Blanca is an engaging high altitude experience.  The routes are demanding and require excellent fitness and solid technical skill with ice axe, crampons, steep snow, alpine ice and basic rock climbing/scrambling. 

Some of the routes on our itinerary (Tocllaraju and Yanapacha) are committing, meaning that once you start the technical climbing, it's not easy to simply turn around if you're not doing well with the altitide, are feeling fatigued or are not climbing safely.

If you're unsure if this trip is right for you, email us and we'll make sure you have the requisite physical fitness and technical skill level for this program.  If this is your first time climbing with us, we'll review your climbing resume to ensure you'll have a great climb in Peru.

    Sunset on Cordillera Blanca in Peru
    Skiers touring up a ridge on Cordillera Blanca in Peru during a Blackbird Guides ski trip
    Sunset in Ishinca Valley, Peru
    Climbers above a lake on Urus in Peru
    Climbers top roping on Urus Summit in Peru
    Climbers approaching the summit of Pisco in Peru
    Climbers on Pisco in Peru
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Skiers touring up a ridge on Cordillera Blanca in Peru during a Blackbird Guides ski trip
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Sunset in Ishinca Valley, Peru
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Climbers above a lake on Urus in Peru
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Climbers top roping on Urus Summit in Peru
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Climbers approaching the summit of Pisco in Peru
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Climbers on Pisco in Peru

    Dates

    Available Dates

    Custom Dates, 2:1 Per Day

    Prices

    To Be Determined

    Itinerary

    Day 1 -  Gear Check and Approach to Winnies Slide

    Gear Check: Meet early for a gear check in Marblemont, WA. Our guides will double check that you have all the right gear for the trip and help you minimize weight, decide on the perfect layers to pack, and choose how much food and water to bring. 

    Approach to Winnies Slide Camp:  This is some of the most interesting and engaging climbing as summit day!  After a beautiful hike through fir trees and alpine meadows, we walk past Lake Ann and get into the engaging terrain of the Fisher Chimneys.  The chimneys are huge gulleys, with breathtaking exposure overlooking the Curtis Glacier.  The climbing is fun 4th class terrain with packs filled with camping gear, so it can feel strenuous if you are unaccustomed to this type of terrain.  The approach to camp is a long day that often takes 6-8 hours.

    Day 2

    We rise early and start with a moderate pitch or two of snow or ice to gain the Upper Curtis glacier.  From here, we stretch our ropes to a glacier interval and traverse towards Hell’s Highway, which is a steep steep of snow that brings us to the Sulphide Glacier.  Once on the sulphide, we’ll navigate crevasses toward the summit pyramid where we’ll remove crampons and get onto the 4th class rock that leads to the summit.  The summit is a small block with 360 degree views of Baker and the North Cascades. From the top, we downclimb and/or rappel back to the glacier and make our way back to camp where we’ll spend the night.

    Day 3 

    While not quite as early as day 2, our final day will be an early start to pack up camp, descend the Fisher Chimneys and hike back up to the trailhead. This usually takes around 5 hours.

    Equipment

    Technical Gear

    ❏ Climbing Helmet

    ❏ Headlamp - with fresh batteries

    ❏ Climbing harness (alpine or rock harness)

    ❏ Two Locking carabiners - Petzl Attache, etc

    ❏ Climbing boots - LaSportiva trango, Scarpa Charmoz or similar

    ❏ Gaiters - OR mini gaiters to keep snow out of boots

    ❏ Crampons (Steel crampons that are compatible with your boots)

    ❏ Ice Axe (55 to 65cm Axe)

    ❏ Trekking Poles - adjustable preferred

     

    Layers

    ❏ Sun Hat

    ❏ Sun Glasses

    ❏ Warm Hat

    ❏ 2x Buffs or face masks (These are for warmth and wind protection and are

    required for Covid-19 face coverings)

    ❏ Long sleeve base layer top

    ❏ 1 to 2 fleece weight upper layers (I'm using a Patgonia R1 and Nano Air)

    ❏ Puffy - Mid Weight Down/synthetic, Patagonia Fitzroy or similar

    ❏ Waterproof Shell Jacket with Hood - Gore-Tex (or similar) - basic, lightweight shell, NOT

    insulated

    ❏ Gloves-TWO pair

    ❏ one pair light/mid weight for warm temps

    ❏ one mid/heavy weight for cold

    ❏ Socks - TWO pair. Both mid-weight wool/synthetic

    ❏ Underwear - wool/synthetic

    ❏ Sports Bra - wool/synthetic

    ❏ Goggles (bring to gear check, we may choose to leave at the car depending on Weather

    Forecast)

    ❏ Long johns (bring to gear check, we may choose to leave at the car depending on Weather

    Forecast)

     

    Camping & Backpacking Gear

    ❏ Sleeping Bag (20F) - down preferred due to weight and pack-ability.

    ❏ Sleeping Pad - Inflatables are comfortable, but make sure it is insulated for sleeping on

    snow! Therm-a-rest NeoAir X-Therm or X-Lite are expensive, but excellent.

    ❏ Compression Stuff sack for sleeping bag

    ❏ Backpack - 50L (or the smallest bag that fits all of your gear and your share of the group

    gear). Black Diamond Speed 50 or similar work well for this.

    Other Essentials

    ❏ Sun Screen (SPF 30 minimum)

    ❏ Lip Balm (with SPF)

     

    Food and water

    ❏ Two freeze dried dinner meals (or meals that can be made with just hot water):

    I recommend Backpacker's Pantry Pad Thai, and Mountain House Pasta Primavera, but

    everyone has strong opinions on freeze dried meals. If you know you don’t like or do

    well with Freeze Dried, please let me know and I will forward some

    “just-add-water” options.

    ❏ Two Breakfasts:

    Grits with cheese, oatmeal, cold cereal with powdered milk, bagel and cream cheese,

    PB and J sandwich, mountain house freeze dried.

    Bring whatever sounds appealing for a midnight breakfast.

    ❏ Instant Coffee (if you’re a coffee drinker, now is a bad time to kick the habit!)

    ❏ Decaffeinated tea for evening hot drink

    ❏ Cup of 1⁄2 liter Nalgene Bottle (for hot drinks). I prefer the 1⁄2 liter Nalgene so that I can

    use it for water on the climb as well.

    ❏ Bowl

    To keep things light and compact, I use the freeze dried dinner bag for my breakfast

    bowl, but some people don’t like the remaining flavors. If that’s the case, bring a light

    bowl (lightweight tupperware works great)

    ❏ Spoon - choose a long handled spoon if you’re eating freeze dried food out of the bag.

    Normal spoons make it hard to reach the food and it gets messy.

    ❏ Snack Food - 3 days worth of snacks. I usually break this down as:

    ❏ Water - bring two liters capacity. I prefer using a 1⁄2 Liter Nalgene for hot drinks and a

    soft/collapsible 2L Hyrdrapack Bottle) Please bring at least one hard sided water

    bottle.

    ❏ Hand Sanitizer (Bring extra due to increased use for Covid-19)

    ❏ Toilet Paper

    Optional

    ❏ First Aid/blister Kit

    ❏ Chemical hand warmers

    ❏ Hydration System (Camelback, etc). Please bring an additional hard sided water bottle if

    you choose to bring a hydration system.

    Know Before You Go

    Location

    Cordillera Blanca, Peru

    Elevation

    14,000-18,300'

    Technical Difficulty ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚪

    Yanapacha and Tocllaraju are rated PD+ and D in the French Alpine Climbing grading system.  This means a range from moderate snow climbing to fairly serious climbs of rock, snow and/or ice with pitches up to severe standards.  What that boils down to is that these climbs are demanding technically! 

    Physical Difficulty ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚪

    Climbing in the Cordillera Blanca is  You should be in excellent physical condition no matter which routes you choose for your private program!

    Trip Length

    You set the length of this trip!

    Dates

    June 16-July 3, 2022

    Email us if you'd like to schedule custom dates for this program!

     

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    $4,900.00
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