6025m | Three Peaks Expedition | Peru
Length: 18 Days
When: May – September
Investment: $17,990 USD
Advanced Technical Mountaineering | Technical climbers dream | Trip highlights are: Pisco Oeste (South Face), Artesonraju (North Ridge), Alpamayo (SW Face).
This trip will ascend aesthetic climbing lines on three exciting technical peaks, culminating in the exquisite Alpamayo (5947m). If you have some experience of NZ grade 3 or 4 climbs and enjoy longer, more technical routes then this is the trip for you. This trip is guaranteed to boost your climbing confidence, or increase your appreciation for flatter ground!
This trip provides minimal acclimatisation days, so you MUST meet in Huaraz on Day 1 already acclimatised to 4500m or higher. Arriving early into Peru to walk the Inca trail is sufficient or arriving 5-7 days early into Huaraz to get adjusted is ideal. I can recommend some straightforward, non-technical walks for you to get in shape, or some multi day treks that are do-able with family. Never underestimate the importance of proper acclimatisation so I will require details of your programme and your prior experience before acceptance on the trip.
We offer a low impact, high client satisfaction trip, with close guide to client contact. These peaks are often guided 1:2 (guide to client ratio), but in our experience safety, satisfaction, personal interaction and flexibility all improve immensely with the dedication of a single guide catering to your individual needs. We believe this is as close to a climbing partnership that you can get whilst being guided. The logistics and decision making is taken care of so you can enjoy these peaks from the end of an experienced climbers rope.
Guide to Client ratio 1:1 or 2:2
Pisco Oeste 5752m (South Face). Often climbed as an acclimatisation peak via the standard route, Pisco Oeste South Face holds a gem of an Andean climbing route. The technical difficulty is TD- or NZ 5+. This is easily the most technical climb on the trip, but not the longest, and descent can take as little as 1½ hours in good conditions via the standard route.
Artesonraju 6025m (North Ridge). This is a long, moderately difficult climb on what is known as the ‘Paramount Mountain’. Do you recall the opening sequence to Paramount Pictures with stars circling a snow-capped peak? This is it! This route provides everything: glacier travel, steep snow and ice and an airy ridge, capped by a beautiful summit. On a clear day it offers outstanding views of the Santa Cruz valley, and all the peaks from Taulliraju to Alpamayo and Santa Cruz Grande. The North Ridge is graded D or NZ 4-.
Alpamayo 5947m (French Direct, Southwest Face). Nevado Alpamayo was nominated the most beautiful mountain in the world during a 1966 photographic exposition in Munich. It seems to have held on to this legendary title and few mountains will contest it. Alpamayo means ‘muddy water’ in Quechuan. The Ferrari route is the most straightforward route on the southwest face, but objectively it can be the most hazardous due to the overhanging ice cliffs. We will continue to avoid this route as long as this hazard exists. The Ferrari route gets about a NZ grade 3, whereas other routes can be up to grade 4. If you can climb the first pitch (60-70 degrees) then you can probably summit, as the technical difficulty remains the same for 7 to 8 pitches.
Itinerary (18 Days):
Day 1 – Meet in Huaraz for gear check and trip briefing. Dinner and overnight in Huaraz (3090m)
Day 2 – Huaraz – Llanganuco valley – Pisco Moraine Camp (4900m). The climbing begins. Our shuttle takes us to the town of Yungay and up the Llanganuco Valley which has one of the highest road passes in Peru. We trek through Meadow Camp (4600m) over the moraine boulders on the glaciers, past a large green lake to moraine camp. This will take 5-7 hours.
Day 3 – Two options for warming up: Option A: Ice Climbing skills. Day trip to the Huandoy glacier (approx. 5300m) 4-6 hours return. We will travel to the slopes below the fluted east face of Huandoy Norte and enjoy views across the valley of Chopicalqui and Huascaran. Enjoy some ice climbing practice and return to moraine camp. Option B: Summit. Moraine Camp – Summit Pisco Oeste (5752m). Departing from camp via the moraine ridge we reach the glacier that leads to the Huandoy-Pisco Col. From here, the gentle Southwest Ridge leads toward the summit of Pisco Oeste. Occasionally, the final summit ridge is barred by a short 2-5m ice wall. The route is graded PD or NZ 2- and should take 6-8 hours return
Day 4 – Moraine Camp – Summit of Pisco Oeste (5752m) via the South Face direct. We traverse along the moraine to reach a snow fan that will take us to the safest access up the steep and technical south face. This face climb is sustained ice and grows steeper and more mixed near the summit ridge. Three more pitches of mixed climbing from the summit ridge lead to the summit. Descent via the southwest ridge (standard route).
Day 5 – Rest/ Contingency day at Moraine Camp (4900m). Enjoy a rest, take in the views.
Day 6 – Morraine Camp – Llanganuco Road – Huaraz. Return to Huaraz via private transfer.
Day 7 – Rest and recuperation in Huaraz. You may choose to eat, shop, rest, spa, book a massage or any other day off activity. Overnight in Huaraz
Day 8 – Huaraz – Caraz – Cashapampa – Quebrada (valley) Santa Cruz – Artseonraju Timber camp (in the trees at approx 4500m). Our transport takes us through Caraz to Cashapampa where we will load up the Burros and take the long (distance) walk to Artesonraju Timber camp (4500m). Our previous acclimatization efforts should see us at camp in 7-8 hours. The trek passes two long lakes – Laguna de Paron and Artesoncocha. Views across the valley of the east ridge of Alpamayo complete the vista.
Day 9 – Timber Camp – Glacier Camp. We will climb up through the moraine ridge in the upper Arteson valley climbing the granite slabs to reach the glacier and establish our glacier camp (5100m) beneath the northeast face of Artesonraju. (approximately 4 hours)
Day 10 – Glacier Camp – Artesonraju summit via the North Ridge (6025m) – Base Camp. From Glacier Camp we will work our way through the ice cliffs to reach the crest of the north ridge. Ascending 60 degree snow and ice along the ridge to the summit. Descent is via steep rappels. Be prepared for a long day. (7-9 hours to the summit and 4-5 hours descent)
Day 11 – Relocate to Alpamayo Base Camp. We will descend with light packs back into the Santa Cruz valley with our Burro train to the trail junction and ascend to Alpamayo Base Camp (4300m). Relocation should take us 5-6 hours.
Day 12 – Rest/ Contingency day
Day 13 – Base Camp – High Camp/ Col Camp Alpamayo (5,500m). After 2-3 hours of climbing up through scree trail and granite slabs we pass through moraine camp which leads us to the glacier. Some crevasse negotiation leads us to the ever steepening Alpamayo-Quitaraju Col. The top of this col can be anything from 10m-100m of up to 70 degree ice. (In 2017 it was 80 degrees for 10 metres) Then we descend 100m onto the plateau to reach Col Camp.
Day 14 – Rest/ Contingency day
Day 15 – Col Camp – Summit Alpamayo (5947m). After one hour of glacier travel the slopes steepen up to the bergschrund. Find a way around/ across to start the route. Most of our climbing has been done on approach on the previous 2 days so from the base of the face only 275m of steep climbing is left. Descent to Col Camp via rappels on the route climbed.
Day 16 – Rest (in the morning) and descend to Base Camp in the early afternoon
Day 17 – Base Camp – Huaraz. Pick up our Burro’s in Base Camp (or have them pick us up) and enjoy the stroll back through the valley. Celebratory dinner and drinks in Huaraz. Overnight in Huaraz.
Day 18 – Mountain Sized Brunch, debrief and departure.
Guides Fees, Burro and Arriero fees (Donkey and donkey driver)
All personal technical equipment – although familiarity with your own gear is essential on technical international expeditions.
All return private transfers from Huaraz to climbing peaks.
Accommodation in Huaraz (4 nights)
All meals for the trip duration. Evening meal on Day 1 after the trip brief,
Mountain Sized Brunch on Day 18
Group – camping, cooking equipment, ropes, anchors
National Park fees
First Aid Kit, Emergency Altitude Medicines, InReach Satellite communication, PLB (Personal Locator Beacon).
International Air fares
Hotel in Lima or bus transfers to Huaraz.
Hotel in Huaraz pre or post scheduled itinerary.
Personal Porter fees
Additional costs associated with early departure or evacuation from the mountains or deviation from the itinerary due to illness or otherwise
Mountaineering/ Travel insurance is compulsory and I strongly recommend you purchase it as soon as you pay your initial deposit.
Tips or any other expenses not specified