5947m | Cordillera Blanca | Peru
Length: 8 Day Add-on
When: May – September
Investment: $3990 USD
Alpamayo – The Jewel of the Peruvian Andes, often called ‘the most beautiful mountain in the world’.
This itinerary is available an add-on to any of the other Peruvian expeditions not already featuring Alpamayo.
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.
Is this for me?
If you have some experience or desire to climb NZ grade 3 climbs or harder, and feel you would enjoy longer, more technical routes, then you are likely to enjoy the challenge of Alpamayo (5947m).
After a thorough warm up and acclimatization on Ishinca, Tocllaraju and Chopicalqui for example, your preparation will set you up well on something a little harder technically, but slightly lower in altitude. Alpamayo is approximately 400m lower than Chopicalqui, so the thicker air should allow you to focus on your climbing. If you have the time, this extra challenge is well worth a shot.
It’s important to note that all technical climbs are guided 1:1 by First Light Guiding. This increases your chances of success, enjoyment and safety. You are no longer at the mercy of a larger group as is often the case with other operators, and this is the closest you can get to a climbing partnership in a guided situation.
Two full days of rest (3 nights) in between the main itinerary and the add-on itinerary will allow you enough time to recuperate, reenergize and explore Huaraz if you wish. The accommodation needed to bridge this gap is included.
N.B. It is highly recommended to book this add-on itinerary at the same time as any of the main itineraries. It is still possible to add it on at the last minute, but is subject to guide availability and any extra costs (guides flight change fees, guides fare upgrades or other associated costs will also be added to the price).
Day 1 – Reconvene in Huaraz in the evening for gear check and trip briefing. Dinner and overnight in Huaraz (3090m) All accommodation is covered between the itineraries (see details below)
Day 2 – Huaraz – Caraz – Cashapampa – Quebrada (valley) Santa Cruz – Llamacoral (valley camp). Our transport takes us through Caraz to Cashapampa (2 hours) to where we will load up the Burros and walk to Llamacoral (3650m), a grassy meadow, and set up camp in the afternoon.
Day 3 – Llamacoral to Alpamayo Base camp (4300m). Our previous acclimatization efforts should see us at camp in about 5 hours. Enjoy views of the jagged peaks of Taulliraju and Artesonraju (The Paramount mountain) en route.
Day 4 – Base Camp – High Camp/ Col Camp Alpamayo (5,500m). After 2-3 hours of climbing up through scree trail and granite slabs we step off solid rock onto 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 2013 it was 55 degrees for 50 metres, followed by 65 degrees for 20m). Then we descend 100m onto the plateau to reach Col Camp.
Day 5 – Rest/ Contingency day.
Day 6 – Col Camp – Summit Alpamayo (5947m). After one hour of glacier travel, the slopes steepen up to reach the bergschrund. Find a way around/ across to start the route. Most of our height gain 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. Pack up camp after a rest and descend to Base Camp.
Day 7 – 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 8– Mountain Sized Brunch, debrief and departure.
Guides Fees, Burro and Arriero fees (Donkey and donkey driver), Porter for group gear
All personal technical equipment – although familiarity with your own gear is essential on international expeditions.
All return private transfers from Huaraz to climbing peaks.
Accommodation in Huaraz (3 nights, includes extra night between standard itinerary)
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner on all expedition climbing days. Evening meal on Day 1 after the trip brief. Mountain Sized Brunch on Day 8
Group – camping, cooking equipment, ropes, anchors
National Park fees
First Aid Kit, Emergency Altitude Medicines, Satellite Phone, PLB (Personal Locator Beacon)Not included in Add-on:
International Air fares
Hotel in Lima or bus transfers to Huaraz
Hotel in Huaraz pre or post scheduled itinerary
Personal Porter fees
Personal climbing equipment – detailed Peruvian expedition equipment list
Meals in Huaraz on rest days or whilst not on acclimatization trips
Any additional costs associated with early departure or evacuation from the mountains or deviation from
the itinerary due to illness or otherwise.
Mountaineering Insurance is compulsory. I strongly recommend you arrange this as soon as you have paid
Tips or any other expenses not specified