This route offers mostly straightforward glacier travel with a few short sections of steeper snow providing a bit of excitement. Spectacular views all around and an altitude of 5752m make this a deservedly popular outing.
Many parties climb Pisco from basecamp in the meadows, which adds a few hours of boulder hopping and scree to your day but at least you're not dragging a full camping kit along. Water can sometimes be difficult to find at the advanced moraine camp as well and may require a bit of a hike to get to. From basecamp, take the obvious trail leading towards Pisco, past some boulders, and up a ridge to the start of the moraine field. Follow cairns (or your nose) across the field, generally aiming for a ridge that leads up to the left side of the glacier. Just before gaining the ridge, you'll pass above a lake. If you are setting up an advanced camp, continue past the ridge for a short ways to a flat open area. Once on the glacier climb a short ways up to the saddle between Pisco and Huandoy Este. From this point the ridge rolls out before you towards the summit. Pick your way up the crevassed ridge passing a short steep crux section about 2/3 of the way up. More great views are to be had from the broad flat summit.
To descend, reverse the route.
Alpine axe. In some years it might be nice to have an extra tool for climbing/downclimbing the crux, ask around for current conditions. A few pickets.
Near the crux with Huandoy in the background
Artesonraju as seen from the saddle at the start o...
Approach to meadow camp with Pisco in the backgrou...
Start of the ridge
The crux in summer '06
On the ridge
Pisco summit with Huandoy Norte and Este in the ba...