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Santa Cruz is one of the most well known valleys on the Cordillera Blanca area, due to being home to one of the most famous treks (Santa Cruz) and of the most beautiful mountains in the world (Alpamayo). The area is climbable during the southern hemisphere summer, from May to September, when the weather is drier and long periods of sunny, calm weather alternate with a few days of precipitation.
The base camp for most mountains sits in the middle of the valley and can be accessed via Cashapampa (shorter approach, 2 days) or Vaqueria (also 2 days but longer).
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Artesonraju North Ridge AI2-3 Steep Snow R South America : Peru : ... : Santa Cruz Valley
From moraine camp, a 20 minute walk leads you to the entrance of the glacier. Glacier itself varies a lot from year to year, but expect to encounter traga-hombres and moderate steep ice from the beginning. Glacier is usually entered from the right, a long traverse leads you to a short and steep, 80 degree step. From there traverse diagonally to the right at about 60 degrees, cross some crevasses, another traverse to the left and finally, gain the 240 m wall at about 70 degrees snow and ice. 4 pi...[more] Browse More Classics in International
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