Mountain Project Logo

Cordillera Blanca of Peru in June

Original Post
James Murphy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 0


I'm organizing a trip to the beautiful Cordillera Blanca ('White Range') of Peru in June, and would love to meet other climbers to bolster my party.

The Cordillera Blanca is a breath-taking range of gorgeous peaks, with dozens of summits above 17000', fifteen above 20000', and one reaching 22205'. They have a broad variety of routes/difficulties, easy access (usually 1-2 days approach), good weather, and a fine climbing support infrastructure (eg. cheap mules to hire and good pizza in town). For pictures and description see…

When: Starting June 23 for 4-5 weeks
Where: An 8-hour bus ride north of Lima, Peru
Who: Participants will need snow climbing, winter camping, and general mountaineering experience, and to be in good physical condition. High altitude and glacier climbing experience will help.

(As for me: I've climbed the high Ecuadorean and Mexican volcanos, plus Rainier, the Tetons and most of the 14ers. I also do the odd trad climb, ice climb, and winter peak, and instruct for the CMC. I've trekked in the Cordillera Blanca before, am fluent in Spanish, and have excellent mule-hire-negotiating skills ;-)

Email me at or call 303-888-6413 if you're interested, have questions or can share advice!



Tony Yeary · · Arcadia, Califoria · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 730

I am thinking of going down to the Blanca this summer as well. What is on your tick list? Perhaps we have goals in common? I have climbed there on previous trips. Great place!

James Murphy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 0

Hi Tony,

I'm pretty flexible in my goals, this being my first trip down to climb. (My last trip was only for trekking.)

For reference I'll include the difficulties and altitudes of peaks that I mention, using the french difficulty grades as used in Brad Johnson's book, eg. PD, AD, D=Dificile.]

1) We'll start with an acclimation peak or two like Pisco (PD, 5752m), Yanapaccha (PD+, 5460m) or Urus Este (PD-, 5420m) - or something even lower.

2) If that goes well we can follow up with one or more of the easier 6000m peaks, like Quitaraju (AD, 6040m) or Copa (PD, 6188m).

3) Then, if we're acclimatizing and climbing well and have time, we can shoot for a harder or higher peak like Artensonraju (D, 6025m), Tocllaraju (D, 6032m), Chopicalqui (PD+/AD-, 6354m) or Huascaran Sur (PD+/AD-, 6768m). (I'll have up to 5 weeks down there, so I won't rule out the big boy!)

I'm definitely open to ideas and to playing it by ear, depending on conditions and how our party forms up.


Tony Yeary · · Arcadia, Califoria · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 730

Please keepe in the loop as your plans firm up. Also, I have been down several times and have contacts in Huaraz. If you need info on anything let me know.

tricities · · Asheville, NC · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 0

I am interested in climbing in the Blancas this coming June as well and am looking for partners. My mountaineering experience is limited to some of the big stuff in Bolivia, but I've been multi pitch trad climbing for a good while. I can also speak Spanish pretty well and consider myself to be in good cardio shape. I have the whole month of June to climb and I can also serve as a team doctor (or rather team medical student). My email is let me know what you think and if you need more info. Were you considering Alpamayo?

Daniel Cohn · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2006 · Points: 445


I am planning on going to the Cordillera as well. I talked with James. It sounds like at this point none of the peaks are set since it is still early. Personally, I am more interested in Artesonraju than Alpamayo because ***I hear*** that it is less busy, yet it is a very similar mountain. It is also a bit taller than Alpa. It sounds like you would be a great addition to the team. We were also talking about meeting in Colorado in May to do a little be of acclimatization/training so it would be great if you could come along for that... Dan

timt · · Wheat Ridge, CO · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 50

I am very interested also in Artesenraju. I'm not sure my schedule synchs though. I have most of July off, but can't do June. I always come in fit and acclimatize quickly, so if I could pop in later I could be game. I have a lot of technical climbing experience (lead both rock and ice) and have been to Peru before (stuck in base camp with weather though). If you think you can fit me into this trip at all, please put me in the loop.

James Murphy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 0

Hey Guys,

I'm back in Colorado, and it's time to get this show rolling. So if you are still serious about this then please email me (at and we'll set up a time to talk.

Flights are not looking cheap ($800+), but some days are markedly cheaper than others, so I'd like to book soon (in April). I figure that on-the-ground costs in Peru will probably run about $20-$33 a day.

I'd also like to organize a pre-climb or two (if practical) to give us a chance to meet before and see how well we work together.



acd · · New York, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 5

Hey Guys,
Been to Peru twice for a month each time. Had a great time. I've climbed some of the mountains, Pisco and Artensonraju, you guys are discussing.

Pisco-a walk up-There is a good bivy above the valley between Pisco and Huandoy Easte. Right below the glacier. Camp in the valley for a few days then move to the bivy and shoot for the summit the next morning, early. There is a marked trail at the end of the valley that will take you to the bivy. There is a refugio in that valley, too. You can get breakfast, dinner, beer and a shower. Also, bring your rock climbing shoes, there is amazing bouldering in all the valleys. Why you acclimatize you can boulder. We used our boot liners because we left our climbing shoes at our hostel.

Artensonraju-snow climb-A really long day. Took 28 hours round trip. We didn't run by any means but some climbers who left a week after us took 24 hours to climb. They had a lot more experience then our team We started at the moraine camp, they started further up the glacier. The mountain at the end of the valley is a good mountain to climb first. It's around 17,000 feet.(Peron?) Can't remember the name off hand. Caraz 1, 2, and Huandoy Norte can be done from the same valley. If you camp in the valley surround your tent with a rope fence or a rock wall because cows will walk through your camp and if you sleep out in your sleeping bag under the stars you may get crushed by a cow when it steps on you. Look out for the bulls, too.

First-Need water filter is great and a must. Do not drink any water or cleaned uncooked veggies. One of our climbers came back 40lbs lighter because of bad water.
In town are really good restaurants, rental shops, and Hostels. Becareful in El Tombo, the local bar, don't drink any mixed drinks with ice or you will be sorry. And no Drunk buildering, the locals don't like that, especially if you fall through there ceiling. That actually happened.
They have drop off laundry in town but no fabric softener so it may itch a little more than you are use too.
Anti-bacterial wet naps,80 pack, for each person. Yeah, when you get back you can thank me.
Small fishing rod with trout spinners. The lakes below the glaciers are stocked with rainbow trout. I did not bring one but I will if I go again.

Get a non stop bus ticket to Huaraz. If not the bus will stop at for every person they can. Same for colectivos. Check there tires, they can be in scary bad shape.

The Thai restaurant in town is owned by a climber, Niraswan. He will help most climbers and trekers and will lone you some stuff if you need it. Good eats and beers, too.

Also, you can sell your old gear. They need and want anything you will part with, ropes, boots, axes, etc. I sold stuff and it beats paying that extra weight fee when you fly back and you help out the local climbing community.

Contact me if you want a more detailed acount. Would love to go again but it wouldn't be till August if I can.

Doug Redosh · · Golden, CO · Joined May 2002 · Points: 161

My friend Ken and I are planning a trip to climb Artesonraju in mid July (arrive Huarez 7/10, leave 7/23) so summit day around 7/20 - 21. Would consider hooking up with others for safety and other reasons. We are both very experienced (I got to 21K in Pakistan, lots of multipitch rock and snow climbing, ice climbing in the past, 14ers, Tetons) Ken -very similar resume - summited a 18,500 peak last year in Bolivia, lots of hard ice climbing, Tetons, bubaboos. I live in CO (golden) ken in NY. Would at least like to hook up in CO in may for training trips. I can function as trip doc and can speak some spanish.

jack roberts · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2002 · Points: 0

Well, I must say this sounds like a pretty lively crew of climbers.
Everyone here sounds really enthusiastic and keen to climb down south.

I'm planning on going down to Peru in July and as my partner hasn't commited yet to joining me I am looking for a partner who will.

I've climbed in Peru four times and in Bolivia twice so my goals might be a little different from what I've read here so far.

I'm hoping to plant myself in the Quebrada Llanganuco area and mainly ascend peaks from a base here. I'd acclimatize on Pisco and then begin looking at routes on Chacraraju, Huandoy Sur NE face, Chopicalqui. I would consider other areas and peaks with the right partner.
I have alot of alpine experience both in S. America, Alaska, Nepal and Pakistan. I live in Boulder, Colorado and get out quite a bit so I feel like I'm in good shape though it generally takes me a bit longer than my partners to acclimatize. My Spanish is good enough to not get me in serious trouble.

If anyone is interested in meeting up for a climb in CO. or to discuss joining forces for a trip to Peru please email me at

Jack Roberts

James Murphy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 0

G'Day Jack (and other readers)!

Things are shaping up well for this trip. I booked my ticket last night, so Axel (from Germany) and I are arriving in Lima on the 23rd of June. I've been talking to four other serious climbers, so if they all come we'll be a big party (if we all climb together). Most of us won't have met beforehand, so we'll shake out climbing pairs or divide up once we're up there.

To that end, our current plan is to spend about 10 days (starting June 27) together in the Ishinca valley to climb and acclimate, before heading to peaks elsewhere (such as off the Llanganuca, Paron or Santa Cruz valleys). It'd be great to climb with you then. I'm also definitely interested in climbing with you beforehand here in Colorado. I'll email you directly or you can call me.

Niwot, CO

kirkadirka · · Down there somewhere · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 115

Hey peru folks.

I am heading down to the Blanca this summer with a group and we are starting to consider what gear we are bringing with us.

Has anyone ever used a jetboil in the Blanca? Were you able to find decent fuel for it? How did the fuel perform compared to regular jetboil fuel?



David Appelhans · · Broomfield, CO · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 410

Hey I just saw this thread, I wish I would have noticed it earlier. Is there any chance of joining a party going to the cordillera blanca this summer? I have the entire summer available, I speak spanish fluently (lived in Peru and Chile), have climbed many 14ers in colorado and have climbed a 5k m peak in Chile and attempted another 6k m peak in Chile. I love mountaineering but don't have any friends with the enthusiasm or the money to go to south america. Also this Christmas I will be in Santiago de Chile with a free place to stay and am looking for a partner(s) to climb some beautiful and seldom climbed 5000 and 6000 m peaks.

Tony Yeary · · Arcadia, Califoria · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 730

I used a Jetboil up to about 16,800 in the Ishinca, Peru, and had no problems. I bought an MSR gas canister in Huaraz and it worked fine. I did bring a home made foam (old ensolite pad material) cosy that I made just for the canister to keep it more insulated. Worked well. Slept with the gas in my bag and didn't take it out till I fired the stove up. I was only heating water and it seemed to really help.
For what it's worth.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Extended Trips and International Partners
Post a Reply to "Cordillera Blanca of Peru in June"

Log In to Reply

Join the Community

Create your FREE account today!
Already have an account? Login to close this notice.

Get Started