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Peru 6000m Acclimatization?


Original Post
Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 266

I'm looking at going to Peru this summer and am trying to plan out my acclimatization schedule. Basically, I'm hoping to climb a few 6000m peaks within a 3ish week timeframe. Itineraries are kind of hard to figure out because it seems like most are designed around 2 week vacation periods. Climbing a 6000m peak in 2 weeks is typically considered pretty expedited! Even really conservative guides like RMI seem to run these as 2 week trips.

Does anybody who lives at sea level have experience in climbing out there? What kind of itinerary did you follow and how did you feel at altitude? My primary objective peak is Alpamayo, so if you've climbed it, I'd appreciate your knowledge!

Caleb Mallory · · Seattle, N.Carolina, &Hong… · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 425

Commenting as to follow this thread as I'm in a similar situation.I'm heading to Ecuador for a 10 day trip, hoping to bag a couple 6000m's. I'll be arriving from sea level, however my partner and I are intending on spending the week prior at a higher elevation.

Kyle Tarry · · Portland, OR · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 162

I don't have any experience at 6,000 m, but there is a whole chapter in the House/Johnson training book with acclimization schedules, including one Steve used in that area before going to the Himalaya; might be of use to you, check it out.

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 549

http://adventureblog.nationalgeographic.com/2015/09/08/watch-55-hours-in-mexico-a-tribute-to-the-weekend-warrior/

Sea level to 18,000 feet in a weekend

Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 266
Mark E Dixon wrote:http://adventureblog.nationalgeographic.com/2015/09/08/watch-55-hours-in-mexico-a-tribute-to-the-weekend-warrior/ Sea level to 18,000 feet in a weekend
Unfortunately I am not one of those guys haha

I have ascended to around 19000' from 0' in approx 5 days, but I don't think it was good for my brain.
Andy P. · · Wisconsin · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 185

Use your local resources as much as you can. If the weather is decent and you can get a chance to hike up to Muir/spend a night or two, go for it!

When I went to the Cordillera Blanca, I made sure to fly through Denver, where you can rent a car at the airport and drive up Mt. Evans to spend some time at 14k. You can even get yourself a super cheap motel in Leadville or something if you want to spend a few nights above 10k. I know you are planning on going much higher, but a head start before you get on your way wouldn't hurt.

Nate Farr · · Flagstaff, AZ · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 65

I've done three trips from sea level to 6K in Peru and what worked best/fastest was this:

Day 1 Lima to Huaraz
Day 2 Huaraz
Day 3 Huaraz
Day 4 Hiking above Huaraz to Laguna Churup
Day 5 Hike to Basecamp
Day 6 Basecamp
Day 7 6K

Understand, especially if you haven't been at altitude, there is a pretty big variance from person to person. Take it easy and make sure you aren't climbing anything even remotely technical on this schedule... you'll barely be able to walk!

Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 266
Nate Farr wrote:I've done three trips from sea level to 6K in Peru and what worked best/fastest was this: Day 1 Lima to Huaraz Day 2 Huaraz Day 3 Huaraz Day 4 Hiking above Huaraz to Laguna Churup Day 5 Hike to Basecamp Day 6 Basecamp Day 7 6K Understand, especially if you haven't been at altitude, there is a pretty big variance from person to person. Take it easy and make sure you aren't climbing anything even remotely technical on this schedule... you'll barely be able to walk!
That's pretty quick! What did you climb on that short of a timeframe?
Karl Henize · · June Lake, CA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 570

Coming from sea level, I needed about 2 weeks to acclimatize for ~ 5,700m peaks in the Cordillera Blanca. I tried climbing Pisco after 8 days and had altitude sickness above 4,000m.

I mostly did day trip hikes from Huaraz to the high lakes to acclimatize.

ChapelPondGirl · · Keene, NY · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 20

I don't really think there is any training you can do to get ready for altitude, other than bein aerobically fit. I've been to the cordillera Blanca twice from sea level. Basically, just give yourself time. When you get to Huaraz, spend a couple of days, go high, sleep in town. Go bouldering, walking up a valley, etc. then go up to a base camp and spend a few days again. Go high during the day, sleep low at night.

Drink A TON of water. I can't stress that enough. Also, don't underestimate using Diamox for the first week you're there. It works.

chopicalqui is a great 6000m peak to get on. Easy access, and a well defined, moderate route. If you want technical climbing, look at the nnw spur. Fantastic climbing on a buttress that goes directly to the summit.

Ryan Marsters · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 863

Acclimatization is incredibly variable from person to person. If you want to have a good time on Alpamayo, you should probably climb an easier peak at similar elevation first. Were I you, I'd spend a couple days in Huaraz, a couple nights at the Ishinca Valley basecamp with acclim hikes up to 16-17k, Urus, Ishinca, Tocllaraju high camp, and then aim for Tocllaraju. Descend and rest in Huaraz for a day or two and then climb Alpamayo with the remaining week. If you're still feeling good, there's an option to tack on Quitaraju.

Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,135
chrisccc wrote:I'm looking at going to Peru this summer and am trying to plan out my acclimatization schedule. Basically, I'm hoping to climb a few 6000m peaks within a 3ish week timeframe.
Head to Cusco and play tourist for a few days. Do lots of walking around whilst drinking coca tea. Enjoy yourself then head for the hills. Yeah, ya gotta backtrack if heading to Huaraz but there is more to see in Cusco.

calebmmallory wrote:Commenting as to follow this thread as I'm in a similar situation.I'm heading to Ecuador for a 10 day trip, hoping to bag a couple 6000m's. I'll be arriving from sea level, however my partner and I are intending on spending the week prior at a higher elevation.
Given that there is only one peak over 6000m in Ecuador I assume you are going to go to the Veintemilla and Whymper summits.

Similar advise, fly into Quito and do lots of walking around also visit Otovalo which is even higher. Enjoy yourself then head for the hills. A common day trip / acclimatization hike is Corazón.
Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 266
Ryan Marsters wrote:Acclimatization is incredibly variable from person to person. If you want to have a good time on Alpamayo, you should probably climb an easier peak at similar elevation first. Were I you, I'd spend a couple days in Huaraz, a couple nights at the Ishinca Valley basecamp with acclim hikes up to 16-17k, Urus, Ishinca, Tocllaraju high camp, and then aim for Tocllaraju. Descend and rest in Huaraz for a day or two and then climb Alpamayo with the remaining week. If you're still feeling good, there's an option to tack on Quitaraju.
Awesome, have you actually done this? How did it work out for you? This is pretty similar to what I am thinking. How did you feel on Tocllaraju?
Kevin Heinrich · · Kinda All Over · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 20

I climbed Alpamayo last summer in 12 days (arrival, approach, climb, exit) without donkeys, therefore carrying 100+lbs on our backs... (use donkeys!!!). We took our first rest day on day 5 @ 16,000ft. We had great weather and were mountain fit (I came from low elevation).

Here's a trip report I wrote of our climb (video at the bottom).

It's a fantastic mountain. Go for it!

Edit: Didn't do any acclimatization climbs or anything. Acclimatization is super variable from person to person although in our 3 man team we all did fine with our itinerary (one even came from an office!). It was a full on suffer no doubt.

Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 266
khammer wrote:I climbed Alpamayo last summer in 12 days (arrival, approach, climb, exit) without donkeys, therefore carrying 100+lbs on our backs... (use donkeys!!!). We took our first rest day on day 5 @ 16,000ft. We had great weather and were mountain fit (I came from low elevation). Here's a trip report I wrote of our climb (video at the bottom). It's a fantastic mountain. Go for it! Edit: Didn't do any acclimatization climbs or anything. Acclimatization is super variable from person to person although in our 3 man team we all did fine with our itinerary (one even came from an office!). It was a full on suffer no doubt.
Awesome info and TR! Here's hoping my balls don't get crushed.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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