Adventure Projects is hiring a web engineer to join us in Boulder, CO
Mountain Project Logo

Routes in Quebrada Llanganuco

Chopicalqui Southwest Ridge AI2-3 Steep Snow
Pisco Normal Route Mod. Snow
Yanapaccha West Face Mod. Snow
Order Wrong? Sort Routes
Type: Snow, Alpine, 3300 ft, Grade III
FA: C. Kogan, G. Kogan, R. Ceninger, M. Lenoir 1951
Page Views: 4,033 total · 35/month
Shared By: Evan Sloane on Mar 14, 2009
Admins: Tony Yeary

You & This Route

21 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick


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.
We attempted the mountain in a single push from base camp, and found crossing the moraine to be the trickiest part of the climb.

The day before, I highly recommend scouting out the route through the moraine. Once you hike up the moraine ridge from the hut, you have to immediately descend. Don't follow the cairns to the left - there's no easier way over there. The Johnson guide says to "descend." In more details, look for a large boulder with two bolts and a long chain. This is a loose 4th class descent. Either use the chain as a hand line or rap. On the way back up, it's best to go one at a time and wear helmets. This creates a bottleneck in the afternoon.

The rest of the route through the moraine is circuitous boulder hopping and easy to get lost on, even in the day if it's your first time. If I could do it over again, I would budget more time to acclimate and stay at moraine camp, so that I wouldn't have to cross the moraine in the dark on the day of the climb.

For footwear, we saw many other climbers carrying both approach shoes and single boots, stashing the approach shoes at the base of the glacier. This seemed far superior to crossing the moraine in double boots. Jun 14, 2017

More About Pisco Normal Route