Pisco is a suitable climb for beginner climbers but is also a rewarding climb for experienced climbers and it is an ideal preparation peak for the demanding Huascaran climb, providing extra acclimatization and strength. Most years, there is no technical climbing on Pisco but there can be short steep sections, some hard ice to negotiate or a crevasse to navigate around. Huascarán is the highest mountain in Peru, and the highest of any mountain situated in the tropics. It is the principal objective of many of the climbers that visit the Cordillera Blanca. In the past Huascaran has not been an especially technical mountain to climb, but in recent years changes to the glacier have made the going more difficult. This, combined with the high altitude makes Huascaran a very physically demanding mountain to climb. Some years there are large crevasses on Huascaran which can be difficult to pass, or which require an alternative route to be found. Also, there can be some sections of steep climbing on hard ice in certain conditions. We recommend that clients have good basic climbing skills to climb Huascaran. Huascaran is not a suitable peak for beginner climbers.
Day 1: Huaraz – Cashapampa – Llamacorral
Drive from Huaraz to Cashapampa (2800m). We meet our donkey drivers, load all equipment onto donkeys and start trekking. We hike continuously upwards following the Santa Cruz river, first we are in a narrow canyon and then after lunch the country opens up into a wider valley and we start to see the snow covered peaks. We camp in an open field near the river at Llamacorral (3750m).
Driving time: 3 hs. / Hiking time: 5 hs.
Day 2: Llamacorral – Taullipampa
An easier day hiking in a wide open valley. We pass by two small lakes and then we have our first glimpse of the famous Alpamayo peak. We camp at Taullipampa (4250m), a beautiful campsite surrounded by towering peaks and nestled near the bottom of Punta Union Pass. 4 hours.
Hiking time: 4 hs.
Day 3: Taullipampa – Punta Union Pass – Paria
Climb steadily up for 2 to 3 hours to the pass Punta Union (4750m) then descend past a small alpine lake. Continue the descent towards the Huaripampa Valley before leaving the main trail and traversing through low bush to our camp in a secluded valley away from the main trail at Paria (3850m).
Hiking time: 7 hs.
Day 4: Paria – Vaqueria – Portachuelo Pass – Cabollapampa
At first we walk easily down the Huaripampa Valley passing through farming settlements. Then we climb to the road at Vaqueria where our private vehicle will be waiting to drive us over the 4850m Portachuelo Pass to our camp at Cebollapampa (3850m).
Day 5: Cabollapampa – Pisco Base Camp
From Cebollapampa we hike up on a good path to the Base Camp of Pisco (4500m). Before going to sleep early, we have time left to check our climbing equipment and get ready for the next day.
Hiking time: 2.5 hs.
Day 6: Pisco Base Camp – Summit - Pisco Base Camp
Early in the morning at 01:00 am we start hiking up around 3.5 hours over rocky path to get the glacier. Here we put our climbing equipment on to start climbing up to the summit. After climbing up for about 1 hour we get to a wall of 40m and 50° of difficulty. We continue 2.5 hours more and reach the summit (5750m). We enjoy the nice views of different mountains such as: Artesonraju, Alpamayo, Caraz, Huascaran, Chopicalqui, Yanapaccha, Chacraraju, Brogui, Huandoys and a splendid turquoise lake 69 lake. After a few minutes we go back down to the Base Camp (4500m).
Day 7: Pisco Base Camp – Cebollapampa – Huaraz
An easy descent down to the road at Cebollapampa and return to Huaraz in our private van.
Hiking time: 1.5 hs. / Driving time: 3 hs.
Day 8: Rest day in Huaraz and prepare for the Huascaran Climb
Day 9: Huaraz – Musho – Huascaran Base Camp
You are picked up in your hotel and we will start driving along the Callejon de Huaylas to Mancos, from here we travel to the East side to Musho. Here we load our donkeys and hike up to the Base Camp of Huascaran (4700m).
Driving time: 2.5 hs. / Hiking time: 5 hs.
Day 10: Base Camp – Camp 1
The climb from base camp sees us climb a six meter rock step followed by a traverse across a series of ledges until arriving at the moraine camp which is located about 200-meters from the edge of the glacier. The climb takes from one and half to two hours.
From the moraine camp there are several trails along the slabs taking us to the edge of the glacier in around half an hour. The glacier is easy to navigate and the crevasses are easy to spot but we will rope up just in case of any hidden ones. The campsite 1 is in a safe area with splendid views to different mountains around.
Climbing time: 6 hs.
Day 11: Camp 1 – Camp 2
From Camp 1 we ascend for roughly 200-meters to an area known as the Candeletta and then traverse left to the col which is called the Garganta. This is where we place our Camp 2 (5950m) and this campsite can be cold and windy.
Climbing time: 5 hs.
Day 12: Camp 2 – Huascaran Summit – Camp 2
Summit day involves an early alpine start at 3:00 am where we work our way up 45-50 degree slopes for around 250 meters and then the angle lessens with a walk to the summit. Along this route we will enjoy splendid views of different mountains around us and will enjoy the sunrise in the Cordillera Blanca. We arrive to the Summit (6768m) around 10:00am. After staying a few minutes to enjoy the views and take pictures we will start our descent to Camp 2 for about 4 hours. We arrive at the camp around 3:00pm.
Climbing time: 7 hs.
Day 13: Camp 2 – Base Camp
Early in the morning we start going down to the Base Camp, after going down 2 hours we arrive to the Moraine Camp, where we have lunch. After lunch we continue going down to the Base Camp (3800m).
Hiking time: 4 hs.
Day 14: Base Camp – Back to Huaraz
Late in the morning we descend to Musho for about 3 hours, where our transport is waiting. We arrive to Huaraz around 4 pm.
Hiking time: 3 hs. / Driving time: 2.5 hs.
What is included
- Transport: From Huaraz to the starting point of your activity, and from the finishing point of your activity back to Huaraz. We use prived transport, minivans, and other types of cars, depending on the size of the group.
- Guide: Qualified and experienced mountain guide who speaks Spanish and basic English.
- Cook: A professional cook who is trained to prepare healthy dishes in a hygienic manner.
- Donkey driver: In charge of loading the donkeys, looking after them and guiding them.
- Donkeys: The number of donkeys provided depends on the size of the group. Donkeys carry equipment to Base Camp and back but you need to carry your own personal gear.
- Food: Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner.
- Equipment: Good quality high mountain tent, sleeping mattress, ropes, carabiners, dining tent (depending on group size), table and chairs, toilet tent, first aid kit, cooking stove, dishes and cooking utensils.
- Entrances fee: for the national park.
What is not included
First breakfast, last dinner, soft drinks or alcoholic beverages, medical treatment, travel insurance, tips, additional expenses as a result of leaving the trek early, additional expenses as a result of an emergency rescue or evacuation, bottled water (you drink water from the river).
- Mountain backpack (40 Litres)
- Sleeping bag (-25 C)
- Walking sticks if you have knee problems
- Plastic mountain boots
- Ice axe
- Head torch (with spare batteries)
- Sun protection: sunscreen (factor 40 minimum), hat, sunglasses
- Well-worn in hiking boots or trekking shoes
- Comfortable clothes: t-shirts (quick dry or merino wool recommended), trekking trousers or leggings, sweater, woolen trekking socks, underwear, long thermal underwear, fleece, gloves, hat
- Down jacket
- Waterproof jacket and trousers (Gore-Tex recommended)
- Gore-Tex gloves
- Water bottle and water purification pills
- Toilet paper, personal toiletries, small towel
- Extra snacks and money
Missing something? We can provide you with everything you need for a great days expeditions, Please check each trip for detailed pricing information or contact us for a customized trip and you can fully enjoy!!