Expeditions Nevados Alpamayo (5947 m), Artesonraju(6025 m) & Huascaran (6768 m)

You are here:

About Trekking Santa Cruz: One of the most popular treks in the Cordillera Blanca, the hike around this subtropical mountain range passes through impressive landscapes of uncommonly beautiful mountains, frequent lakes and glaciers. The camps are some of the most spectacular in the world. This is a short and very popular hike with spectacular views of lakes and mountains.

For acclimatization, we begin with a day hike to Laguna (Lake) Churup, at 4,450m. The highest and most demanding pass on the Santa Cruz trek is Punta Union Pass (4750m)

About Alpamayo Peak: The pyramid shaped Alpamayo is considered one of the most beautiful mountains in the world. The ascent toward the peak is very steep and the majority of it is a technical climb. This mountain should only be attempted by those who are well acclimatized and who have summited of other high peaks. From one side Alpamayo is an almost perfect pyramid, covered with enormous ice shelves. The other face, the trapezoidal southwest wall, is even more beautiful. All of the Cordillera Blanca mountain range is protected by Huascarán National Park, a paradise of snowcapped peaks. The park also includes the peaks of Huandoy and Huascarán (the highest mountain in Peru), as well as 663 glaciers, 269 lakes, some 42 rivers, as well as 33 archaeological sites.

About Artesonraju Peak: Artesonraju (6,025 m) is one of the approximately 50 peaks of the Cordillera Blanca known especially for its exceptional settings for mountaineering. Pyramidal and completely covered in ice and snow all year, this mountain of unequalled beauty is situated between the two gorges of the Santa Cruz Massif to the north and the Parón to the south. It’s frequently considered the iconic mountain in the Paramount pictures introduction.

From its high plateau alongside the Paron Gorge, it is 1,025 meters to the peak. It can usually be climbed in 8-12 hours round-trip. According to the International French Adjectival System (IFAS), it’s categorized as TD+: very difficult +, on the route of the South Ridge, and D: Difficult, via the “normal” route.

Artesonraju offers two primary ascent routes: The first runs through the North Edge, born in the Santa Cruz Gorge, while the second rises via the southeast face from Parón Lake, at the end of the gorge of the same name. This last route is very technically demanding, requiring advanced experience in ice climbing. You conquer a slope of 1,200 meters with a gradient that varies between 45 and 55 degrees, sometimes surpassing 60 degrees.

Avalanches are a common occurrence at the start of the climbing season, due to the large accumulation of snow on the steep slopes. During May and August, the strong winds produce the phenomenon known as “Placa de Viento“ or wind slabs – very dangerous because below a thin layer of ice there is spongy snow that doesn’t offer good anchor nor security.

About Huascarán Peak: Huascarán is the highest peak in Peru. This mountain has two summits: Huascarán North (6655 m) and the main summit, Huascarán South (6768 m). Many climbers dream of reaching this high summit of 6,768 meters. Technically, the climb is not difficult, nevertheless, due to its elevation and risk of avalanches, it is a serious climb.

The mountain offers multiple routes to arrive at the highest point in Peru. In any case, anyone attempting this peak should be well acclimatized to altitude before venturing to these huge glaciated mountains.

Observation: Huascarán South Summit (6.768 m) The conditions on all mountains change every year; particularly since the glacier between the first and second camps is receding. Accordingly, some years it is a challenge to get from High Camp 1 to High Camp 2 due to the crevasses and the large avalanches that can fall in the chute. An ascent of Huascarán is, without a doubt, one of the highlights of mountaineering in the Andes.

Travel Program

Arrival in Lima – the large city in South America; population approximately 11 million. Rest or explore the city on your own.

Overnight Hotel (-/-/-)

For acclimatization we visit the Cordillera Negra, where you can see a magnificent view of the Cordillera Blanca. We’ll have a chance to see wild ducks on the beautiful lake. Wilcacocha, because of its location, is an exceptional viewpoint for the Cordillera Blanca, allowing us to identify peaks (from north to south) Huandoy, Huascarán, Chopicalqui, Hualcan, Copa, Vallunaraju, Ocshapalca, Ranrapalca, Palcaraju, Churup, and many more.

Overnight Hotel (B/-/-)

We leave from our hotel in the Independence District of Huaraz, which faces San Cristobal Peak. We travel in our vehicle toward the town center of Wilcahuain and then walk for about 4 hours along natural trails covered with vegetation. Ahuac is a beautiful lake of clean and crystal clear water, like a mirror reflecting the blue ski and the mountains that surround it. It’s an auspicious place for adventure tourism with a bit of a mystic quality.

Overnight Hotel (B/L/-)

After a good breakfast, we’ll take our minibus to the Santa Valley, to the northern small village of Yungay. As the first excursion for acclimatization, we hike to Lake 69 (4,650 m), about 6 hours round trip. Fantastic views of the highest peaks in the Cordillera Blanca, and the deep blue lake surrounded by glaciers make up for the difficulty of the hike. We return in the afternoon to the Llanganuco gorge, where we establish our first camp in Yuracoral (3850 m).

Overnight Hotel (B/L/-)

From our camp in Yuracoral, we transfer in the minibus to Portachuelo Pass (4650 m) on the east side of the Cordillera Blanca. We arrive in the village of Vaqueria (3,750 m). In this small village our pack animals are waiting. We then have a short walk past the camp at Huaripampa (3,550 m ) beyond the village of Paria (3,800 m) and our camp at Tuctupampa (4,150 m.) From here you can see Punta Union Pass. Camp at Tuctupampa.

Overnight Camp (B/L/D)

Today we cross Punta Union Pass (4,750 m). From the pass we can see the entire Santa Cruz Valley, and the trail we’ll follow. After stopping for a time at the pass to take pictures, we descend to Taullipampa Camp (4,250 m) and continue to Alpamayo Base Camp. From this point we can see Alpamayo Peak; our goal for this expedition. Camp at Quebrada Arhuecocha (4,300 m).

Overnight Camp (B/L/D)

Today we have a good breakfast and prepare the expedition equipment for Alpamayo. From here we’ll use a local team (porters, cook and local guides), who will help us carry everything. We set out for the moraine after a small lunch in Base Camp. The trail takes us across a steep moraine at the tongue of the glacier to High Moraine Camp (4,900 m).

Overnight Camp (B/L/D)

Alpamayo High Camp is on the steep glacier at the base of Alpamayo and Quitaraju. Due to the constant shrinkage of the glacier, every year we find a different situation along this section. We find magnificent views from High Camp the summit looks close enough to touch! We have dinner a bit early because we must rise very early, for the long day that awaits us tomorrow. High Camp (5,300 m).

Overnight Camp (B/L/D)

Summit day! One possible route is the French route, a 60 to 80 degree wall of ice which narrows toward the top. . Above the wall, you need to conquer a few meters to the highest point of the narrow ridge. At the summit, you will be rewarded with a magnificent view of the Cordillera Blanca! The neighboring peak of Quitaraju (6,036 m) is almost within striking distance; and to the southwest you can see the remarkable summit of Huascarán (6,768 m.) After a brief rest and photos at the summit, we return quickly to High Camp via a rappel down the route we came up. In good weather, the climb to the summit and return to base camp can be done before noon. The ascent takes 5-6 hours, while the descent takes about 2-3 hours. If participants are tired, we can stay one more night in High Camp. If everyone feels fine, which is usual, we descend to Alpamayo Base Camp (4,300 m).

Overnight Camp (B/L/D)

Extra day scheduled in case of bad weather or to return to Base Camp if staying the previous night in High Camp.

Overnight Camp (B/L/D)

Today after breakfast we transfer to Artesonraju/Taulipampa Base Camp to prepare for our next summit: Artesonraju (6025 m). The burros will carry our luggage again. Here we establish our camp and organize our things.

Overnight Camp (B/L/D)

From here we again use the help of our high altitude porters as we move to Artesonraju Moraine Camp. Trekkers need to help carry their personal expedition equipment because the hilly nature of the moraine makes the climb more demanding. We rise through the shrubs and trees for 4-5 hours along the moraine crest, which is sometimes slippery and steep. Artesonraju Moraine Camp.

Overnight Camp (B/L/D)

Summit day! The route we are climbing today is the North Ridge via the northeast spur. We climb steep slopes to the left of the ridge, avoiding the crevasses and seracs. The slope of the wall is from 40-60 degrees; the conditions can vary a lot from one year to the next. The ascent is approximately 8-9 hours. At the summit you will be rewarded with a magnificent view of the Cordillera Blanca! The neighboring peaks of Huascaran North and South, Huandoys, Santa Cruz, Caraz, and many more. After a brief rest and picture-taking at the summit, we return to Moraine Camp with some sections done via rappel. The descent will take about 3-4 hours. If participants are tired, we can stay another night at Moraine Camp. If everyone feels fine, we usually drop down to Artesonraju Base Camp.

Overnight Hotel (B/L/-)

Weather day. Options: Rest day in Base Camp, or return to Base Camp from High Moraine Camp.

Overnight Hotel (B/-/-)

Today we rise early to begin our hike down through the Santa Cruz Valley to Cashapampa (about 6 hours.) In Cashapampa our minibus awaits to take us and our local expedition team to Huaraz. Overnight in the hotel.

Overnight Camp (B/L/D)

A classic location for many who like to practice rock climbing. This area is 40 minutes north of Huaraz.
It was developed thanks to the guides of Don Bosco in the Andes in 1997. It has 8 developed routes of different difficulties. This is a good place to spend a quiet day in nature and then visit the hot springs to relax aching muscles.

Overnight Hotel (B/L/-)

Now our last and best mountain; the highest mountain in Peru, Huascarán. Transfer from Huaraz through the Callejón de Huaylas, the central section of the valley formed by the Santa River, between the Cordillera Blanca and the Cordillera Negra. We arrive at the village of Musho, the baggage carried on burros._ From Musho it’s a 4-5 hour hike to Huascarán Base Camp (4,250 m) From the camp we have a beautiful view of the Cordillera Negra.

Overnight Hotel (B/-/-)

Today we are going to climb to High Camp 1. Porters will help us carry our camping equipment and food. From this point, the southern and northern peaks of Huascarán seem close enough to touch. Dinner and lodging in tents on the glacier. At this altitude, the temperature at night falls to as low as -13°C.

Overnight flight (B/-/-)

Very early this morning we continue to climb over the steep section of the glacier, with crevasses, avalanches in the chutes, and an area of icefall with 50° faces requiring ice climbing. We expect to find changes to the rugged glacier because every year with the retreat of the glacier, the conditions change with regard to crevasses, bridges or new avalanches. Our porters accompany us to Camp 2 in La Garganta (“The Throat“), the saddle between the North Summit (6655 m) and the South Summit (6768 m.) We sleep in tents on the glacier.

Overnight Home (-/-/-)

Summit day! Very early this morning we begin the ascent to the South Summit (6,768 m). The route leads abruptly up, continues through many crevasses and avalanche zones until we arrive at the flat summit ridge. From here you can see all of the Cordillera Blanca, including Alpamayo to the north. From this high point we see most of the most important mountains of the range. The unforgettable view from the summit makes us forget all our effort to get here. After enjoying the summit and taking pictures, we begin our descent back to High Camp II at the back of the gorge. If everyone still feels fine, we can descend to Base Camp (weather permitting) or stay in High Camp II. Rest one hour and begin the descent to Base Camp. Dinner and lodging in Base Camp. Time required: ascent: 6-7 hours; descent to High Camp II: 3-4 hours; Descent from High Camp II to Base Camp: 3-4 hours.

Overnight Hotel (B/-/-)

Our last day on the expedition. Early in the morning the mule/burro drivers arrive, and after the baggage is loaded, we descend to the village of Musho, a walk of 3-4 hours. From here our private transport will be waiting to take us to Huaraz, our final destination. Here we say goodbye to our local workers, and have a complementary dinner at the home of Juventino Albino Caldua – a special dish called Pachamanca. Lodging in the hotel.

Overnight flight (B/-/-)

Arrival in USA or Austria, Switzerland,Germany, etc.

Overnight flight (B/-/-)

Arrival in USA or Austria, Switzerland,Germany, etc.

Overnight Home (-/-/-)

Included meals: B=breakfast; L=lunch; D=dinner

What's Included

Services included in the prices:

  • Acclimatization Tour
  • Peruvian qualified and experienced local guide/s
  • Entrance fees to the Huascaran National Park
  • Cooks and helpers
  • All meals during the tour
  • Donkey driver and donkeys
  • Camping tents (2 persons)
  • Porters for Nevados Alpamayo, Artesonraju and Huascaran
  • Kitchen equipment
  • Transportation as tour schedule / Huaraz
  • Pick up at the airport in Lima to the Hotel
  • Transfer from the Hotel to the airport and bus station
  • Transport public bus or Domestic flight Airline LC-Peru
  • Hotel Kamana 2 nights in Lima or other hotel
  • Hotel Casa Blanca 6 nights in Huaraz or other hotel

Not included:

  • International flights to Lima / Peru round trip
  • Transfer from the airport for bookings of individual flights with different times of arrival / departure
  • Exit tax at the airport in Lima
  • Travel accident and health insurance
  • Luggage insurance and trip cancellation
  • Meals in restaurants in Lima and Huaraz
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal equipment (such as boots, ice ax, crampons, harness, sleeping bag, mat, Goretex, etc.)
  • Tips

Prices & Dates

From / To

11.06. – 04.07.2023 🟢

» Additional dates available upon request
» Rates may vary from July 26th to 31th for the national holidays

Prices (per person): 2.950,00 USD 2.850,00 USD / Contact us!
Deposit for reservations: * 1.000,00 USD (900,00 EUR) ✓ Full payment 40 days before. No refund if you cancel less than 30 days!
Places: 🟢 *Available
Trip-code: Number ►PE-203
Duration: 24 days
Participants: Minimal: 4 Maximal: 12
Members: We don’t have an open group to join – We can open a new group – Contact us!
Country / Location: Northern Peru
Mountain Guide: Juventino Albino Caldua
Other dates / additional info: Contact us!

3% early bird discount when booking 6 months prior to departure 2023

Legend Booking-information:
EZZ Single room supplement
🟢 On this trip, places are still available.
🟡 On this trip, only a few places left.
🔴 This trip is sold out / closed.

Juventino

Juventino Albino Caldua

Expert guide certified by IVBV - UIAGM - IFMGA
Co-Founder, Peru Expeditions
Telephone: (+51) 943780600
E-Mail: [email protected]

Videos