Climb Artesonraju

14 Days in Peru / (Skill level: Advanced)

Price per person

  • Next Available: Jul 19, 2020 - Aug 01, 2020

About this trip

Ideal for experienced technical climbers who excel at altitude. Small team size and low climber to guide ratio (2:1).  Climb with guides have also traveled and climbed extensively in South America and know the Peruvian Andes intimately.


  • skill level


  • Duration

    14 Days

Artesonraju (19,767 feet, 6,025 meters) is considered one of the jewels of the Cordillera Blanca in Peru. The spectacular peak is often recognized as the “Paramount Pictures” icon and provides an incredible climbing experience for the technical climber who also excels at altitude. Artesonraju demands an extremely long summit day, where efficiency and fitness are essential.

Our acclimatization strategy is pure fun, riding mountain bikes for a day from high above Huaraz and climbing Vallunaraju (18,655 feet/ 5,686 meters). Vallunaraju rises out of the beautiful Llaca Valley close to Huaraz. Summit day on the mountain is big as we bypass Moraine Camp and head straight for the summit on moderate glaciated terrain, perfect for refreshing our skills and acclimatizing.

This itinerary allows us to begin our walk to Artesonraju within our first week of arriving in Peru. Although Artesonraju has a relatively quick and easy approach, summit day of the North East Face is long as we navigate a complex glacier, climb approximately 7 pitches of steep snow and ice, and end on an exposed summit ridge. The 360o views from this summit are spectacular and an incredible reward.

Our Artesonraju Expedition will be guided by one or more of Alpenglow’s AMGA certified lead guides. AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association) certification is the highest possible training available to guides, and only the most experienced and dedicated attain it. Our lead guides have also traveled and climbed extensively in South America and know the Peruvian Andes intimately. Their knowledge of Andean culture as well as the mountains, combined with their passion for teaching others to become competent mountaineers, guarantees that your experience will be one to remember.

We combine our guides’ experience with the local expertise of our close friend, expert Peruvian logistics operator, and incredible cook, Alfredo Ibarra. A highlight of your trip will be waking up each morning to Alfredo’s smile, hot coffee, and tasty pancakes. Our small team size and low ratio of climbers to guides (2:1) ensures that you stay healthy and strong, and are able to enjoy each component of your experience.


  • Fitness

    Climbers must be in excellent physical shape to join this expedition. Regular, challenging exercise for many months in advance of departure is the only way to gain the necessary level of fitness that is needed on big peaks. We highly recommend a structured training regime with a gym or personal trainer to assist you in preparing for climbing at altitude. Please contact us for more information on physical training.

  • Technical Experience

    Climbers should have experience multi-pitch climbing (rock or ice), be comfortable following grade 4 ice climbs, 5.9 rock climbs, and have climbed at altitude (over 15,000 feet).

  • Altitude Experience

    It is required that climbers have prior experience at altitudes up to 14,000' and it is strongly recommended that climbers have prior experience at altitudes over 15,000'.

    • Day 1 — Arrival

      Arrive in Lima between 6pm and midnight (Sunday).

    • Day 2 — Drive to Huaraz

      Drive to Huaraz (8 hours), where we base out of a small but beautiful hotel (10,000 feet/3,050 meters).

    • Day 3 — Acclimate and Organize

      An acclimatization and organization day in Huaraz. Drive about an hour outside of Huaraz and descend back to town on mountain bikes.

    • Day 4 — Drive to the End of the Road

      Drive to refugio at the end of the Llaca Valley road (14,000 feet/4,267 meters). We prepare our gear for the climb and scope the complicated route through the moraine.

    • Day 5 — Acclimatization Climb

      Climb Vallunaraju (18,655 feet/ 5,686 meters), return to Huaraz. Vallunaraju provides us with a perfect acclimatization climb on moderate terrain, allowing us to review and practice our skills. We enjoy spectacular views all day long.

    • Day 6 — Move to Llama Corral

      Drive to our trailhead in the village of Cashapampa (9,000 feet/2,743 meters). This 3-hour drive takes us through beautiful farming communities as we head between the spines of the Cordillera Negra and the Cordillera Blanca. After organizing our burros, we hike with daypacks to Llama Corral (11,500 feet/3,505 meters), where we camp for the night.

    • Day 7 — Move up to Basecamp

      Today we begin up the Santa Cruz Valley route on a mellow trail and then turn off to Artesonraju basecamp (13,944 feet/4,250 meters).

    • Day 8 — Rest and Skills Day

      Today we rest and work on our skills in preparation for the technical climbing on Artesonraju.

    • Day 9 — Move to Morraine Camp

      After another roughly 5 hours of hiking, we arrive at Moraine Camp (16,404 feet/ 5,000m).

    • Day 10 — Summit Day

      Summit Day (19,767 feet/6,025 meters). Two-tool climbing takes us to the summit of this incredible peak. We will need to move efficiently to successfully summit and descend via rappel, this huge alpine route. We spend the night at Moraine Camp.

    • Day 11 — Weather Window

      Extra summit day for weather or rest.

    • Day 12 — Descent to Basecamp

      Descend to basecamp and enjoy our last sunset in the Cordillera Blanca.

    • Day 13 — Return to Huaraz

      Walk out to Cashapampa and return to Huaraz for a night of celebration with the team.

    • Day 14 — Head Home

      Return to Lima and depart for home.

  • Coming Soon

    • Do I have what it takes to climb Artesonraju?

      This is an advanced expedition that requires experience climbing at altitude as well as experience with technical multi pitch routes.

    • Do I really need to purchase trip or rescue insurance?

      We strongly recommend purchasing trip insurance, and we require rescue insurance on all expeditions. Trip insurance covers issues that would cause you to cancel your trip in advance. Rescue insurance can help cover costs in the event that you decide to end your expedition early. We recommend Global Rescue for both types of insurance .

Chad Peele

Chad Peele has been guiding for over 15 years and works full time as a mountain guide. Based out of Ridgway Colorado, Chad spends his winters instructing and guiding on some of the best ice terrain the U.S. has to offer. Outside of Colorado he has traveled and guided extensively throughout North and South America with several trips to the Himalayas including multiple summits of both Everest and Ama Dablam. When not in the Mountains Chad does clothing and equipment design for Eddie Bauer’s First Ascent outdoor line.

Chad is an AMGA Rock & Alpine guide.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Alpine Guide
  • AMGA Certified Rock Guide

Esteban “Topo” Mena

Topo’s formal name is Esteban Mena, but he goes by his nickname. Esteban Topo Mena is 28 years old and began his guiding career at 19, when he climbed Aconcagua’s South Face and became the youngest person to accomplish this difficult climb. Topo began guiding in Ecuador and Peru. In 2012, Topo summited Manaslu and in 2013, he summited Everest – both without using supplementary oxygen. Topo again summited Everest in 2016 while supporting his wonderful partner Carla as she successfully summited without supplemental oxygen. In 2018 Topo summited both Cho Oyu and Everest with clients in under 30 days. An incredible achievement that only the best guides in the word could attempt. He also has climbed challenging new routes in Kyrgyzstan and China and one of his climbs (Kyzyl Asker) has been nominated for the Piolet d’Or (as part of an Ecuadorian team).

Guide Certifications
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Jaime Avila

Jaime is Alpenglow Expeditions’ senior lead guide. A native Ecuadorian, Jaime has been guiding and climbing throughout South America and the world for twenty years. He has successfully led groups on challenging routes like the Southwest Ridge of Ama Dablam (Nepal), the Shield Route of Huascaran (Peru), the Polish Direct on Aconcagua (Argentina), and El Altar (Ecuador). We have been guiding, climbing, and traveling with Jaime since 1998 and the feedback from members is always the same: there is no better teammate. Whether climbing a tough ice route, humping a huge pack, or stuck in a storm, Jaime will keep you laughing, learning, and glad to be in the mountains. He is an ASEGUIM / IFMGA certified mountain guide.


Guide Certifications
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Zeb Blais

From bushwhacking miles of Manzanita in ski boots to traversing huge glaciers in exotic ranges, adventure draws Zeb in. Originally from Vermont, Zeb has been hooked on big mountains since his first ski tour in Jackson Hole and has pursued skiing, climbing and exploring ever since. Zeb has climbed and guided in the Himalaya, Alaska, Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador and Asia among others and he’s working hard to keep that list growing. Working as a mountain guide allows Zeb to share his passion for human powered movement in the mountains and to pass along what he’s learned along the way.

Zeb has successfully guided Mt Everest [29,029′], Mt Cho Oyu [26,906′] including a ski descent from the summit, Lobuche East [20,075′],  and four expeditions on Denali [20,320’], including a ski descent from the summit. He has completed 64 summits of Mount Rainier [14,410’]. Additional credentials include 12 summits of Mount Shasta [14,179’]; 5 summits of Mount Shuksan [9,100’]; 3 summits via Mount Baker [10,678’], including one ski descent from the summit, and two ski descents via the North Ridge; 2 summits of Aconcagua [22,841’]; 1 summit of Cotopaxi and 1 summit of Cayabme; 2 summits of Ixtacihuatl in Mexico; 3 summits of Orizaba in Mexico, including a ski descent from the summit; and numerous rock, alpine and ski summits from the Cascades, Sierra Nevada, Coast ranges and Rockies.

Zeb is an AMGA Ski Guide and Assistant Rock and Alpine guide.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Ski Guide

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    Climb Artesonraju

Climb Artesonraju

Ideal for experienced technical climbers who excel at altitude. Small team size and low climber to guide ratio (2:1).  Climb with guides have also traveled and climbed extensively in South America and know the Peruvian Andes intimately.