This is Robert Kyte from the Alpenglow Expeditions office, and this week I connected with Alpenglow guide Roberto ‘Tico’ Morales to talk about what sets the Peru climbing experience apart from anywhere else in the world. I wanted to dig into why Tico chooses to spend his personal time in Peru outside of the trips he guides for Alpenglow. What I learned is that, in short, climbing in Peru offers multidisciplinary objectives that create opportunities for all types of climbers.
In the realm of mountaineering, few destinations rival the allure of Peru’s Cordillera Blanca. While Tico has guided numerous trips for Alpenglow in the Blanca, he’s also drawn to it for his own goals.
For Tico, one of the foremost reasons behind his repeated visits to Peru is the ease of access within the country to extreme and uncharted alpine objectives. The Cordillera Blanca remains vastly unexplored, and there is a high volume of engaging alpine ascents that boast technical climbing at high elevation. As a result, there are still countless first ascents available to climbers within a concentrated zone.
That said, the decision to attempt a first or second ascent is not without its inherent challenges. Tico acknowledges the unpredictable conditions of the Cordillera Blanca: “The weather has been changing over the last few years, and so a lot of things have to align to make a nice first ascent or repeat one of the old classics. There are lines that may have only been climbed once many years ago, and so the route looks very different today. The conditions can be tricky in the Cordillera Blanca, but that’s part of the game and that’s why I like it. It’s not always straightforward.”
Beyond alpine climbing, areas around Huaraz offer pure rock climbing in all its forms: from rest-day bouldering, to t-shirt sport climbing, to proper multi-day granite big wall ascents. And when you’re off the wall for the day, Peru’s cuisine, with specific respect to its wealth of fresh seafood, is world class.
As climbers from around the world converge on the Cordillera Blanca, Tico revels in the opportunity to share experiences, swap stories, and forge friendships amidst the rugged wilderness. Each expedition is not just a physical challenge but a journey of self-discovery and camaraderie, and an opportunity to learn and grow not just as a climber, but as a human being.
Interested to join Tico in Peru? Our Peru Climbing School is an open-enrollment opportunity suitable for beginner mountaineers and alpinists looking to break into the world of technical climbing at altitude.
For more experienced climbers excited to put their skills to the test, Tico has notched multiple ascents on Alpamayo (19,512’/5,947m), often regarded as the most beautiful mountain in the world. Its soaring walls of snow and ice require high octane multi-pitch climbing at altitude, and the views of the Cordillera Blanca from the summit are simply unbeatable.
For those keen to see Peru’s high peaks from the comfort of the lush valleys below, consider hopping on our 16 day Cordillera Huayhuash trek.
Thanks for reading! I’m looking forward to bringing you more news, stories, and first-hand perspectives of the high ranges of the world from the people who know them best.