Climb the Most Beautiful Mountain on the Planet.
Alpamayo is the ideal mountain to put your advanced alpine skills to the test, combining the challenges of climbing at altitude with steep ice and snow climbing. Many fledgling high-altitude climbers consider this peak a culmination of their early climbing careers. It has often been named by climbers, magazines, and trekkers as “the most beautiful mountain in the world.”
Alpamayo & Quitaraju Expedition Itinerary
- Day 1
Arriving in Lima between 6pm and 12am, clients will be transported to their hotel for a good night’s sleep before departing for Huaraz the next day.
- Day 2
Drive to Huaraz
Welcome to Huaraz, the climbing capital of South America! After an 8-hour bus ride from Lima, we will arrive at the small, beautiful Olaza Hotel where we will rest and regroup.
- Day 3
Acclimate and Organize
Organize and acclimatize! We’ll spend this day going over gear and logistics for our expedition, making sure that everyone is ready to spend the next several days at altitude. Additionally, we’ll do our first acclimatization hike to a nearby high-altitude lake.
- Day 4
Drive and Hike
From Huaraz, we drive 3 hours through the farming communities nestled between the spines of the Cordillera Negra and the Cordillera Blanca to the trailhead in the village of Cashapampa. From there, we’ll organize our burros and hike to Llama Corral (11,500’/3,505m) to camp for the night.
- Day 5
Establish Base Camp
We will continue to trek past the Santa Cruz lakes until reaching the hanging valley beneath Alpamayo. At 13,500 ft./ 4,115m, we’ll set up our basecamp just at the edge of the treeline.
- Day 6
Loads to Moraine Camp
From Base Camp, we will make a run up to Moraine Camp (16,000’/4,877’) to stash equipment for our ascent. Upon our return to Base Camp, we’ll fresh, clean food provided by our local logistics operators.
- Day 7
Rest Day in Base Camp. Today we will review advanced rope skills and prepare our gear for the climb.
- Day 8
Move to Moraine Camp
Move to Moraine Camp.
- Day 9
Move to Col Camp
Today, we move onto the glacier and climb to Col Camp (18,000’/5486m). This is often one of the more challenging days of the expedition, as we will be crossing the broken glacier and climbing up to three two-tool snow and neve pitches with full packs. Col Camp boasts some of the best views of any high camp in the world.
- Day 10
If the team is feeling strong and well-acclimatized, we will attempt the summit of Alpamayo (19,512’/5,947m). The summit route has a 1-2 hr approach before crossing the bergschrund onto the SW Face. From there we will either attempt the French Direct Route or the Ferrari Route on 55-70 degree snow and ice, before a final knife-edge ridge traverse takes us to the top. We return to high camp by rappelling off the summit.
- Day 11
Rest Day in Col Camp.
- Day 12
If the team is feeling up to it, we will attempt to summit Quitaraju (19, 820’/6,041m) from Col Camp. While not as steep as Alpamayo, the route up the North Face of Quitaraju is considerably longer. After crossing the glacier, 12+ pitches of snow and neve stand between us and the summit.
- Day 13
Descend to Base Camp
Descent from Col Camp to Base Camp.
- Day 14
Return to Huaraz
From sunrise in Base Camp, we will ride horses out of the Santa Cruz valley back to Cashapampa. From there, we take a van back to Huaraz for hot showers and celebrations.
- Day 15
Head back to Lima
Depart for Lima and catch our flights (after 8pm) back home.
Bring your favorite baseball hat for shelter from the sun. No white under the brim – the reflection off of it from the sun is blinding.
Recommended: Alpenglow Hat
A comfortable, warm well-fitting hat that covers your ears. Make sure that one of your hats fits under a helmet.
Recommended: Black Diamond Levels Beanie
Neck Gaiter (Buff)
A multi-purpose neck gator that can also be worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible and yet is still comfy.
Recommended: Alpenglow Buff
We recommend a tight-fitting balaclava that is worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible, but is comfortable enough to wear for hours.
Recommended: Black Diamond Coefficient LT Balaclava
Must have dark lenses. Minimal light should come in below, above, or around the sides of the lenses.“Wrap” style is best. Ventilation is important and a retainer strap is very useful (Chums or Croakies).
Recommended: Vaurnet Ice Rounds
These will be worn on stormy or windy days. Make sure you are getting a snug fit with lenses for bright sun. Ventilation and anti-fog features are desired.
Recommended: Vuarnet Everest Goggles
These gloves keep the inside of your mitts or other gloves from accumulating sweat on the inside and turning inside out when you take them off, as well as provide additional insulation.
Recommended: Black Diamond Lightweight Wooltech Gloves
All-around gloves for mountaineering, backcountry skiing, and hiking. These gloves (and similar options) are warm, wind-resistant, durable and have a sure grip. You will rarely take these gloves off. They should be snug-fitting, and have some sort of reinforced palm.
Recommended: Black Diamond Tour Gloves
These gloves should be full GORE-TEX®, and insulated. These will be the workhorse glove for any expedition.
Recommend: Black Diamond Mission MX Gloves
These gloves should be full GORE-TEX®, with a removable fleece liner (so you can take the liner out and dry it at night). These gloves are used at higher altitudes and are needed to keep your hands dry, and warm. Over the cuff style is desired.
Recommended: Black Diamond Guide Gloves
A super-thin wicking sock that repels moisture. Liner socks help to reduce the likelihood of blisters. The socks should be thin wool, nylon, or Capilene®. NO COTTON
Recommended: Ice Breaker Merino Liner
Your everyday sock, good for day hikes, trekking, and in-town. It’s good to bring several pairs of these socks. NO COTTON.
Recommended: Darn Tough Hiking Sock
A wool synthetic blend. Pure rag wool socks are not nearly as effective in wicking moisture or retaining their shape and reducing blisters. Bring a few pairs of these socks. NO COTTON.
Recommended: Darn Tough Mountaineering Sock
These light to mid-weight shoes are for everyday use. The ideal shoe is comfortable to wear for multiple days and scrambles decently on rock. A Gore-tex lined shoe stays drier when hiking in rain or snow.
Recommended: La Sportiva TX Guide
Mountaineering Boots (5,000 – 6,000m)
Should be warm single or double boots that have a stiff sole and accept a step-in crampon. The boots should be comfortable, have adequate wiggle room for your toes, and your heel should not lift more than 1/8th of an inch when walking. (If your feet run cold, we would recommend a double boot like the La Sportiva G2 Evo.) For our Introductory Climbing Schools, we have limited availability and sizes for free boot rentals. If you need rentals, please reach out to the office staff asap to ensure we have your size.
Recommended: La Sportiva G5 Evo
GORE-TEX® or Schoeller® calf- high gaiters, insulated supergaiters recommended. *Gaiters are not needed if your pants and/or boots have built-in gaiters.
Recommended: Outdoor Research Expedition Crocodile Gaiters (required if your boots do not have integrated gaiters)
Ultra-light base layer that effectively wicks moisture away from your body and is breathable. Quick-dry is important as well. One light-colored shirt is recommended for extremely sunny days.
Recommended Men’s: Black Diamond Lightwire Short Sleeve
Recommended Women’s: Black Diamond Lightwire Short Sleeve
Mid-Weight Puffy Jacket
Hard Shell Jacket
Expedition-Weight Base Layer
Fitted, light-weight and quick drying. The mid-weight will be a base- layer that will get you through a wide range of temperatures. Bring multiple changes of layers.
Recommended Men’s: Black Diamond Mens Solution 150 Merino Bottoms
Recommended Women’s: Black Diamond Women’s Solution 150 Merino Bottoms
Full-length side zippers are recommended, for throwing on top of all of your layers.
Recommended: Black Diamond Stance Belay Pants
2 Duffle Bags – At least one bag should be extremely durable, waterproof, and big – between 90L and 120L. You should feel comfortable leaving it in a puddle for several hours. Remember dry clothes are hot commodities in the mountains! Large enough to fit everything you own, plus what you anticipate buying. Two duffel bags are necessary to fit all your equipment for travel (we don’t recommend checking your backpack, best is to put all gear and backpack into your duffle). Once in country, you can consolidate your gear into one duffel and your backpack. It’s common to leave the second duffel with city clothes and other non-necessary items behind in a locked and secure location that your guide will arrange for you.
Note: For ski expeditions such as the Ecuador Ring of Fire, you can replace one of these duffle bags with a ski/splitboard bag.
Recommended: Black Diamond Stonehauler 90L
Mid-size pack for city days and trekking. Streamlined, neat and lightweight (10-20 liters).
Recommended: Black Diamond Bullet 16 Pack
Climbing Pack: 50-60L
Internal frame pack that is between 50 and 60 liters. Either purchase a matching pack cover, or use garbage bags as liners. Make sure the pack is fitted to YOUR body.
Recommended: Black Diamond Speed 50L Pack
Sleeping Bag (0°F)
Rated to 0º F. Make certain that the sleeping bag is the right length. DON’T FORGET A COMPRESSION SACK FOR THE SLEEPING BAG. Many climbers also like a silk liner. For the Ecuador Climbing School: If you’re on our 9-Day (non-extension) trip, a 20º F rated bag is ok.
Recommended: Mountain Hardwear Phantom 0°F
Inflatable Sleeping Pad
72-inch long inflatable pad required. Make sure you also purchase and bring a repair kit + bag for the sleeping pad.
Recommended: NeoAir Xtherm
Foam Sleeping Pad
Foldable foam sleeping pad for sleeping and using as a sit-pad.
Recommended: Thermarest Z-Lite Sleeping pad
Make sure that they are durable, lightweight + easily adjustable.
Recommended: Black Diamond Pursuit FLZ Trekking Poles
Should carry 70-100 ounces. Must be durable and have a reliable closure system. Recommended: MSR Dromlite 2L with Hydration Tube
Two 1L Nalgene Bottles
Two 1 Liter Wide Mouth Nalgene bottles.
Recommended: Nalgene 1 L wide mouth
Compressible 1-1.5L Bottle
Wide mouth compressible 1-1.5 liter bottle. Optional but strongly recommended. Often used as a designated pee bottle.
Recommended: Nalgene Flexible Cantene
A fully insulated thermos is optional but recommended for warm drinks that help with comfort, hydration, and safety on cold days in the mountains.
Recommended: Thermos STAINLESS KING™ DRINK BOTTLE 24OZ
Plastic Bowl, Mug, and Spoon
A lightweight and compact cookware setup. You’ll want a plastic bowl, mug and spoon.
Recommended Kit: MSR 2-Person Mess Kit
An easily adjustable lightweight helmet that fits with hat and Balaclava. Make sure this is a climbing-specific helmet. *Climbing helmets are also available to rent (for our introductory climbing courses) at no charge from Alpenglow Expeditions on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Recommended: Black Diamond Vision Helmet – MIPS
Rock climbing harness that has gear loops, adjustable leg loops and waist belts. We recommend a harness that does not require the belt loop to be “double backed”.
Recommended: Black Diamond Zone Harness
Ice Tool (2)
Two technical ice climbing axes. Its best to have one with an adze and one hammer. The tools should be approx. 50cm. long. These should be modern curved tools with waterfall ice picks. *Spinner leashes are required (Black Diamond leashes are excellent)
Recommended: Black Diamond Viper Ice Tools
Ice Axe Leash (Dual)
A waist leash for both your two-tool technical ice tools.
Recommended: Black Diamond Spinner Leash
Steel crampons with anti-balling plates are required (so that snow does not build-up in the base of your foot). Make sure that crampons have a heel bail and that they fit snugly on your ski or snowboard boots. Crampons are available to rent (for our introductory climbing courses) at no charge from Alpenglow Expeditions on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Recommended: Black Diamond Sabretooth Crampons
5m of 6mm nylon accessory cord.
Recommended: Sterling Accessory Cord
Locking Carabiner (2)
Small, lightweight locking carabiners are best.
Recommended: Black Diamond LiteForge Screwgate
Non-locking Carabiner (2)
Small, lightweight small carabiners are best, wire-gates are fine.
Recommended: Black diamond HotForge Carabiner
- Passport (with visa, if necessary)
- 2 luggage locks (TSA compliant)
- Non-cotton underwear
- Wag bags, 1 per night camping as to leave no trace
- Stuffsacks: assorted sizes, for organizing your clothes and gear
- Sunscreen: SPF 30 (or higher)
- Lip balm with SPF 15 (or higher)
- Personal first-aid kit (Band-aids, Ibuprofen, Cough Drops, Moleskin, Pepto-bismol, Imodium, Personal Medications)
- 3-4lbs of Snack food (a variety of snack food, some whole food, some bars, some gels)
- Hand Warmers
- Face Mask
- Hand Sanitizer
- Powerbank (6-10K mAh good for 2-3 phone charges, weighing under 8oz)
Alpenglow is the best
“I’ve been climbing with Alpenglow for over ten years. After my first expedition, I knew I’d found the best team. I feel like I’m a member of the Alpenglow family, and have come to know and love many of their guides, office staff, and programs. Alpenglow is truly the best!”