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Pisco & Chopicalqui

Clients raising their arms in triumph while climbing Pisco and Chopicalqui

Pisco & Chopicalqui Expedition

Intermediate 18 Days Peru
Build basic high-altitude mountaineering skills in Peru by climbing Pisco and Chopicalqui. Become familiar with expedition living, carrying a pack on crevassed terrain, and staying in high camps on the mountain. Pisco and Chopicalqui are a great step toward bigger Himalayan peaks or the Seven Summits.
June 11, 2024 – June 28, 2024
Three climbers taking a selfie on the summit of Pisco and Chopicalqui

The Cordillera Blanca of Peru has been a destination for alpinists from around the world since the 1960s.

The tightly packed chain of the Cordillera Blanca offers a huge variety of terrain, including 22,000’/6,700m massifs like Huascaran, steep fluted ice faces like those of Alpamayo, and technical rock and mixed faces like those of Cayesh. It also offers many peaks like Pisco and Chopicalqui that are ideal for building basic high altitude mountaineering skills, all sitting above lush grassy valleys fed by clear alpine lakes.

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. Climbing in the Cordillera Blanca is a large physical undertaking, and climbers who are joining our teams should have at least a general understanding of what it takes to train for an expedition like this. For a personalized training schedule, please reach out to our in-house trainer:
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′.
Prior roped climbing, cramponing, and ice ax skills are required.
The sun rising over the Cordillera Blanca during a Pisco and Chopicalqui Expedition

Pisco and Chopicalqui Expedition Itinerary

A group of 5 mountaineers standing on the summit of a peak in Peru.
Day 1

Arrive in Lima in the evening/night.

Day 2
Drive to Huaraz

Drive to Huaraz (8 hours) where we are based out of Olaza’s Guest House, a small but beautiful hotel (10,000’/3,050m).

Day 3
Acclimatize and Organize

An acclimatization and organization day in Huaraz.

Day 4
Drive to Pisco Base Camp

Drive to Pisco base camp in the Llanganuco Valley (12,500’/3,810m). This 3 hour drive takes us through beautiful farming communities and past the famed Llanganuco lakes.

Day 5
Hike to Cave Camp

Carry a load to Cave Camp on Pisco (14,000’/4,267m) and return to base camp.

Day 6
Move to Cave Camp

Today we move to Cave Camp on Pisco.

Day 7
Acclimatize at Cave Camp

Acclimatization day at Cave Camp. Today, we review glacier travel and crevasse rescue skills while we wait for our local staff to bring us a hot lunch from base camp.

Day 8
Climb to Moraine Camp

Today we climb from Cave Camp to Moraine Camp (16,000/4,877m). This climb crosses a rocky glacier before a steep ascent into camp in a small sandy basin just below the toe of the glacier.


Day 9
Summit Day

The climb to the summit of Nevado Pisco (18,872’/5,752m) begins on 3rd-class rock slabs before stepping onto the glacier. From the toe of the glacier, we climb moderate slopes to a saddle on the ridge between Pisco and the Huandoys. As the sun rises, we climb steeper exposed slopes and crossing multiple crevasses to the final summit bulge. This final slope is often very steep, necessitating excellent crampon and vertical ax technique and a tight belay! After our climb, we pack up high camp and return to base camp.

Day 10
Rest Day

Rest in base camp, where we enjoy the best food the backcountry has to offer from our local staff.

Day 11
Rest Day with Active Option

Another rest day, with an optional excursion to Laguna 69 (15,500’/4,724m), one of the most beautiful high altitude lakes in the world.

Day 12
Move back to Moraine Camp

Leave base camp, and ascend to Moraine Camp (16,000/4,877m) on Chopicalqui, with the help of one or two high-altitude porters.

Day 13
Rest Day

Rest in Moraine Camp, and possibly carry a load to high camp.

Day 14
Climb to High Camp

Move onto the glacier and ascend to high camp, which sits on a flat glacier bench at 18,000 feet (5,486 meters).

Day 15
Summit Day

Attempt Chopicalqui’s summit at 20,846’/6,354m. The route ascends a knife-edge ridge for over 2,000 vertical feet (610 meters), with long traverses regularly interrupted by short, steep headwalls. This is a summit to be incredibly proud of. In most years, only a few strong teams from around the world are successful. After the summit we descend to Moraine Camp.

Day 16

Descend to base camp.

Day 17
Drive to Huaraz

Our van picks us up early in the morning and returns us to Huaraz, where we celebrate with hot showers, a great meal, and salsa dancing at the local discotheque.

Day 18

We depart from Huaraz back to Lima to catch our flights (after 11pm). Say goodbye to your team and head home!

Our Pisco & Chopicalqui Guides

Get to know the guides who you might be climbing Pisco & Chopicalqui with.

Pisco & Chopicalqui Questions

Below are some answers to commonly asked questions about climbing in the Cordillera Blanca