The Cordillera Blanca (translated as The White Mountain Chain) mountains of Peru have been a focus of alpinists from around the world since the 1960’s. This tightly packed chain offers a huge variety of terrain, including 22,000 foot (6,700 meter) 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 that are ideal for building on basic high altitude mountaineering skills, all sitting above lush grassy valleys fed by clear alpine lakes.
On this expedition we will climb two of those intermediate peaks. Pisco (18,972 feet/5,783 meters) and Chopicalqui (20,848 feet/6,354 meters) are perfect next steps for climbers who have climbed glaciated peaks such as those in the USA, Mexico, Ecuador, or the Alps and want to continue building their skills and attempt a bigger peak. Our itinerary allows for plenty of time for acclimatization. This time is also ideal for skills seminars. Chopicalqui requires that each team-member feels comfortable camping in a harsh environment on an active glacier, carrying a large pack on crevassed terrain, and climbing fifty degree plus ice slopes on summit day. Our goal on Pisco is to ensure each climber has the time to build these skills, to acclimatize, and to summit one of the most beautiful peaks in Peru.
Both of these peaks require at least two camps above Base Camp before our attempt on the summit. This is very different from the day trips we often do in the USA or the huts we use in the Alps or Ecuador making Peru an ideal step toward bigger Himalayan peaks or the Seven Summits. You will become very familiar with expedition living by the end of this 19 day expedition. You will also have experienced the best of the Andes. The people of Peru are incredibly open and friendly, and we will spend time traveling through their farming communities on the way to the mountains. We will work with a local staff of friends who will be our cooks, camp guardians, and occasional porters, and will provide insight into the culture of the local Quechua people.
Our Pisco and Chopicalqui 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 and expert Peruvian logistics operator, Alfredo Ibarra. An incredible cook, waking up each morning to Alfredo’s smile, hot coffee, and incredible pancakes will be a highlight of your trip. And our small team size and low ratio of climbers to guides (3:1) ensures that you stay healthy and strong, and are able to enjoy each component of your experience.