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Chopicalqui

 
Chopicalqui

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Peru, South America

Lat/Lon: 9.0865°S / 77.57446°W

Object Title: Chopicalqui

Elevation: 20817 ft / 6345 m

 

Page By: jstanley, nattfodd

Created/Edited: May 17, 2004 / Oct 14, 2009

Object ID: 152630

Hits: 47630 

Page Score: 89.27%  - 37 Votes 

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Overview

Chopicalqui is sometimes dubbed the easiest 6000 peak in the Cordillera Blanca, with good reason as its south-west ridge route is only rated around AD. This makes it very popular and it can be crowded at times. However, more than one party has been turned around by snow up to the chest on the last portions of the climb, and the route gets out of condition after each heavy snowfall.

Due to its proximity to the two Huascaran peaks, Chopicalqui can seem less significant than actual height would warrant, especially when seen from Huaraz. It is sometimes called the Eastern Huascaran summit.

The climb offers spectacular views of neighboring summits Huandoy, Chacraraju, Pisco and Huascaran, and most of the range is visible from the summit.


Getting There

Chopicalqui is located in the center of the Cordillera Blanca. Most expeditions start in Huaraz (the "Chamonix of South America") and take some form of transportation to the town of Yuangay, on the foot of Huascaran. A dirt road will then take you to the Yanganuca lakes and finally to the trailhead for base camp, located on the bottom of the big pass, at the point where the river comes closest to the road.

Since this is on the way to the very popular Santa Cruz trek, transportation is cheap and easy to find. Collectivos make frequent trips and taxis can also be arranged.
It should be possible to find transportation back to the cities just by waiting on the side of the road and hailing passing vehicles, but it can be a bit of a gamble after 3pm. From Huaraz, you should count 2h to get to Yungay and 1h to the trailhead.

It is also possible to enter the valley from the east through the Portechuelo de Yanganuca. This is not really a practical option as the east side is very remote. It seems more likely that one would exit the valley through this pass to visit the less frequented regions to the east.

Red Tape

Chopicalqui is located inside the Huascaran national park. As of 2009, there was a 65 soles (~20$) entry fee, valid for 30 days. It is to be paid at the entrance of the park, shortly before the Yanganuca lakes, not in Huaraz.

There are also regulations saying that it is forbidden to climb in the park without a guide, but it is not always enforced. Being a member of an alpine club in your local country could also exempt you from this rule.

When To Climb

The climbing season runs from June to September, with July and August being considered the best times. After that, the rain season comes in and heavy snowfall is to be expected.

The Cordillera Blanca is one of the ranges with the best weather in the whole world, with a lot of consecutive high pressure days during the dry season, but fast changing conditions should of course not be underestimated.

Proper acclimatization is of course essential for a successful summit bid. A popular option is to climb neighboring and non-technical peak Pisco. Base camps are not shared but close enough to each other that it is possible to go to Chopicalqui BC directly on the way down from Pisco. Another option is to climb Yannapaccha, a slightly more difficult but much less crowded peak.

Camping

Camping is allowed anywhere in the park. Great care should be taken when drinking the water, as many animals are grazing, even at altitude. Iodine can also be difficult to find in Huaraz, so it could be worthwhile to bring some from home.

Regular camping gear can easily be rented or bought in Huaraz.

Mountain Conditions

There are unfortunately no websites with up to date weather or mountain information, the easiest way to obtain that kind of information would probably be to call the casa de guias in Huaraz, or one of the most reputable agencies (Skyline, Andean Kingdom, Aventures Andines...).

Additions and Corrections

[ Post an Addition or Correction ]
Viewing: 1-7 of 7    
ClimberMan420Chopicalqui

ClimberMan420

Hasn't voted

Chopicalqui is 6354m tall. It is probably the highest peak in the cordillera Blanca that offers a route that isn't very technical nor very exposed to objective hazards. Although avalanches could definetly be a hazard on the west ridge.



Access

Most people going to Chopicalqui will be coming from Huaraz. Everymorning from Huaraz a bus leaves from Los Andes transportes in the center at 6:30Am (15 soles)and goes directly up from Yungay past the LLanganulco lakes, Trekkers must buy a 30 day permit as the bus passes the gate of Huascaran National Park for 65 soles (20 dollars). If already in Yungay catch a rare collectivo minibus or hire a taxi for 15 soles a person. Any taxi driver or bus should know the turn to let you off on, its about 5 km past the Pisco trailhead at 4100-4200m.



note. I highly recomend climbing Pisco as a warm up as it is a very enjoyable climb and right across from Chopi. being well acclimatized is highly recomended for Chopi becauuse otherwise deep snow will be much harder to manage at 6000m



The base camp is located just a half hour walk from the trailhead with water that should be treated. Morraine camp is at about 5000m 3-5 hours and is a nice place to acclimatize although an effort is made to get water that usually flows off teh glacier 150m from camp. It is a possibility that there might not be water here. Leave early to make high camp at 5600m. I definetly recomend roping up. Sort of follow bottom of rock cliffs that turn up ridge expect 4 hhours but glacier hear gets very hot and soft at 10am. Glacier camp is a small flat area 50 m below teh ridge crest that seems relatively shetered.



The West Ridge.



The ridge starts off broad not to steep. The route will be changing but in generla try to stay near its crest as this is the most direct and seems to be teh most reliable line. WE Were first up for the 07 season and all crevasses were filled in and route finding was no problem. Half way up the ridge gets very sharp and steap to over 55 degrees. It is quite exposed and setting some snow stakes or climbing solo would be a good idea. From the summit shoulder you are just below the peak but here is the crux of teh climb. On teh west ridge the summit pyramid drops in a traversing 2-3 meter cliff with a crevasse running under it. This is a new feature on the mountain and is not easy to negotiate in any way. When we were there the crevasse was mostly filled in but the ice cliff was caked in snow and rotten ice. The best way would be to work at it and spend some time hacking through it although this is tiring at 6320m. Somw parties have rappeled down 25m to the south side and then climbed a direct line free of cliffs up on to the summit.



It was so bad when we were there that we didnt make any serious attempts and gave up regretably. The fact is that all way were seriously commiting and there was no way to set ice screws or good stakes.



Descend the same route. If you like the look of teh route on the way up then I would walk down solo. If you hurry you can easily make it back to Huaraz that night. a bus passes by the trailhead at 3:30 PM and other traffic later.
Posted Jun 14, 2007 10:15 am
CoraxCorrect please

Corax

Voted 6/10

Correct the altitude to 6345m. See also post above. You can improve the page a lot with that info.
Posted Oct 6, 2009 8:56 pm
nattfoddRe: Correct please

nattfodd

Hasn't voted

To my knowledge, the most often quoted altitude is 6354m, not 6345, and I have changed the page to reflect that. If you have any source for your figure, I would be very interested in it.



As for the info from the previous poster, the "problem" is that it mostly addresses the main route on the mountain, which already has its own page (which I do not own), and I want to avoid duplication of information.
Posted Oct 14, 2009 2:38 am
CoraxRe: Correct please

Corax

Voted 6/10

To my knowledge, the most often quoted altitude is 6354m, not 6345, and I have changed the page to reflect that. If you have any source for your figure, I would be very interested in it.



The reason why erroneous statements lives on as facts is because they're repeated.

Source: http://www.andes.org.uk/andes-information-files/6000m-peaks.asp

This is the most accurate list you can find. I have difficulties to see there are any major errors in that list at all. John Biggar, who's behind the list works together with the true experts in the field. Amongst those are persons who deliver raw data to for example Google Earth.
Posted Oct 14, 2009 5:52 am
nattfoddRe: Correct please

nattfodd

Hasn't voted

Thanks for the information, all I was looking for was a reliable source. I have edited the page again with your figure.
Posted Oct 14, 2009 8:13 am
CoraxRe: Correct please

Corax

Voted 6/10

Great. Thanks. I have raised the vote a little bit and will up it more when additions are made. In my opinion, the page is still a bit thin.

You may consider adding Huaraz, Peru as a child to the page. There's a lot of really good info to be found on that page.

http://www.summitpost.org/logistical-center/559932/huaraz-peru.html
Posted Oct 14, 2009 6:04 pm
perudavewater purification tablets

Hasn't voted

Although I haven't seen iodine based purification tablets about, blister packs of micropur tablets are available at various pharmacys in Huaraz.
Posted Jul 13, 2010 11:26 am

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