Nevado Ishinca is a popular 5000-m-peak situated in between the 6000ers Ranrapalca and Palcaraju. Together with Urus, it is a often climbed for acclimatisation, as the BC in Q. Ishinca is easily accessable in one day from Huaraz.
The first ascent (from Quebrada Cojup, nowadays unusual) was reported in 1965. The usual routes from Quebrada Ishinca offer only minor difficulties.
Getting there and General Information about Cordillera Blanca and Huascaran National Park
See extra page "Cordillera Blanca"
Approach and Camp
From Huaraz take a shuttle or taxi to Collon (1h). If you aren't too late it should be no problem to hire arrieros ($10/day) and mules ($5/day) for the 5h-trek to Quebrada Ishinca BC (13k). To improve your fitness it's as well possible to hike to the BC without mules.
Another possible trailhead is Pashpa, some 30 min. above Colllon, reachable by minibus or by truck. Especially when you return from Ishinca this trail is very recommended as it offers great views of Huascaran and the C.B.
Quebrada Ishinca offers a wide area to put up your BC at about 4350m. It can serve for climbing Urus, Tocllaraju and even Ranrapalca.
There is also a refugio with sleeping places for rent and a small regional cantine. As this attracts even more people many climbers fear that the wonderful setting of the valley will be spoilt by the time.
Ishinca is usually climbed in one day from this BC. It is however possible to put up another camp at about 5000m (see below).
Follow the trail leading up over moraines S of the BC: Follow the valley (Quebrada Yanaraju) aside a cascading stream. At 5000m you come to a small basin at the foot of a glacier coming down from Ishinca. There is a small lake (not to be confused with Laguna Ishinca, which is situated 100m above to the right). It is possible to set up a camp here. 2-3h from BC
From here you can see the summit (to the E) and trail diverges depending on the route you want to chose:
a) NW slopes (normal route, F): Follow the trail to the left to gain the toe of the glacier (visible from the bifurcation). Head up to the N-ridge, then turn right towards the summit pyramide. 2-3h
b) SW ridge (PD-): Follow the right branch of the trail up to the top of a moraine ridge (above laguna Ishinca). Follow this ridge, scramble up some scree slopes, gain the glacier and head up to the col between Ishnca and Ranrapalca (5300m). From there follow the SW ridge and finally climb the summit pyramide. 3-4h
On both routes the glacier is easy to pass (<30°, partially uncovered, some crevasses). The summit tower has a short,
steep section (50m, 40° resp. 50°, snow).
Equipment: One rope (50m), one ice axe, crampons.
Always be respectful of this fragile landscape. Carry-out any litter that you carry-in or that you find on the routes.
Treat all water thoroughly before you drink it!
- Andes Handbook
Complete page about peak of Andes including Ishinca with sketch of route NE (spanish/english).
- Ischinca Traverse - July 2004
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