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Easy Peruvian peaks

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Easy Peruvian peaks

Postby Luciano136 » Thu May 28, 2009 12:25 am

Playing with the idea of going to Peru in the next year orso (probably the dry season in September orso).

First mountain range coming to mind is the Cordillera Blanca. What are some easy peaks there that can easily be done with little more than ice axe and crampons and in only a few days?

Or are there other ranges with (easy) high peaks that you'd recommend?

My main objective is spectacular scenery and getting to a high(er) peak.

Thanks for any hints and tips!!
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Postby Damien Gildea » Thu May 28, 2009 2:37 am

September is too late really, particularly with things melting the way they have been. There is also rumour of an El Nino forecast to hit, so take that in to consideration. Late May to mid-August is usually better.

I have not been to Peru, but from what I see if you want big, easy peaks with minimal crevasse/glacier travel and approach problems, go to Bolivia (I spent 6wks there in 1999). Sajama, Parinacota and Pomerape can all be soloed with NO travel on glaciers. Pequeno Alpamayo and Condoriri have minimal crevasse issues. Illimani is crevasse free down low but has one big one up high (currently). Parinacota is one of the easiest 6000m peaks in the world, but you actually get to crampon up easy snow and ice, not just scree like some other big Andean peaks.

Parts of Ecuador may be OK in September.

D
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Check out the Arequipa area mountains

Postby Vic Hanson » Thu May 28, 2009 3:51 am

I haven't done any climbing in Huaraz, but I live in Cotahuasi Canyon in Southern Peru (Department of Arequipa). September is a good time for climbing most of the mountains here, there won't be much snow but they are easy climbing, except for some penitentes. Solimana is no good then, need snow for that one. Check out the list of mountains on the Volcanoes of Arequipa page, http://www.summitpost.org/area/range/173918/volcanoes-of-arequipa.html. I just posted a new one today for Nevado Firura.

Vic
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Postby The Defiant One » Thu May 28, 2009 5:06 am

I'd suggest...

1. going a bit earlier
2. Pisco for fun+scenery or volcanoes of arequipa more for fun+easy+more predictable conditions

I've climbed in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, goofed off a bit in Argentina & Colombia too but no big climbs there. Hit me up if you have questions.
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Postby alpie » Thu May 28, 2009 5:28 am

Urus & Ishinca. Then maybe Chopicalqui (6000 m +).
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Postby Luciano136 » Thu May 28, 2009 5:24 pm

Thanks for the suggestions! I am by no means set on that time of the year (or even Peru in specific). I'll check out some of the other suggested areas as well. Maybe June might be a better month then.

My question for 'easy' peaks is because my wife would join and I know her comfort level. She's ok with snow up to about 40 degrees but nothing that is much steeper. Snow is also much preferred over scree.
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Postby eferesen » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:30 pm

I just summited Pisco last Sunday and let me tell you it was not easy as people make it seem. The moraine boulder field makes is it a little harder than just walk up. Chopicalqui seems a lot harder.... The views are hard to beat. You get to see Quitaraju, Alpamayo, Artresonraju (most beautiful), the pyramids, Chopicalqui, Huandoys, Huascuran.
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Postby Buz Groshong » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:41 pm

Eferesen wrote:

I just summited Pisco last Sunday and let me tell you it was not easy as people make it seem. The moraine boulder field makes is it a little harder than just walk up.


Easy is a relative term; no mountain is but so easy. I've been across the moraine a few times now and didn't find that it kept the climb from being a walk up. The step made it a bit more difficult than some, but it was no more than about 10 or 12 meters of 60 or 70 degree slope. The rest of it was definitely a walk up.
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Postby TYeary » Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:55 pm

I happy you got up Pisco. It's a peak with some outstanding views. I agree, easy is a relative term, I appreciate your coments about the moraine. The glacier has receded much in recent years and, while conditons change season to season, the talus slog is surely getting more tiresome. But, that's the alpine environment! Congrats.
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Postby eferesen » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:39 pm

Easy is a relative term; no mountain is but so easy. I've been across the moraine a few times now and didn't find that it kept the climb from being a walk up. The step made it a bit more difficult than some, but it was no more than about 10 or 12 meters of 60 or 70 degree slope. The rest of it was definitely a walk up.

The moraine field actually was no problem at all on the ascent. On the descent is where I found it tiresome. The last 100 meters on the ascent is where I felt it was not a walk in the park. My point is that just because most people say that it is walk up does not mean it a walk up for everyone. The mountain has to be respected.
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Postby Luciano136 » Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:00 am

Congrats on the Pisco summit!

Yeah, easy is a relative term on Summitpost :)
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Postby Scott » Sat Jun 20, 2009 5:33 am

Or are there other ranges with (easy) high peaks that you'd recommend?


What Vic said. September is a good time to go to the Arequipa area. The peaks there are different from the Cordillera Blanca though and are more desert peaks than heavily glaciated alpine peaks. Most peaks are easy. Most might not be as spectacular as the Blanca, but are interesting and beautiful in their own way. There are exceptions and mountains east of Andagua, for example are very rugged and might be as rugged as the Blanca. The Colca Canyon is very nice as well.

Here's the trip we went on in November (September is supposed to have great weather):

http://www.summitpost.org/trip-report/3 ... -peru.html

Anyway, as mentioned the Blanca is more a June/July destination, but supposedly May, August and September are OK. I haven't been to the Blanca because I can only get time off November through March or April and the Blanca isn't good then.
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Postby nattfodd » Sun Jun 21, 2009 11:23 pm

I just came back from the Cordillera Blanca too.

Pisco is indeed the easiest, it is just a walk up but the summit day is big and the moraine is a pain.
Yannapaccha is technically a bit more difficult (40-50 degrees snow) but straightforward and the approach is a lot shorter, only two hours from the road to Moraine camp.
Chopicalqui is in another league, you need three to four days and there are some technical/exposed passages. Nothing too bad, but you want to be comfortable progressing over steep terrain with two ice tools.

I summited the last two just ten days ago, if you want more details.
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Postby TYeary » Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:01 am

Nattfodd,
I love to see some pictures. How was the cravasse, just below the summit of Chopi?
Last year it was unconsolidated snow and kinda scary.
Thanks,
Tony
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Postby nattfodd » Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:12 am

It was very exposed too and quite scary: four meters of traverse then three meters of near vertical snow before a more gentle slope. You can see it on my website. We also met a group of six who were turned back by the crevasse (30m from the summit, it must have been a heart breaker) but most parties I know of made it to the summit.


More photos (and probably a trip report for this site) are coming.
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