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Cordillera Blanca Newbie

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Cordillera Blanca Newbie

Postby amcke004 » Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:36 pm

Hey there. Im planning a trip to the Cordillera Blanca from June to July this next summer and I was wondering which peaks are good. Ideally I want to get as many peaks on the trip so which one are in close proximity to others that are not too difficult of a climb. Also I want to break the 6000 meter line since my previous height is Pico de Orizaba. Any help is appreciated!!!
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Re: Cordillera Blanca Newbie

Postby Haliku » Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:00 pm

amcke004 wrote:Hey there. Im planning a trip to the Cordillera Blanca from June to July this next summer and I was wondering which peaks are good. Ideally I want to get as many peaks on the trip so which one are in close proximity to others that are not too difficult of a climb. Also I want to break the 6000 meter line since my previous height is Pico de Orizaba. Any help is appreciated!!!


Did you take some time to research the mountains of Peru on SP? Many of those details you are asking others to provide can be easliy picked up from the excellent mountain pages. Then once that basic research is done your specific climbing questions are easily answered by those of us who have been there before. Cheers!
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Postby amcke004 » Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:50 pm

I was thinking or Urus, Ishinca, Tocllarju, and Ranrapalca since it says that they can all be accessed from the same basecamp. Does anyone have any feedback on these mountains?
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Postby MichaelJ » Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:05 pm

They're easily to get to. Lots of people climb them. Personally, I wouldn't be interested in climbing the first couple of ones on the list, but that's just me.

ps -- I suspect the details of the responses you get will rise with the specificity of the question.
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Postby Buz Groshong » Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:28 pm

MichaelJ wrtote:

Personally, I wouldn't be interested in climbing the first couple of ones on the list, but that's just me.


Depends on your level of experience. Many do not have enough experience to climb Tocllaraju without first learning on Urus and Ishinca. After that, many still are not experienced enough to climb Ranrapalca.

The advice to do some research is very good though.

I see that you are 19 years old; you might also tell us a bit more about your level of experience. Do you intend to try these solo? Will you be using a guide?
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Postby amcke004 » Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:11 pm

yes i am 19. i do have experience with winter mountaineering though. I have made successful summits of the Mexican volcanoes and am looking for the next step. I have experience in self arrest and crampon use and experience on D class routes. I had planned on going with a partner but do not think that a guide will be allowed in my budget.
I would be willing to use a guide since I know it increases the success rate and ease as well as increases the safety of the trip. Does anyone know of any guides that allow the client to lay out the mountains they want rather than joining a commercial group?
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Postby Woodie Hopper » Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:18 pm

You might try Casa de Guias in Huaraz- check out their website. They have a good reputation among other guides in S.A. Urus and Ishinca would be logical acclimatization peaks if you are considering anything higher in that valley like you mentioned. I'm interested in them as well.

Woodie
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Postby MichaelJ » Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:55 pm

Now we're talking. There will be plenty of guides on the first couple of peaks you mentioned during the season, as well as a pretty good track, so finding your way up shouldn't be too difficult. No law against following someone else's guide or letting them break trail for you, either. Just don't expect them to short-rope you if things get sketchy. The Casa de Giuas is also a good place to post for or find partners, most of whom seem to be looking to do just the peaks you've named. Brad Johnson's book should tell you most of what you need to know. Have fun.
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Postby Tom Fralich » Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:15 am

Tocllaraju and especially Ranrapalca are a MASSIVE step up from Orizaba. There are no complex glaciers in Mexico and the routes are PD at best. The peaks in Ecuador like Cotopaxi and Chimborazo might make more sense. Or better yet, Rainier. I think you should gain some experience on more heavily glaciated terrain before you head to Peru. Otherwise, you're probably only prepared to take on "acclimatization peaks" like Urus and Ishinca. In my opinion, you'd be better served by going elsewhere, unless you have some credentials that aren't evident from your SP profile.
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Postby bledl » Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:04 pm

Tocclaraju and Ranrapalca are really big mountains with some technical sections, that have to be climbed. They can be quite easy (lot of people, good tracks, good weather, fixed rap-stations) or quite difficult (bad weather, fresh snow, ...) to climb, depending on the conditions. We climbed Tocclaraju last may as one of the first parties and i led through deep snow, breaking trail and crossing the schrund in unconsolidated snow. On the descent one of us fell in a crevasse twice and it started to snow heavily. That way, a moderate climb can get really hard. You will say, thats like that everywhere in the mountains, but these are 6000 metres high and you have to depend on your own abilities.
To quote Brad Johnson: The CB is not the right place to learn climbing.
If you are a strong and confident climber, than you will have a great time!
P.S.: Bring rock gear for Ranrapalca, as there is less snow/ice every year.
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Postby kylenw » Sat Nov 29, 2008 7:04 am

I was down there last summer. Ranrapalca was much drier than the Brad Johnson guidebook indicated. There was a considerable amount of exposed technical rock on the standard route. Unless you have experience leading alpine rock at high altitudes, I would avoid Ranrapalca until the next ice age (of course conditions may get better, but global warming makes that unlikely).

As for as other suggestions, you might consider the Southwest Ridge of Chopicalqui (AD), or the standard route on Yanapaccha (PD/AD). Tocllaraju would be fun and not too difficult.

I agree regarding Urus and Ishinca not really being worthwhile. They could be useful as acclimatization peaks, but lack any interesting climbing. Both are just walks to the summit.
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