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Cordillera Blanca 2013

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Cordillera Blanca 2013

Postby mtvalley » Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:54 am

Anybody visiting the Cordillera Blanca this Summer? I'm trying to decide between Peru or going back to Ecuador.

How easy is it to find partners in Huaraz? Would hate to go down there and come up empty...or have to shell out $1000 a mountain to hire a guide. :roll:

Edit to add: Also considering the Arequipa volcanoes, Coropuna and Ampato...any experiences good or bad to share?
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Re: Cordillera Blanca 2013

Postby rgg » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:33 am

I spent four months in Peru in 2011, and am considering going back there. However, this summer I'm planning to go to the Alps, so South America has to wait. Next year perhaps...

The key to finding partners in Huaraz is having enough time. If you do, finding partners is not all that hard. You can put up messages at waterholes like Café Andino and California Cafe, as well as at Casa de Guías, and you can also just happen to meet people in town. It doesn't happen instantly, so if you only have a short stay, don't bank on it. What also worked for me was to post something in Plans and Partners.

At times when I didn't have a partner or was waiting for the next one to arrive, I mostly went out alone. That obviously limits the possibilities, because of the various dangers on the routes, and it depends on your experience and comfort level. Only on one occasion did I hire a guide (and did indeed shell out a bit). It's cheaper if you join a group instead of hiring a private guide - just ask around at the local agencies what they have lined up in the immediate future and pick something.

For the volcanoes in the south, Misti and Chachani can easily be done alone, but joining a group is pretty cheap anyway, so I did that. Coropuna and Ampato on the other hand (as well as Solimani, Hualca Hualca and Sabancaya) are climbed much less frequently. I'm not sure about it, but I doubt if they are good solo candidates, so if you just travel to the area without any previous arrangements, you may find that your only option is to set up a climb yourself and hire a local guide. I had a guided attempt at Ampato, together with another climber so we could share the costs.

I'm writing a series of trip reports about my experiences, and on a scale from good to bad I'd say they were off the charts, on the good side!

Click here for an overview of the series - and the next installment will be coming soon.

Image
Sunrise on Huantsán, taken from my camp site high on Jatunmontepuncu aka Huapi, one of my solo climbs.

Cheers, Rob
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Re: Cordillera Blanca 2013

Postby Cissa » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:38 pm

I´ll be there from mid-august to mid september, so that´s a month. I´m planning to try some technical mountains to which ´ll probably get a guide, but for the non technical ones I´ll probably just try to team up with others.
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Re: Cordillera Blanca 2013

Postby mtvalley » Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:21 pm

My main objective would be Huascaran, I'm thinking it's popular and probably easier to find partners than some others?

How many climbers are usually in Huaraz June-July? I heard people say Tlachichuca in Mexico was a "climbing town" but it was a ghost town when we were there over Christmas.
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Re: Cordillera Blanca 2013

Postby sharperblue » Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:39 pm

Huaraz is a major SA climbing town; you won't have any issues finding people who want to go up Huascaran S by one of the trade routes during that window
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Re: Cordillera Blanca 2013

Postby AndyJB444 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:57 pm

I'll be down there for some climbing from the last week in July through mid-August. Have Pisco, Chopi, Tocllraju, and Huascaran on the list depending on conditions...let me know if you wanna climb something together.

Andy
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Re: Cordillera Blanca 2013

Postby rgg » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:36 pm

Cissa wrote:I´ll be there from mid-august to mid september, so that´s a month. I´m planning to try some technical mountains to which ´ll probably get a guide, but for the non technical ones I´ll probably just try to team up with others.


In 2011, the climbing season was already winding down by mid August. Notably less climbers than before, the Huascarán refuge had closed, and many porters went away to work elsewhere. Assuming that that's normal, I would suggest going earlier, if at all possible. Otherwise, by the time you are sufficiently acclimatized to tackle the big peaks, your options will be limited, especially when it comes to meeting fellow climbers.
From what I understood about the climate, late in the season there would be a bigger chance of rain or snow, and there is a greater likelihood of strong winds high in the mountains. Nothing dramatic yet in September, and I would still expect the weather to be fine most days, so there will probably still be plenty of opportunities to go climbing. But with much less climbers around, you may find that you have to join a guided group or hire a private guide for everything that you don't want to climb solo. Or convince a friend to travel to Peru with you.

Cheers, Rob
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Re: Cordillera Blanca 2013

Postby Cissa » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:16 am

rgg wrote:
Cissa wrote:I´ll be there from mid-august to mid september, so that´s a month. I´m planning to try some technical mountains to which ´ll probably get a guide, but for the non technical ones I´ll probably just try to team up with others.


In 2011, the climbing season was already winding down by mid August. Notably less climbers than before, the Huascarán refuge had closed, and many porters went away to work elsewhere. Assuming that that's normal, I would suggest going earlier, if at all possible. Otherwise, by the time you are sufficiently acclimatized to tackle the big peaks, your options will be limited, especially when it comes to meeting fellow climbers.
From what I understood about the climate, late in the season there would be a bigger chance of rain or snow, and there is a greater likelihood of strong winds high in the mountains. Nothing dramatic yet in September, and I would still expect the weather to be fine most days, so there will probably still be plenty of opportunities to go climbing. But with much less climbers around, you may find that you have to join a guided group or hire a private guide for everything that you don't want to climb solo. Or convince a friend to travel to Peru with you.

Cheers, Rob


Thanks for the reply Rob. Unfortunately I depend on my boss for my time off and that´s the soonest I can go. I do understand prime time for climbing is earlier, but that´s better than staying at home. Since I have quite a considerable amount of time, I´m planning on having a flexible schedule and several contingency days for the peaks.

And I don´t know if this is news for you all, but I´m quoting private guiding (UIAGM guides), and the 4 weeks are actually cheaper than 2 weeks with any of the most well known agencies (without any luxury obviously).
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Re: Cordillera Blanca 2013

Postby kevin trieu » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:47 pm

You can do Coropuna solo. But this volcano is truly in the middle of nowhere. After climbing it, my friends and I waited for about six hours before seeing any car passing by the lonely dirt road to hitchhike to the next town. It turned out to be a truck carrying two bulls. We had to sit on top of the truck in a wooden rack. Needless to say it was a bumpy ride.
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Re: Cordillera Blanca 2013

Postby Humberto » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:15 am

Hi there, I currently live in Arequipa and just climbed Coropuna and Ampato last year. They aren't too technical, getting there and back is really the hardest part as Kevin mentioned earlier. Chachani and El Misti are much more accesible as they are just outside of the city. If you want some more info let me know, heck, I'd even be willing to tag along if you want!
I also have planned to do Pisco, Chopicalqui, Alpamayo and Huascaran. I'll be meeting my climbing partner beginings of July and hope to cram everything into 3 weeks.
Good luck with your planning!!
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Re: Cordillera Blanca 2013

Postby shottolo » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:59 am

i went 3 times to Peru (Huaraz range) and 1 time to Ecuador
i think Peru is much better than Ecuador for climbing/trekking

find partners: check at the "cafè andino" and the Guide house in Huaraz ;)

you can see some pictures of my trips here (sorry for the italian language):
http://shottolo.blogspot.com/search/lab ... %B9%202008
http://forum.multiplayer.it/showthread.php?561574
http://forum.multiplayer.it/showthread. ... 12-le-foto (check the two pages)

i really suggest the Cordillera Huayhuash trekking ;)
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