Ranrapalca is one of the most breathtaking mountains of Peru´s Cordillera Blanca. It is easily seen from Huaraz, and overwhelming to everybody climbing nearby Ishinca (5.530m), its North Face is a superb climb.
The name Author: rbartolome Date: Aug 18, The name quechua mean: ranra=stone palca=divided in two It's logic but the aspect is 2 summits from some areas.
Fly to Lima. Coming from Europe it is suggested that you choose an airline using the "piece system", wich allows you to take two pieces of luggage, 32kg each, with you.
These are some of the hostels in Lima:
-Albergue José Luis. Av. Francisco Paula Ugarriza 727. Miraflores. Ph. 444 1015. 12 $ Breakfast Included.
-Youth Hostel. Av.Casimiro Ulloa 328, Miraflores. Ph. 446 5488. 10$ Share room and 29.50$ Single Room.
-Albergue España. Asanca 205, Downtown Lima. Ph. 428 5546. 10Sl. Share Roomy and 30Sl. Single Room. -Mochileros. Pedro de Osma 135, Barranco. Ph. 477 4506.10$ Share room and 25 Single room. Both breakfast included.
-Albergue Los lirios. Los lirios 165, San Isidro. Ph. 442 0162. 6$
If no luck in getting a bed in Lima in any of the places above listed it is always possible to get a room from 10$-30$ somewhere else. Other possiblity is taking the bus directly to Huaraz, they leave from 8 to 10 in the morning or from 8 to 10 at night. From Lima the bus to Huaraz will take aprox. 8h. There are several bus companies and most of them will charge for extraweight.
-Mobil Tours, Paseo de la república 646. Lima. Ph. Lima: 332 0024, 332 0004. Ph. Huaraz: 722 555.
-Cruz del Sur, Jr.Quilca 531 Cercado de Lima. Ph. Lima: 425 0887. Ph. Huaraz: 724390.
-Ormeño S.A., Av.Carlos Zavala 177. Lima 1. Ph. Lima: 427 5679, Fax: 426 3810. Ph. Huaraz: 721 102.
-Expreso Cial, Jr.Cotabambas 299. Lima. Ph. Lima :428 5218, 426 7264. Ph. Huaraz: 729 253.
-Rodriguez S.A, Av.Roosevelt 354. Lima. Ph. 428 0506, 326 5724. Ph. Huaraz: 721 353.
Once in Huaraz we can find dozens of hostels and getting a bed from 3$-5$ will not be that hard. Here are the most popular ones:
-Casa Yuri, Leonisa y Lescano 666, Huaraz (just by "Plaza Armas") Ph. 723 158, E-mail: email@example.com y firstname.lastname@example.org 3$
-Casa Zarela, Jr. Julio Arguedas 1263, La Soledad, Huaraz Ph. 721 694, E-mail: email@example.com y firstname.lastname@example.org 5$
-El Tambo, Av. Confraternidad Internacional Oeste 122, Huaraz (nerby the soccer field of Rosas Pampa), Good Cooking. Ph. 682 449, E-mail: email@example.com 3$
In High Season it is recomended to book in advance.
GettingThere, BASE CAMP
The cheapest way to get to base camp is getting public transportation to the little village of PALTAY, and from there hike or hitch up to the village of COLLON; the other way is to arrange a taxi ride to Collon from Huaraz. Once in Collon you will be asked to sign the guest book and asked a little money in order to keep the trail to Base Camp in good shape, and also you will be offered the services of "Burros" ($5.00/day) and "Arrieros" ($10.00/day) (donkeys and muleteer) and it is very likely that you will accept it.
Go through the village and follow the Arriero to Base Camp (4.330m) in Q. Ishinca. 2-5h depending on your acclimatization.
GettingThere, ADVANCE BASE CAMP & CAMP 1
If your acclimatization is good I suggest that you camp first day higher up from Q. Ishinca, by the new wooden cabin (4.800) a bit higher than Ishinca Lake, on the way to the Ishinca SW Ridge Route. 1-2h from Base Camp. From there Ranrapalca´s North Face is huge and breathtaking; to the left of it is Ishinca and right in between them, the col to where to go if the NE ridge or the NE slopes are our routes, it will make a good spot to set our Camp 1in that case.
If the North Face is our aim, we will set Camp 1 by the glacier right by the North Face but not too close to prevent rock falling.
First time I attempted Ranrapalca was in the summer of 99 via the NE Spur; half way on the route my two basque friends and I had to traverse to the left to catch up with the NE slopes because the snow-ice conditions at 10:00 am where as bad as waist deep corky snow while climbing the sharp´s edge ridge with 600m fall to one side and 150m fall to the other. Not to improve, because the rockfall from the rocky band way above the NE slopes was continuously testing our nerves to the point to make us bail out.
The next summer I met up with mexican Emiliano Fernández and climbed the North Face and descended via the NE slopes.
NE Slopes, D-
From the Ranrapalca-Ishinca col, that can also be gained from Q. Cojup. Climb the easy slopes to the left of the ridge then two sections through seracs, 60º. And crossing the bergschrund and climbing the ice-wall of a small serac is the crux, specially if we have to find the point to go through it in the middle of the night with the only help of the light of our headlamps. On an easier terrain you could join the NE ridge and climb it to the summit plateu or climbing the slopes straight forward to the summit plateu. Traverse 500m South to the sharped summit.
NE Ridge, D
From the Ranrapalca-Ishinca col climb steep mixed NE ridge to snow summit platform. Traverse 500m South to the sharped summit.
N Face, Scandinavian Direct 1996, MD/MD+ (V,60º[90º],VI+[V],900m)
The route starts to the right of the central couloir of the N.Face. We would have to cross over the rock band on our right, and ascend the snow cone for about 150m. Traverse right under the serac over rock, mixed, ice an snow to head again up in order to climb between the 3rd. and the 4rth. group of rocks in the middle of the face, before arriving to that point we will have to go across the bergschround. From the rock group head up a little left just to leave another rock group right by our left. Keeping on that line we would be getting closer to the N spur to meet with it right at the very top of the face. A short rock section and a gentle snow slope will leave us in the summit plateu. Looking south opposite to us the knife edged summit crowning the summit plateu.
Descent via NE slopes, I suggest to abseil the first part. Some years it is hard to find the way through the bergschround of NE slopes, make sure to be there by daylight.
Recomended gear: Two ropes, some: friends (big/med sizes), nuts, ice-screws,snow-stakes,pegs and two iceaxes.
Check the topo!
Best to climb the mountain in June-July, some years it can be climbed as late as in August.
There are no proper fees to climb the mountain, although you will be asked for a little money the day you sign up in Collon in order to keep the trail to BC in good shape.
- Not far from Huaraz there are some sport climbing crags and boulders, look for: Recuay, Huanchac, Masuan, Monterrey y Laguna de Llanganuco.
- In Huaraz there are also some climbing stores that are not cheap.
- The notice board of Casa de Guias in Huaraz has a similar function to the one in Yosemite´s Camp 4. Also 'Casa de Guias' is the place to get information related to mountain and weather conditions.
- I suggest to use public transportation or 'Colectivos'.
- There is a very much trusted laundry service named 'B & B' located at 674, Av. José de la Mar.
- There are Internet facilities all over Huaraz.
- Best if you treat all water before you drink it.
Books & Climbing Magazines
- “Escaladas en los Andes (Guía de la Cordillera Blanca)” by Juan José Tomé Ñacle, Ed. Desnivel 1999.
- “La Cordillera Blanca de los Andes” by Antonio Gómez Bohórquez and Juan José Tomé Ñacle, Ed. Desnivel April 1998.
- Juanjo Tome´s article about La Cordillera Blanca published in the climbing magazine: Desnivel #140, may 1998.
- Rock&Ice #71 & #88, there is information relating La Cordillera Blanca.
- “Climbs of the Cordillera Blanca of Peru” by David M. Sharman, Ed. Whizzo Climbs 1995.
- “The High Andes (A Guide for Climbers)” by John Biggar, Ed. Andes 1996.
- “Yuraq Janka” de John F. Ricker, Ed. ¿? 1977.
All info gathered by:
Mountain Guide & Rock + Ice Climbing Instructor
This is his website: www.todovertical.com