East Side

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 27.0345°S / 68.2955°W
Additional Information Route Type: Walk-up + short scramble
Additional Information Time Required: A few days
Additional Information Difficulty: F/ Grade II
Sign the Climber's Log


The east side provides a good protection from the occasionally strong west winds. In this case its the better choice than the normal route. But Incahuasi is steeper at the East. So the ascent includes steep sections in scree or snow and an easy climbing section (grade II) in higher altitudes above 6000 meters.


Incahuasi from the base camp...starting point (4250m)

The approach is the same as for the North ridge. Walk or drive from the Las Grutas border post to the spot which is called "base camp" North-East of Incahuasi. This point is already very abandoned, so probably you won't find any hints of a base camp there. The only things you will see for sure are sand, grass and vicunas. There is no water at the "base camp"!!!

Route Description

Ascent to camp 1 of the East...approach to camp 1

From the starting point its a 4 hour walk up to the first camp site at 5000m. The camp site is a large plateau direct south of the volcancitos, the two dark young volcanic cones. Pass the volcancitos at the right (West) side. Don't expect water or snow at this place. Occasionaly there is a sandy river coming down from the South.

Camp 1 of the east side...camp 1
After camp 1 the trail leads in serveral switchbacks in 1-2 hours up to a sand slope. Traverse this slope without loosing altitude to a small arroyo. In this arroyo 2 additional hours bring you to camp 2 on the col directly East of Incahuasi (5700m). At camp 2 snow can be found directly at the col or 100m higher at the East face.

In the east face at the...above camp 2

From camp 2 several different routes can be chosen left from the ridge.

View from the ridge of the...view down to camp 2
It's possible to walk up in the firn more to the left or right of this and little steeper in the scree. At around 6000m one has to switch to the ridge on the right side. At 6100m the walk up changes into an easy but because of the altitude exhausting scramble (grade II). At 6400m one reaches the large summit plateau and the summit is visible for the first time. Now walk west on the plateau. Keep a little to the right from the direct line to the summit. After a rising snow field follow the gradient to the summit. The last section from camp 2 to the summit needs 5-8 hours.

The summit plateau from the...summit plateau

For the descent one can use the same route. But a faster alternative from the summit plateau to camp 2 is the next gully to the North of the ascent route. So it's only 30 minutes from the plateau to the camp. For an ascent the gully is to steep and the scree to lose. Keep attention to possible rock falls.

View from the summit to the...summit

GPS coordinates

Location Latitude S Longitude W Altitude
Start 26.97634° 68.24806° 4254m
Camp 1 27.01028° 68.26829° 5016m
Camp 2 27.03436° 68.27225° 5686m
Summit 27.03373° 68.29674° 6628m

Essential Gear

You need only the normal Puna equipment, especially walking sticks. If the conditions are save, this route can be done in simple hiking boots, but take care of the weather. Crampons can be useful but are not necessary if there is only few snow on Incahuasi .

Up to camp 2 it's not certain to find water or snow, so bring enough water for the first days and the way back.



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