Today Kessler, Shaylee, and I attempted Pichu Pichu with Inca Adventuras, with Nicholas, Eloy, and Hugo (it was just me and the kids, so I thought we'd better go with a guide service). Because the night was rough (blowing snow and high winds) and we still were not fully recovered from a stomach bug picked up in Arequipa, Shaylee (9 years old) only made below 16,000 feet (4800 meters) and Kessler (11 years old) 17,100 feet (~5200 meters). Kessler turned back with Nicholas that worked for the agency (Nicholas was really tired too since he scouted a route towards the summit the day before).
I wanted to push on, but I did not want to pass under the cliffs of the headwall, due to the rock fall danger from the fresh melting snow so I suggested to the Peruvian guide Eloy (I did not want to climb these big mountains with children alone, so we hired a local agency) that we climb the headwall directly. He was a little hesitant at first, but agreed and we climbed the steep headwall directly. He had never heard of anyone climbing this route.
It was steep and difficult and we eventually found ourselves on a subpeak on the knife edge ridge about 30 feet lower the true summit. On the subpeak was a Inca shrine (made of wood and rocks) that seemed to be in really good condition considering it was several hundred years old (most of the other ones were grave robbed years ago, even on high mountains). I assume that because it was so hard to get to that it had been in good condition after hundreds of years. Probably very few people have seen it since then since it is well off any known route and the route is very rugged.
Because the true summit was on a technical ridge that was iced up, it was unclimbable with the gear that we had. We returned down the mountain. I was not disappointed that we did not reach the true summit since we were on a more spectacular summit and it had an Inca shrine. It was a good climb, but I am exhausted.
A great little climb. From Arequipa we 4 wheeled for about 5 hrs to get to the drop off point where we left the driver and set off. Fairly strenuous due to the fierce flu I was fighting, but definitely worth the effort!!
Went there twice. Got sick and had bad weather. Not sure that I ever actually even saw the summit peak ??
Climbed as Intern with Cotahousi Adventures
We did this as a day hike for acclimatization for Smiley and Nathan who had just arrived in Peru. Other than headaches, they both did well. 8 1/2 hours hiking time, about 6 1/2 hours driving time from Arequipa.