North Ridge

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 8.9583°S / 77.6333°W
Additional Information Route Type: Ice Climbing
Seasons Season: Winter
Additional Information Time Required: A few days
Additional Information Difficulty: D+
Additional Information Grade: IV
Sign the Climber's Log


The North Ridge of Artesonraju is the prominent well known ridge often depicted on photos of the mountain. It is generally agreed upon that the route is now a D+. (Yay global warming!) Most of the climbing is in the AI3 range, with a lot of vertical meters to cover. The route is often simulclimbed, as pitching it out would probably increase the required time by 5+ hours. If you were to actually pitch this route out, it would probably be along the line of 15+ pitches. There are also a couple sporty ice moves (AI4ish) higher up on the route, but nothing too crazy. The last bit to gain the summit ridge is a very brittle snow bridge with a lot of exposure, this seems to be where most parties stop - it is for this section that I give the route an 'R'.  Most locals seem to refer to this route as the "North Face". Take beta with a grain of salt, we got a lot of "it's impossible" feedback in Huaraz and at BC. We heard everything - chest deep snow for 200m, a huge crevasse at the summit, a ridiculously corniced ridge, and a 50m deep crack in the ridge. 

Getting There

There are a few spots for tents at Morrain Camp. Generally there aren't many folks up there, if any. However, if there is a commercial expedition (I know of only 1), they may sit on all the spots for quite a few days. We had to dig out a new spot for ourselves to make room. The hike from BC to MC is kind of a pain, stay on the prominent ridges, it's easy to waste energy following the cow trails below. I've heard that you can pay a couple hundred bucks for a porter to take your backpack up as well. (I have no idea where you would find a porter, but BC if full of trekking parties and you can probably ask around there. A few hundred dollars sounded expensive for the area to me, so if you actually want to do this I'd start bidding at a much lower price.)

Essential Gear

Double 60-70m ropes, 6-8 pickets if they are not already placed, ice screws, typical Cordillera Blanca technical gear.

External Links

2017 Summit Trip Report



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