Cordillera Blanca in November. Craziness or not?

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mirka

 
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Cordillera Blanca in November. Craziness or not?

by mirka » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:33 pm

Hello climbers, mountaineers and all the mountain-lovers :)

Earlier this year me and a friend purchased error-fare flight tickets to Peru. Cheap as they were, we could not choose the dates too well and we ended up flying mid-November and returning mid-December.

Our only plan for Peru so far is to be in the mountains. We have fresh experience from 4000+ m peaks in the Alps up to the difficulty AD+/D-, also we trekked to around 5500m in Nepal few years ago.

For a long time we have been attracted by Cordillera Blanca. Does anyone here have experience with climbing the mountains there in spring? After reading various threads of this forum and general information found online I almost came to the conclusion it will not be possible to summit anything there at this time of the year. Or will it?

We are not necessarily focused on peaks over 6000 meters. Also, we would prefer to go without the guide. Is this recommendable or even possible? You think someone would possibly go up there, other than us, so that there would be paths?

If the answers are no, no and no again, is it then worth going there at all? To do Alpamayo trek at least? Or the weather and conditions are bad even for trekking? Would the situation be somehow better for ascends and trekking in Cordillera Huayhuash?

I was thinking, as we have only one month, maybe in this time of the year it would be wiser to not go to the north of Lima at all, head directly south and spend the precious time in the mountains around Arequipa, or even better, cross to Bolivia for the Cordillera Real area. What do you think about that?

I would be very thankful for any opinions, tips, advice, experience... Really anything that might narrow down my further research would be much appreciated :)

Thank you so much.

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Scott
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Re: Cordillera Blanca in November. Craziness or not?

by Scott » Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:11 pm

Trekking in the Blanca might be OK, but I wouldn't try to do any real climbing there in November.

The Huayhuash will be dangerous in November, especially if you want to climb anything.

The Cordillera Real isn't recommended in November either, but some of the peaks have been climbed in the off season.

The mountains around Arequipa are reasonable in November. Head there instead. November is a good time to go there.

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mirka

 
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Re: Cordillera Blanca in November. Craziness or not?

by mirka » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:23 pm

Thank you, even though it is not the opinion I was hoping for.

Honestly, Arequipa area seems quite boring, as it is volcanic and the volcanic cones are somehow always the same. Might be reaching over 6000, but it is always a stereotypical straightforward ascent followed by painfully long descent. Correct me if I am wrong.

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Re: Cordillera Blanca in November. Craziness or not?

by Scott » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:54 pm

mirka wrote:Thank you, even though it is not the opinion I was hoping for.

Honestly, Arequipa area seems quite boring, as it is volcanic and the volcanic cones are somehow always the same. Might be reaching over 6000, but it is always a stereotypical straightforward ascent followed by painfully long descent. Correct me if I am wrong.


Some climbs are like that, but Hualca Hualca is an interesting climb. It is scenic, rugged, has lots of wildlife (and wild horses), several geysers, and other interesting sites.

Solimana is also very rugged and scenic.

The Colca Canyon is really neat as well.

Also, check out the mountains east of Andagua. These are almost as rugged as the Blanca, but drier and not as glaciated. Many of them are still probably waiting to see first ascents and almost no one goes there. I want to get back some day. We went in November and it did snow at times, but conditions were still reasonable.

Anything in the region north of the Colca are not volcanoes and there are several rugged mountains.

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Re: Cordillera Blanca in November. Craziness or not?

by echothevoid » Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:59 am

Hello fellow souls,

similar to Mirka I have booked flight tickets to Lima in November because the offer in my opinion was too good to waste such a chance. Now I see on the internet that even trekking (already gave up any climbing plans) high above sea level in late autumn is not recommended in Peru.
@Mirka, how was your trip, where did you go and what did you do in November? Will I gain anything in weather if for extra money I go to Bolivia instead. My aim is to spend the most of my vacation in a rugged terrain (let's say 3000m+, but the more, the better). I consider myself being a tough guy and I am not afraid of challenging hikes. Temperature down to -15°C at night should still be OK with me if weather is dry. Have anybody out here done a high altitude trekking like classic Cordillera Huayhuash circuit or the one from Vilcanota to Carabaya for example.
I would really appreciate your tips but please do not advice me visiting the coast because literally I have very little interest in such a thing. Thx


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