Urus is an acclimatization mountain to prepare for the higher peaks in the Cordillera Blanca. It's normally considered a trekking peak more than a climbing one, but weather conditions can make this 'easy' summit far from a sure bet. Crevasses are not a concern as the mountain only has a small snow cap. The normal route goes bordering the small glacier for a slope of snow not complicated. The interest in this peak is for its location with great views and the height over the 5000 meters (5420 meters is a very good reward). The Quebrada Ishinca is one of the closer to Huaraz and from its base camp you can climb two 5000 meters peak (Ishinca
and Urus) and two 6000 meters peaks (Tocllaraju
) so you keep travel a minimum. It's the perfect acclimatization trip. If your time in Peru is short or you have little high altitude experience the climbs in this valley should be considered. Generally after the first trekking the most popular peaks of Cordillera Blanca to overcome the 5000 meters are: Urus Este, Ishinca and Pisco Oeste.
I adopted this page in august 2004, thanks to the former mainteneers "theboss", "thomas schneidl" and "haliku" for their contribution
The group of Urus
Really the Urus is a little massif with three different peaks and summits:
-Urus Este (5420m)
-Urus Central (5495m)
-Urus Oeste (5450m)
The mountaineers generally climb only the Urus Este, most direct and short from Quebrada Ishinca and many people don't know really the peak that they've climbed (the signal near the refuge of Ishinca say only "Urus, 5495m").
The route to the other peaks is possible from the same route to Urus Este, leaving the route before the zone of glacier on that we will border on its low part (left side of the route) and reaching the col between the peaks.
From Lima you must take a bus to Huaraz (approx. 8 hours). In Huaraz take the bus to the village of Paltay (before Taricá) and from there: find a ride up the dirth road to Collon where the trail begins (it's possible to continue a few of kilimeters to Pashpa). You can also arrange with a small truck owner in Huaraz to bring you straigth to Collon. This is probably the safest bet. Finding someone to drive you there is quite easy from the Guide house (Casa de Guías) or directly from the street. The prices vary accordingly to your ability to negotiate. Expect to pay anything between 20 and 60 US dollars depending on the number of persons you share the truck with. In Collon, you will find arrieros (muleteers) with burros (donkeys) or horses to help you for the long but beatiful walk to base camp (5-6 h, 15 km).
Another good posibility is the contact with a company of guides to contract the trek and climb with transport, food, tents to camp,... including mountain guide, cook, muletteers, donkeys,...The dose of adventure is minor but the comforts are much better and for very reasonable prices for western citizens. Some of the companies of Huaraz (orientative):
-Peruvian Andes Adventures
-Sierra Nevada Tours
-Cordillera Blanca Adventures
...and more. In the streets of Huaraz (specially in Av.Luzuriaga) you can find a lot of companies but not all are goods. It's better search the months previous in the guides, books or internet the best companies (but the best information is for the mountaineers, if you know somebody that they've climbed). If you contact previously, and pay a signal, generally the price is lower. It's important the titulation UIAGM of the guides.
In the Casa de Guías you can find a good information and to contract a guide as well (generally 60$/day in 2004).
*There is a small office in Collon that will collect access fee to the park. Not office in Pashpa, you can pay in the office of access of Q.Ishinca (or the previous day in Huaraz).
Fee: 20$ to trekkers and climbers (tourist: 2$). Time unlimited to climb.
*Rules of National Park of Huascaran, it is prohibited:
-to extract plants or animals of the park.
-to hunt or to take weapons.
-to do fire with wood.
-to fishing from May to September.
-to destroy burrows or refuges of animals.
-to harass or to attack to the wild animals.
-to encamp out of the designated places.
-to take toxic substances.
Please, you must respect the rules (though nobody control his fulfillment)
When To Climb
Climbing Season: (May) - June - July - August - (September)
June into September is the dry season in Peru.
Camping is possible and free at Ishinca Basecamp. There is also a brand new hut with bunk beds, hot meals, toilets and a dinning room with a fire place. Of course this is not free but the prices are very reasonnable considering the amount of work needed to get all the goods there.
-"Climbs of the Cordillera Blanca of Peru" (english) by David M. Sharman 1995 ISBN: 0952358204
-"Escaladas en los Andes: guía de la Cordillera Blanca"
(spanish) by J.J. Tomé. Ed.Desnivel 1999 ISBN: 8489969434
-New!!!: The map of Alpenverienskarte 0/3b
edited in 2005, where Urus appear.
-Map IGN Perú of 1997 (2ªed, 2001): IGN (Instituto Geográfico Nacional) of Perú, Huari, serie J631, Sheet 1452 (19-i). 1:100.000. This map is good but it don't has the names of the main mountains. The lines of level are O.K. The Urus Este is called Nev. Yanaraju with 5423m. The Urus Central don't appears with name and height and the Urus Oeste is signaled with the erroneus 5422m (real 5450m). This map has coordinates for GPS.