I leave this week to climb Peru’s Alpamayo, one of the world’s most beautiful peaks in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range of the Peruvian Andes. This will be my first climbing trip to Peru.
I was attracted by this climb due to the beauty of the Cordillera Blanca, the technical aspect of the summit climb and to do a serious climb in Peru. The fluted face is reminiscent of the Peruvian peak, Siula Grande, made famous in the movie Touching the Void – not a great reference if you have seen the film!
I will meet up Phil Crampton’s Altitude Junkies team in Lima, Peru then drive to Huaraz before driving to the trail head in the village of Cashapampa. Pack animal will carry our loads while we trek to the Llama Corral where we will camp that night. The next day we will move higher and establish our base camp at treeline -13,500′.
Leaving the pack animals behind, We will begin to carry our own loads with a carry to the moraine camp at 16,000′, located at the edge of the glacier. After a rest day, we move up to the Moraine Camp. Our summit attempt will be from the Col Camp at 18,000′. If all goes well we will summit Alpamayo around July 4, 2012 then return to the Col camp for a rest day and then climb nearby Quitaraju at 19,803′/6036m.
The climbing of Alpamayo is technical and we will use either the Ferrari or the French Direct route. The day requires 1500′ of 6-pitches of dual technical tool climbing on ice and neve from 50-70 degrees in angle to just below the summit ridge. Usually a steep final pitch involves topping out on a narrow ridge where we will make our way to the summit.
Alpamayo has a dangerous reputation. In 2003 eight climbers were killed from an avalanche directly down the fluted Ferrari Route. That drove climbers to use the French Direct. We will see which route is on better shape once we arrive at the Col.
As usual, my climbs are to raise awareness and research funds for Alzheimer’s Disease. Please learn more at this link.
Memories are Everything