Urus Este, Ishinca & Tocllaraju, Peru

Altitude Junkies offer a cost effective alpine climb of three of Peru's most suitable Cordillera Blanca introductory peaks in the amazing Ishinca Valley. Our expedition is limited to six climbers total including leaders with a 1:2 guide to climber ratio.

The Cordillera Blanca is ideal for those climbers looking to further their alpine climbing resume, climbers with short schedules or those who lack climbing partners for climbs. We will review all the techniques and skills needed to make a safe and successful fast and lightweight alpine climbs of two 5,000-meter peaks for acclimatization and an additional prestigious 6,000-meter peak.



Veteran Himalayan guides Phil Crampton and Pasang Ongcho Sherpa will lead the Cordillera Blanca climbs. Both these climbers are our Himalayan expedition leaders with over one-hundred Himalayan expeditions between them and have climbed alpine routes extensively in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru. Pasang Ongcho Sherpa is one of the few Sherpas with an UIAGM guide certification.


The Trek

Our expedition will meet in the capital city of Lima, Peru. From Lima we drive by luxury bus for roughly seven hours to Huaraz where we will stay in our favorite funky hotel, Casa de Zarela, for three nights. After our cautious acclimatization schedule in Huaraz which includes visiting the fine local restaurants we make the short one hour drive to the trail head in the village of Pashpa. Once we have organized our pack animal loads we will trek for three to four hours to the Ishinca Base Camp that is located at an elevation of 4,350 meters.


Climb Strategy

We establish our base in the Refugio at Ishinca base camp and this will be our base for the next several days. After taking a rest day at base camp for acclimatization reasons and to review any alpine climbing techniques that may need refreshing, we then climb an acclimatization peak the following day. We make an early morning start and then climb the 5,420 meter Urus Este and then return to base camp. This climb will aid our acclimatization for the following days ahead.

The emphasis of this expedition is to review and implement a fast and light approach to alpine climbing. We review all the newest gear available to enable us to climb faster and lighter and avoid using high camps as traditionally has been done on some of these peaks.

Hopefully after three successful summits we head back to Huaraz and once again enjoy the local restaurants for one last evening before our team members depart for Lima and then home. Those climbers with late flights can make the expedition duration one day less and go straight to the airport from Huaraz.


The Routes

We have elected to climb Urus Este first as an acclimatization peak. The South-East slopes to the East Ridge offer no real technical challenges but will help work out any problems with any new gear and stretch the legs after several days of travel and compulsory rest days. The route consists of snow slopes of 45-50 degrees and small sections of rock scrambling.

Ishinca will be climbed via the North-West slopes and then we will descend via the South-West Ridge for a full traverse of the mountain. The route consists of snow slopes of up to 45 degrees.

Tocllaraju is a snow and ice climb with slopes up to 55 degrees. We will make a midnight start returning to base camp for the evening as the team members will be well acclimatized after the ascent of Urus Este and Ishinca.



We provide medical oxygen, a portable altitude chamber and comprehensive medical chests at base camp.

Altitude Junkies does not allow any solo climbing above base camp on any of our expeditions.

The expedition cost includes:
· Single accommodation in Lima and shared in Huaraz as itinerary
· All transportation in Peru as itinerary
· Mules for personal gear to base camp and return
· Shared accommodation at Ishinca base camp Refugio
· Breakfast, lunch and dinner at base camp
· Park fees, highway and conservation fees
· Medical kits, portable altitude chamber and medical oxygen
The expedition cost does not include:
· Airfare to and from Peru
· Meals and drinks in Lima and Huaraz
· Alcoholic beverages
· Peru visa cost if applicable
· Evacuation costs, medical and rescue insurance
· Personal climbing clothing and equipment
· Staff gratuities

Contact us: info@altitudejunkies.com