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The Cordillera Blanca is the world’s “highest and most glaciated” tropical mountain range. It is a paradise for high altitude climbers as it offers a wide range of peaks and routes in all difficulty levels. Topped by 6768m high Huascaran there are 25 6000ers and more than 50 peaks above 5500m within this range, amongst them beautiful Alpamayo and “Paramount peak” Artesonraju.

Formed by the movement of the South American continental plate against the Pacific plate, C.B. is mainly one long mountain chain less then 100 km off the Pacific coast. It is intersected by many formerly glaciated U-valleys which bring nearly all base camps within a day’s reach from Huaraz.

Nevados Huandoy (left) and Pisco (right). Huascaran National Park. Cordillera Blanca. Peru.
Nevados Huandoy (left) and Pisco (right). Huascaran National Park. Cordillera Blanca. Peru.

Mountaineering

World famous for the many snow-capped mountains, the Cordillera Blanca and the nearby Cordillera Huayhuash offer ice year round for those willing try. One of the big advantages is easy access to the base camps with some previous acclimatization. The routes have different levels of difficulty from the easy to extremely difficult. All mountains are usually climbed by small teams in alpine style using one or two high camps.

Rock climbing

Climbing rocks is growing little by little and is wide open to exploration and new routes. There are several local climbers willing to point out established areas and plenty of areas to explore and develop. World class rock walls are available for first ascents. Among the frequented places are: The boulders of Huanchac, the walls of Monterrey, the rocks in the Rurec valley and the well-known Torre de Paron also known as the Sphinx.

Backpacking – hiking

With incredible trails and scenery, the camping and hiking in this area is endlessly. The countless routes go through beautiful valleys and top passes reaching passes 4,700masl, where the best of the flora and fauna can be seen first-hand. The impressive mountains, lakes, waterfalls and rivers that define this area coincide with the trails and campsites providing the best that this area has to offer.
Donkey drivers and donkeys are recommended to make an expedition easier when you’re not keen on carrying all your gear yourself.

Among the well known routes are: Santa Cruz – Llanganuco, Olleros – Chavin, Ishinca valley, Churup lake, 69 lake, Los Cedros valley, Quilcayhuanca valley, Cojup valley. The circuit around Cordillera Huayhuash is considered to be one of the most beautiful circuits in the world. Likewise they are several possibilities of day-walks around the city of Huaraz.

information sources
Summitpost
Andean Explorer

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