Best months: June to september
Time required: 6 or 7 days Climbing
Grade: Difficult

Huascaran-Sur (6768m) is Peru’s highest peak and one of the most imposing summits in the world. It offers a challenging ascent requiring intermediate level alpine skills, and an unusual opportunity for climbers who want to make an ascent to a very high altitude. Before attempting Huascaran people should have trekked 6 days minimum and have climbed a 5000 peak for a good acclimatization and fitness.

Together with Chopicalqui, Huascaran Sur and Norte form the Huascaran massif. Huascaran Sur is the highest mountain in the Cordillera Blanca as well as in the whole of Peru and is consequently quite a popular clime.
The south summit is 113 meters higher than its (much less frequented) north-twin. The first ascent to H. South took place in 1932 by a German-Austrian expedition, whereas H. Norte is said to have been climbed as early as 1908 by Annie Peck, an American schoolmistress.

Day 1: Drive to Musho and climb to Huascaran Base Camp (4,200).
It will take about an hour to drive to Musho from where we will take the trail to base camp. The main trail is followed easily to a eucalyptus plantation before continuing up the left bank of the valley. Moraines and mountain streams will be crossed on the way to our beautiful terraced camp. Time required: 4 ½ hours.
Day 2: Move to Camp 1 (5,550m).
A short rock scramble behind base camp leads onto an expanse of open rock slabs. These slabs provide a fascinating walk, leading across the front of the mountain towards the edge of the glacier, where we will begin to climb  in earnest. The glacier itself is not steep, or too difficult, but its crevasses and snow bridges provide plenty of entertainment as a good route is traced amongst them. The route then arrives at a camp situated safely below the seracs of the Garganta Icefall. Because this flank of the mountain faces West, we should be treated to even more spectacular sunsets and have the advantage of keeping the sun, and its warmth, until late in the day. The colors, as the sun fades, will provide some marvelous opportunities to photograph the Garganta and both the North and South Peaks of Huascaran. Time required: 6 to 7 hours.
Day 3: Climb from Camp 1 to Camp 2 (5,950m).
Today we will climb the Garganta Icefall to the Col between Huascaran’s North and South summits. This will be the crux of the climb. The snow and ice on this part of the climb varies greatly from year to year but the guides will already know what to expect. You may use your technical ice hammer on some steeper sections, in addition to your alpine axe. Whether the snow is at 45°, or there are short sections of ice at 85°, the ascent of the Garganta represents a fabulous day’s climbing in awe inspiring surroundings. Having been led through the icefall by the guides, we will eventually arrive on the Garganta Col itself. From here, we will have a clear view of the remaining route to the summit. Time required: 7 hours.
Day 4: Summit day on Huascaran (6,768m).
The advantages of the trek and ascent of Pisco and a gradual acclimatization will be appreciated today. With the benefit of the climb of the Garganta behind us, the 35° to 40° snow slopes on summit day will be taken in our stride. Leaving our camp on the Col very early, we will cross towards the slopes below the South Summit. We will then climb a short easy angled snow couloir before traversing right, across the face, towards a small group of seracs. From here, we will join the final slope and climb south-east straight up to the summit. Time required: 8 hours to the summit, 4 hours return to camp 2.
Day 5: A spare day to allow for bad weather.
Day 6: Descend from camp 2 to base camp.
Day 7: Return to Huaraz.

From base camp, we will descend to Musho to be met by the transport. Our vehicles will be a welcome sight, especially as they will whisk us back to Huaraz and the comforts of our hotel. Tonight will be a night to celebrate and to thank our guides and porters for their help in making the trip a success.

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