This trip is physically demanding and requires you to be in good physical condition. We suggest you begin your training program at least two months prior to departure. While strength is important, endurance training should be your primary goal. Walking up hills and climbing are both excellent ways to improve the condition of your body.
Begin slowly, without the weight of a pack, eventually adding weight as you increase your training level. Take a long hike (4-6 hours) several times with a weighted pack (40-60 lbs.) up and down hills or on small mountains (weight your pack with water containers and empty the water before descending, to minimize knee stress). Also do some running, cycling, swimming, racquet sports, basketball, etc, for additional aerobic conditioning. If possible try to take at least two longer hikes of 6-10 hours at an elevation of at least 3,000 feet. Several days before your departure you should rest and drink plenty of water.
FOOD: Ecuadorian Alpine Institute provides gourmet mountain cuisine. All of the meals from the trail head and back will be provided, including pastas, rice, soups, dehydrated and fresh food. A good diet while climbing at high altitude consists of what your body needs and will process more readily during your climb. This is important because certain food will tire you out rather than supply you with positive physical energy and endurance. At E.A.I., we provide you with a lean, healthy and complete energy diet, because we are aware and concerned of the benefits it has on the body and mentality of a climber. Of course you bring along your favorite snack foods, energy bars, and after dinner treats. Trip members will help prepare meals and clean up in order to become comfortable with expedition cooking.
WEATHER: Like all big mountains, the peaks of the Andes generate and attract their own weather, making conditions impossible to predict. April through August typically have the best weather, but be prepared for a wide range of temperatures, from freezing nights and snowy, windy conditions, to bright sunshine intensified by high altitude. The wide fluctuation in temperatures makes it important to bring everything on the equipment list, which we send when you contact us.
Guides meet you on your arrival at the airport in Lima and take you to a hotel near the airport
We leave Lima for Huaraz at 5 A.M. After 3 hours, we stop to have breakfast on the way. After a 9-10 hour ride by private bus from Lima, we arrive in the town of Huaraz, the economic center of the Cordillera Blanca. We spend the next 3 nights in a small hotel. The accommodations are not deluxe but are comfortable. Near the hotel, there is a nice restaurant and the Central City and Andean Markets.
This day we visit the colorful market to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables for our climbs and relax during the afternoon before our travels in the surrounding mountains. We spend the night at the hotel.
We leave after breakfast to hike up to Churup Lake above Huaraz for acclimatization and get ourselves prepared for the altitude. In the evening we make final preparations of all our material, clothing, mountain gear etc. for our trek into the Ishinca Valley. We spend the night at the hotel.
After breakfast we drive to the village of Collon. In this village EAI. pays the fees for the National Park to go into the area of Ishinca. After loading mules or donkeys with our food and equipment we begin the trek up the Ishinca Valley. Our hike to the camp will take about 6-7 hours. With the exception of several high camps, this will be our camp for the duration of the expedition. We will stay in tents near a refuge that offers the chance to take showers.
We will have the opportunity to review some skills development today, before our climbs, also crevasse rescue, rope glacier travel, altitude physiology, route and weather advice. This day helps our acclimatization .There is an opportunity to rock climb as well.
We wake up early at 4 A.M. for the ascent of Urus. After breakfast we leave our camp at 5 A.M. Our route up the southeast ridge is rocky and on snow, presenting challenges to pass. Roundtrip will take between 10-12 hours.
This day we move to our high camp at Ishinca. After lunch, we leave base camp at 1 P.M. We hike up with all the mountain gear, arriing at Ishinca Camp at 3-4 pm. We settle into our nice house tents for rest and dinner.
After breakfast we move up to the glacier. We’ll learn and practice rope-handling, glacier travel, snow climbing and basic crevasse rescue, self-arrest and more safety techniques. This day we have an early dinner and head to bed early before our ascent of the mountain.
We wake up early in the morning at 2 A.M. to have breakfast and prepare all our mountain gear. Our ascent of Ishinca goes over an easy glacier terrain, perfect for improving our rope traveling techniques. Our way up is on one route and the descent is through another way near the foot of Ranrapalca mountain. Of course, if time and conditions permit, we may be able to traverse the peak. After the climb we return to high camp, where we spend the night or pack up and return to base camp.
We have this day to play soccer in the high camp with the local kids and prepare all our gear for next big climb.
After breakfast we leave our base camp to make our way to a higher camp to climb our main objective, Nevado Toclaraju (6,034m/19,791ft).. From our high camp at 17,200 feet (5244m) we have incredible views of the surrounding peaks, the valley and lakes. We’ll have dinner and get to bed early.
We leave early in the morning at 2 A.M. This will be a long day making the climb to the Toclaraju summit (6,034m/19,791 ft.) Easy to moderate glacier terrain leads to the final pyramidal summit, where we find several steep snow and ice pitches up to 60 degrees. The ascent of this peak is more technical and will challenge all of the skills we have developed. If we have good weather conditions, the view is incredible around Toclaraju’s summit. From the summit we descend to our high camp for one final night in Cordillera Blanca.
We’ll return to base camp at Ishinca Valley and hike out through the road that heads to Huaraz. In the evening we have a celebration dinner with local drinks (Pisco Sour) and salsa dancing.
After breakfast we leave Huaraz by private bus to return to Lima to fly home.
Arrival at home
DEPARTURE DATES FOR URUS, ISHINCA, TOCLARAJU
ALPAMAYO EXTENSION TRIP
If you prefer other departure days, we can organize the trip, too. Also, if you want to climb just Alpamayo, we do organize this expedition as well.
NOTE ON ITINERARY
Although we do our best to follow the schedule above, this itinerary is subject to changes due to weather, route conditions, and other factors beyond our control.
This trip is subject to the booking information in Ecuadorian Alpine Institute trip application.