Cordillera Blanca, Perú
The exceptional Full Alpine Course allows time for a more comprehensive study of the skills and techniques necessary for independent climbing expeditions. The course offers a broad coverage of alpine climbing and mountaineering skills, be it simply traveling safely on a glacier or leading technical pitches on snow and ice. The course has been designed for all levels, but is especially suited for beginner or intermediate climbers.
No previous experience is necessary. You will learn the basics – from hazard evaluation, equipment use and climbing knots, through to making anchors, haul systems and undertaking crevasse rescue. From safely crossing snow fields through to vertical ice climbing, this course prepares you for all that the mountains can throw at you. The course climaxes with an ascent of the magnificent Yanapaqcha, via its grand West Face.
The course is 12 days from Lima to Lima, with all services included, or 6 days from Huaraz to Huaraz with expedition services only. For the 6 day version, you must already be well acclimatised. Many clients follow the course with an ascent of Pisco and/or Chopicalqui, as these peaks are all accessed via the same huge valley. Previous clients have also used the course as preparation for the Alpamayo Expedition and other bigger climbs in the Cordillera Blanca.
“The trekking and mountaineering guides were experienced, knowledgeable and I felt that quality and safety was always the top priority in anything that we did."
- Marie Cheng, London UK
After testing your mountaineering skills, treat yourself to some well-deserved comfort food in Huaraz.
Customized options are rarely available, however, please contact us if you have any special requests. As with most expeditions, you can join as an individual or build the course into your group's adventure.
Private airport pick-up, and a night in Lima.
Private transfer to the coach station and a comfortable first class ride to Huaraz, approximately an 8 hour journey.
Meet the guide leader to review your itinerary, answer questions and finalise the expedition details. Spend the rest of the day exploring the nearby pre Inca ruins of Wilkawain.
Acclimatisation hike to the turquoise waters of Laguna Churup (4,500m), a 6 hour round trip. Spend the night at a cozy mountain lodge.
Transport to the trailhead and take a day hike to Laguna 69 (4,950m), then return to the trailhead and camp in a scenic meadow (4,000m).
Begin the mountaineering course with a hike to the base camp of Yanapaqcha (4,750m). Preliminary skills may commence this day as time allows, including introduction to mountaineering and hazard management, equipment use and care, climbing knots and altitude physiology.
Master practical skills including walking with crampons, kicking steps/following tracks, using an ice axe to walk and self belay, self-arrest, team-arrest, rope team travel techniques, and snow/ice anchors.
Start learning belay systems, equalised anchors, and haul systems - all components of the crevasse rescue system. Then return to the glacier where you will put your new skills to the test. The afternoon is dedicated to practicing crevasse rescue, a common hazard on all glaciated climbs.
Head up to the ice to practice various techniques and scenarios of glacier travel. Take charge of your rope team and overcome a series of challenges using the skills learned in the previous 2 days. At an ice wall you will learn a top-rope anchor system and spend a few hours climbing. Basic climbing technique will be discussed as well as lead climbing as there is interest.
Head up to the glacier and begin the summit attempt in your rope team. Depending upon snow conditions, weather, and team health/fitness, the summit can be reached in 4-6 hours. The descent will take 3-4 hours and you should be back in camp by mid afternoon for a warming lunch and a deserved rest.
Pack up camp, and hike out to the road where transport will be waiting for the return to Huaraz. Meet again for a celebratory feast that evening.
Last minute gift shopping before departing for Lima at 10am, arriving at the airport or your hotel by 7pm.
This is the 12 day fully inclusion course from Lima to Lima, but it also includes an ascent of Chopicalqui. It includes everything in the itinerary above. Exact dates will be confirmed during booking process.
This is a 6 day course running from Huaraz to Huaraz. Exact dates will be confirmed during booking process.