19,511 feet 5947 meters

Summited July 3, 2012

Peru Cordellera Blanca : Alpamayo (19,511'/5947m)

Alpamayo Peru's Alpamayo, one of the world's most beautiful peaks, is in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range of the Peruvian Andes.

I was attracted by this climb due to the beauty of the Cordillera Blanca, the technical aspect of the summit climb and to do a serious climb in Peru. The fluted face is reminiscent of the Peruvian peak, Siula Grande, made famous in the movie Touching the Void - not a great reference if you have seen the film! :)

I met up Phil Crampton's Altitude Junkies team in Lima, Peru then drove to Huaraz before driving to the trail head in the village of Cashapampa. Burros carried our loads while we trekked to the Llama Corral Camp where we camped that night. The next day we moved higher and establish our base camp at treeline -13,500'.

Leaving the pack animals behind, we carried our own loads to the Moraine Camp at 16,000', located at the edge of the glacier. Phil had hired two local porters to carry the group gear and cooks for Base Camp. After a rest day, we moved up to the Moraine Camp. Our summit attempt was from the Col Camp at 18,000'. We summited Alpamayo on July 3, 2012 then returned to the Col camp for the night. We wanted to climb nearby Quitaraju at 19,803'/6036m but crevasse danger prevented access.

The climbing of Alpamayo was technical. We used the French Direct route. The day required 1500' of 6-pitches of technical tool climbing on ice and neve from 50-65 degrees in angle to just below the summit ridge. It was a steep final pitch topping out on a narrow ridge where we continued to to the summit. The descent required establishing 8 rappel stations.

Alpamayo has a dangerous reputation. In 2003 eight climbers were killed from an avalanche directly down the fluted Ferrari Route. That drove climbers to use the French Direct.

A full trip report is available plus the updates from during the climb on my Blog.

As usual, my climbs are to raise awareness and research funds for Alzheimer's Disease. Please learn more at this link.

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Alpamayo Resources

I summited Alpamayo on July 3 2012 with Phil Crampton of Altitude Junkies