Climb Ishinca and Tocllaraju in the Cordillera Blanca

Cordillera Blanca | Peru
5.00
2 REVIEWS
Trip Highlights

Top reasons to go mountaineering in the Ishinca Valley

  • Trip Highlight

    Tackle two breathtaking expedition-level summits in a single tour

  • Trip Highlight

    Elevate your mountaineering skills on the picturesque Nevado Ishinca

  • Trip Highlight

    Put your alpine prowess to the test by summiting the intimidating Tocllaraju peak

Once named “the most beautiful mountain in the world” by UNESCO, the 22,204 ft (6,768 m) Cordillera Blanca range is on every self-respecting mountaineer’s bucket list. And with good reason—the range’s endless wells of crystal-clear water, engaging glaciated and crevassed terrain, and majestic snow-capped peaks are a joy to traverse. And the best part? You can summit two massive peaks in one short expedition. The stunning Ishinca and Tocllaraju summits can be easily accessed from Huaraz, “South America’s outdoor capital”, which makes these two 20-plus-day objectives doable in just two weeks. The climb to the lower Nevado Ishinca (18,143 ft/5530 m) is a perfect opportunity to get acclimatized to the alpine conditions, as well as develop and solidify your glacier traversal skills. And when you triumph, you should feel confident enough to summit the more complex and challenging Tocllaraju peak (19,790 ft/6031 m). Cross off two world-class climbs off your bucket list, and soak in Peru’s nature, culture, and, most importantly, great food.

Season

June

Nearest city

Huaraz, Peru, is 2 hours away

Duration

15 days

Skill level

Intermediate

Itineraries

Book this adventure

Mountaineering Tour of Ishinca and Tocllaraju

15 days

Get ready for jagged, steep peaks, glaciated crevassed terrain and expedition climbing at 19,685 ft (6,000 meters). Journey to Ishinca Valley, one of Peru’s most famous mountaineering destinations, and conquer two stunning peaks in this women’s mountaineering tour of Ishinca and Tocllaraju! Spend your days in the Cordillera Blanca overcoming a terrific mix of trekking and glaciated terrain challenges, and push yourself on two expedition-style high camp ascents. And when you’re off the mountain, explore Peru’s cities and fall in love with the country’s colorful culture, great food, and welcoming people!

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 0: Arrival in Lima

Make your way to Lima, where you will meet your guides and teammates over a welcome dinner. Spend the night at the Lima Hotel, finishing up your preparations for the trip.

Tourists in a carriage in Lima

Day 1: Transfer to Huaraz

Time for your bus trip from Lima to Huaraz. The ride will take around 8-9 hours, after which you will be transferred to the Andino Club Hotel in Huaraz, where you’ll spend the night.
Altitude: 10,000 ft/ 3,048 m

A doney on a road in Peru

Day 2: Rest and Acclimatization

Take the chance to explore Huaraz! This high-altitude city in the scenic Callejon de Huaylas will give you your first glimpse of Cordillera Blanca’s snow-capped peaks. After a thorough gear check, spend another night at the Andino Club Hotel.
Altitude: 10,000 ft/ 3,048 m

Rooftops in Huaraz with the mountains in the background

Day 3: Acclimatize at Laguna 69

After a filling breakfast in town, travel to the park for a full-day hike to Laguna 69 and back. This trip provides the perfect opportunity to acclimatize to the high altitude. Afterward, return to Huaraz’s Andino Club Hotel for some sleep.
Altitude: 10,000 ft/ 3,048 m

A cow near an alpine lake in the Cordillera Blanca

Day 4: Ishinca Base Camp

After an early breakfast, make the drive to Pashpa at around 11,154 ft (3,400 m). Meet up with your courier donkeys and donkey handler. From there, hike to Huascaran National Park, where you’ll register and prepare your gear. Spend the night at the Ishinca Base Camp.
Altitude: 14,110 ft/ 4,300 m

A woman hiking in the Cordillera Blanca

Day 5: Ishinca High Camp

After a quick breakfast, pack up and ascend to high camp. This 3-4 hour hike is another great opportunity to get used to the altitudes in the Cordillera Blanca. Spend the night at the camp.
Altitude: 15,420 ft/ 4700 m

A campsite in the Cordillera Blanca

Day 6: Ishinca Summit

Rise early for a pre-dawn alpine start and push to the summit at 18,241ft (5,560 m). The ascent typically takes 4-7 hours. After the first hour, you will find yourself on glaciated terrain, where crampons, ice axes, and roped travel are required. The descent is much quicker, but you’ll continue all the way down to Ishinca Base Camp.
Altitude: 14,110 ft/ 4,300 m

Ishinca Summit in the Cordillera Blanca

Day 7: Rest day

Time for a much-needed rest day! Spend the day kicking back or exploring the area around the Ishinca Base Camp. Your journey to the Tocllaraju summit begins tomorrow, so save your energy.
Altitude: 14,110 ft/ 4,300 m

A lake beneath a cliff in Peru

Day 8: Moraine Camp

You should feel well-rested and ready for some more climbs! Today’s task is to make your way to the Moraine Camp, the starting point for your summit attempt on Tocllaraju summit. Spend the night at Moraine Camp.
Altitude: 14,110 ft/ 4,300 m

Huascaran Camp in the Cordillera Blanca

Day 9: Tocllaraju Summit

Your summit day on Tocllaraju (19,796 ft/6,034 m) begins even earlier than Ishinca—start climbing in the night and push for the summit in the early morning. The ascent should take you around 5-8 hours. Similar to the Ishinca climb, the descent is much quicker, but you’ll continue all the way down to Base Camp, where you’ll spend the night.
Altitude: 14,110 ft/ 4,300 m

Tocllaraju summit in Peru

Day 10: Hike out

After a filling breakfast, get ready for a hike out to Pashpa and back to Huaraz. Spend the night at the good old Andino Club Hotel.
Altitude: 10,000 ft/ 3,048 m

A hiker on a slope in the Cordillera Blanca

Day 11: Buffer day

Spend another day sightseeing and relaxing in Huaraz. When you’re done, join your team for a celebration dinner! Spend another night at the Andino Club Hotel.
Altitude: 10,000 ft/ 3,048 m

Huaraz and a view of a mountain

Day 12: Back to Lima

The trip is nearing its end. Get ready for a 9-hour bus ride back to Lima, where you’ll spend the night at the Lima Hotel.

A house in the mountains in Peru

Day 13: Lima

Another day of sightseeing and relaxation in Lima topped off with a farewell team dinner. Spend your last night in Peru at the Lima Hotel.

A statue and some flowers in Lima

Day 14: Departure

Time to head home! Say your farewells to your new friends—you never know, you may meet on future adventures.

A peak on the Cordillera Blanca at sunset
Reviews

Reviews (2)

Teresa W. about AWExpeditions on Facebook

I would follow Sunny anywhere! She is a strong, intelligent leader with a realistic understanding of the circumstances and limitations of the group in the moment and over the course of the expedition. Before the expedition, she set forth some expectations of ability with training milestones to meet to be set up for success. During the expedition, she will encourage and push for your own inner strength to shine through but will also suggest a descent if needed. That is why I’d follow her anywhere – I trust her level of awareness and knack for safety!!

Rammani R. about AWExpeditions on Facebook

Led by the most powerful and wonderful lady, Sunny. I highly recommend to anyone who is looking for an adventurous trip around the world, to directly contact Aurora Women’s Expeditions.

Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca, please refer to Peru’s official safe travel guidelines.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get in this adventure:

    • An experienced, English-speaking mountain guide and a local Peruvian guide
    • Transportation from Lima to Huaraz and back
    • Three nights of hotel accommodations in Lima
    • Five nights of hotel accommodations in Huaraz
    • Two team dinners in Lima, a team breakfast and dinner in Huaraz
    • Eight days of mountaineering with two summit attempts
    • All meals while in the mountains
    • Donkey porters to Ishinca Base Camp
    • Team gear including mountaineering tents, cooking gear, a team medical kit, and radio equipment

What’s not included:

    • Technical climbing equipment
    • Personal backpacking equipment
    • Transportation to Lima
    • Other meals in Lima and Huaraz, snacks for the mountains
    • Mandatory personal rescue insurance
    • Optional medical and travel insurance

How fit do I need to be?

This tour is quite challenging and you need to be in very good physical condition to attempt it but it is a fantastic objective for the emerging high altitude expedition climbers. You will spend 8 days on your feet, trekking and traversing complex glaciated terrain at very high altitudes. The tour also includes two physically draining 8+ hour expedition-style summit attempts with alpine starts. To ensure you have a fun and safe tour, you should make sure that your cardio, physical strength, and uphill endurance are up to par.

What if I’ve never mountaineered before?

For this tour, no prior mountaineering experience is necessary. However, previous hiking experience is required, and previous backpacking experience is highly recommended. Newcomers will get to develop and solidify their glacier travel skills and gear usage on the Nevado Ishinca prior to getting into position to summit Tocclaraju. Tocllaraju is a challenging climb that includes both complicated glaciated terrain and several sections of steeper angle snow climbing.

What equipment do I need to bring?

When it comes to technical climbing equipment, you’ll need:

    • Helmet
    • Two locking carabiners
    • Crampons
    • Ice ax
    • Climbing or mountaineering harness
    • Trekking poles

Here’s a list of the equipment we suggest you bring:

    • Mountaineering backpack (65-80L)
    • Sturdy waterproof duffle bag for all the equipment (e.g. XL or XXL Base Camp Duffel Bag from The North Face)
    • A small, lightweight duffel bag or carry-on suitcase
    • Buff and sun hat
    • Headlamp with extra batteries and/or charger
    • Beanie
    • Category 4 glacier glasses
    • Ski goggles
    • Lightweight liner gloves
    • Softshell gloves
    • Insulated mittens
    • Short underwear
    • Long base layer bottoms
    • Long sleeve sun shirt
    • Short sleeve base layer top
    • Midlayer top
    • Softshell pants
    • Waterproof hardshell pants
    • Softshell jacket
    • Waterproof hardshell jacket
    • Expedition-weight down jacket
    • Light hiking boots or trail shoes
    • Thick wool and trekking socks
    • Full-shank insulated leather or synthetic mountaineering boots
    • Mountaineering gaiters
    • Toiletries (sunscreen, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc.)
    • Sunscreen and lip balm
    • Small personal first aid kit
    • Personal documents, rescue, travel, and medical insurance info
    • Solar charger and/or power pack for mobile phone
    • Foam pad and inflatable sleeping pad
    • Sleeping bag rated to 20F or 0F
    • Compression stuff sack
    • Spoon, Mug, and Bowl
    • 3L water capacity: nalgene bottles plus (optional) hydration pack
    • Disposable waste kits x2-3
    • Pee funnel or pee bottle — optional
    • Trash compactor bag
    • Camera — optional

You should aim to bring as much of the required gear as possible with you to Peru. While there are rental options on location in Lima and Huaraz, they are quite limited. If you still want to rent equipment, talk to your guides. They will inform you about availability and pricing.
Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and pricing:

    • For this tour, the max guest-to-guide ratio is 3:1.
    • A minimum of 3 participants is required for the tour to run, with a maximum of 8 participants per tour.
    • Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.

Mountaineering tours of Ishinca & Tocllaraju can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

Min. age requirements:

    • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
    • Minors may be permitted to join the tour on a case-by-case basis.

If your group has mountaineers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Deposits and cancellation policy

Registration for an adventure with your guide requires a $500 USD deposit. The balance of program fees will generally be due 120 days prior to the starting date of the program. It is your responsibility to adhere to the fee payment schedule. Late payment will result in cancellation of program reservations and forfeiture of all fees paid.

The $500 deposit is non-refundable. All other program fee payments are refundable upon request unless the expedition has already incurred costs on behalf of the applicant.
In some cases, if you are required to forfeit your spot, you may find an acceptable replacement in which case your deposit and fees would transfer to your replacement without penalty.

Participants agree that beginning on the first date of the program itinerary, there will be no refunds of program fees for any reason whatsoever.

Though unlikely, an expedition may be canceled for any reason prior to departure. In that event, the deposit and expedition fees pay by the participants will be refunded. In circumstances where the expedition has already made payments to foreign agencies (climbing permits / logistics support) for a program, some portion of program fees may not be fully refundable.

In the event of cancellation of a program and upon refund to participants of all program fee payments, the expedition organizer shall be released from any further liability to participants, including but not limited to liability for additional costs participants may have incurred.
Expedition participants acknowledge that during the program, certain events may occur which may necessitate certain additional costs not contemplated at this time, including but not limited to the cost of evacuation during any part of the program, medical treatment, body recovery and/or repatriation, and other related matters. Participants agree that those additional costs are not the responsibility of the expedition organizer and that the participant is responsible for payment of those costs.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to the Cordillera Blanca in Peru, most people fly into Jorge Chávez International Airport 10 minutes away from Lima. From there, you can take a bus, taxi, or shuttle to Lima.

Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, which will usually be over dinner at the Lima Hotel. From there, you’ll head to your tour. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the mountaineering ability of the group.

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