Pisco and Chopicalqui
The dynamic-duo itinerary for those seeking to push their altitude limits on low-technical terrain. Pisco, while considered a “beginner” peak in terms of its technicality is widely considered to have the best 360 degree view of any summit in the Cordillera Blanca, and its 5752 meter summit makes it the perfect predecessor to this program’s second 6000+ meter objective.
Chopicalqui, with a stunning glacier high camp tucked below Peru’s highest peak and one of the most photogenic summit ridges you’ll climb in your life will easily steal the show and send you home feeling proud & accomplished.
Start: Lima, Peru
Finish: Lima, Peru
Destination: Cordillera Blanca
Physical Rating: Strenuous 4.5/5
Pisco: Easy; Non-technical
Chopicalqui: Strenuous; Partly Technical
Total Nights in Mts: 8 nights
Lima to Lima: 14 days
Why You'll Love This Adventure?
A stellar combo trip for those seeking low technicality on world class mountaineering terrain.
Pisco serves as a great introductory or refresher climb for those with or without previous alpine experience. At 5752 meters above sea level, it is also a great acclimatization peak. Non-technical by nature, the normal route on Pisco Oeste climbs the southwest ridge, offering glorious sunrise views of the Huandoys and a 360 degree summit vista that is considered by many to be the best in the range.
Chopicalqui sits across the Llanganuco valley from Pisco and towers above the rest of the peaks in the area, save its colossal neighbor Huascaran. At 6354 meters high, Chopicalqui’s southwest ridge offers a moderate climb with just enough exposure to keep climber’s adrenaline levels up, without crossing the line of “technical” and thereby scaring novice mountaineers away. Chopi’s high camp situated at 5400 meters in the col between Huascaran and itself is an unforgettable place to spend the night as well! With one of the most photogenic summit cones in the range, it’s no wonder that this route is a favorite of many climbers in the area.
Day 1: Arrive Lima
Private pick-up at the Lima Airport. Transfer to your hotel in Lima for a nice meal & a good nights sleep.
Day 2: Travel to Huaraz
Private transfer in the morning to the bus station. Take a comfortable first class ride to Huaraz (approximately 8 hour journey). Move into your hotel and relax.
Day 3: Orientation and Acclimatization
Orientation meeting in your hotel in the morning to review your itinerary, answer questions, and finalize logistical details of the trip. Head out on a 4-hour acclimatization hike to the Puka Ventana (“red window”) outside of town, where you’ll get great views of the entire Cordillera Blanca range from North the South. Spend the night in your Huaraz hotel.
Day 4: Acclimatization
Day hike to the turquoise waters of Laguna Churup (4500 meters), approximately 5 hours of hiking round trip. Return to Huaraz, night in hotel.
Day 5: San Mateo Climb or Skills
Acclimatization peak climb or snow skills, San Mateo (5150m). Depart for Punta Olimipica in the early hours of the morning, hike 2 hours to the glacier and either climb the peak or review skills on the lower part of the glacier. Return to Huaraz, night in hotel.
Day 6: The Expedition Begins!
Pack your bags! We head out past the beautiful Llanganuco lakes and on to the trailhead where we load our donkeys and ascend to the Pisco Base Camp.
Day 7: Pisco Summit Attempt
Summit day! Wake at 2:00am and after a light breakfast depart for the summit. Arrive at the summit about 10am and discover why everyone talks about the view! Return to Base Camp.
Day 8: Hike down to trailhead, rest.
Hike out and set up camp near the trail head. Rest!
Day 9: Move to Chopicalqui morraine camp
Take a short bus transport to the Chopicalqui trail head and begin the assent up to the Moraine camp (4900m).
Day 10: Move to Chopicalqui high camp
Press on up to the High Camp located on the glacier (5400 meters). Prepare for the following days summit.
Day 11: Chopicalqui summit day
Summit Day!! Wake up at 1:00am and depart for the summit at 3:00am. Work your way up the massive southern ridge and on to the summit at last! Return to Moraine camp for the night.
Day 12: Contingency day
Use this day for any weather, health or any other contingency plan.
Day 13: Last day on expedition
Pack up camp and descend down to the winding road which leads back to Huaraz. Stop for lunch and the Llanganuco Lakes. Check back into your hotel for a well deserved shower and then a Celebration Banquet!
Day 14: Return to Lima, trip end
Last minute shopping for family and friends before departing for Lima at 11am, arriving at the airport or your hotel by 8pm.