Mountaineering Expeditions - General Information
Good acclimatization is required for all mountaineering expeditions. We always recommend an acclimatization trek of minimum 4 days before departing to climb. We can advise on a suitable acclimatization program including day hikes and an acclimatization trek. For climbing 6000m or technical peaks we additionally recommend a “warm up” climb of a 5000m peak for extra acclimatization and strength.
All climbs are led by qualified and licensed mountain guides. Assistant guides are licensed aspirant guides, members of Peruvian Mountain Guides Association. Climbing Groups are organized so that in the event of an accident, illness or tiredness there are always sufficient qualified climbing staff on the mountain to effect a rescue and / or evacuate clients safely back down the mountain with a porter or assistant guide while other members of the group will be able to continue with their climb in safety if they wish to do so. Guides have first aid training and carry a first aid kit.
Client to Guide Ratio:
5000m and non-technical peaks – maximum 3 clients per guide
6000m and technical peaks – maximum 2 clients per guide
Donkeys carry equipment to Base Camps on most of the mountains. Climbs are supported by porters who carry tents, equipment and food, but you need to carry your own personal gear.
Our climbing guides provide group rope, snow stakes and ice screws. You need to provide your own personal climbing equipment. It is available for hire in Huaraz and we can help organize gear hire for you. A gear list is provided in all our itineraries.
The months when there is generally more settled weather and snow conditions are safer for climbing are from May to September – depending on the peak. 5000m peaks and non-technical peaks can be climbed from May through to September. Low season climbing (October to April) is also possible, but summit success can be subject to good weather. 6000m peaks and technical peaks can be climbed from June through to early September, with some peaks being considered safe to climb only in July and August.
Global warming is causing weather conditions to be less predictable than in the past and in recent years there have been periods of bad weather and high winds during the so-called “dry” months of June, July and August. It cannot be guaranteed that there will be good climbing weather during the months of the recognized climbing season. High mountain weather is always volatile and you need to be prepared for sudden weather changes.
Glaciers in the Andes are retreating rapidly, with some glaciers that were climbed 30 years ago having now completely disappeared. This is causing conditions on the ice to change rapidly. This means that the routes used and the conditions on all the peaks are changing each year and even each month. The descriptions we have given are general only, and the routes used, conditions on the mountain or description of the routes may change considerably on the day you are climbing. Descriptions of routes in some guide books may also be out dated.
We recommend clients obtain mountaineering and travel insurance. The policy should cover activities of mountaineering and include medical, rescue from the mountains, evacuation and repatriation expenses, loss of personal items or money, costs associated with cancellation of flights or other disruption to travel. Peru Police will NOT initiate any mountain rescue in the case of any serious incident until they have received either payment by cash in advance or guarantee of payment to cover the costs of rescue. It is client’s responsibility to carry insurance to cover the cost of rescue.
Altitudes are quoted in meters – to convert to feet multiply by 3.28084.