Huaraz is one of the best regions of Peru. Its stunning mountain ranges make the landscape incredibly beautiful! Among them is the beautiful range of Cordillera Blanca, which is located in Huascaran National Park. In the Cordillera Blanca there are more than 30 glaciated peaks over 6,000m, the fourth biggest summit in South America! It is a haven for climbers and trekkers and anyone who loves great adventures.
During my stay in Huaraz I did a lot of treks and climbed two high peaks: Yanapaccha (5,460m) and Tocllaraju (6,034m). Both mountains are very beautiful, great for climbing and completely different!
Today, I would like to write about the Yanapaccha summit. To read about my adventure climbing the Tocllaraju summit, click here.
What kind of mountain is Yanapaccha?
Yanapaqcha mountain is not that high, only 5,460m, but it is not easy either. It is more technical than for example Pisco (5,752m) or Vallunaraju (5,686m) which are very popular among tourists and usually climbed before more serious mountains.
Yanapaccha is definitely a great mountain to practice ice climbing. It has some challenging technical parts, such as the 200-meter high wall. So, if you have at least a little experience in climbing, or took a 2-3 day climbing course, you can try it and will probably enjoy it a lot. In conclusion, it is ideal for those of you who want to try an ice climbing adventure.
If you are able to enjoy and conquer this summit, you should not have a problem trying to achieve higher and even more technical summits. My Yanapaqcha adventure took 3 days. It usually takes 2 days, but I chose an option with a one-day ice climbing course, which I found to be a perfect introduction. Overall, this course definitely helped me feel more comfortable while ice climbing.
On the way to Yanapaccha summit in Cordillera Blanca, Huaraz
The trip started between the starting point of the Laguna 69 hike and Vaqueria (the starting point of the Santa Cruz trek). From here, we had 2.5 hours of nice trekking to our base camp. I really enjoyed this stretch as it was easy, light and had many beautiful views.
We reached base camp at around 4:00 PM. We had enough time to set up the tens and have some lessons about rope knots. We spent 2 nights here.
The next we practiced ice climbing and learnt about the rescue system. I loved that day, as I learnt a lot and gained some extra experience.
We started to climb Yanapaccha at around 1 AM that night.
It took us some hours to reach the summit, and the view from the top was amazing. We could see a lot of snowy peaks and long valleys (some of which I had hiked earlier). This change in perspective was especially interesting for me.
Besides the views on top of the summit being beautiful, the views you experience while coming down from the top, are equally impressive.
I do not know what the situation on the way to Yanapaccha looks like today, but some days after I climbed this mountain, the crack which you can see in the picture below became very large and impossible to cross. In this time, all tour operators suspended organizing climbs here. However, if there is another route to reach the summit, I would highly recommend doing it.
I wish you the best of luck discovering the Yanapaccha mountain in the Cordillera Blanca and also the other summits close to Huaraz.