Peru is a privileged country for the practice of high mountaineering sport that consists in the ascent of snow peaks, using specific climbing and security techniques. This is a sport that started in Europe at the beginning of the last century, and with the time is becoming more popular in the whole world, being Peru and its mountains, one of the biggest challenges for any mountaineer, due to its beautiful landscape, big walls and altitude difficulty. The Peruvian Andes constitute the previous scale to climb a peak in The Himalayas or Karakorum Range.
In high mountaineering there is a difference between ascension and climbing. Ascension means to arrive to the summit by walking in glaciers with slope less than 40º and by security reasons, especially in the White Range where lots of cracks exist, the participants are joined by a rope. The climber is equipped with ice crampons, which are steel nails that you can add to the snow boots in order not to slip down in hard snow or ice, and a long axe that the climber uses as a walking stick, to ascent a steeper pass or to brake a fall.
Climbing means more difficulty, because the climber ascents snow or ice walls more than 40º. The climber is equipped with technical crampons and two axes (a bit shorter), that use to affix to the hard snow or ice.
The same as other sports, for mountaineering many different scales were elaborated. Infinite Adventures uses UIAA scale (International Union of Alpinism Associations):
Fácil (F): Start of the Alpine scale, lowest rating for glaciers. A rope may be used at times also in rocks. Easy climbing (I, occasionally II), gentle glacier with slopes up to around 30°.
Poco Difícil (PD): Climbing passages are typically rated II, and there may also be sections of III. Securing techniques required. Glaciers are cracked and snow slopes are typically up to 35°-40°, rarely steeper. Crampons and ice axe needed. Tours at this level of difficulty are usually still accessible to accompanied people in good physical shape without much alpine experience.
Algo Difícil (AD): Climbing passages are up to III, with sections of IV. Slings, wedges etc. may be needed for securing in rocks. Snow and ice slopes are 40°-45°, short passages also 50°.
Difícil (D): Rock parts are typically rated IV but there may also be sections of V. One may have to bring substantial climbing equipment. Snow and ice will occasionally exceed 55°.
Muy Difícil (MD): Very difficult: big number of 60ºpeaches in snow with some ice peaches of 70º to 85.
Extremadamente Difícil (ED): Extremely difficult: Vertical ice walls. Mix or rock until IV grade or possible artificial peach.
Excepcionalmente Difícil (EX): Exceptionally Difficult: itinerary of alpine difficulties grade VII. Long, sustained and dangerous peaches.
Some of the mountain in The White Range:
PD+ / AD-
Garganta or Normal
First ask about mountain conditions, because some years the National Park Huascaran closed officially some mountains for risk of avalanches.
In the Peruvian Andes the day to the summit could start at 1 or 2 AM, in order to get very early to the glacier and avoid risk of avalanches.
Infinite Adventure provides the following logistics for High Mountaineering (only F and PD).
Private transportation and transfers
UIAGM mountaineering certified guide or aspirant every 2 or 3 people
Mules and muleteers
Full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Group gear: Four season tent, dinning and toilet tent, stove, gas lamp, table, chairs and tableware.
Security gear: rope, carabineers, ice scrolls, stakes and helmet
Entrance to the Huascaran National Park
First Aid Kit
Do not include:
Personal clothes: Warm clothe, waterproof jacket and pants, down jacket, waterproof gloves, hat.
Personal gear: Backpack, headlamp, sunglasses, axe, crampons, harness, snow boots, leggings, sleeping bag, mattress. (Personal clothes and gear are obligatory).
Transportation Lima – Huaraz – Lima
Lodging in Huaraz
Meals in Huaraz
Tips and extras
Hyperbaric chamber (ask for availability):
US$ 30,00 per day (authorized only to UIAGM certified mountain guide)
It’s also possible to rent backpack, waterproof jackets and pants, headlamp, sunglasses, axe, harness, snow boots, leggings, sleeping bag, mattress, down jacket for an additional price.
Note: Aspirants for mountaineering guide are allowed to guide F and PD routes such as Pisco, Ishinca, Vallunaraju, Urus and Maparaju.
For an additional price the passenger can contact a better service, which in addition to the backpacker service includes:
For an additional price per person:
UIAGM Mountain guide
International and very elaborated menu
Beer, wine or Pisco sour
Warm water to wash yourself in the morning
In AD Mountains, the logistics change totally because the mules can’t arrive to the high camps and porters are required. The objective is to take less weight.
For adventure sports and activities in mountain regions it is recommended to buy an insurance that covers for high risk sports and helicopter rescue. Infinite Adventures doesn’t make refunds for bad weather conditions. Rainy season: October to April (Precipitation is also possible during the dry season).