Andes Summits Expedition

This expedition gives an opportunity for people with an alpine climbing background to experience mountaineering in the Greater Ranges at its most enjoyable. Second only to the Himalayas in altitude, the Andes are a vast mountain chain extending the full length of the South American continent.

Guiding & Coaching

19 days

Price: £2590*

* Fully inclusive price

Our expedition takes place in the most accessible of the spectacular Andean ranges - the Cordillera Blanca of Peru. Good infrastructure and our high standard of ground operation makes the Cordillera Blanca an ideal venue for this two-destination mountaineering expedition.

In our experience climbing in two different areas can double the excitement, double the enjoyment and give a much broader experience of the country, its people and its mountains than focussing on a single objective.

Starting in the delectable Ishinka valley, we acclimatise and build up to an ascent of a magnificent 6000m summit - Tocllaraju.

Once we are well acclimatised we take a brief rest in the mountain resort of Huaraz then travel westwards to climb the friendly summit of Pisco (5750m) before moving up to attempt the biggest and most challenging peak of the trip - the magnificent Chopicalqui (6354m).


We work closely with leading Peruvian guide and ground operator Augusto Ortega, who has vast experience of climbing and guiding in the Andes and has made important ascents all over the world including climbing Everest without oxygen.

Augusto also provides expedition support services to the highest standards. Both base camps will be well-equipped with good quality sleeping tents, cook and mess tents. We use mules to carry the heavy equipment, allowing us to enjoy the approach treks with a light pack and with time to photograph the scenery, which in places is very spectacular.

Technical Requirements

The technical standard on Tocllaraju is around Alpine AD. Urus and Ishinka are considerably easier at PD. Chopicalqui is AD overall, with less technical climbing than Tocclaraju but a longer expedition at high altitude. As the main peaks involve snow and ice climbing with two ice tools, a good grounding ice-climbing techniques (as used on alpine ice faces in summer) is essential for anyone taking part in the expedition. If you are keen to join the expedition but feel you need to develop your skills/experience further beforehand, we are happy to advise on suitable preparation.

What The Course Covers

After a pleasant approach walk we set up our first base camp in the Ishinka valley. The summits of Ishinka (5500m) and Urus (5400m) are great acclimatising objectives at a reasonable level of technical difficulty and also ideal for freshening up mountaineering skills in preparation for the more demanding climbing ahead. Once acclimatised we are ready to attempt Tocllaraju, which at 6040m is a tougher challenge involving a long glaciated approach to a spectacular summit cone. It has some 200m of steep (55-degree) and exposed ice climbing en route to one of the finest 6000m summits in the Cordillera Blanca.

We then descend for a brief mid-expedition break to rest and freshen up in the mountain resort of Huaraz. For the second part of the trip we travel further north and west to Llanganuco lake then continue up the Ancush Valley between Huascaran and Chopicalqui. We ascend to Chopicaqui Base Camp and there prepare for our biggest climb of the trip. There are two further camps to make on Chopicalqui before we are in position for our summit push.

The final ridge of Chopicalqui is very long and undulating with some remarkable snow formations. We have to get the snow in good condition so a very early (3am) start is usual. There are steep serac walls to overcome which have to be abseiled on descent, yet the climbing is no more technical than on Tocclaraju. We reach the summit after about 5 hours and after a brief rest to enjoy the breath-taking panoramic view and take photographs we begin the descent to our highest camp.

We can stop here but if time and energy allow we continue down to the more comfortable Moraine Camp. If the weather or conditions prevent an attempt on Chopicalqui, we have another classic peak in the same valley - Pisco - which is possible in far more marginal conditions.

The expedition finishes with an enjoyable trek out from Moraine Camp then a day or so relaxing in Huaraz.

What Is Included


  • Airport assistant
  • Transfer from Airport to hotel and back at the end of the trip
  • 1 night in hotel La Castellana, Lima
  • 4 nights in hotel Coloba or San Sebastian, Huaraz
  • All breakfasts at the hotels
  • All transfers in and around the hotel, bus station etc
  • Royal Class bus service from Lima to Huaraz return
  • Private transportation to the mountains
  • Donkeys
  • Entrance fees and permits into Huascaran National Park
  • All camping gear including personal tent, kitchen tent, stoves, mess tent with tables and chairs, toilet tent, etc
  • All meals at camp
  • Helpers as necessary (cook, high altitude porters)
  • Sightseeing as noted in the itinerary
  • IFMGA Mountain Guide Augusto Ortega will be with you throughout the 19 day expedition

Not Included

  • International airfare
  • Personal equipment
  • Meals in the city as noted on itinerary
  • Insurance
  • Optional tipping to local staff
  • Excess baggage charges
  • International airport taxes (around $35)
  • Cost of medical immunizations
  • Items of a personal nature (sodas, alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc)

For enquiries/booking/advice please contact the ISM office by email:

More details on this expedition are available on the Andes Expedition Information page.

Course Dates

Please call +44 1539 721561 for availability