Andes Expedition Information


The expedition runs over 19 days but people may of course spend more time in Peru before or after the expedition, in which case Augusto will be happy to help with any arrangements.

DAY 1, Arrive in Lima
Arrive in Lima the guide will meet you outside the customs and immigration area at the airport. Transfer to Hotel, in the best area of Lima. Hotel night.

DAY 2, Lima to Huaraz
Bus for the long ride to the northern highland town of Huaraz. The drive takes about eight hours, and we’ll stop around midday for a lunch break. We arrive in Huaraz, at an altitude of 10,200 feet, in the late afternoon and check into our hotel. Dinner on your own.

DAY 3, Huaraz
A day in Huaraz to acclimatize to the altitude. After breakfast we will hike up to Rataquenua, the viewpoint of Huaraz and Cordillera Blanca. Afternoon to rest. Lunch and dinner on your own.

DAY 4, Huaraz to Collon then onto Ishinca Base Camp
Morning departure by private bus to Pashpa, the road head at Ishinca valley. Hike up to base camp, our luggage will be transported by donkeys.

DAY 5, Acclimatizing day
An easy acclimatisation day top rest and walk around Base Camp

DAY 6, Base Camp to High Camp Ishinca
We move from our base camp to our high camp, our kit will be transported by donkeys and/or porters.

DAY 7, Climb Ishinca
Starting early in the morning, we will get to the summit around noon and back to high camp, continuing back down to base camp.

DAY 8, Rest day at Base Camp
A chance to chill out and relax

DAY 9, Tocllaraju High Camp
Move to high camp at 17,000', our porters will establish the camp.

The normal route (Northwest Ridge) presents a few very steep sections with numerous crevasses and seracs, a fun ice wall with a fixed rope, knee deep snow in places, as well as a very nice summit pyramid guarded by a beautiful ridge. We will then return to base camp.

DAY 11, Rest/Extra Day
We will use this day to rest or to allow flexibility in case more time is needed. 

DAY 12, Walk out and drive to Huaraz
Early in the morning will hike down to Pashpa and meet our van at the trail head and return to Huaraz. Hotel night, dinner on your own.

DAY 13, Huaraz to Llanganuco and 'Huiscash' Camp
We begin our Chopicalqui climb, today we will drive to Llanganuco Lake and then continue to the trail head at Huiscash which is our  Chopicalqui base camp, with views of Huandoy, Chacraraju and Huascaran.

DAY 14, Huiscash Camp to Camp 1
After breakfast we will hike up to Morane Camp (camp 1) located at the edge of the glacier at around 16,100' (4900 m). High altitude porters will help us with this climb.

DAY 15, Climb to Camp 2
We gain the glacier a short way above camp and climb about 1900 feet to our High Camp just below a high col between Chopicalqui and Huascaran.

DAY 16, Summit day of CHOPICALQUI (6,354 m)
On summit day we climb steeply above the col and follow the long summit ridge to the top. The climbing involves occasional belayed climbing on ice and snow up to 60°. Every year the route changes. Occasionally some very steep climbing is required just below the summit. After our climb we'll descend either back to Camp 2, or perhaps down to Camp I.

DAY 17, Extra day
Extra day in case of bad weather

DAY 18, Back to base camp and Huaraz
We continue our descent, meeting our van at the trail head and return to Huaraz. Farewell dinner.

DAY 19, Huaraz to Lima
Morning bus ride to Lima, with a packed lunch on the way. Late afternoon arrival at Lima’s airport in time to connect with international flight back home.

AUGUSTO ORTEGA - IFMGA Mountain Guide, Peru.


Hotel La Castellana, LIMA
Grimaldo del Solar 222, Miraflores. Lima
Hotel Castellana

Hotel Colomba, HUARAZ
Francisco de Zela 278. Huaraz
Hotel Colomba

Hotel San Sebastian Huaraz
Jr Italia 1124, Huaraz

Hotel San Sebastian

Medical Rescue

For these mountains we should have no altitude problems, provided we acclimatise sensibly, and the team is reasonably fit. The first base camp is at around 4300m, set on grass well below the level of glaciation, and easy to return to from higher camps.

ISM will provide the expedition medical kit. Individual members are asked to bring a small personal first aid kit for minor problems like headache, cuts, blisters etc.


All expedition members must have mountaineering insurance to cover medical and rescue expenses. For UK residents, suitable cover can be arranged through the following organisations/companies:

Snowcard Tel: 01327 262805 Web: Snowcard
BMC Tel: 0161 445 4747 Web: The BMC
Austrian Alpine Club Tel: 01707 324835 Web: Austrian Alpine Club (more limited cover especially re medical expenses)

Non-UK residents can get medical and rescue cover by joining the Austrian Alpine Club. If taking the latter it may be necessary to take out further travel insurance to cover aspects such as cancellation.

Technical Requirements

Mountaineering in the Andes requires all the skills involved in climbing in the Alps - safe glacier travel, ropework for moving together and pitched climbing, good technique with ice axe and crampons. Participants must have alpine experience (preferably at least to the level of ISM's 'Classic' courses) The technical standard of Chopicalqui and Tocllaraju is around Alpine AD. The main peaks involve technical ice climbing with two ice tools so a grounding in ice climbing skills is essential for anyone taking part in the expedition. If you are keen to go but feel you need to develop your skills/experience further in the meantime, we can advise on suitable preparation.


A high level of fitness is essential for anyone taking part in the expedition. The summit climbs of Tocllaraju and Chopicalqui in particular are long, demanding days at altitude. Regular aerobic excercise combined with full days on the hill with a rucksack (c.12kg) would give suitable preparation particularly during the 3 months preceding the trip.


ISM provides all climbing hardware, ropes, cooking equipment and tents.

Individual members must bring:

  • Sleeping bag (expedition or ‘5 season’ quality)
  • Closed-cell foam sleeping mat and/or Thermarest
  • Rigid mountaineering boots (plastic double boots strongly recommended)
  • Rock climbing shoes (comfortable and large enough to take a thickish sock)
  • Thermal underwear, fleece shirt or similar, fleece jacket & pants
  • Extra fleece top or light duvet, Goretex jacket and salopettes (or pants)
  • Mountain mitts/gloves, hat or balaclava, gaiters
  • Ice axe, ice hammer, crampons (with anti-ball plate)
  • Helmet, harness, 3 locking carabiners, belay plate or fig. 8
  • Long sling (240cm approx), 3 prussik loops, headtorch with spare batteries,
  • Climbing rucksack (55-70 litre), second sac or kitbag,
  • Glacier glasses, sun protection cream and lip salve, water bottle,
  • Mug, bowl, spoon, shorts, sunhat, lightweight 'trekking' boots, trekking poles
  • Personal ‘travellers’ first-aid kit (headaches, diahorrea, minor cuts, blisters etc).


The expedition price covers all in-country expenses apart from drinks and meals taken in restaurants. The flight to Lima is excluded from the price so that expedition members may choose their departure airport and arrive earlier or stay longer if they wish. The supplement for taking a single room for all hotel nights is £110.

Payment schedule. A place on the expedition is secured with a deposit of £200.00. The balance is due EIGHT WEEKS before departure. In case of cancellation, these payments are non-refundable so please ensure that you arrange your cancellation insurance immediately once the first payment has been made.


Contact the ISM office with any questions that you may have or alternatively please complete an online booking form.

We look forward to welcoming you to another ISM adventure!