Climbing in Cordillera Blanca  

Climbing in Cordillera Huayhuash 


In 1975, Cordillera Blanca, (the Highest Tropical Mountain Range in the World), located in the state of Ancash, Peru; between the valleys of Callejon de Huaylas and Conchucos, was declared by law the Huascaran National Park (HNP). Its surface area measures 340,000 hectares and is 158 km long, averaging a width of 20 km, from northwest to southeast. This beautiful natural area is home to many species of flora and fauna. In 1977 and 1985 the UNESCO recognized this protected area as the Biosphere's Reserve and World Heritage Site.

HNP includes 27 peaks over 6,000 m .(19,680 ft.) high. Among these, it is important to point out the Huascaran South peak which at 6,786 m .(22,200 ft) is the highest in Peru and is considered the Highest Tropical Mountain in the World. There are hundreds of peaks over 5,000 m .(16,400 ft.) high, numerous lakes and valleys of glacial origin, which impressed botanist Antonio Raimondi in 1870. Other foreigners, including a daring American journalist, Annie Peck shared his fascination with this area and marked the beginning of mountain climbing in Cordillera Blanca. She was the first person to crown the icy Huascaran North summit at 6,654 m .(21,825 ft.) and thereby became the first female world-record holder in mountain climbing at this altitude.

In 1932, an German-Austrian expedition led by Philipp Brochers, which included mountain climber-cartographer Erwin Scheider as one of its members, conquered the Chopicalqui (6,354 m.) 20,840 ft. and Huascaran South (6768 m.) 22,200 ft. summits. The expedition's greatest contribution was an excellent topographical map of the Cordillera Blanca. During the following years, expeditions headed by the most representative climbers of the time including Heins Grand, Hermann Huber, Lionel Terray, Riccardo Cassin, Walter Bonatti, Toni Egger , J.J Maxwell, Jordi Pons, René Desmaison, Renato Casarotto, Toni Lamper, Nicholas Jaeger, Casimiro Ferrari, Tino Albani, Mick Fowler, Luciano Bonato, Gianni Calcagno, Y. Laforest, Charlie Fowler, R. Paragot, J. Bouchard, Mark Riche among others, conquered unexplored summits in this mountain range. These are just some of the names from the surprising amount of mountain climbers that gradually forged climbing history in Cordillera Blanca. In many cases, they risked their lives in a race against the clock, difficulties and danger. They were motivated by the enthusiasm of conquering icy peaks over 6,000 m .(19,680 ft.) high or climbing rock or ice slopes of extreme difficulty. Peaks were gradually climbed and the level of difficulty grew. Climbers were challenged to climb the same peaks following increasingly difficult routes, on different ridges and faces of the most abrupt and complicated mountains.

It is evident that Cordillera Blanca continues to captivate many with its beauty and its extreme routes which have attracted several well-known mountain climbers such as Pavle Kozjek, Marjan Kovac, Silvo Karo, Mauro Bole, Oriol Baró, Jeff Lowe, Carlos Buller, Steven Schneider, Al Powell, Nick Boulock, Adam M-Kovacs, Stefano De Luca, Kelly Cordes, Owen Samuels, Didier Jourdain, A. Clovet, Stéphane Benoist, Patrice Glairon-Rappaz, Patrick Pessi, D. Debelak, I. Oblak among others. These and other intrepid climbers arrive from all parts of the world year after year to rediscover this beautiful place that amazes us with its landscapes and countless summits. MOUNTCLIMB TRAVEL AND ADVENTURE is sure the climber who is able to reach them will be filled with gratifying emotion, since the extraordinary view before his eyes will surely bring him closer to the heavens and surround him with the beauty of the landscape .









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