main page > 2005 > 2005 07 Peru Cordillera Blanca > 2005 07 21-26 Quitaraju

2005 07 21-26 Quitaraju

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Waoh, what a place. Quitaraju is a really cool climb. To approach it, you go up the Llanganuco Valley, famous for the well-travelled Santa Cruz Trek. Although, this is with reason, as the scenery walking through the valley is very breathtaking.

The approach to Base Camp usually takes two day, since we had things to do, places to go, people to meet, we combine them into one long day. Ah, let us not forget, that all this is done supporting the local economy and hiring burros (donkeys) to carry our stuff to base camp. We hired the arriaro beforehand through Andean Adventures (through my buddies Andres and Julio). At the start, one arriero showed up whose name was Gabriel. I was, "oh this must be the guy, my arriero's name is Gabriel"... one minute later, a guy comes up to me breathless, and says "I am Gabriel, you come here with Andres"... voila! so you must be careful. While waiting for MY Gabriel to fetch up three animals, I talked to the other arrieros about their conditions and their relationship with the agencies. I felt my politician blood running through me (I have a little bit), as I was giving them advice on ways to ameliorate the service and communication. But it is not a simple issue (arrieros and agencies).

Back to climbing, once in basecamp we decided to forgo a rest day and split up the ascent to col camp by staying one night at morain camp. Going up to Col camp was tough work, as there are two steep sections that we pitched, and doing them with full packs is not fun at all. But your effort is rewarded by awesome views of Quitaraju and Alpamayo as you walk across the col to the other side (add like dark haunting noise when you read "other side").

From Col camp, we waky waky really early and attack the north face of Quitaraju, more than a 1000 feet of snow climbing (around 45 degrees, and up to 55 degrees). It was really fun.


  • 21/7 Trailhead-Base camp: 1280m elev. gain, 7h10.
  • 22/7 Base-Moraine camp: 620m elev. gain, 4h00
  • 23/7 Moraine-Col camp: 560m elev. gain 5h?
  • 24/7 Summit day: start 4h30?, 660m evel gain. 15h roundtrip.
  • 25/7 descent 1100m
  • 26/7 descent 1280m


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