If you are interested in doing one of the harder, less-climbed gullies
on the SW Face of Alpamayo, please contact us.
you are looking for a regular Alpamayo Expedition on the Ferrari (normal)
route please read on.
Ferrari Route Hazards - Read This!
have decided to no longer offer trips to the standard Ferrari route on
Alpamayo. In recent years we have grown increasingly uneasy with the objective
hazards posed by other climbers on the route and unpredictable icefall.
In the last few years there have been a number of fatal accidents, some
from natural icefall and others from climber induced icefall (even one
from climbers falling on other climbers) that we find worrisome.
we have been narrowly missed by falling house-sized blocks of ice. Once
a giant block swept the entire route only hours after our ascent. And
another time a huge ice avalanche wiped out the entire approach glacier
while we were up on the summit!
problem with this otherwise beautiful route is that it is both overcrowded
and also climbs a narrow, confined, straight-up gully. Any falling ice
comes straight down on your head. There are virtually no places to hide.
you are planning your own trip to Alpamayo, we offer the following advice.
all mountaineering includes risk, and is an integral part of the activity,
the normal route on the SW face of Alpamayo presents an unusually high
level of objective hazard. You may be able to minimize this hazard by
climbing on days with fewer climbers.
on spending several nights at high camp, so that you may choose the
least crowded day for your ascent.
up ridiculously early. We used to avoid many crowds by timing our climb
so that we arrive at the bergschrund at first light. This strategy does
not seem to work well any more, as the increasing number of climbers
makes everyone have the same idea. But if you climb virtually at night
you might be able to avoid at least some of the crowds.
out when DAV Summit Club, a German outing club, and other large commercial
groups have their ascents and avoid those dates.
one of the other gullies on the SW face. This is harder than it sounds,
but if you are prepared to build your own anchors and do some harder
climbing you can have an entire climb to yourselves.
fast and pass other parties ahead of you. Spending less time on the
route is the only way to minimize the risk of natural icefall. And being
above other parties the only way to be protected from ice they knock
well acclimated so you can climb fast. Spend at least 2 weeks on other
climbs in Peru getting well acclimated BEFORE you even begin your hike
your departure from the summit ridge so that you are less exposed to
others while you rappel. This may mean hanging out on the top, or rushing
away from other parties so that they can't hear you get up and leave
camp in the wee hours of the early morning.
not go with a commercial trip unless that trip is at least 3 weeks long,
climbs at least one other peak at least 18000 feet high before
Alpamayo (excluding Quitaraju, which is too close, time wise, to your
Alpamayo ascent. AND in which you climb at a 1:1 ratio. This last requirement
pretty much rules our everything except a private climb. Imagine, however,
that you get clobbered because some other guy on your rope was too slow
and not as prepared as you. Stack the odds in your favor. It is not
worth saving a few bucks if it increases the odds that you will come
home in a box.
careful and do what you can to make this otherwise great climb as safe
as you can. Be prepared to simply say "forget it" if you're
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