Alpamayo Expedition • June 2003

This year in Peru we had 3 great trips, one to Alpamayo and 2 in the Ishinca valley. On Alpamayo we were Joined by Heidi Wahl, Derek Porter and Emery Dameron.

We had the usual mix of weather, but our summit day was fantastic. The route was rather different this year. A large cornice overhung the normal Ferrari route and we were forced into the gully to the left. A wild traverse left just below the cornice led to a gap and the summit ridge. From there the ridge could be followed (in some years this is not possible) all the way to the highest point. A couple short knife-edge sections on the crest added spice to the ascent.

Other Recent Trips

As with many of our trips to Peru, we began with a day hike to Laguna Churup, under the SW face of Nevado Churup.


Loading up the van for the drive to Cashapampa.


The trek into Alpamayo Base Camp take two days. On the night of the first, we camped at Ichicocha. Kathy heads to the kitchen for coffee!


A patient beast of burden.


The first view of Alpamayo.


Alpamayo from Base Camp. The SW face, the usual side of ascent, is around to the left.


Breakfast in Base Camp. Left to right are Derek, Emery, Heidi and Kathy. We always looked forward to our espresso and steamed milk.


Alpamayo Base Camp.


Artensonraju from Camp I.


Camp I at about 16000 feet. some folks skip this camp, but unless you are well acclimated this may not be a good idea.


Derek and Emery toil up to high camp.


Sunset form high camp.


Emery on the climb.


Looking down the route on Alpamayo.


Nevado Santa Cruz from near the top of the climb.


Derek and Emery at the start of the traverse just under the cornice, not far from the summit.


Unfortunately, the cloud came in as we arrived at the summit ridge. Our summit photo here was in fog.


A beautiful sunset from high camp after the ascent.


More sunset.


Heidi and Kathy came up to high camp the day after Mark, Emery and Derek climbed. Unfortunately, the weather got incredibly windy, putting an end to their summit plans.

The entire team at high camp, just before we started down. Left to right are Peter Alvarado (an aspirant guide helping us out) Emery, Heidi, Derek and Kathy.


Blowing snow at the col.


Kathy and Heidi about to dig into an incredible chicken base camp dinner.


Emery and Derek about to do the same.


Back in Huaraz we visited Emilio's (our man in Peru) house for a Pachamanca, a Peruvian "barbecue". Rocks are heated, and rocks, and food are all buried together in a pit of earth.


Oca, a potato-like tuber, before going into the Pachamanca.


Unearthing the food. Under the layer of beans are the oca, potatoes, and well-wrapped and wonderfully seasoned packages of meat.

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