MOUNTAINEERING COURSE ~ DETAILED DAY-TO-DAY ITINERARY
We offer this program as a ‘course-only’ itinerary or a ‘full-service’ Lima to Lima set-up. The full-service itinerary is 12 days long and includes all services from airport to airport, created for those who would like us to handle all of their in-country logistics and acclimatization in addition to the actual course. In the 6-day version, participants must get themselves to/from Huaraz as well as handle their own hotel arrangements and acclimatization activities. Proper adjustment to the altitude is imperative for both safety and comfort during the course, as such those handling their own acclimatization must factor in at least 4 days prior to the program start date for day hikes to altitude and at least one night sleeping above 4000 meters.
After the course we offer two add-on climbs, Pisco or Chopicalqui which are great ways to get another summit opportunity and continue to build upon the skills you have learned in a new alpine environment. You can see the itineraries for these add-ons in the "add-on climbs" tab above.
The day-to-day program is as follows (6-day course students will only participate in days 6-11):
Day 1: Private pick-up at the Lima Airport. Transfer to hotel in Lima for a nice meal & a good nights sleep.
Day 2: Private transfer in the morning to the bus station. Take a comfortable first class ride to Huaraz (approximately 8 hour journey). Move into your hotel and relax.
Day 3: Orientation meeting in your hotel in the morning to review your itinerary, answer questions, and finalize logistical details of the trip. Head out on a 4-hour acclimatization hike to the Puka Ventana (“red window”) outside of tow, where you’ll get great views of the entire Cordillera Blanca range from North the South. Spend the night in your Huaraz hotel.
Day 4: Day hike to the turquoise waters of Laguna Churup (4500 meters), approximately 5 hours of hiking round trip. Return to Huaraz, night in hotel.
Day 5: Pack your bags and go! Transport to Cebollapampa, the trailhead of a popular day hike destination called Lake 69 with all of your equipment for the course. You’ll take one final acclimatization hike to the lake located at approximately 4750m, then return to where you started to camp in a nice meadow at 4000m.
Day 6: Mountaineering Course Start – Day 1. For those on the full-service itinerary, you will wake up in Cebollapampa, eat some breakfast and pack-up camp while you wait for the vehicle to arrive with the participants whom did not partcipate in the acclimatization program. The others will depart Huaraz early in the morning and drive to the Yanapaqcha trailhead, picking up the others en-route. Load up the porters and hike into basecamp (approx 3 hourse) to begin your course curriculum! Preliminary skills begin this day including introduction to mountaineering & hazard management, equipment use and care, climbing knots, and altitude physiology.
Day 7: Wake up about 6:30am, have breakfast, and get prepared for a day on the glacier. Hike about 30 minutes up to the ice and begin with practical skills including walking with crampons, kicking steps/following tracks, using an ice axe to walk and self belay, self-arrest, team arrest, rope team travel techniques, and snow/ice anchors. Around 4:30 pm, wrap up for the day and descend back to camp for a delicious dinner and some sleep.
Day 8: Breakfast is at 7:00 am and class begins at 8:00 am. Spend the morning in the campsite learning belay systems, equalized anchors, and haul systems - all components of the crevasse rescue system. After thoroughly understanding the system on dry land (and some lunch), head out to the to put your new skills to the test on the snow. The entire afternoon is dedicated to the practice of this important skill, "crevasse rescue", which is a common hazard of all glaciated climbs. Return to camp at about 5:30, have dinner and get to sleep.
Day 9: Leave the campsite at 7:30 a.m. and head up to the ice to practice various techniques and scenarios of glacier travel. Participants take charge of their rope teams using the skills learned in the previous 2 days and are presented with problems to solve pertaining to terrain, hazards, group management, etc... You will wander through crevasse fields and up/down steep slopes where both running and fixed belays will be used as well as another crevasse rescue will be performed. Afterwards, head to an ice wall to learn a top-rope anchor system for ice climbing. Basic climbing technique will be discussed as well as lead climbing as there is interest. That afternoon a pre-summit discussion will take place and plans will begin for the following days climbing objective. Participants will determine what needs to be done in preparation for the climb (route recon, equipment prep, rope team divisions, food & water prep) and divide up the responsibilities amongst themselves. Dinner will be served around 5pm and everyone will get to sleep early in anticipation of the next days climb.
Day 10: Rise and shine about 3:00 am for breakfast and gearing up for the climb. Head up to the glacier and begin the summit attempt in your rope team(s). Depending upon snow conditions, weather, and team health/fitness, the summit can be reached in 4-6 hours. The descent will take 3-4 hours and you should be back in camp by mid afternoon for a warm lunch and some rest. Those who wish to continue with skills will head back up to the glacier or to a location where the instructor(s) can work on anything participants are still wanting to learn/practice.
Day 11: Breakfast at 7:30am, pack up camp, and begin the hike out to the road where a transport will be waiting for the return to Huaraz. Upon arrival at the Skyline Adventures base, gear will be unloaded from the vehicle and all equipment accounted for. Participants will be returned to their hotels and those on the full-service itinerary will head out for a celebration dinner banquet.
Day 12: Last minute shopping for family and friends before departing for Lima at 11am, arriving at the airport or your hotel by 7:30pm.