Classic Summits: Ishinca, Urus & Tocllaraju

PER-10 / 12-day trip / Grade: AD

PEAKS: Ishinca (5530 m) – Urus (5495 m) – Tocllaraju (6032 m)

Classic Summits: Ishinca, Urus & Tocllaraju

The Cordillera Blanca in Peru offers some of the best treks and climbs in the world. It has one of the biggest concentration of 5000 and 6000 meters peaks in the Andes, with some famous and iconic mountains like: Alpamayo, Huascaran, Huandoys, Chacraraju and Huantsan, just to name a few. Beside these famous summits, there is wide spectrum of mountains and valleys that provide endless opportunities to do fascinating mountain activities at all levels. Our Classic Summits program visits the Ishinca valley, where there are a variety of peaks of great beauty that provide very interesting climbs. This area is a perfect spot to get a great acclimatization on the well-know summits of Ishinca and Urus, before attempting the amazing Tocllaraju peak with its 6032 meters of altitude.

Day 1 Arrival in Lima, Peru
Day 2 Lima – Huaraz (3005 m)
Day 3 Hike to Lake 69 (4397 m)
Day 4 Ishinca Base Camp (4350 m)
Day 5 Glacier training on Ishinca (5120 m)
Day 6 Climb: Ishinca Peak (5530 m)
Day 7 Climb: Urus Peak (5495 m)
Day 8 Rest day at base camp (4350 m)
Day 9 Tocllaraju’s High Camp (5090 m)
Day 10 Climb: Tocllaraju Peak (6032 m)
Day 11 Back to Huaraz
Day 12 Huaraz – Lima & departure
Day 1

Arrival in Lima, Peru
Pick up at airport and transfer-in to hotel in Lima.
Night in hotel.

Day 2

Lima – Huaraz (3005 m)
After breakfast, transfer to bus terminal for tourist public bus to Huaraz. The bus ride takes about 8 hours, depending on the traffic leaving Lima. The road trip goes along the pacific coast, heading north and then eastwards up the Andes. The first sight will be the Huayhash Range, before heading back north where the first summits of the Cordillera Blanca will appear. The road starts to descend towards the city of San Sebastian de Huaraz, locally known just as Huaraz. Huaraz is the capital of the Anchash region and is located in the spectacular Cajon del Huaylas valley, between the Cordillera Negra on the West side and the Cordillera Blanca on the East side, with the highest mountain in the country in the background: Huascaran (6768 m).
Huaraz is the main departing point for mountain activities, both to the Cordillera Blanca and Huashuash range; therefore it is considered the Peruvian “Chamonix”. The city has a wide offer of services as: restaurants, accommodations, grocery stores, gear shops and guide services.
Upon arrival in Huaraz, transfer to the hostel.
Night in hostel.
Included meals: Breakfast

Day 3

Hike to Lake 69 (4397 m)
After breakfast, pick-up at the hostel for a 2,5 hours drive down the Cajon del Huaylas valley and then up to the LLanganuco Valley in Huascaran National Park. The Llanganuco valley is one of the most visited spots in the park, and no doubt it is not to be missed! The beautiful deep turquoise waters of Orconcha (Male lake) and Chinanconcha (female lake), contrast with impressive high summits of Huascaran and Huandoys on both sides of the Llanganuco valley. After the the lakes, the valley opens up and other famous summits comes into view like: Pisco, Chopicalqui and Chacraraju.
The trail to Laguna 69 starts at Cebollapampa (3883 m), from this point, a well-marked trail follows the river along the valley up to a steep section than lead into a second valley with a small lake, from there the moraine starts and the whole landscape gets an alpine atmosphere. After a short switchbacks section, the lake will come into sight and all the effort will be well rewarded. The deep blue glacier waters with Chacraraju peak in the background, a perfect place for an unforgettable picnic by the lake’s shores.
The descent follows the same trail back to Cebollapampa and then back to Huaraz.
Night in hostel.
Ascent: 514 m / Descent: 514 m / Highest Altitude: 4397 m / Activity duration: 4 -5 h / Distance one-way: 5,4 Km
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic

Day 4

Ishinca Base Camp (4350 m)
From Huaraz a 1 hour transfer to the trailhead at Pashpa Cochapampa (3645 m), a place to enjoy the great panoramic view over to Huascaran, Chopicalqui, Hualcán, Copa and several other high peaks. Once the staff has loaded the pack animals, the team will head to the Quebrada Ishinca valley. This is a very enjoyable trail, starting in an wide open area and slowly getting into a narrow gorge, which opens later again with the Palcaraju and Tocllaraju peaks in the background. Base camp (4350 m) is beautifully located over a green meadow, split by the Ishinca River which flows down from Milluacocha Lake, and at the foot of Tocllaraju and Urus, a perfect departing spot for the coming days.
Night in tent.
Ascent: 705 m / Highest Altitude: 4350 m / Activity duration: 4-5 h / Distance: 15,1 Km.
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 5

Glacier training on Ishinca (5120 m)
Today is a double porpoise activity: first to do a basic technical skill training on the Ishinca glacier and second to archive a higher and more solid acclimatization. The day start after a good rest and breakfast, leaving the camp by a series of switchbacks on the Ishinca trail, quickly gaining altitude until a valley that gently leads straight up to Ishinca lake (4950 m). From this point, depending on the conditions of the mountain, the guide will choose the best area to do the practices at an approximate altitude of 5120 m. During the practice, the team will train the basic glacier crossing technics to be use during the coming ascents.
Descent back to the valley and preparation for next day’s activities.
Night in tent.
Ascent & descent: 770 m / Highest Altitude: 5120 m / Activity duration: 7 h / Distance one-way: 5,8 Km.
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 6

Climb: Ishinca Peak (5530 m)
Very early departure after a light breakfast. The ascent takes the switchbacks of the Ishinca trail up to the Ishinca Lake. The guide will decide the best route according to the mountain’s conditions and the team’s shape. Ishinca is a very scenic mountain, surrounded by mountain like giant Ranraplaca (6162 m) to the southwest and the Palcaraju (6180 m) and Tocllaraju (6032 m) to the north. On every direction there are distant summits and great landscapes to enjoy, as the sunrises over the Cordillera Blanca.
The climb is strait forward, very enjoyable and a perfect acclimatization of higher peaks. When the conditions allow it, it can be climb by one side and descent by another, making a circular itinerary. Most of the ascent is over a gentle slope that gets steeper just before the summit.
The descent follows the same trail back to Base camp.
Night in tent.
Ascent: 1180 m / Descent: 1180 m / Highest Altitude: 5530 m / Activity duration: 10-12 h / Distance one-way: 7,6 Km.
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 7

Climb: Urus Peak (5495 m)
The climb starts before dawn, taking a trail just beside the hut. Urus is lower than Ishinca, but its ascent is far steeper and thankfully shorter. The first section goes in an almost strait line up to the moraine, from where it gets gentler and finds its way by a maze of rocks and gullies until the base of the glacier. The team will take a break and gear up to ascent the first part of the glacier, which is quite steep until some rocky slopes. The rest of the climb is less demanding, crossing over a glacier split by rock bands. The last section is an easy scrambling over a rocky ridge that leads up to the summit. There is a fantastic view northwards to: Huascaran, Chopicalqui and the Huandoys. To the South Ishinca and Ranrapalca, and to the East Tocllaraju and the Palcaraju ridge with its 3 summits.
The descent is done by the same trail.
Night in tent.
Ascent: 1145 m / Descent: 1145 m / Highest Altitude: 5495 m / Activity duration: 8-10 h / Distance one-way: 2,8 Km.
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 8

Ishinca BC – Rest Day (4350 m)
Relaxing day at base camp, to recover and enjoy this lovely place.
Night in tent.
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 9

Tocllaraju’s high camp (5090 m)
After packing down the camp, the group will head up to Tocllaraju high camp (5090 m) by a trail north from the camp. The hike ascend the southern flank of the mountain side that connects Tocllaraju with Urus, by a well-marked trail that gain altitude progressively to the campsite, located very close to the glacier’s edge. Upon arrival, the staff and clients will set up the tents and prepare for the next day’s climb. The guide will give a good and detailed briefing about the itinerary and procedures during the climb. Afternoon for rest and acclimatization.
Night in tent.
Ascent: 740 m / Highest Altitude: 5090 m / Activity duration: 4 h / Distance: 2,9 Km.
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 10

Climb: Tocllaraju Peak (6032 m)
Tocllaraju is one of the most aesthetic mountains in the Ishinca valley, with a pyramid shaped summit with four faces that drop down to the glaciers below. The mountain is surrounded by deep the valleys of Ishinca, Akilpo and Honda. Its closest neighbour is the Palcaraju peak and its gigantic dazzling glacier. Tocllaraju is just above 6000 meters and makes it a perfect candidate for those looking to go beyond the six thousand mark, anyway, it is not an easy mountain. The most popular route is the 1963 one from the Ishinca valley up to Northwest ridge.
Very early start from high camp, entering the glacier shortly after. The first part of the climb is over a compacted glacier, which get quite crevasses as one gets higher. Reaching the NW ridge is usually one of the main complexities of the ascent, but this changes from year to year. The most beautiful part of the climb is once on the NW ridge, a very scenic spot! The ridge is wide and once on it the inclination is around 55-60º. There are some crevasses on the ridge and it might take some time for the guide to find the right passages and secure them. It is for sure an exiting climb!
The decent follows the same route all the way back to base camp. It is a long way down, specially after such a climb.
Night in tent.
Ascent: 952 m / Descent: 1692 m / Highest Altitude: 6032 m / Activity duration: 14 h / Distance to the summit one-way: 3,1 Km. / Descent from the summit to base camp: 6 Km.
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 11

Back to Huaraz
After a good rest and a easygoing breakfast, the group will start the descent to Huaraz. The hike from Ishinca’s base camp to Pashpa Cochapampa (3645 m) takes between 3 to 4 hours. Upon arrival the transport (1 h) will be waiting to take the group back to Huaraz.
Night in hostel.
Descend: 705 m / Highest Altitude: 4350 m / Activity duration: 3-4 h / Distance: 15,1 Km.
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic

Day 12

Huaraz – Lima & departure
Transfer-out to Huaraz’s bus terminal for a tourist public bus to Lima (8 h). Upon arrival in Lima, there will be a transfer to the international airport (30 min) for the international flight departure.
End of services.
Included meals: Breakfast

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  • Local English speaking mountain guide from day 3 to 11
  • Assistant guides during the mountain itinerary and climbs 1:3
  • Assistant guides for Tocllaraju climb 1:2,5
  • Entrances fees to Huascaran National Park
  • Private transfers in Lima
  • First class tourist public bus Lima-Huaraz-Lima
  • Private transportation in the mountain area
  • 1 night in shared double rooms in Lima
  • 3 nights in shared double rooms in Huaraz
  • Quality mountain tents (2 PAX per tent) from day 4 to 10
  • Group common campsite equipment
  • Pack animals for group campsite equipment, food and personal gear
  • Porters to/from high camp on Tocllaraju for group gear
  • Cook during the trek
  • Dining and toilet tents
  • Common climbing equipment (Ropes, ice screws, snow pickets, etc)
  • Complete mountain First Aid kit and Oxygen for emergency porpoises
  • Meals as specified in the day to day itinerary


  • Domestic and international flights
  • Separate airport transfers in case of multiple arrival/departures
  • Porters to/from high camp on Tocllaraju for personal gear (private porters available upon request)
  • Personal camping & climbing equipment
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Everything not mentioned in the “Included” list

LIMA: El Monte Real or similar

HUARAZ: Hostel La Casa de Zarela or similar



Cordillera Blanca:

Ishinca Valley:

Tags: Climbing, Peru, Cordillera Blanca, AD, AD grade, Ishinca, Urus, Tocllaraju