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Five peaks in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca for beginners


He has climbed four of the fourteen highest mountains in the world without oxygen and porters, most recently in May: the fearsome Annapurna in Nepal, considered the most dangerous of the eight-thousand-meter peaks. Richard Hidalgo has set the challenge to summit all the world’s peaks that exceed 8,000 meters in height. While dividing his time between preparing for what will be his next expedition and enjoying the climbing season in Huaraz, which runs from May to September, the leading Peruvian mountaineer told which snowcapped Cordillera Blanca mountains are ideal for our beginning mountaineers.

1. – Nevado Ishinca (5530 meters)
Recommended for those just getting into the sport of mountaineering, this is one of the most visited snow-covered Cordillera Blanca. Ishinca has an excellent climate, ideal for acclimatization of travelers. Richard explains that the rise has a nice long tour of a glacier, with crevasses and ice caves.
Technical data:
Duration: 3 days
Difficulty: PD (Not very difficult)
Ascent: 1,200 meters

2. – Nevado Maparaju (5326 meters)
The Quechua word ‘maparaju’ can be translated as Dirty Mountain or Dirty Ice, as explained on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur). It is considered one of the easiest to climb in the Cordillera Blanca. The approach, says Richard Hidalgo, is from the Quilcayhuanca ravine to base camp in the Cayesh ravine (4,050 meters). It offers a great view from its summit, from which you can see part of the Conchucos ravine.
Technical data:
Duration: 3 days
Difficulty: PD (Not very difficult)
Elevation: 1,250 meters

3. – Nevado Pisco (5,752 meters)
Initially known as Mataraju, the peak was renamed since the first summit of the mountain was celebrated with Peru’s national drink. Pisco is one of the great classics of the Cordillera Blanca. "This mountain has two summits: the East, closer to the Nevado Chacraraju is rarely climbed; the most popular is the west summit, near the hill that separates Pisco from Nevado Huandoy," says Hidalgo.
Technical data:
Duration: 3 days
Difficulty: PD (Not very difficult)
Elevation: 850 meters

4. – Nevado Vallunaraju (5686 meters)
"This is one of the most emblematic mountains near Huaraz. From anywhere in the city, you can see its peaks and its peculiar shape, like a saddle," says Hidalgo. This mountain, another favorite of climbers who come from all over the world to test their skill in the Cordillera Blanca, is considered a perfect location for training and acclimatization before much bigger challenges.
Technical data:
Duration: 2 days
Level of difficulty: PD (Not very difficult)
Elevation: 1,300 meters

5. – Nevado Tocllaraju (6032 meters)
Richard Hidalgo describes this as the great classic among six thousand meter peaks of the Cordillera Blanca. It is located in the Ishinca ravine, near the Ishinca and Urus peaks, which makes it possible to use the same base camp to tackle all of them.
Technical data:
Duration: 4 days
Difficulty: AD + (Fairly difficult +)
Elevation: 1,000 meters

Expert climber Richard Hidalgo recommends five peaks for novice climbers.