Alpamayo, proclaimed “The Most Beautiful Mountain in the World” by Alpinismus magazine in 1966, rises to an elevation of 19,511 feet in the Huascarán National Park in the province of Huaylas (Ancash).
The snow-covered Alpamayo in the Cordillera Blanca range of the Andes Mountains has an unmistakable pyramidal shape, an attractive feature for visitors who come to scale its summit.
Location in the Huascarán National Park
Alpamayo is one of the highest summits in Huascarán National Park (eight-day ascent). The peak, on the northern end of the Cordillera Blanca's western branch, can be accessed from the city of Caraz (290 miles from Lima), at the northern end of Callejón de Huaylas. The approach passes through Cashapampa and the Santa Cruz gorge to the Quisuarpampa area, where it then climbs to the Arhuaycocha gorge and reaches base camp at 14,100 feet above sea level.
Mountaineering / Trekking
For those who love mountaineering and trekking, Alpamayo's difficulty level ranges from intermediate to hard depending on the time of year or weather conditions. The recommended time for visiting Alpamayo is from May through September.
There are at least 13 ways to access Alpamayo, so it is important to be informed and go with a specialized group with the skills and knowledge to reach the summit safely. There are packaged trips for both rock climbing or trekking that include a day of acclimatization and a chance to see the different tourist attractions around Alpamayo.
It is important to remember that temperatures on Alpamayo are very low and can drop to 21°F at night and average 50°F during the day, with dry weather conditions and icy cold.
The “Ferrari” route is the most well-known and frequently climbed. It is one of the shortest routes, but also one of the most dangerous because of its large seracs (large blocks of ice formed by deep crevasses in a glacier). Many people and guides mistakenly call it the "French Direct” route. The alternative route is called the "Basque – French” route. When the "Ferrari” route has too many seracs, the alternative route is recommended for climbers.
What is there to see at Alpamayo?
The loop hike around Alpamayo is one of the longest in Huascarán National Park at 50 miles. It is a great choice for people who love trekking, with a difficulty level of intermediate to hard. The trail plunges into deep canyons and climbs over high passes, passing through a wide range of elevations and climates. On the way, hikers can experience the rich flora and fauna of the high Andes, glaciers and lakes, picturesque towns, and archaeological ruins like Hualcayán and Yaino. The route rewards hikers with up-close views of the towering Alpamayo.
Known to locals as Shuytu rahu and internationally as "The Most Beautiful Mountain in the World,” Alpamayo is one of the most important tourist sites in the Huascarán National Park, and in all of Peru. Those who experience its majesty and white, snow-covered heights remember them forever. Don’t miss your chance to see them!