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Chopicalqui and Yanapaccha Expedition

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Guided Climb of Chopicalqui and Yanapacha

Chopicalqui is a challenging and mega classic climbing peak in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca. Towering at almost 28,846 feet, this peak offers an incredible opportunity to do a technically involved climb at high altitude, but also experience terrain that few other peaks offer with this level of accessibility. A smaller satellite peak, Yanapacha of 17,716ft, offers great grounds to acclimatize and do the necessary training before our main objective, at the same time it brings an “out of the beaten path” summit to your bucket list.

We begin the expedition in the mountain town of Huaraz after a private van ride from Lima. After a day of packing, preparation and an acclimatization hike to the beautiful Churup lake 14,400ft, we depart Huaraz for Quebrada Llanganuco, where we stop and set up Base Camp at Cebollapampa. Another spectacular day-hike, in this case to famous Laguna 69, guarantees optimal acclimatization before heading above the 5000m mark.

We’ll then move on to Yanapaccha Moraine Camp, from where we’ll attempt our first objective. After this first phase of our trip and a rest day at Base Camp, where we enjoy our cook’s wonderful local recipes, we will venture up onto Chopicalqui’s glacier, to set the first of our 2 camps on this peak. With the help of our porters, we make a move higher up on the peak’s intricate glacier to reach the highest of our settlements. Summit day will start very early the next morning; a series of steep snow and ice pitches up to 65°separated by sharp ridges will bring us to the top of this astonishing peak, with some of the best views in the Cordillera Blanca.

Expedition Support: Burros, Porters, & Cooks

Our trips are fully supported with burros or porters, and cooks. This allows us to limit pack weights on the approach to help ease the adjustment to the altitude, and give us a greater chance for success on the climbs. Our porters and cooks stay with us in the mountains, facilitating both our upward progress on the climb as well as the ease of the overall logistics for the program.

2023 Dates



$7500 per person

rexerNo Hidden Fees



  • Guiding and trip leadership with an AMGA Certified, Bi-lingual guides
  • Ground Transportation in Peru
  • All in-country lodging
  • Burros, Porters, and Cooks
  • Park Entrance Fees
  • Breakfasts and Dinners in the mountains
  • Group camping and cooking equipment (tents, stoves, etc.)
  • Group climbing and technical equipment (ropes, etc.)

Chopicalqui and Yanapaccha Expedition Itinerary

The SJMG Difference

SJMG has been running programs in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca since the late 90’s. As a result, we have developed an in-depth understanding of what it takes to manage the overall flow and logistics of the Alpamayo Expedition.  From a refined and time-tested itinerary, and up-to-date and detailed knowledge of the routes on Chopicalqui and Yanapaccha, to choosing the perfect hotels and other local operators – you can rest assured that our program represents the best in the industry when it comes to the execution of all the little details that help make this a rewarding and successful experience. Our Peru expeditions will be lead by our senior guide Elias de Andres, who is nearing 30 incursions into this mountain range, bilingual in Spanish-English and with a long relationship with our local outfitter, Elias will guarantee the best odds for your success.

Day 1

Depart the U.S. for Lima, Peru. Most flights arrive in Lima in the late evening. Upon arrival, a taxi ride takes you to our hotel. Overnight in Lima.

Day 2

We leave Lima and make the drive in a private van to Huaraz (9.500), the gateway to the Cordillera Blanca, which will take most of the day. In the evening, relax at the hotel.

Day 3

Today we acclimatize in Huaraz, with a half-day hike to Churup Lake at 14,400′. In the afternoon, we review the equipment we need for the climb and pack for next day’s departure to the mountains. Overnight in Huaraz.

Day 4

CEBOLLAPAMPA BASE CAMP: Leaving Huaraz in the morning, we make the two-hour drive to Cebollapampa (12,800′). We set up camp in this beautiful meadow, surrounded by some of the most iconic peaks of the range. In the afternoon we hike to Lake 69 (15,250′), a very picturesque glacial lagoon perched underneath Nevado Pisco and Chacraraju.

Day 5

ACCLIMATIZATION AT BASE CAMP: We spend the day at BC, acclimatizing and giving our bodies a rest before work starts up high. We also organize the loads of gear that will be carried our higher camp.

Day 6

YANAPACCHA CAMP: We say goodbye to our cook and the luxuries of Base Camp and move to Camp 1. Located on the very edge of the glacier, we reach camp by walking on slabs of smooth granite, eroded by the receding glacier.

Day 7

YANAPACCHA SUMMIT DAY (17,716′): Today we tackle the first of our summit attempts for this expedition. A moderate glacier climb, brings us to the upper slopes, and from here, two steep pitches of snow and ice give us access to Yanapaccha’s summit. After enjoying the views we retrace our steps to Camp 1. We will spend the night here to continue to acclimatize

Day 8

CEBOLLAPAMPA BASE CAMP: We descend in the morning to Base Camp from our climb, and spend the rest of the day resting and enjoying our well earned first summit in the Cordillera Blanca.

Day 9

CEBOLLAPAMPA BASE CAMP: We continue to rest today at the same time as we prepare for our move up to Chopicalqui Camp 1.

Day 10

CHOPICALQUI MORAINE CAMP (16,075′): Similar to our hike to Yanapaccha Camp 1, giant Huascaran peaks dominate the surrounding views. We make the approach to our first camp on Chopicalqui following trails through the rocky terrain until reaching the glacial moraine where we establish camp.

Day 11

CHOPICALQUI CAMP 2 (17,716′): We wake early and pack camp to start our move up to High Camp. Upon entering the glacier, we will climb ramps of up to 40 degrees on a circuitous route around the many crevasses existing on this side of the mountain.

Day 12

CHOPICALQUI SUMMIT DAY (20,846′): From our high camp, we follow the southwest ridge to the summit, with several steep climbing pitches along the route. The views from the summit are incomparable. Although this is the most strenuous day of the trip, the views and reward of the involved climbing, make it all worthwhile. We descend to Camp 1 for the night, rappelling the steep steps we climbed on the ascent.

Day 13

DESCEND TO HUARAZ (10,000′):  After another early wake-up, we take camp down and head to Base Camp, where our cook will greet us with a well-earned brunch. We’ll dismantle our tents, load the bus and return to Huaraz.

Day 14

CONTINGENCY DAY: We reserve this day for unforeseen circumstances.

Day 15

TRAVEL TO LIMA: After breakfast, we load our private vehicle and begin the drive to Lima. We arrive in Lima in the late afternoon and transfer to the airport to catch our evening flights home.

Day 16

TRAVEL DAY: Arrive home.




Chopicalqui and Yanapaccha Expedition Equipment List

Duffel BagDescriptionGuide's Pick
1 - 2 Large, durable bags for oragnizing and transporting your gear during airline travel etc.
BackpackDescriptionGuide's Pick
Osprey’s Variant 52 is the ultimate pack for expedition and high alpine climbers. Designed to carry specialized mountain gear such as skis, wands, ice protection, and ice tools, this pack can be easily stripped down to minimize weight for a summit push.
ThermosDescriptionGuide's Pick
Coffee is the lifeblood of champions. We highly encourage the consumption of coffee on our programs. The darker the better.
Water BottlesDescriptionGuide's Pick
We recommend wide mouth Nalgene (or similar) water bottles for the majority of our programs. Two 1 liter bottles is the standard for days in the mountains.
Bottle InsulatorsDescriptionGuide's Pick
Insulating water bottle parkas are recommended in the winter months, for ice climbing or cold weather alpine trips.
Stuff SacksDescriptionGuide's Pick
Stuff sacks are a great way to organize your gear in your pack and help to keep things tidy in a variety of ways. A great addition to any of our programs.
Personal FoodDescriptionGuide's Pick
Lunch begins when breakfast ends and ends when dinner begins. Bring what you like to eat and consider the length, relative difficulty, weight, and other factors when deciding what to bring in the mountains with you. A variety is always best. Don't be afraid of Mr. T.
SunglassesDescriptionGuide's Pick
A good pair of wrap around sunglasses are an essential item for all of our trips. When the sun shines brightly on fresh snow in the mountains your eyes will thank you for a quality pair of shades. Looking good is important too.
SunscreenDescriptionGuide's Pick
Essential for all of our programs. SPF 30 would be our minimum recommendation. Typically a 4 oz. bottle will suffice but consider trip length when deciding how much to pack.
Lip BalmDescriptionGuide's Pick
Lip balm is important to bring on all trips. SPF 15 or higher is recommended.
HeadlampDescriptionGuide's Pick
A headlamp is recommended for all of our programs and is an essential piece of equipment you will use in a variety of circumstances. Most LED type headlamps will do but we recommend the Black Diamond Storm for its versatility.
First Aid KitDescriptionGuide's Pick
An excellent investment for all of our programs. Our guides always carry a comprehensive medical kit but it's nice to have your own as well.
Small KnifeDescriptionGuide's Pick
A small knife is an indispensable tool to carry with you in the mountains. We like the Spatha knife for its size, weight, versatility, and ability to clip onto a harness.
Digital CameraDescriptionGuide's Pick
While phones these days offer excellent quality, nothing beats the reliability of a dedicated digital camera. You'll be glad you brought it and your guide will make sure to help capture the moment of you being awesome.
Hand WarmersDescriptionGuide's Pick
An optional item, but nice to have on cold weather climbs and courses. Consider having a few stowed away in your pack and you can break them out if you feel you need them.
Ski GogglesDescriptionGuide's Pick
From the sweeping peripheral in the Optimum lens, to the horizon-inspired frame structure, FARGO proves sometimes a quick stop in a small place leads to more than you would have ever expected. Goggles are mandatory on all ski programs and cold weather alpine objectives.
SocksDescriptionGuide's Pick
Synthetic socks area must for all outdoor activities. Select a pair that fits well, is warm, and is comfortable. Bring 2-3 pairs depending on the type of trip.
Base Layer TopDescriptionGuide's Pick
Choosing the right base layer really makes a difference in comfort, moisture-wicking, and the balance between cool and warm at the right time and in the right places. The Outdoor Research Echo Hoody also offers good sun protection.
Base Layer BottomDescriptionGuide's Pick
Similar to the base layer top. These are wear all the time in all conditions base layer pants. A must have for alpine and ice climbing trips and objectives.
Mid Weight TopDescriptionGuide's Pick
A midlayer for anything from ski tours to alpine ascents, the CoEfficient Hoody features Polartec Power Dry High Efficiency fleece with a gridded interior for increased wicking performance and added breathability. The under-the-helmet hood and full-length zipper let you regulate temperature on the go, so you don’t find yourself overheating a half hour into the day. A slim cut helps the CoEfficient Hoody fit comfortably under your shell, and with a redsigned, trim fit, this layer takes up little space in your pack.
Soft Shell JacketDescriptionGuide's Pick
Designed specifically with Ice and Alpine Climbers in mind, the Outdoor Research Iceline Jacket will foot the bill for your workhorse soft-shell jacket of choice in the mountains. Feature rich and detail oriented, our guides love to work and climb in this jacket.
Soft Shell PantsDescriptionGuide's Pick
The Cirque Pants are a durable, heavy-weight technical soft shell pant built for high-energy climbing, mountaineering and ice climbing. The highly breathable, wind and weather-resistant double-weave stretch fabric excels in high-mountain conditions. The zippered thigh pocket ensures energy bars and maps remain easily accessible.
Insulated ParkaDescriptionGuide's Pick
Ice climbers know a thing or two about staying warm in all those long, stationary stretches when their partner is leading a pitch. We made the Perch Belay Parka for them (and for anyone who wants water-resistant warmth while, say, grilling burgers in a ski resort parking lot in February).
Insulated VestDescriptionGuide's Pick
Same spirit, same guts, and same award-winning hybrid-mapped design of the Cathode Hooded Jacket, minus the sleeves and hood. An insulated vest is an optional item on our programs but we do think vests offer excellent flexible layering options in a variety of circumstances, weather conditions, and trip types.
Shell JacketDescriptionGuide's Pick
Our Outside Magazine and Men’s Journal “Gear of the Year” award-winning storm shell is engineered for fast-and-light alpine climbs and all-day backcountry tours. You need at minimum either a soft shell jacket or hard shell jacket for local Ouray based winter courses and programs.
Shell PantsDescriptionGuide's Pick
Waterproof, breathable and lightweight, the GORE-TEX® Foray Pants provide dependable rain protection and shrug off the wear-and-tear of the trail and cityscape alike.
Warm HatDescriptionGuide's Pick
The Booster’s reversible design lets you choose. The soft yarn blend will provide a cozy sanctuary throughout winter’s chill.
Baseball CapDescriptionGuide's Pick
A required item on the majority of our programs, a baseball cap helps to keep harmful sun off your face. The Radar Pocket cap is packable, durable, and looks great!
Lightweight GlovesDescriptionGuide's Pick
Updated for touchscreen compatibility, the StormTracker Sensor Gloves are equally at home alpine climbing, ski touring or ice climbing. Low-profile GORE® WINDSTOPPER®. Soft Shell fabric deflects biting gusts, and a tricot lining retains valuable heat.
Midweight GlovesDescriptionGuide's Pick
Built to handle cold mornings on the up-track and powder turns all the way back down, these versatile gloves feature a new stretch nylon shell outer, a goat leather palm with textured fingertips, and a warm, quick-drying wool blend lining.
Heavy GlovesDescriptionGuide's Pick
Our pinnacle technical alpine climbing glove was inspired by the design of medieval gauntlets and built for elite climbers. These breathable three-in-one gloves—built with a GORE® WINDSTOPPER® soft shell outer and warm, removable, quick-drying wool blend liners—are perfect for multi-day endeavors.
Mountaineering AxeDescriptionGuide's Pick
A modern version of Chouinard's original curved-pick mountain axe, the Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe is our classic mountaineer's piolet that has been used on classic climbs the world over for decades. The Raven's durable aircraft aluminum shaft and investment-cast stainless steel pick are engineered for secure self-arresting.
Belay DeviceDescriptionGuide's Pick
A belay device is a required item on any of our technical climbing or mountaineering courses. While not necessary to have the Guide ATC specifically, we think owning one of these offers additional versatility as you progress and gain additional knowledge about the various levels of functionality provided by a device of this type.
HarnessDescriptionGuide's Pick
The BD Aspect Harness is a great all around performer for all types of climbing - ice, rock, alpine etc. The adjustable leg loops and integrated ice clipper loops make this a solid investment as your do-all harness.
Locking CarabinersDescriptionGuide's Pick
We recommend at minimum 2 - 3 personal locking carabiners on our climbing courses and any technical private guided program. We prefer classic screw gate carabiners over other types of locking mechanisms.
Climbing HelmetDescriptionGuide's Pick
A versatile, hybrid-shell helmet for lightweight protection in any discipline, the Vector features excellent ventilation and a ratcheting adjuster.
Balaclava or BuffDescriptionGuide's Pick
Simple, effective and infinitely adaptable, Original BUFF® headwear is the product that started the multifunctional headwear revolution. At its core is a moisture-managing microfiber fabric that is wind resistant and able to control odor. We recommend the BUFF for all of our programs as a multi-purpose insulation piece and trendy headgear!
Non Locking CarabinersDescriptionGuide's Pick
A selection of non-locking carabiners is recommended on all of our technical climbing programs. Consider at least 4 - 6 and we prefer wire gate carabiners over more traditional gate carabiners. Many options exist so just consider a variety when putting your carabiner rack together!
Climbing BootsDescriptionGuide's Pick
The Batura 2.0 GTX uses cutting edge proprietary two layer Gore® technology to create a boot that is warmer and more breathable for technical routes in the mountains. An integrated external gaiter with an asymmetrical zipper uses stretch Gore® technology to keep you dry while the inner boot uses another Gore® layer to allow moisture transport to the outer layer creating the ideal climate for your feet in cold conditions.
Adjustable Trekking PolesDescriptionGuide's Pick
This is an optional item on our programs. However, a good pair of trekking poles is a worthy piece of gear to have with you for long approaches or treks through the mountains. There are many added benefits to trekking poles. The new BD Distance series poles are light, collapsible, and adjustable.
CordelletesDescriptionGuide's Pick
Accessory cord or cordelette material is essential equipment that offer great versatility in use and application. Consider getting a few for your climbing rack.
SlingsDescriptionGuide's Pick
Climbing slings or runners are an excellent compliment to your climbing gear. Versatile in their use and applicability, consider having a few of each length on your rack.
Avalanche ShovelDescriptionGuide's Pick
With a redesigned blade construction for cleaner snow study and easier stomping through hard avy debris, the Transfer is our workhorse shovel with a removable, extendable shaft for working in deep pits.
Avalanche ProbeDescriptionGuide's Pick
Built for daily snow study, snow professionals and deeper snowpacks, the Tour Probe 320 features a durable, all-aluminum construction.
Sleeping PadDescriptionGuide's Pick
The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir All Season mattress is lightweight, durable, extremely warm, and the ultimate solution to year-round backcountry comfort. Stable construction and 2.5-inch thickness offer greater comfort for a full night of sleep, so you won't feel the uneven, rough terrain beneath you.
Winter Sleeping BagDescriptionGuide's Pick
The Western Mountaineering Lynx MF -10 Degree Sleeping Bag is a down sleeping bag for cold weather in the backcountry. Venture into the outdoors in the early spring, on foot or searching for the best ski spots before the snow melts and this medium sized cat will take care of the warmth. Filled with 32oz of 850+ fill power down, you're getting a 9" loft to surround your whole body with warmth as you sleep.
Mountain CramponsDescriptionGuide's Pick
A classic 10-point crampon for mountaineering and glacier travel, the Contact features a durable stainless steel construction and a stable, lightweight design. Available in a Strap or Clip version.
SnowshoesDescriptionGuide's Pick
The MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes are lightweight and aggressive to take you onward and upward through all types of terrain. The advanced 360° traction frames provide grippy traction beneath while surrounding a lightweight ballistic decking to keep you up on top instead of postholing your way through the snowfield. The frame and deck combination is super durable and ready to take on all types of snow through changing terrain.

Training & Follow Up Climbs

As always, being in excellent physical shape is an important component of our our programs. A good mixture of cardiovascular fitness, muscular fitness, and especially core strength will help you to maximize the potential rewards that are possible on a great climbing trip.

Before Your Trip

The Chopicalqui and Yanapaccha Expedition requires our participants to have previous technical climbing experience.  At a minimum, participants should have completed our Alpine Expedition Prep Course and a few days of Private Ice Guiding on ice routes such as Stairway to Heaven and Whorehouse Ice Hose.  Additionally, team members on this expedition should have previous multi-day expedition experience on climbs such as Ecuador’s Volcanoes, Denali’s West Buttress, or similar climbs in Alaska’s Ruth Gorge.

We take the screening for the Chopicalqui and Yanapaccha Expedition seriously, so please get in touch with our office if you have any questions about your fitness for the climb.  Team members should engage in a rigorous cardiovascular and upper/lower body training regimen.  The Uphill Athlete as well as Cold Fear have excellent training resources available to aspiring alpinists.

For the Expedition you should be ready for:

  • Travel in a South American country – Peru
  • Climbing 55 – 70 degree neve & ice at altitudes up to 6000 meters
  • 12 – 15 hour summit days and early alpine starts
  • Fickle weather, cold temperatures, warm temperatures, delays, other factors beyond our control

Follow Up Climbs


Huaraz, Peru: Getting There

For the purposes of practicality, all of our Peru: Cordillera Blanca programs begin and end in Lima, Peru.  However, we spend minimal time in Lima and quickly transfer our program to Huaraz (9,800′) at the base of the Cordillera Blanca.  Each climbing season (May – September), hundreds of climbers descend on Huaraz and utilize the relatively modern South American city as a base of operations from which to organize climbs and treks throughout the nearby Cordillera Blanca.  Our itinerary calls for travel to Huaraz by either 1st class bus or private vehicle.  Participants may also choose to fly into Huaraz, connecting through Lima.

plane-icon We require our participants to fly into Lima, Peru. The International Airport is a busy hub for airline travel and many options exist. Most flights from the US to Lima originate in either Miami, FL or Houston, TX.  We quickly exit Lima and transfer to Huaraz by either 1st class bus or private vehicle.


suv-icon We’ve never had trip participants actually drive to Peru from the US. Although it is entirely possible, we can’t recommend this option.

  • Ouray, CO to Huaraz, Peru: 100+ hours


hotel-icon-2 We provide lodging in Peru for the duration of the program.

Program Policies

Registration & Cancellation

Advance Registration is required for this program.  You have the option to either call our office and register via phone or utilize our secure Online Reservation System.  All participants must read and sign an Assumption of Risks/Liability Waiver and agree to our Reservations and Cancellations Policies.


  • Guiding and trip leadership with an AMGA Certified, Bi-lingual guides
  • Ground Transportation in Peru
  • All in-country lodging
  • Burros, Porters, and Cooks
  • Park Entrance Fees
  • Breakfasts and Dinners in the mountains
  • Group camping and cooking equipment (tents, stoves, etc.)
  • Group climbing and technical equipment (ropes, etc.)


  • Transportation to Lima, Peru
  • Additional hotel costs before or after the program or those not planned on the itinerary
  • Personal Lunch Food
  • Meals or drinks in towns, cities, and hotels
  • Trip cancellation insurance – recommended
  • Personal alpine climbing clothing
  • Costs associated with early returns, weather delays, or other factors beyond our control
  • Final transfer from Lima hotel to airport
  • Guide gratuity


Book This Trip!

We Offer Online Registration

  1. Click on Book This Trip
  2. Select your Program dates
  3. Enter your Info and Payment


Or, call 800.642.5389 to register