View Cart800-642-5389 Menu

Alpamayo Expedition

Denali’s West Rib
November 10, 2016
Artesonraju Expedition
November 14, 2016

Guided Climb of Alpamayo’s French Direct

Long considered one of the world’s most beautiful mountains, Alpamayo remains one of mountaineering’s most coveted summits. Situated in the “Himalayas of South America,” the Cordillera Blanca is much more accessible than its Asian counterpart, yet there are scores of peaks over 19,000 feet and 6000 meters.  This expedition takes advantage of the rich Peruvian culture and the magnificent alpine terrain to climb the French Direct on the Southwest Face of Alpamayo.

Similar to it’s neighboring route up the fluted face – the now seldom climbed Ferrari Route – the French Direct is characterized by steep snow and ice climbing up to 70 degrees.  This now preferred ascent route offers less objective hazard and is a more direct line to the summit on Alpamayo’s SW face.  After our summit climb, we carry our equipment back down to base camp, then retrace our route back to Cashapampa, Caraz, Huaraz and finally to Lima where we depart for home.

Expedition Support: Burros, Porters, & Cooks

After spending a day in Huaraz (9,800′) checking and repacking gear, we drive north along the foot of the mountains to the trailhead of the beautiful Quebrada Santa Cruz, passing Huascaran on our way.   We trek up the Santa Cruz valley for two days to Quebrada Arhuaycocha, below the rugged and majestic peaks of Taulliraju and Artesonraju.  Here we will place our base camp in preparation for our climb of Alpamayo.

Our trips are fully supported with burros, porters, and cooks.  This allow 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.

2023 Dates




$7550 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.)

Alpamayo 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 route on Alpamayo’s SW face, 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.

Day 1

Depart U.S. for Peru arriving late evening. We will be there to pick you up at the airport and transport you to our hotel near the US Embassy in the Mariscal Sur district.

Day 2

Today we travel to the high mountain town of Huaraz (9,500 ft.), and our hotel accommodations for the evening.

Day 3

In Huaraz, we organize equipment and food for our expedition.  This also serves as a valuable acclimatization day.

Day 4

Drive to Cashapampa (9,000′).  Along the way we will pass through many smaller Peruvian villages and enjoy beautiful views of many Cordillera Blanca peaks, including the massive Huascaran. We begin our trek up the lovely Santa Cruz Valley to camp at Illma Corral (11,500′).

Day 5

Another splendid day of trekking in the high Andes to reach our base camp (13,500′) for Alpamayo.

Day 6

We hike a load of equipment and supplies to camp 1 (moraine) and return to base camp.

Day 7

Today we hike to and stay at moraine camp.

Day 8

A rest and acclimatization day at moraine camp.

Day 9

Today we will move to Camp 2, also known as Col Camp.  This is one of the more challenging days of the expedition, as we will be navigating crevasses and some steep two-tool climbing with heavier packs on the way to our camp at 18,000′.

Day 10

Summit Day on Alpamayo (19,512′).  After we cross the bergschrund it is approximately 7 – 9 pitches of 55 – 70 degree neve and ice climbing to the summit ridge and the top of this sought after peak.  We will rappel the route back to high camp.

Day 11

Extra summit day or rest day at Col Camp.

Day 12

Extra summit day on Alpamayo.  Alternatively and if the group is feeling strong, we may choose to climb Quitaraju (19,820′) by it’s North Face.  Though not as steep as Alpamayo, the route is longer and crests the magical 6000 meter mark.

Day 13

Descend to basecamp from Col Camp.

Day 14

With the aid of horses we will descend from basecamp back to Cashapampa and continue to Huaraz.

Day 15

Depart Huaraz and return to Lima. It is best to schedule a flight that night and you will return to the U.S.




Alpamayo 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 Alpamayo 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 Alpamayo climb 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 Alpine Training Center in Boulder as well as Cold Fear have excellent training resources available to aspiring alpinists.

For the Ham & Eggs 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