Once acclimatized, Ishinca valley is a one of the best options for getting started in the Cordillera Blanca. A 2 hour drive from Huaraz to the donkey station is necessary before the hike to the basecamp, accompanied by our donkeys and donky drivers, starts.The basecamp / Ishinca refuge is on 4.350 m / 14,270 ft. There are great camping options and also a refuge is available. Schedule about 7 days for summiting all THREE of the below mentioned, attractive peaks:
Acclimatization tour to one of the glaciers of the Ishinca Valley from the Ishinca refuge, with first easier rocky parts. 1.150 m / 3,770 ft elevation gain to the summit – the roundtrip takes approximately 6 – 8 hours. Views especially of Tocllaraju are amazing. Also Ishinca and Ranrapalca can be seen during the ascent to Urus summit.
Acclimatization tour from Ishinca Valley base camp. Glacier with easier rocky sections. 1.200 m / 3,937 ft elevation gain to the summit. Especially the approach to the mountain's summit is long and requires a good physical condition and comfortable shoes. In terms of technical difficulties the tour is still on the easier side, although there is a tricky area with crevasses in the upper part. The roundtrip to Ishinca summit and back to the base camp takes 8 – 10 hours. Also on the way to Ishinca you can enjoy wonderful views and feel Ranrapalca's North Face really close.
Tocllarjau is a (very) demanding tour in terms of physical condition and mountaineering technique to a wonderful peak with more than 6000 m / 19,000 ft. Good acclimatization is absolutely necessary in order to assure a successful ascent. The tour starts from Ishinca Valley base camp with an overnight stay at 5.300 m / 17,380 ft in the high camp and can be scheduled for 2 or 3 days.
Make sure to schedule enough time for Ishinca valley, it's really worthwhile. Rest days are as important as the summit days and Ishinca basecamp area is a perfect place for enjoying the Peruvian sun up in the high mountains.