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The Ishinca Valley

The Ishinca Valley

Another popular trek is into the Ishinca Valley, often combined with climbing one or more of the peaks easily accessible from the valley; Ishinca, Urus and Tocllaraju. Where the valley ends, the Italian Alpine Club has set up a refugio where you buy dinner and stay the night. If you stay in a tent, the Iscinca valley offers several very nice camp sites, including the area around the refugio. As for the Santa Cruz trek, most of the trekking agencies in Huaraz, including Hotel Santa Cruz, offers guided tours in to the valley and on the mountains.

A possible itinerary including climbing Ishinca and Urus, could be:

Day 1: Huaraz – Ishinca Valley (4.300m)

Leave Huaraz early in bus or a taxi and after approx. an hour of driving you will reach the small village of Collon. In Collon you can rent a mule to carry your luggage. You then start the trek into the Ishinca Valley, a beautiful valley where you follow the river going in. After 4-5 hours of easy walking, you reach the main camp at 4.300 m. In front of you the peak of Tocclaraju (6.032 m) is looming. If you want to try the summit of Ishinca, you have to decide if you want to do it from Mini_1327.jpgthis camp or if you want to move to a higher camp the next day.

Day 2: High Camp, Ishinca (4.800m)

If you did decide to move to high camp, you use day 2 to move camp approx. 500 m higher and reach the base of the glacier. Carrying most of your equipment, you will probable use 3-4 hours before you are settle in your new camp.

Day 3: Ishinca (5.530m)

You start with the daylight at around 5-6am, and after 15-20 minutes you put on your glacier equipment. Then you will be walking on the glacier for about 4-5 hours, with the views just getting nicer and nicer, before reaching the summit at around noon. The views from the summit are stunning, and especially towards the summits of Tocllaraju og Ranrapalca. The walk down is fast, and you move the camp back to the Ishinca valley.

Day 4: Urus (5.420m) or Huaraz

If you feel fit, you get up early the next day (3-4am), and head up the trail towards he summit of Urus. The path starts steeply directly from the camp site. You will reach the summit at 10-11 am, again with very nice views in all directions. You then head down and if you are still in good shape you can break camp and head back to Collon and get a taxi or bus back to Huaraz the same day. If not, the camp is a nice place to stay one more night.

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