One of the most popular and easily accessed base camps in the Blanca is the Ishinca Valley. From a base camp(4400 mts.) in the Ishinca one may climb a number of peaks, the most popular being the Urus Peaks; Oeste, 5450 mts, Central, 5494 mts, and Este, 5420 mts, Ishinca, 5530 mts, Tocllaraju, 6032 mts, Ranrapalca, 6162 mts, and Palcaraju, 6274 mts. A high camp is usually needed for the higher peaks. The Ishinca is a very beautiful valley with good day hikes and great photographic appeal. It is these very attributes that also make the Ishinca overused, abused and crowded. Please respect this fragile alpine environment. Carry it in, carry it out. Clean up your camp and the area around your camp. Politely encourage others to do the same. Please use the Water is Life project composting toilet. Help protect and conserve the ground water supply for the villages down valley. You maybe asked for your park pass and to sign in at a small hut along the trail in the Quenal Forest area. Have it ready just in case. Pass can be purchased at the Parque Nacional Huascaran office in the Ministerio de Agricultura headquarters on Ave.Reymondi in Huaraz. Cost in 2008 was 65.00 soles for a one month entrance.
Leaving Huaraz in the morning, one can be in base camp by early dinner time. In years past, most approached via the village of Collon. However, now, because of road improvements, higher trailhead elevation, and a shorter hike, Pashba has become the trailhead of choice. You can arrange for an arriero and burros at Pashba or Collon. In 2008, I paid 10 dollars a day for an arriero and five dollars a day per burro. If you arrive early, you will get out to the Ishinca that day. It is best to make your arrangements before leaving Huaraz. Your lodging may be able to arrange logistical support. If not, Chris Benway, at the Café Andino, can be a good resource.
There is a Refugio in the Ishinca and one can stay there for about 10 dollars a day, meals extra. Many have mixed feelings about this hut, fearing it would be the ruin of the valley. For those who camp, there is a fresh, safe water source behind the Refugio at the wash basin. The water is piped in from a spring up hill. I have used this water safely, without treatment in ‘05 and ‘08. Please ask to fill your bottles.
The hike into the Ishinca takes about 4-6 hours and covers about 11 km from Pashba. From Collon it is about 5-8 hours and 15 km.
Note; these are big, high altitude peaks and conditions are subject to change, season to season, sometimes day to day. Information provided herein is meant only as a general guide and your experience may be quite different.
Ref. Classic Climbs of the Cordillera Blanca, Brad Johnson, 2003
Perhaps the best single source, in English, on the Blanca.
From Huaraz, transport to Pashba or Collon. Arange for Arriero and burros there.
Weather station 9.2 miles from here
6 Total Routes
['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in Ishinca Valley
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Ishinca Valley:
Featured Route For Ishinca Valley
Ranrapalca, 6162m, North Face 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
AI3 M3 Steep Snow South America
: ... : Ishinca Valley
A direct line on the imposing North Face. This is a fast route, with most of the climbing on 40-75degree neve. Easier than it looks, logical weaknesses break through three rock bands with brief sections of good climbing on shattered granite. Good exposure throughout. Recent rapid decreases in ice cover have revealed more rock, making climbing more difficult than the original given grade (during the dry season). On the first rock band we encountered some climbing on verglas over slab(our crux)....[more] Browse More Classics in International
Latest Regional Forum Messages
Stream detail, Ishinca Valley base camp area.
Urus Central, 5494 meters.
The Park hut in the Quenal Forest.
Base camp, Ishinca Valley
With our Arriero, waiting for the burros at Pashba...
Theres some good bouldering at the base camp and s...
The trail between Pashba and Ishinca Valley, below...
Hiking through the Quenal Forrest.
Please do not do this. Use the composting toilet o...
Descending Tocllaraju during a 16 push from the va...