Trips 2014

Mt. Ausangate Trek and Climb – Itinerary

Trip Dates:
For the year 2014 we have decided not to advertise departure dates, but instead to work with groups of 4 passengers or more. If you would like to develop your own group, with your own departure dates please contact us and we will be happy to organize your trip and provide all of the first class services you desire.

Land Cost:
7-9 Participants: $2895/person (does not include airfare)
4-6 Participants:$3295/person (does not include airfare)

Single supplement:
$120.00 for private room or tent

17-Day trip beginning and ending in the USA
5 Nights lodging, 10 Nights full service camping
All meals included except 2 lunches and 2 dinners

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Trip Testimonials
General Trip Information

Day-by-day Itinerary

Day 1
Fly from the U.S.A. to Lima.  Stay overnight in Lima at a hotel near the airport.

Day 2
Flight from Lima to Cuzco:
Continental breakfast is provided before your early morning flight to Cuzco.  Arriving in Cuzco a short drive takes us to are hotel in the heart of Cuzco, here you are welcomed with a drink of coca tea. Drinking coca tea is a local custom to aid in your acclimatization.  After checking into your rooms you will be on your own to eat lunch in one of the many diverse restaurants found around the main plaza.  Following lunch, you will have the afternoon free to explore around the city of Cuzco on your own. Later the group will go out for a welcome dinner.  Breakfast and dinner are provided.

Click for larger viewChincheros weaving demonstration
Chincheros weaving demonstration
© Brad Johnson

Day 3
Chinchero Market:
 An early departure from the hotel, we drive to the village of Chinchero and visit the colorful Sunday market.The morning is spent walking through the market, an excellent place for photographing the local colors and customs. We will be given a private weaving demonstration by some of the local Indian women and have the opportunity to purchase weavings and other handicrafts from them.  In the afternoon we visit the ancient salt mine of Moray walk from there to the bottom of the Urubamba River valley. We then drive back to Cuzco and enjoy strolling the streets of this ancient city.  You will stay overnight in Cuzco. Breakfast and lunch provided, dinner not included.

Day 4
Hiking in the hills above Cuzco:
  Today you will spend more than half of the day exploring five different ruins in the hills above the city of Cuzco. We drive 3 miles out of town and then walk back to Cuzco, visiting and exploring each of these ruins along the way. This walk provides an opportunity to witness the daily agricultural life of the highland people working their fields and tending to their Llamas and Alpacas. A picnic lunch will be served in a grassy meadow near one of the ruins. This will be a very enjoyable day and one that will help everyone get better acclimatized for the trek and climb ahead. You will stay overnight in Cuzco.  Breakfast and lunch provided, dinner not included.
Click for larger view The Ruins of Sacsayhuaman above Cuzco
The Ruins of Sacsayhuaman above Cuzco
© Brad Johnson

Click for larger viewBreakfast at Upis beneath Ausangate
Breakfast at Upis beneath Ausangate
© Brad Johnson

Day 5
Cuzco to Tinqui and the village of Upis. We depart Cuzco early in the morning and drive 5 hours to the village of Tinqui (12,500ft). Here we meet our animal drivers and horses, get the gear loaded on the animals and begin our trek. This day will be an easy day of walking toward Mt. Ausangate. We will camp above the hamlet of Upis (14,765ft) and choose some nice hot spring to soak in. 4-5 hrs walking.

Day 6
Rest Day:
It is extremely important that we get acclimatized properly so that we perform well on the climb. Due to the altitude of this campsite and the following passes and campsites we will spend a day here to adjust to the altitude and possibly go for an easy hike beneath the immense northwest face of Ausangate.

Day 7
Upis to Laguna Jatun Pucacocha: Leaving Upis we walk up a beautiful valley directly beneath the huge west face of Ausangate and then turn right and gain 1,650 ft to reach our first pass called Arapa (approximately 16,400ft.). A gradual descent brings us to a group of lakes in the next valley. We continue up this valley and camp at the beautiful Laguna Jatun Pucacocha directly beneath the southwest side of the mountain. This campsite is high (15,195ft) and will probably be cold too. 5-6 hrs walking.
Click for larger viewCamp at Laguna Jatun Pucacocha
Camp at Laguna Jatun Pucacocha
© Brad Johnson
Click for larger viewBasecamp below Ausangate
Basecamp below Ausangate
© Brad Johnson
Day 8
Laguna Jatun Pucacocha to Ausangate Base Camp: Today is a fairly big day of walking with two high passes, lots of views of Ausangate and the cascading glaciers. Leaving camp we immediately begin a 2 hrs climb of Cerro Ausangate pass (16,500ft.) followed by a steep descent in the next valley. We pass by the beautiful lake of Ausangate and then make another steep climb to the top of Palomino pass (16,750ft.). From Palomino pass we can see the upper slopes of the east side of Ausangate and our planned route to the summit. The views of Ausangate are spectacular and we begin to see more glaciated peaks of the region.  Leaving the pass we make another steep descent into the next valley where our base camp will be set up at 15,400ft for the climb. 6-7 hrs of walking.

Day 9
Climb to Camp I on Ausangate:
Our goal today is to carry food, tents and other equipment up to camp I at around 18,000ft. and then return to base camp to sleep. This will aid us in acclimatizing better for the climb itself. 6-7 hrs of walking.

Day 10
Sleep at Camp I: We leave base camp for good and carry our personal gear up to camp I and move in for the night. Since it will probably take us about 4-5 hrs to reach camp I we will have the remainder of the day to rest and hydrate really well. Depending on the snow line we may or may not be camping on snow.

Click for larger view
Camp I on Ausangate

Camp I on Ausangate
© Brad Johnson

Day 11
Move to Camp 2: Early to bed early to rise. We break camp and carry all of our gear (with the help of porters) up to camp 2. This day we will for sure be roped up and on the glacier. Camp 2 is located on a snow ramp at around 19,000ft. The climbing to camp 2 is not hard, but involves moderate snow climbing at altitude. This will put us in a good position to reach the summit the following day. 5-6hrs.

Click for larger viewClimbing to Camp II
Climbing to Camp II
© Koky Castañeda
Click for larger viewSummit Ridge on Ausangate
Summit Ridge on Ausangate
© Koky Castañeda
Day 12
Summit day: We will awake about 2 am and depart by 3 am so that we can ascend the 400ft high headwall and reach the summit slopes by sunrise. Once on the summit slopes we have a very long gradual walk, normally in deep snow to the summit ridge. This final ridge is quite spectacular as we can look straight down the 5000ft northwest face of Ausangate.

The summit itself is only big enough for a few people at a time and the views from 20,926ft are nothing short of spectacular. Hopefully we will be on the summit by 9am and back to high camp by early afternoon so that we can pack up camp and descend at least to camp I. 12-14hr day.
Click for larger viewAusangate Summit
Ausangate Summit
© Brad Johnson
Day 13
Return To Base Camp:
Up with the sun and pack up our camp and head back to base camp. We should arrive for lunch and have the remainder of the day to relax. 3-4hrs.

Day 14
Base Camp to Laguna Azulcocha:
Leaving base camp we walk down valley for about 1 hour to the main Rio Jampamayo river valley and the walk up this long valley toward our final pass called Campa (16,400ft). Crossing Camp pass we now have completed the circuit of the Ausangate massif as we descend back to the north side. We will finish the day camping at a beautiful lake called Laguna Azulcocha, directly below the enormous north face of Ausangate. It will be a great end to a long trek before heading back to Cuzco. 6-7hrs.

Click for larger viewCamp at Laguna Azulcocha
Camp at Laguna Azulcocha
© Brad Johnson
Day 15
Laguna Azulcocha to Pachanta Hot Springs to Tinqui and Cuzco:
It is all down hill from here the Pachanta hot springs and then down the road toward Tinqui. If we are lucky maybe our bus will drive up to meet us so we do not have to walk all the way into town. 4-5 hrs walking. Once on the bus we will still have a 4-5 hrs drive back to Cuzco. It will be a long day but well worth it.

Day 16
Cuzco to Lima:
You will have the morning to do any last minute shopping in Cuzco before going to the airport for your flight to Lima. There will be time for dinner and then you will check in for your night flight home.

Back to trip pageDay 17
Arrive in the USA.

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