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Huascaran

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  • Show Trip Info

    Price
    $8900
    Deposit
    $2500
    Duration
    24 days
    Difficulty
    Level 4
    Type
    Mountaineering
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Huascaran

Huascaran

In a region renowned for its big alpine peaks, Huascaran looms above the rest. With its summit standing 1,300' above its nearest neighbor, climbing Huascaran is a challenging mixture of expedition style tactics in demanding alpine terrain.

EXPEDITION HIGHLIGHTS

  • Navigate Huascaran's glaciers and steep upper slopes to reach its vast summit, providing stunning views of the Cordillera Blanca.
  • Challenge yourself on a demanding high altitude climb, using a blend of expedition and alpine styles.
  • Climb two additional peaks, Yanapaccha and Chopicalqui, for acclimatization.
  • Benefit from comprehensive logistics with porter support and excellent cooking at Base Camp, and a 2 to 1 climber to guide ratio that ensures personal attention and support throughout the climb.
  • Take part in an RMI adventure and see why we continue to set the standard in guiding excellence.

Huascaran is not only the highest peak in Peru, but also the highest within all of the Earth's tropics. As a result of its altitude, climbing Huascaran mandates a series of acclimatization steps, just like one does on the highest peaks on earth. The terrain provides enough of a technical challenge to excite experienced alpine climbers. Comprehensive logistic support ensures that, in a remote region, the details are taken care of so that climbers are free to focus on the climb ahead.

Our Huascaran Expedition begins in the foothills of the Peruvian Andes as we travel from Lima to the town of Huaraz, the gateway of the Cordillera Blanca. From Huaraz, we head into the mountains to start our acclimatization process by climbing Yanapaccha and Chopicalqui, two peaks well worth a trip to the Cordillera Blanca alone. Porters will help transport our gear, allowing us to make the transition between camps with light daypacks.

After establishing Base Camp, we begin moving our climbing gear higher on the mountain while we acclimatize and review the skills and techniques needed for the climb. We establish three successive camps as we ascend Huascaran, with our high camp at 19,685'.

Huascaran's heavily crevassed glaciers and steep terrain that reach 55° make it a thrilling objective for experienced climbers.

Our Huascaran expedition is for experienced climbers that want to take part in a technically challenging and exciting high altitude expedition. An incredible objective on its own, Huascaran also offers great preparation for a future 8,000m peak expedition. The climbing on all three peaks in this expedition involves heavily glaciated, steep terrain and high altitude. Prior knowledge of roped travel, ice climbing and cramponing techniques, belaying and rappelling, and ice axe arrest is required.

THE RMI DIFFERENCE

RMI was established in 1969 and is one of America's oldest and most-trusted guide services. We are the largest guide service on Mt. Rainier and Denali and leaders in guiding climbs and treks around the globe. Our years of leading mountain adventures give us the experience and knowledge to create the best possible trips and we work hard to live up to our reputation as an industry leader. Our comprehensive trip preparation takes care of the details for you, from hotels to airport transfers, so that you can focus on preparing for the climb instead of the distraction that comes with coordinating logistics.

Our Huascaran Climb is led by RMI's top guides, who bring with them years of climbing experience on mountains all over the world, from the Andes to the Alaska Range to the Himalayas. As you reach higher elevations and test the limits of your experience, the value of an accomplished, highly trained RMI Guide held to our standards cannot be understated.

Additionally, RMI partners with reputable, IFMGA certified guides in Peru to complement the guide team. Our outfitter is recognized as one of the best and most reliable in Peru.

We climb Huascaran with a 2:1 climber to guide ratio to provide the important individual attention needed during this demanding climb.

We use RMI's own climbing equipment brought from the U.S., ensuring that our expedition standards of safety, quality, and reliability are met. We've chosen our hotels and meals to keep our team comfortable, happy, and healthy throughout the climb. We use private vehicles to travel to the mountains, minimizing our time spent on the road and allowing us safer travel. Our exceptional focus on detail, our unparalleled level of climber attention, and our genuine excitement for these adventures are what make our programs truly memorable.

SAFETY

Safety has always been RMI's top priority and we strive to create the safest mountain experience possible. RMI's experienced team of guides focus on leading a fun and successful climb without compromising safety. We apply the same strict standards of safety we bring to the Alaska and the Himalayas to our climbs in Peru. Careful planning, precise ascent profiles, daily weather forecasts, and diligent attention are taken as we venture to high altitudes. Comprehensive medical kits, rescue equipment, and radio and satellite communication equipment are carried with the team throughout the trip.

As you prepare for your upcoming adventure please feel free to contact our office and speak directly to one of our experienced guides regarding equipment, conditioning, the route, or any other questions you may have about our programs. We are available Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at (888) 89-CLIMB or info@rmiguides.com.

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  • Price
    $8900
    Deposit
    $2500
    Duration
    24 days
    Difficulty
    Level 4
    Type
    Mountaineering
Table of Contents
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Day 1

TRAVEL DAY

Depart U.S. for Lima, Peru. Most flights arrive in Lima in the late evening. Upon arrival, a taxi ride takes you to our hotel. Overnight in Lima.



Day 2

HUARAZ • 10,000' | 3,048m

We leave Lima and make the drive in a private van to Huaraz, the gateway to the Cordillera Blanca. The drive takes most of the day. In the afternoon, we explore Huaraz or relax at the hotel. (B)



Day 3

HUARAZ • 10,000' | 3,048m

Today is spent reviewing the equipment we need for the climb and acclimatizing in Huaraz, with a half day hike to Churup Lake at 14,400'. Overnight in Huaraz. (B)



Day 4

cebollapampa BASE CAMP • 12,800' | 3,900m

Leaving Huaraz in the morning, we make the two hour drive to Cebollapamppa (12,800'). We set up camp in this beautiful meadow, surrounded by some of the most iconic peaks of the range. In the afternoon we hike to Lake 69 (15,250'), a very picturesque glacial lagoon perched underneath Nevado Pisco.  (B, D)



Day 5

BASE CAMP • 12,800' | 3,900M

We spend the day at Base Camp, acclimatizing and giving our bodies a rest before the work starts up high. We organize and divide loads of gear to be carried to higher camps. (B, D)



Day 6

Move TO yanapaccha CAMP 1 • 16,075' | 4,900m

We say goodbye to our cook and the luxuries of Base Camp and move to Camp 1. Located on the very edge of the glacier, we reach camp by walking on slabs of smooth granite, eroded by the receding glacier.  (B, D)



Day 7

acclimatization day at CAMP 1 • 16,075' | 4,900m

We spend the day reviewing steep climbing techniques on the adjacent slopes for some active rest that will benefit our acclimatization. We review how to climb efficiently on the steeper terrain to come. (B, D)



Day 8

yanapaccha summit day (17,716')  •  12,800' | 3,900m

Today we tackle the first of our three summit attempts for this expedition. A moderate glacier climb, brings us to the upper slopes and from here two steep pitches of snow and ice give us access to Yanapaccha's summit. After enjoying the views we retrace our steps to Camp 1 and then continue down to Base Camp. (B, D)



Day 9

yanapaccha base camp • 12,800' | 3,900m

We rest from our climb of Yanapaccha and prepare for our move up to Chopicalqui Camp 1. (B, D)



Day 10

Chopicalqui moraine camp • 16,075' | 4,900m

Similar to our hike to Yanapaccha Camp 1, we make the approach to our first camp on Chopicalqui following trails through the rocky terrain until reaching the glacial moraine where we establish camp. (B, D)



Day 11

MOVE TO CAMP 2 • 17,716' | 5,400m

We wake early and pack camp to start our move up to High Camp. Upon entering the glacier we will climb ramps of up to 40 degrees on a circuitous route around the many crevasses existing on this side of the mountain. (B, D)



Day 12

Chopicalqui summit day • 20,846' | 6,354m

From our high camp, we follow the southwest ridge to the summit, with several short but steep climbing moves along the route. The views from the summit are incomparable, and we can take a good look at our main objective, Huascaran, reigning in the near distance. We descend to Camp 1 for the night, rappelling many of the steep steps we climbed on the ascent. (B, D)



Day 13

morrain camp to huaraz  •  10,000' | 3,048m

After another early wake up, we take camp down and head to Base Camp where our cook will greet us with a well-earned brunch. We’ll dismantle our tents, load the bus and return for a well earned rest in Huaraz. (B)



Day 14

huaraz  •  10,000' | 3,048M

Today we take advantage of getting back to civilization, and give the body a treat to better face the upcoming challenge of Huascaran. Laundry, restaurants and a bed will maximize our recovery from the acclimatization phase. (B, D)



Day 15

huascaran base camp •  15,420' | 4,700M

After an early morning bus ride to the town of Shilla, we cover the grounds on a high traverse on the lower slopes of Huascaran, initially through the shaded forest quenuales (the Peruvian national tree) to then climb above tree line on more rugged terrain until reaching our camp location. (B, D)



Day 16

Huascaran camp 1  •  17,390' | 5,300m

Located on the very edge of the glacier, we reach camp 1 by walking on slabs of smooth granite, eroded by the receding glacier. Depending on the season’s snow fall, our camp will be on rock or snow.  (B, D)



Day 17

HUASCARAN CAMP 2  •  19,685' | 6,000M

We wake early and pack camp to start what may arguably be the most demanding day of the expedition. From camp, we climb the steep, crevassed, and unforgiving terrain to the saddle between Huascaran Sur and Norte with full packs. (B, D)



Day 18

HUASCARAN summit day  •  22,204' | 6,768M

Leaving high camp, we make our summit attempt on Huascaran. A long day on steep slopes up to 55° takes us to the summit of Huascaran Sur, our objective. (B, D)



Day 19

descend to base camp  •  15,420' | 4,700M

Tired but with a feeling of accomplishment, we pack our camp and descend to Base Camp. The descent is involved, but offers the opportunity to take in the experience and surroundings as the magnitude of our accomplishment sinks in. A welcoming dinner at Base Camp from our cook is the perfect reward upon arrival at Base Camp. (B, D)

Leaving high camp, we make our summit attempt on Huascaran. A long day on steep slopes up to 55° takes us to the summit of Huascaran Sur, our objective. (B, D)



Day 20

huaraz  •  10,000' | 3,048M

After a good night of sleep at Base Camp's lower elevation, we wake to our last breakfast on the mountain. We dismantle our infrastructure, help distribute the loads to our porters, and head to Shilla where we meet our van for the drive to Huaraz, our hotel, and hot showers. (B)



Day 21 & 22

contingency days

We reserve two days to allow us the flexibility to deal with weather, extra acclimatization, or travel issues. (B)



Day 23

TRAVEL DAY

After breakfast we load our vehicle and drive to Lima. We will arrive in Lima in the late afternoon and transfer to the airport to catch evening flights home. (B)



Day 24

travel day

Arrive home.



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Travel Consultant

RMI has partnered with Erin Rountree to provide comprehensive travel support. We have been working with Erin for many years. As an independent agent of the Travel Society, she has booked countless miles for adventure travelers across the globe and is extremely knowledgeable about the travel needs of our programs. Please call (208) 788-2870 or send email to etravel@cox.net.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is required for this trip. Depending on the type of policy purchased you can protect against trip cancellation, interruption, delay, baggage loss or delay, medical expenses, medical evacuation, security and more. Travel insurance offers the best possible protection in the event of a sudden, unexpected illness or injury prior to or while traveling. You can purchase travel insurance at any time prior to the trip departure. Should you need to cancel from a program, Trip Insurance will refund you for any non-refundable cancellations fees when cancelling for a covered reason.

There are several things to note when purchasing trip insurance:

  • Cancellation Insurance is included in the standard Trip Insurance policy if you are injured, or have a medical or family emergency prior to or while traveling. Should you need to cancel your program, Trip Insurance will refund you for any non-refundable cancellations fees when cancelling for a covered reason. Most travel insurance companies provide an option to include coverage that allows you to “Cancel for Any Reason”, but the initial policy must be purchased within 14 days of placing your deposit for the program.
  • In order to cover your trip with RMI Expeditions you may need to include options such as an “Adventure or Sports” upgrade. Not all travel insurance will cover mountaineering, climbing, skiing or trekking adventures. Some will not cover due to gear used (crampons, ice axe), others will not cover above a certain elevation and/or region of the world. Check your policy carefully to make sure your activity is covered. Both companies listed below offer policies that are geared toward adventure travel.
  • Purchasing Travel insurance is also dependent on your state of residence. If one company doesn’t offer coverage for you because you live in Washington, another company might.

RipcordRipcord Rescue Travel Insurance is travel insurance designed for adventurers, including the best evacuation and rescue services available.

Benefits are tailored for adventurers and include:

  • Rescue and evacuation from the point of illness or emergency to your home hospital of choice.
  • Trip cancellation/interruption, primary medical expense coverage, sporting goods, baggage loss, emergency dental, Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) and more.
  • Completely integrated one-stop program with a single contact for emergency services to travel assistance and insurance claims.
  • 24/7 access to paramedics, nurses and military veterans.
  • Security extraction in case of unexpected dangerous and chaotic events.
  • Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) options and pre-existing condition waiver within 14 days of your initial trip deposit.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel security risk company. Their team is comprised of special operations veterans, paramedics, Stanford Medicine affiliated physicians, former intelligence officers, insurance actuaries and global security experts with dozens of years of experience in theaters around the world. The Redpoint network covers the globe, making them uniquely equipped to provide elite rescue travel insurance – in every sense of the word. Whether it’s reimbursing you for a cancelled trip, paying your travel medical bills or evacuating you home in an emergency, Ripcord takes the worry out of your travel.

TripAssureTripAssure, a Trip Mate brand, has created the Assure Adventure Plans to cover travelers participating in climbing, skiing, mountaineering and trekking programs.

TripAssure's Adventure Plan and Adventure Plus Plan differ only in the coverage option which allows you to Cancel for Any Reason. In order to receive Cancel for Any Reason coverage you must purchase the Adventure Plan Plus within 14 days of paying your deposit or payment with RMI. We recommend that you carefully read the Plan Document that applies to your purchase.

Travel Advisories / Warnings

Please confirm any current travel advisories/warnings as well as entry requirements with the U.S. Department of State.

Getting There

Several U.S. airlines offer daily flights to Lima, Peru (LIM).

Flights departing Lima may be booked for any time in the evening on the final day of the program.

Entry Information

A valid passport is required when traveling to Peru. Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the expected return date. U.S. passport holders may stay up to 90 days without a visa.

We suggest making a copy of the first two pages of your passport and keeping them in a separate bag as a backup. A copy should also be left with your emergency contact.

Airport Arrival

Upon arrival at the Lima airport please collect your baggage and proceed to the arrivals area. Please take a taxi from the airport to our hotel.

In-Country Transportation

The provided ground transportation in Peru as stated in the itinerary is via private vehicle.

Immunizations & Travel Medicine

For the most current information on inoculation requirements and recommendations, please refer to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention.

Traveler's Health

Travelers may suffer from upset stomachs when in foreign countries. There are some basic rules, however, that can help keep you healthy.

Hygiene - It is important that you wash your hands thoroughly before meals and after using the restroom. If water is not available for washing, we recommend using a hand sanitizer.

Water - The number one rule is: don't drink the water, and that includes shower water and ice! Brush your teeth with purified water rather than tap water. You should check bottled water for a good seal and use a napkin to wipe excess moisture from drinking glasses. Take care with fruit juice, particularly if it has been diluted with water. Carefully clean the tops of bottled beverages before opening.

Food - If it is cooked, boiled, or can be peeled, you can usually eat it. Salads and fruits should be washed with purified water or peeled where possible. Be wary of ice cream and shellfish. Always avoid any undercooked meat.

Medical Emergencies

Excellent care for minor illnesses and injuries is readily available. In the event of more serious illnesses or injuries, we recommend transport to any of the Level 1 care centers in Lima.

Peru Country Facts

Peru, in western South America, extends for nearly 1,500 miles along the Pacific Ocean. Colombia and Ecuador are to the north, Brazil and Bolivia to the east, and Chile to the south. Peru is divided by the Andes Mountains into three sharply differentiated zones. To the west is the coastline, much of it arid, extending 50 to 100 miles inland. The mountain area, with peaks over 20,000 feet, lofty plateaus, and deep valleys, lies centrally. Beyond the mountains to the east is the heavily forested slope leading to the Amazonian plains.

Peru is an emerging, market-oriented economy characterized by a high level of foreign trade. Historically, the country's economic performance has been tied to exports. Its main exports include copper, gold, zinc, textiles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, machinery, services and fish meal. Currently, tourism in Peru makes up the nation's third largest industry, behind fishing and mining.

Peru is a multi-ethnic, multicultural country whose people, subsequently, identify their nationality by citizenship rather than ethnicity. The Peruvian census does not contain information about ethnicity so only rough estimates are available. Its population can be composed of Mestizos (European-Indigenous ancestry): 47%, Amerindians (Indigenous): 31%, European: 18.5%, Afro-Peruvians: 2%, Asians and others: 1%.

Lima is the capital and largest city of Peru and together with the seaport of Callao, forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima Metropolitan Area. With a population approaching 9 million, Lima is the most populous metropolitan area of Peru.

Huaraz was founded before the Incan empire and is the gateway to the Cordillera Blanca. Home to just over 100,000 people, it is the second largest city in the Peruvian Andes. Huaraz lies at 10,000 feet in elevation.

Peru was once part of the great Incan Empire and later the major vice-royalty of Spanish South America. It was conquered in 1531 - 1533 by Francisco Pizarro. On July 28, 1821, Peru proclaimed its independence. For a hundred years thereafter, revolutions were frequent. Political unrest, border conflicts and Maoist guerrilla group dominated Peru's history through the middle of the 20th century, but the country now stands as a democratic republic with a multi-party system, headed by a president.

Weather

The weather in Lima, Huaraz and while traveling to and from the mountains can be very warm. We recommend bringing a pair of shorts and a T-shirt. For current weather conditions, check Weather Underground.

The two principal seasons in Peru are the rainy season and the dry season. The dry season typically runs between May and September and is the best time to travel to the Cordillera Blanca.

Temperatures during the dry season run from around 50 F at night to the upper 80s F during the day at lower elevations. Temperatures still get quite cold in the mountains, especially in the evenings.

Cultural Etiquette

The people of Peru are generally very warm and friendly to tourists. Although it is not expected that we dress formally, we should dress modestly. Casual and comfortable clothing is suggested along with comfortable shoes. Showing expensive cameras, watches, jewelry, etc. is considered unseemly and may attract unwanted attention.

When entering a shop or home, politely use a greeting such as buenos dias (good day), buenas tardes (good afternoon), buenas noches (good night). Similarly, upon leaving, even if you've had only minimal contact, say adios (goodbye) or hasta luego (see you later). Peruvians usually shake hands upon parting as well.

On city streets, children selling small items and shining shoes can be quite persistent. Some ask directly for money. To keep from being hassled, a polite but firm "No, gracias" is generally sufficient.

It is expected that you engage in some degree of bargaining for market or street purchases. This is fun, and should be taken lightly.

Electricity

Electricity in Peru is 220 Volts and 60 Hertz. Carry a universal convertor and plug adaptor travel kit.

Money

Peru's official currency is the Peruvian Sol (PEN), divided into 100 centavos. Check a financial newspaper or www.xe.com for the current exchange rate prior to departure.

You should find that $400 - $500 for spending money is adequate for restaurant meals, drinks and pocket money. You may choose to bring more depending on your shopping plans and length of stay.

Cash machines are readily available in Lima and Cusco airports. Credit cards are accepted in most, but not all, areas.

Everyone has a preferred way to carry money. Some use money belts, others have hidden pockets. Whatever you do, be aware of pickpockets and thieves in any area which caters to tourists.

Tipping

Everyone approaches tipping a little differently. Whether or not a person tips, and how much, is completely dependent upon the individual; here are some suggested tipping guidelines for your trip.

Local waiters, drivers, and other service personnel expect to be tipped. Ten to fifteen percent is standard. Some restaurants and hotels add a 10% service fee to bills in which case, no further tip is required.

Support Staff Tip Pool: We recommend that each climber contribute $40 to the Tip Pool. This is collected at the beginning of the trip and will cover group tips for all our support and mountain staff throughout the program.

Our guides work hard to ensure your well-being and success on the mountain. If you have a positive experience, gratuities are an excellent way to show your appreciation. Amounts are at your discretion and should be based on your level of enjoyment. Tips for excellent service normally average 10 – 15% of the cost of the program. If you would rather not bring the guide gratuity with you on the trip, you can send a check or call the RMI office to pay with a credit card upon your return.

Resources

Fodor's and other travel service websites are readily available and describe Peru travel and facts.

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Qualifications

This trip is open to all individuals in excellent physical condition with previous climbing experience. Successful completion of an RMI Expedition Skills Seminar on Mt. Rainier, in Alaska, Peru, Ecuador, North Cascades, or an equivalent multi-day mountaineering seminar is required.

Your climbing resume should include:

  • Previous glacier travel experience
  • Experience at altitudes above 14,000'
  • Participation in Colorado Ice - Level 1 or equivalent
  • A minimum of two snow and ice climbs of approximately 2,000' in length at 35-50 degrees in angle using two tools
  • Crampon skills on 30-50 degree slopes
  • Team rope travel skills
  • Knots & slings - prussik, butterfly, Munter, etc.
  • Snow and ice anchors (construction & equalization)
  • Belaying and running belay experience
  • Crevasse rescue (from both the victim and rescuer perspectives, and considering heavy packs and sleds)
  • Ice axe self and team arrest, with and without a backpack

Qualifying Programs

Recommended climbing experiences prior to the Huascaran Expedition include:

  • Get In The Best Shape Of Your Life
    And Then Go
    Climb A Mountain

    Create A Fitness And Training Program

    Go To Fitness Resources

Fitness for Mountaineering

Mountaineering requires a high degree of physical stamina and mental toughness. Even for the healthiest and fittest individuals, climbing mountains qualifies as an extremely challenging endeavor.

  • Start immediately. Start a rigorous fitness and training program now with the goal of arriving in top physical condition and confident in your skills.
  • Be intentional. Focus on gaining the necessary strength, stamina and skills to meet the physical and technical demands of the climb.
  • Be sport-specific. The best fitness and training program mimics the physical and technical demands of your climbing objective. The closer you get to your program date, the more your training should resemble the climbing.

For the Huascaran Expedition, you are preparing for:

  • Steep climbing and glacier travel with a 50-65 lb load
  • Strenuous physical activity for multiple hours a day for multiple consecutive days
  • A 12-14+ hour summit day
  • Mountaineering techniques requiring core strength and flexibility

Nothing ensures a personally successful adventure like your level of fitness and training. Bottom line: Plan on being in the best shape of your life and ready for a very challenging adventure!

Please refer to our Resources for Mountaineering Fitness and Training for detailed fitness and training information.

Acclimatization

The key to climbing high is proper acclimatization. Our program follows a calculated ascent profile which allows time for your body to adjust to the altitude.

Excellent physical conditioning significantly increases your ability to acclimatize as you ascend. Climbers in excellent physical condition simply have more energy to commit to the acclimatization process throughout the days and nights of the ascent, allowing their bodies to adjust to the altitude more easily.

Finally, physical performance and acclimatization are also related to how well you have taken care of yourself throughout the hours, days and weeks prior to summit day. Arriving healthy and well-rested, maintaining proper hydration and caloric intake, and protecting against unnecessary heat loss (staying warm) are all key factors in an individual's success on an expedition such as this.

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What You’ll Need

A list of required personal equipment accompanies every RMI program, and the thought process behind each item is much greater than simply “preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.” The list for your program takes into account factors such as: seasonality, route conditions, weather, elevation and more. As such, this list is framed within the broadest of contexts and is dynamic by its very nature. Therefore, certain variables (additions and/or subtractions) are inherent within such an all-encompassing list. We make every effort to recommend only top of the line clothing and technical gear and it is never our intention for you to buy or rent unnecessary gear.

The Guide Pick is an example of the listed item, giving you an idea of the material and specifications of the item. This exact item does not need to be purchased or used; however, any item you choose must have similar characteristics and performance abilities to the Guide Pick.

RMI Guides concur on the potential necessity of every item, thus every item on the list is required at gear check. However, guides may also have suggestions derived from their experience, some of which will vary from a given list. The guides’ recommendation whether to bring along or leave behind certain item(s) comes during the gear check, when the team first meets. Occasionally this recommendation comes at the expense of having previously purchased an item. If a guide presents the option of leaving behind certain item(s) on the list of required equipment, it is for a reason. Their recommendation may be related to the weather, route conditions, freezing level, perceived strength of the party, or desired pack weight.

Ultimately, there will never be a consensus for a “perfect” equipment list for an ascent. It does not exist because of the multitude of variables faced by climbers throughout the climb. Please follow this equipment list closely so that you will arrive for the gear check with all the required items. Keep in mind the list is not black and white, fine tuning will occur once you meet with your guide. Have a great climb!


  • Most of the required equipment is available for purchase from our affiliate Whittaker Mountaineering. RMI climbers receive a 10% discount on new clothing and equipment items ordered from Whittaker Mountaineering when they use code RMI2018 at checkout. This offer excludes sale items, rentals, meal packages, and Feathered Friends.

Shop Your Equipment List

Equipment List

    • SLEEPING BAG

      A bag rated to -20° to -30° F. Either goose down or synthetic, with ample room for movement. Most guides prefer down, because it is lightweight and compactable. A waterproof bag is preferred, but not mandatory.
      The temperature rating system for sleeping bags is arbitrary and is not a guarantee of warmth. Base your selection on how well you do in the cold. If you tend to sleep on the cold side, choose a bag rated on the lower end of the temperature range. Using two sleeping bags together is not recommended.

    • ICE AXE

      The length of your axe depends on your height. Use the following general mountaineering formula: up to 5'8", use a 65 cm axe; 5'8" to 6'2", use a 70 cm axe; and taller, use a 75 cm axe. If you hold the axe so that it hangs comfortably at your side, the spike of the axe should still be a few inches above the ground.

    • CRAMPONS

      The 12-point adjustable crampons designed for general mountaineering are ideal. We highly recommend anti-bot plates to prevent snow from balling up underfoot.

    • AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVER

      A digital transceiver is preferred; analog will work as well. If you rent a transceiver, one set of new batteries will be provided.

    • MECHANICAL ASCENDER

      For traveling on fixed ropes. Most people prefer an ascender designed for their weak hand, leaving their strong hand free to hold their ice axe. For example, a right-handed person would use a left-handed ascender.

    • 20' of 3 mm nylon accessory cord for miscellaneous lashing.

    • Four bungee cords (approximately 12” – 18” each).

    • SNOWSHOES

      Select a short to medium length model of snowshoe. The 22" model and the optional heel lift work well for most climbers. Team members are more often 'drafting' as opposed to actually breaking trail, so it is not necessary to have a longer pair. The snowshoes should have an attached claw or crampon for better purchase. Miles of roped glacier travel will be logged wearing snowshoes. It is recommended to spend some time walking in them prior to the trip.

    • BUFF / NECK GAITER / BALACLAVA

      One item for face protection is required. Our primary recommendation is the Buff. A neck gaiter or balaclava is also acceptable.

    • 2 PAIRS OF GLACIER GLASSES

      You will need protective sunglasses, either dark-lensed with side shields or full wrap-around frames. Almost all sunglasses block UV-A, UV-B and infrared rays adequately. Pay attention to the visible light transmission. The darkest lenses (glacier glasses) only allow approx. 6% visible light to get through, while lighter lenses (driving glasses) let in as much as 20+ %. A good rule of thumb is that if you can see the wearer’s pupils through the lenses, they are too light for sun protection at altitude.

    • GOGGLES

      Amber or rose-tinted goggles for adverse weather. On windy days, climbers, especially contact lens wearers, may find photochromatic lenses the most versatile in a variety of light conditions.

    • 3 SETS OF BATTERIES

      With an early evening sunset many hours in camp are spent after dark. A fresh set should be used for summit push.

    • Each glove layer is worn separately as conditions change during the climb.

    • We recommend six upper body layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Three of these should be insulating layers, one light, one medium and one heavy that fit well together. Today there are many different layering systems to choose from, including fleece, soft-shell, down and synthetic options.

    • We recommend a system of four layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Products which combine several layers into one garment, such as traditional ski pants, don’t work well as they don’t offer the versatility of a layering system.

    • MOUNTAINEERING BOOTS

      Hybrid double boots are the preferred choice. They provide the best insulation as well as a more rigid sole for kicking steps and holding crampons.

    • BOOTIES

      Goose down or synthetic fill. Booties can be worn inside of the overboots while walking around camp, which allows an opportunity to dry out inner boots.

    • SUNSCREEN

      We recommend small tubes of SPF 15 or higher, which can be carried in pockets for easy access and to prevent freezing.

    • MEALS

      See the Food tab for suggestions and quantities.

    • 2 - 3 WATER BOTTLES

      Hard-sided, screw-top, one-liter water bottles with wide mouths are required. Plastics made with high post-consumer recycled content and BPA-Free are recommended.

    • 2 SETS OF ALKALINE BATTERIES

      For avalanche transceiver.

    • LUGGAGE LOCKS

      For your duffel bags. Must be TSA approved.

    • CAMERA
    • LIGHTER
    • 2 CASUAL PANTS
    • 5 SHIRTS

      For hotel dinners and while traveling.

    • TOOTHBRUSH
    • TOOTHPASTE
    • HAND SANITIZER(S)

      Personal size (2 oz.) bottle.

    • SEPTIC-GRADE TOILET PAPER
    • PEE BOTTLE & PEE FUNNEL (FOR WOMEN)

      Pee bottle should be 1 to 1 1/2 quart size.

    • TRAVEL SIZE SOAP AND SHAMPOO
    • BAND-AIDS
    • ANTIBIOTIC OINTMENT (FOR CUTS & SCRAPES)
    • ASPRIN / IBUPROFEN / TYLENOL
    • ANTACIDS
    • IMODIUM (ANTI-DIARRHEA)
    • PEPTO-BISMOL (STOMACH RELIEF)
    • SMALL ROLL OF ADHESIVE TAPE
    • We recommend you speak with your physician about which medications make sense to have for remote international travel and/or high altitude climbing. We suggest the following:

    • ANTIBIOTICS

      Broad spectrum antibiotics for Traveler's Diarrhea, urinary tract infection, pneumonia, etc.
      Ciprofloxacin (500mg tablets), Metronidazole, Azithromycin (250mg tablets).

    • ACETAZOLAMIDE

      For prevention or treatment of Acute Mountain Sickness.
      Acetazolamide (125mg tablets).

    • DEXAMETHAZONE

      For treatment of altitude illness.
      Dexamethasone (4mg tablets).

    • INSULATED MUG

      Stainless steel or plastics made with high post-consumer recycled content are recommended.

    • BABY POWDER
    • READING MATERIAL / JOURNAL
    • iPOD
    • THERMOS

      One-half liter capacity, maximum.

    • PASSPORT

      Valid for six months beyond your return date.

    • COPY OF PASSPORT

      The first two pages of your passport.

    • COPY OF FLIGHT ITINERARY
    • 2 EXTRA PASSPORT PHOTOS
    • Purchase travel insurance.

    • Purchase airplane tickets.

    • Reserve rental equipment.

    • Be in the Best Shape of Your Life!


Provided Equipment

RMI provides the following equipment for your program: tents, stoves, group cooking equipment, fuel, climbing ropes, climbing anchors, avalanche probes, shovels, and blue bags (for solid waste disposal).

Every guide on your climb will carry rescue equipment and a first aid kit. Each climb has two-way radios and a satellite phone for emergency contact.

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Meals

On Huascaran you will need 12 mountain lunches. All of your mountain lunch items should weigh 10 - 15 lb.

Breakfast and dinner meals on the mountain are included as indicated in our Trip Itinerary. With the exception of hotel breakfasts, most restaurant meals are on your own. You are responsible for your own bottled water and drinks.

Mountain Lunches

Mountain lunches are eaten during short breaks throughout the day. We continually snack to keep our energy levels up while we climb - lunch begins just after breakfast and ends just before dinner! Avoid packing any items that require preparation or hot water.

The importance of having foods that are genuinely enjoyed cannot be overstated. Eating properly is the key to maintaining strength while in the mountains. In order to combat the loss of appetite at altitude we aim to have a variety of foods that stimulate the whole palate, from sweet to sour to salty.

Take care while shopping for your personal mountain lunch items. Don't wait until the last minute. Make a list in advance and add to it as you generate and remember more ideas. Try to shop at stores that offer a large variety of gourmet and specialty foods, as well as your old, stand-by favorites.

Recommended mountain lunch items: bagels, tortillas, crackers (Wheat Thins, Triscuits), hummus, Pringles, corn nuts, smoked almonds, roasted cashews, GORP mix (peanuts, M&M's, sunflower seeds, raisins, etc), smoked salmon, salami, pepperoni, cheese (brie, camembert), jerky, candy (sweet and sour varieties), chocolate bars, hard candies, energy bars (Cliff, Luna), dried fruits (apricots, pineapple, pear), and drink mixes (Gatorade, Kool-Aid, or Crystal Light).

Perishable food items may be purchased at a grocery store in Peru; you should have the bulk of lunch items already purchased and packed.

Mountain Breakfasts and Dinners

To ensure our caloric input is optimal prior to the climb, and that your time on the mountain is even more memorable, we have a cook at base camp who will prepare fresh, hearty meals for breakfast and dinner.

The breakfast menu at base camp includes items such as omelets, porridge, bacon and eggs, French toast, pancakes, yogurt, and hot drinks (coffee, tea, cocoa, and the local staple "mate de coca"). 

While on the mountain, cold cereals with powdered milk and bagels with cream cheese are our go to breakfasts options along with instant coffee and tea.

The dinner menu at base camp is a two-course meal followed by dessert and hot drinks. Soups made with locally harvested quinoa, pasta, and vegetable stews are common first-course items. Our second-course typically consists of fresh chicken, pork, or trout, and often pizza. To provide sweetness to our meal, fruit salad, yogurt, and a variety of puddings made by our base camp cook are served for dessert. Various hot drinks (coffee, tea, cocoa, and the local staple "mate de coca") are also provided.

While on the mountain dinner typically consists of freeze-dried foods, quesadillas, soups, and other high caloric, low weight meals are provided. Every attempt is made to ensure a variety of meals and adequate quantity.

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Payments

Deposit Payments: A deposit payment of $2,500 per person secures your reservation. Deposit payments $2,500 or less may be made via MasterCard, Visa, e-check, check, or wire transfer. Deposit payments over $2,500 must be made via e-check, check, or wire transfer.

Balance Payments: The balance payment is due 120 days prior to the start of your program. We will send a payment reminder approximately three weeks before your payment due date. If your balance payment is not received within 120 days prior to the start of your program, your reservation will be cancelled and all fees forfeited. Trips departing within 120 days must be paid in full at the time of reservation. Please note that balance payments may be made via e-check, check, or wire transfer only.

Cancellation

Once we receive written notification that you are canceling an individual participant or your entire reservation the following fees will apply:

  • A fee of $1,500 per person will be charged for cancellations made more than 120 days before departure.
  • There will be no refunds for cancellations made less than 120 days before your program.

Unfortunately, due to the time-sensitive nature of our business, and the difficulty in re-booking a trip close to departure, we cannot make exceptions to this policy.

Cancellation Insurance

We require that everyone purchase travel insurance. Please see our Travel Page for details.

Land Cost

INCLUDED

  • RMI Leadership
  • Hotel accommodations as indicated in the itinerary, based on double occupancy*
  • All park entrance fees
  • All group transportation in country as indicated in the itinerary
  • All group cooking, trekking, camping, and climbing equipment

NOT INCLUDED

  • International airfare
  • Travel insurance, medical evacuation insurance and security evacuation insurance
  • Excess baggage fees and departure taxes
  • Meals not included in the itinerary
  • Bottled water and personal drinks
  • Customary guide gratuities
  • Additional room charges including laundry service and other personal expenses
  • Hotel accommodations not indicated in the itinerary
  • Medical, hospitalization and evacuation costs (by any means)

* Accommodations are based on double occupancy. Single Supplement Fee will be charged to those occupying single accommodations by choice or circumstance.

Risk Management

Managing risk is RMI's number one priority. Our guides manage significant hazards inherent in mountaineering such as avalanches, ice fall, rock fall, inclement weather, and high winds, but they cannot eliminate them.

Please clearly understand that mountaineering is inherently a hazardous sport. You are choosing to engage in an activity in which participants have been injured and killed. While those accidents are indeed infrequent, they may occur at any time and be out of our control. We ask that participants acknowledge the risk and hazards of mountaineering, and make their own choices about whether or not to engage in this activity.

Climber Responsibilities

Mountaineering is both an individual challenge and a team endeavor. Some of the responsibility for the team is carried by the individual climbers. For this reason, we ask that each participant:

  • is physically and mentally fit, properly attired and equipped, and continues to self assess throughout the program to ensure as safe a climb as possible. If a climber's own physical fitness limits his or her ability to safely continue upward, that can have a negative impact on the summit experience or opportunity of other climb participants.
  • honestly and accurately describe themselves, in terms of fitness, health and skills, and their equipment to their guides, and that they adhere to the advice of their professional mountain guide.

Age-Appropriate Guidelines & Restrictions

In the interest of the safety and well-being of all participants, RMI adheres to the following age-appropriate guidelines:

  • Ages 15 & under: No participants age 15 & under
  • Ages 16 & 17: Accompanied by parent or legal guardian
  • Ages 18 & above: No restrictions 

An individual’s birthday must precede the departure date of the program. For example: a 15 year old who turns 16 on July 1 may participate on a program beginning July 2.

Under-aged participants on Private Climb or Group Climb programs are assessed on an individual basis.

A minor climber must be accompanied by their parent/legal guardian throughout the entirety of the program. If either climber must descend at any time during the program, both climbers must descend together.

Summit Attempt

RMI cannot guarantee that you will reach the summit. Weather, route conditions, your own abilities, or the abilities of other climbers may create circumstances that make an ascent unsafe, and you or your entire party may have to turn around without reaching the summit. Failure to reach the summit due to a person's own lack of fitness or to any of the events associated with mountaineering (such as weather, route, avalanche hazard, team dynamics, etc.), are not Rainier Mountaineering, Inc.'s responsibility and will not result in refund or reschedule.

General Policies

Any Participant under the age of 18 must be accompanied on the trip by a parent or legal guardian and both the Participant and parent or legal guardian must sign all forms.

RMI's program schedule and itineraries are subject to change or adjustment based on a number of factors. These include, but are not limited to, route conditions, weather, terrain, currency fluctuations, changes in outfitting costs, government instability, and many other factors. RMI has complete discretion to change plans to accommodate any of these or other factors, including but not limited to increases in program fees, changes to program schedule or itinerary, and changes to guides or staff, as necessary for the proper and safe conduct of the program.

We reserve the right to cancel any program due to inadequate signups, weather or route conditions. In such a case, a full refund is given; however, RMI cannot be responsible for any additional expenses incurred in preparing for the program (i.e., airline tickets, equipment purchase or rental, hotel reservations).

If the Participant decides to leave a trip at any time after the start of the trip and prior to its conclusion, he or she will not be entitled to a refund.

RMI reserves the right to dismiss the Participant from a trip or to send the Participant to a lower altitude at any time if RMI determines, in its sole discretion, that the Participant is not physically, technically, or psychologically prepared for or capable of participating in the program.

The Participant understands and agrees that RMI assumes no responsibility or liability in connection with any travel and hospitality service provided to the Participant by others in connection with the trip, including but not limited to the services provided by airlines, hotels, and motor vehicle operators, and that RMI is not responsible for any act, error, omission, or any injury, loss, accident, delay, irregularity, or danger by a supplier of travel or hospitality services to the Participant in connection with the RMI program.

RMI recommends and strongly advises that the Participant have or purchase personal life, medical, accident, travel, baggage, trip cancellation, and other insurance that may pertain to participation in the program. The Participant understands that RMI provides no such insurance coverage in connection with the trip.

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