Climate: In the Cordillera Blanca you may expect heavy rains from December to March and a markedly dry season from May to October, where sunny days post temperatures of 25°C and freezing nights.
Access: From the city Huaraz, one can drive to the towns of Carhuaz (32 km / 30 minutes), Yungay (39 km / 40 minutes) and Caraz (67 km / 50 minutes), towns which lie at the foot of the massif.
Services: Nearby towns provide a full range of services, including guides, porters, rescue services and climbing equipment. Huaraz features several hotels, restaurants and travel agencies that organize climbing expeditions.
Climbers heading to the Cordillera Blanca can get information in Huaraz on recent climbs and learn about snow conditions on the mountain. Climbers are advised to pack plenty of winter clothing, as the cold and winds are intense in the evening.
Peru's mountain climbing mecca, the Cordillera Blanca runs along the eastern flank of the Santa river, in the Callejón de Huaylas. It embraces both the largest and most beautiful snow-capped peaks in the country.
Among the best known peaks in the Cordillera Blanca are Mount Huascarán (6 768 masl); the Huandoy massif's three summits, all over 6 000 meters high; Chopicalqui (6 354 meters), Chacraraju (6 112 meters), Alpamayo (5 947 meters) and Copa (6 118 meters).
The range's advantages include its ideal climate for climbing between May and October, and its easy access that allows climbers to finish the ascent in a short time. Additionally, the cities and towns located at the foot of the Cordillera Blanca provide travelers with a full variety of services including porters, guides, rescue teams and climbing gear. Huaraz, the capital of the Ancash Department, features several hotels and restaurants, while a dozen reliable travel agencies organize climbing expeditions.
Chartered flights arrive at the small local airport. However, Huaraz can be easily reached in five to six hours by taking the road from Lima to Pativilca (210 km to the north along the North Pan-American Highway) and then climbing another 200 km towards the Sierra.
Other towns at the foot of the Cordillera Blanca mountains like Carhuaz, a hook-up point with the towns in the Callejón de Conchucos; Yungay, the starting point for expeditions to the scenic Llanganuco lagoon in the Huascarán National Park, and Caraz, a flower-growing community known for its pleasant climate, also offer travelers a full range of services including guides, porters, rescue teams and climbing gear rental.
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