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VALLUNARAJU (5,686 MASL): THE “SNOWY MOUNTAIN OF DREAMS”
Vallunaraju is one of the snowy mountains of the Cordillera Blanca of the Peruvian Andes, its name in Quechua language means «The Snowy Mountain of Dreams», it is located very close to Huaraz and it is a very popular destination for acclimatization climbing, prior to climbing higher mountains.
Vallunaraju is one of the few peaks in the Cordillera Blanca that can be climbed from Huaraz in two days. It is also a perfect peak for beginners in mountaineering, and Vallunaraju allows experienced mountaineers to practice ice climbing techniques and mountain safety courses. The Peruvian Association of Mountain Guides (AGM) and the Guide’s House, carry out annual safety and glacier courses on this mountain prior to the start of the climbing season, oriented to the public.
Vallunaraju is a saddle-shaped peak, its ascent route is very nice, it has excellent views from all sides. In the Vallunaraju moraine camp you will enjoy the sunset, with pink and blue tones between the skies and the ice big walls of Ocshapalca and Ranrapalca peaks. Vallunaraju has a moderate level of climbing, but its altitude and extensive approach to its summit make it a physically demanding mountain.
8:00 am (Pick up at your hotel)
Participants must be in excellent physical condition to join this climb. Andean Raju Expeditions recommends previous and constant preparation as a crucial factor to take on this challenge, then, the physical stress caused by the days of climbing will be minimized.
We strongly advise all participants to have an adequate training plan in gyms, outdoor sports, climbing peaks, bearing weight and long day hikes.
If you would like our advice, we can provide you a training plan after evaluation of your experience in hiking and sporting activity.
You must have knowledge of glacier progression, you must have a knowledge of mountain rescue, safety and equipment management. These skills allow you to optimize your safety and generate a collaborative work with our guides during the climb.
Participants should have experience in altitude the last week prior to the begin the climb Vallunaraju, which ensures adequate acclimatization and conditioning of the body to the altitude. It is recommended to stay above 4,000 masl before starting the climb.
We suggest an acclimatization program before your expedition, it can be mountains of the Cordillera Blanca with a minimum of 6 days of anticipation. We recommend acclimatization at Churup lake, then a previous climbing in Mateo peak.
Our expedition starts in Huaraz, we will pick you up at your hotel with private transportation. After the pick up we will head east to the Quebrada de Llaca which is our starting point of approach to the moraine camp. We will walk on a steep trail for about 3 hours, and at the camp we will enjoy the landscapes with the mountains: Ranrapalca, Ocshapalca, Leon Dormido and Rima Rima.
Lodging: Mountain tents.
Meals: Box lunch, lunch and dinner
Transportation by car: 2 hours
Estimated hiking time: 2 to 3 hours
Elevation: +1900 (3100 masl to 5000 masl)
After breakfast we start our journey approaching the glacier by rock slabs, it will take us 30 minutes to reach the glacier, at this point our guide will make an inspection of our climbing equipment and rope us to continue with the climbing day.
In recent years the glacier has retreated, for this reason the entrance is through hard ice slopes, we will continue crossing over crevasses and bridges until we reach the pass that joins both summits (Vallunaraju south and north), from here begins a slow but steady climb along the sharp edge that leads to the summit. Finally, after about 8 hours of climbing we will reach the summit to enjoy a splendid view of the mountains of the Cordillera Blanca: Ocshapalca, Ranrapalca, Palcaraju, Tocllaraju, Huantsán, Huamashraj, Huascarán, Hualcán and more.
We remain at the summit for some time to rest, hydrate and take pictures. Finally we will descend by the same route of ascent. We will arrive to our campsite, we will eat and prepare our backpacks to continue with the descent to the Quebrada de Llaca, where the transportation will be waiting for us to return to Huaraz.
Lodging: Mountain tents.
Meals: Breakfast, box lunch and lunch.
Duration of the climb: 10 to 12 hours approximately.
Transfer by car: 2 hours back to Huaraz.
Elevation gain: +736 (4,950 masl to 5,686 masl)