View from Los Olives of Huaraz as the sun starts setting.
I never got around talking about my time around Huaraz, Peru near the Cordillera Blanca. This city is known as a mountaineering paradise but also has lots of nearby rock climbing. I wrote previously about how I climbed a few of the hundreds of routes in the rock forest of Hatun Machay a couple hours south. However, I also wanted to share on the three other areas I climbed. There is much more than what I’m talking about here so pick up a copy of the regional climbing guide to get some rock down there!
Closest Climbing: Los Olives
A climber on the wall in Los Olives. Huaraz in background.
The Los Olives area is a few walls about a 15 minute ride from Huaraz. If you just want to get some climbing in while acclimating or a rest day its a good option. Everything about it is okay. The rock and the routes are not that interesting. However, you get an amazing view of Huaraz under looming glacial peaks.
Craig Climbing at Shupluy
The main wall at Shupluy
A 45 minute combi ride north of Hauraz followed by a 25 minute walk mostly on dirt road brings you to the Main Wall. Shupluy is a great craig that fills your ears with the sound of a running stream, your eyes with a distant glaciated mountain down the canyon and gets cool in the evening. This area sports a lot of interesting 5.10 routes with pretty nice rock. If busy, continue downstream to less visited faces.
Ice Climbing near Laguna Llaca
A person (me) ice climbing from a top rope belay
I went with Galaxia (an outfitter) to try out ice climbing for a day trip from Hauraz. It ended up not being quite what I expected. It took us about two hours each way up a VERY rocky road to the park. After a twenty minute hike we set up a top rope around midday on the first glaciated headwall. I tried three routes: straight up, a traverse halfway and a diagonal. I also crossed off one of my bucket list items, of walking into an ice cave!
Ice cave next to our glacial ice climbing route.
It was a great intro to ice climbing and the group was small with just three people, but there wasn’t really any instruction and it was a lot of transit for just 2 hours of climbing. Lesson learned, make sure you know what you are getting when you sign up for these tours.