Cordillera Blanca Ski Trip 2025

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DeclanKnies
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Cordillera Blanca Ski Trip 2025

Post by DeclanKnies »

Hello all,

A partner and I am looking into skiing some of the beautiful ski lines in the Cordillera Blanca range of Peru sometime in May of 2025. Our list includes Artesonraju, Huascaran, and Tocllaraju to name a few. We are looking at high consequence very steep lines and would like to have a third person to make any sort of crevasse rescue a little bit easier. Our personal glacier experience includes skiing rainier many times, several other PNW volcanos/glaciers and mountaineering (but not skiing yet) in the Cordillera Blanca itself. Our skiing experience includes Cathedral's Dawson-Perlmutter, Castle's east face, and many many many couloirs all over Colorado. We recognize a need for more big mountain skiing practice and have a progression laid out for next year. We are looking for someone of similar goals, ability, and passion as us. Obviously this is a massive project we are not bringing someone we've never skied with on, so we have a list of big lines nearby as training peaks and many many low angle touring days before then that we'd love to have others to join us on. Start with a gentle winter touring day -> go for bigger spring objectives -> send it in Peru!

These are our goals for before the trip
1st: The Skillet Glacier/Couloir, Mt. Moran (VI, D14, R3)
2nd: Ford-Stettner Couloir, The Grand Teton (IV, D16, R4)
3rd: Stammberger Ledges, North Maroon Peak (IV, D15, R3)
4th: The Landry Line, Pyramid Peak (V, D19/20, R5)
5th East Face/Secret Chute, Capitol Peak (VI, D20/21, R5)

These are our primary goals on the trip
NW ridge, Nevado Ischinca (II, D6, R3) (For Acclimatization & reality check)
East Face (Maybe North if filled in), Nevado Ranrapalca (IV, D16, R3)
West Face, Nevado Tocllaraju (IV, D20, R4)
The Shield, Nevado Huascaran Sur (VI, D21, R5) (or ridge if shield not in)
Southeast Face Artesonraju (VI, D17, R4)
Southwest Face Artesonraju (1st descent?) (VI, D21, R4) hike to base

Weather and avalanche conditions down there are fickle when the snow is good, so in all likelihood we will have to focus on just a few of these objectives.

Beta for skiing specifically is very hard to get in these mountains so if anyone has any wisdom they'd be willing to share from their own adventures I'd be stoked to hear!

If you are interested in learning more text me at nine7zero 2one5 seven8six7

Pic of a mountain I really really really wanna ski
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Tocllaraju's massive west face
Tocllaraju's massive west face
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gb
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Re: Cordillera Blanca Ski Trip 2025

Post by gb »

Sounds fun. I've heard it's getting harder to ski in Peru due to climate change- the glaciers are opening up and it's a longer hike to snowline. But I definitely wished I had skis on Ishinca and Toclaraju when I climbed those. That was probably the last climbing trip I'll ever take without skis, ha. Where did you get the D ratings from?

As far as your North America list, I'd look for more routes that involve a bit of rope work to get used to that aspect. GT and Cap are the only ones that really need a rope on that list. Maybe you're pretty used to it with your PNW descents though. Hope to see some trip reports!
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DeclanKnies
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Re: Cordillera Blanca Ski Trip 2025

Post by DeclanKnies »

Yup really sad to see the glaciers retreating down there! I was actually down there doing some research on it specifically in the Tocllaraju Valley last year and while things are getting worse there is still definitely a good window in May/June. Just have to hope we get lucky with weather. Some of the routes like Artesonraju and Toc should be super reliable though.

D ratings are just guesstimates based off of my research of trip reports, caltopo, and observations while down there using Lou Dawson's list of what each rating level looks like. I wouldn't put too much weight on it but I believe my assumptions are good to +- 2 or 3 levels. There is no real way to test slope angle without being on it and a lot of down there is the low resolution 10m DEMs which are pretty rough so small terrain features might be hidden from these, but I believe most of them are pretty solid faces and with the exception of bergschrunds should be pretty planar. Will be doing plenty of reconnaissance down there before climbing!

Yeah definitely need more ropework and will be doing a bunch of ice climbing. We have some more routes we would like to do like the snake and east face of sawatch grizzly that would take some ropework, but could definitely use more practice so I'll try and find some more. We've done plenty of glacier travel in the PNW and while my partner has done a ton of ice & mixed out there (shuksan, many routes on rainier, etc) I have not done any technical ice routes at all so I will be working on that. Thanks for the tips! Looking forward to writing those TRs :-D .
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