Mount Huascaran is Peru’s highest peak and the world’s tallest tropical mountain. With a peak some 6768m above sea level, Huascaran is in the northern section of the Cordillera Blanca. It is the sixth highest mountain in South America, after Aconcagua, Ojos del Salado, Monte Pissis, Cerro Bonete and Tres Cruces, all of which are much further south along the Chile – Argentina crest. Mount Huascaran – with its two massive summits, Huascaran South (6768m) and North (6655m) – easily dominates this part of the Andes and the panorama from the top is unparalleled. A deep saddle – known as the col of La Garganta – separates the two peaks and is the starting point for both summits’ ascents.
The American climber Annie Peck was the first person to conquer Huascaran North, in 1908, making it one of the few major peaks in the world to be first ascended by a woman. It took another 24 years for Huascaran South to be climbed, by a joint German-Austrian expedition in 1932.
Huascaran is not a technically difficult climb, but it requires a high degree of physical preparation and adequate acclimatization. The main difficulties of the climb are the large crevasses that often block the route and the risk from avalanches.