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Alpamayo is one of the most conspicuous peaks in the Cordillera Blanca
Cordillera Blanca
The Cordillera Blanca is a mountain range in the Ancash Region of Peru. Part of the larger Andes range, it includes 33 major peaks over high in an area wide and long.-Overview:...

 mountain range of the Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

vian Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...


It is a steep (sixty degrees), almost perfect pyramid of ice, one of a number of peaks that compose the Santa Cruz massif, the northernmost massif of the Cordillera Blanca. Although smaller than many of its neighboring peaks, it is distinguished by its unusual formation and overwhelming beauty. It actually has two sharp summits, North and South, separated by a narrow corniced ridge.

The mountain is named after the village of Alpamayo (Quechua
Quechua languages
Quechua is a Native South American language family and dialect cluster spoken primarily in the Andes of South America, derived from an original common ancestor language, Proto-Quechua. It is the most widely spoken language family of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, with a total of probably...

 Allpamayu: allpa = earth; mayu = river: muddy river), whereas its local Quechua
Ancash Quechua
Ancash Quechua, or Huaylay, is a Quechua variety with a number of dialects, spoken in the department of Ancash by approximately 1,000,000 people. Like Wanka Quechua, it belongs to Quechua I .-External links:...

 name is Shuyturahu (shuytu = thin and long, pyramid; rahu = snowy mountain, glacier). On July 1966, on the German magazine "Alpinismus", a photo made by American photographer Leigh Ortenburger, came together with an article resulting from an international survey among climbers, photographers, etc, making the choice for Alpamayo as "The Most Beautiful Mountain in the World".

Climbing History and Routes

Most popular routes start from the village of Caraz, on the north of the Cordillera Blanca. A French-Belgian expedition including George and Claude Kogan claimed to have made the first ascent in 1951. After studying the photos in George Kogan's book The Ascent of Alpamayo, the German team of G. Hauser, F. Knauss, B. Huhn & H. Wiedmann came to the conclusion that the 1951 team did not reach the actual summit, thereby making their ascent via the north ridge in 1957 the first.

The most common climbing route, known as the Ferrari route, is situated on the southwest face of the mountain. It was opened in 1975 by a group of Italian alpinists led by Casimiro Ferrari. It is considered a difficult climb, demanding good crampon
Crampons are traction devices used to improve mobility on snow and ice. There are three main attachment systems for footwear: step-in, hybrid, and strap bindings. The first two require boots with welts, the last adapt to any type....

 and ice-climbing technique. There are incomparable views of steep ice faces, penitentes, gigantic white walls and ridges like those of Huandoy
Huandoy is the second-tallest peak of the Cordillera Blanca section of the Andes, after Nevado Huascarán. These two peaks are rather nearby, separated only by the Llanganuco ravine with its Lagunas Llanganuco ....

 Norte, Artesonraju
Artesonraju is a peak in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range, a part of the Peruvian Andes, is also known as Arteson. To reach the lake there is a dirt road from Caraz which climbs +2000m along 32km in about 1:40 hours. At Pueblo Paron there's a check point and a gate, where visitors must pay...

 and Huascaran
Huascarán or Nevado Huascarán is a mountain in the Peruvian province of Yungay, situated in the Cordillera Blanca range of the Western Andes. The highest southern summit of Huascarán is the highest point in Peru, and all the Earth's Tropics...

 Norte, similar to the finest of the Himalayan scenery. There are also at least six other alternative climbing routes, the second most popular being the Vasque-French route.

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