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Alpamayo is one of the most conspicuous peaks in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range of the Peruvian Andes.

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.

Its name comes from Quechua Allpa = earth Mayu = river: muddy river. In 1966, the Alpamayo mountain was declared "the most beautiful mountain in the world" by UNESCO.

Climbing History and Routes

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 ascending path, 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 and axe technique. The ascension rewards with incomparable views of steep ice faces, penitentes, gigantic white walls and ridges like those of Huandoy Norte, Artesonraju and Huascaran Norte, which mimics the finest of the Himalaya scenery. There is also an alternative climbing path known as the Vasque-French route.

External links

Expedition to Alpamayo - numerous photographs

French Young Expedition to Alpamayo - photographs and good topo

Landscapes of the Soul - An Australian climber's stunning photos of climbers on the Ferrari Route, and his 1987 ascent/descent of the more difficult French Route.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Alpamayo

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