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Two groups of climbers on Alpamayo SW face
Elevation 5,947 metres (19,511 ft)
Location Peru
Range Cordillera Blanca
Coordinates 8°52.75′S 77°39.22′W / 8.87917°S 77.65367°W / -8.87917; -77.65367
First ascent June 20th, 1957, by Günter Hauser, Berhard Huhn and Horst Wiedmann.
Translation Muddy River (Quechua)

Alpamayo (Spanish: Nevado 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.

The mountain is named after the village of Alpamayo (Quechua Allpamayu: allpa = earth; mayu = river: muddy river), whereas its local Quechua name is Shuyturahu (shuytu = thin and long, pyramid; rahu = snowy mountain, glacier)[1]. 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 and ice-climbing technique. There are incomparable views of steep ice faces, penitentes, gigantic white walls and ridges like those of Huandoy Norte, Artesonraju and Huascaran 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.


  1. Francisco Carranza Romero in "Morir escalando nevados".

External links

de:Alpamayo es:Alpamayo fr:Alpamayo it:Alpamayo he:אלפמאיו la:Alpamayo lt:Alpamajas hu:Alpamayo nl:Alpamayo (berg) pl:Alpamayo pt:Alpamayo qu:Shuyturahu fi:Alpamayo sv:Alpamayo tr:Alpamayo uk:Альпамайо

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