Rock and Ice Climbing
If you’re coming to Huaraz to mountaineer, don’t forget your quick draws and rock shoes. Local crags fill the valley and stretch 20–200 meters. The best crag near Huaraz is Chancos, which offers eight bolted routes on sedimentary rock with big, chunky holds ranging 5.6–5.9. To reach Chancos from Huaraz, head to the bridge area near Centenario and take a Carhuaz combi north for 11 kilometers to Marcará. From here, the crags are about a 30-minute walk up the road, on the left side. There is a nice river for bathing, and the Chancos hot springs are nearby.
A closer spot, though less developed, is Monterrey, seven kilometers north of Huaraz, which has a handful of sport routes about 12 meters long. Other recommended spots for all levels of climbing are Antacocha, one hour by bus from Huaraz, and Balcón de Judos, 20 minutes away. Huanchac near Huaraz is not recommended for bouldering.
Advanced climbers will have plenty to keep them busy in the polished granite walls that line many of the Cordillera Blanca valleys. Over the past several years, teams of climbers have put up both free and aid routes on the cliffs of Quebrada Llaca and Ishinca. The best-known, hard-core areas are in the Rurec Valley and the Torre de Parón, also known as the Sphinx.
There is an artificial climbing wall behind the municipality in Huaraz and a bouldering cave at Andean Kingdom (Luzuriaga 522). This climbing agency, however, has had a series of accidents and is not recommended.
© Ross Wehner and Renée del Gaudio from Moon Peru, 3rd Edition