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August 1-16, 2014

Group on a rope

Peru Mountaineering, Summer 2014!

August 1-16: This 17-day course takes place in the high sierra region of Peru. In addition to mountaineering skills, participants will be immersed in the local culture and learn about flora, fauna, and ecotourism challenges of the area.

Group TrekkingPTRM 291 Peru mountaineering and leadership (2 credits)

2014 Itinerary | Syllabus

Course Description:

The Peruvian Andes exploration course takes place in the high sierra region of Peru within the Cordillera Blanca (White Mountains) in Huascaran National Park.  The Cordillera Blanca is the World’s highest tropical mountain range with remarkable plant and animal diversity due to its highly varied climate and equatorial proximity.  The Park was pronounced a Natural Heritage of Humanity Site in 1975, is recognized as a Biosphere Reserve, and in 1985 it was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization in its effort to help achieve a sustainable balance between the sometimes conflicting goals of conserving biological diversity, promoting economic development, and maintaining cultural values.  The area provides bountiful educational opportunities in both the environmental and cultural arenas, pertaining to topics like water quantity and quality from both climate change and a prominent mining economy, eco-tourism as a means of generating income and protecting natural resources, cultural history and pride in a time of ‘modernization’, amongst others.     

The main course components are as follows:

  1. A period of orientation and acclimatization, including survival Spanish classes, a student run food-buy in a traditional market, and a cultural exchange/home-stay experience with a family living several hours out of the city near the trailhead of the trek. 
  2. Summit HeadwallA four-day hiking component in the Santa Cruz valley, taking the students to altitudes between 3000-4750 meters, winding between 6000+ meter glaciated peaks.  During the hiking sections, students will have the opportunity to study flora and fauna specific to the area, as well as give and listen to presentations on Park and Land Management Issues, Ecotourism in Developing Countries, and Environmental Issues unique to the area including climate change, water issues, mining, and more.
  3. A 6-day mountaineering skills course on a glaciated mountain called Yanapaqcha, 5460 meters above sea level.  The course is designed to teach novices the risk assessment and appropriate management techniques of alpine climbing.  Through formal classes and extensive hands-on practice accompanied by professional instructor supervision and review, members of the course will become contributing members of a roped climbing team and culminate their experience on the mountain with a participant-led summit attempt on Yanapaqcha (as skill and comfort level allow). 
  4. A post course debrief, celebratory banquet in Huaraz, and return to the United States.Local Porters

For more information and to get an application form: call Elizabeth Fricke at (406) 243-5176.  A completed application with a $200 deposit is due by May-1, 2014.  Course is limited to eight participants, register early!


For questions about any of the Study Abroad programs in the College of Forestry and Conservation, please contact us at:

Phone: 406-243-5521 | Fax: 406-243-4845