The dramatic snowcapped summit of Copa, Cordillera Blanca, Peru
The dramatic snowcapped summit of Copa, Cordillera Blanca, Peru


LOCATION Copa is located in the Cordillera Blanca, a mountain range in the Peruvian Andes

HIGHEST POINT 20,302 ft (6,188 m)

FIRST CLIMBED In 1932 by a German expedition team led by Erwin Schneider

CLIMBERS PER YEAR Fewer than 200

Less than 10 degrees south of the equator lies the world’s highest tropical mountain range, Peru’s Cordillera Blanca (see also p85). These mountains, which cradle hundreds of glaciers and form part of South America’s continental divide, contain no less than 27 rugged summits that are higher than Mount Kilimanjaro and are cut sharply by plunging glacial valleys. It’s a mountaineer’s dream.

The most accessible of these towering peaks is Copa, which can be climbed up and either climbed or skied down. Burros carry your equipment to a base camp, from which point you will follow the tongue of a glacier that leads to a route up the mountain’s western ridge.

Practical Information

Getting There and Around From the Peruvian capital, Lima, it’s an 8-hour bus ride to Huaraz, where you can acclimatize before taking a 2-hour ride by local bus or private shuttle to the trailhead.

When to Go The best time to climb Copa is in the dry season, which is from May to September.

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