Nevado Salkantay 6,279m 8D/7N


The Great Apu Salkantay is one of the hardest mountains to climb in the region. The route to base camp crosses two passes, one at Incachillaska (5,100m) and the other at Abra Palqay (4,700m) on the eastern side of the mountain. Just crossing Abra Paljay is the base camp to climb Salkantay. The easiest route on the mountain is the North Face, but it still quite difficult and presents 800m of exposed ice/snow climbing mostly around 60-70°. I have also summited by the NE ridge which is longer and more technical. Salkantay is for mountaineers who want a challenge and wish to climb the most sacred of the Andean summits.


The itinerary is as follows:

Day 1: Cusco - Soray Pampa (3,888m)
We take private transport to the town of Mollepata and have breakfast. Afterwards we arrive to Soray Pampa (3888m) below the south face of Nevado Salkantay. There we will stay in cabins for the night.
Day 2: Soray Pampa - Abra Inkachillaska (5,100m) - Sisaypampa (4,200m) - Abra Palqay
We will have breakfast at 6am and start our trek up to the pass at 5,100m which should take around 4 hours. Then at Sisaypampa we will have lunchbefore crossing the next pass and going down the other side to Palqaycasa.
Day 3: Palqaycasa (4,200m) – Base Camp (4,550m)
An easy 2.5 hour hike to BC.
Day 4: Base Camp - Camp 1 (5,500m)
The path to Camp 1 will take us about 5-6 hours while porting up our food and equipment, we will have to climb a few steep sections to get there.
Day 5: Camp 1 – Summit – Camp 1
We will wake up at midnight and leave the tent by 1am. The climb should take about 9 hours in total and then another 6 to get back to Camp 1.
Day 6: Camp 1- Palqaycasa (4,200m)
The next morning we will pack up the tent and return to Base Camp for lunch. After lunch we will descend to Palqaycasa.
Day 7: Palqaycasa - Soray Pampa
We return to Soray Pampa after about 8 hours of hiking.
Day 8: Soray Pampa – Cusco
We awake at the hour of your choosing and have breakfast. Then go by a car to Cusco.

Included in the package:

  • Transportation (Cusco to Soray Pampa, Soray Pampa to Cusco)
  • All camping/group climbing equipment
  • 1 High Mountain Guide per 2 clients
  • Arriero and horse service (will carry all expedition gear)
  • Food from Lunch Day 1 until Breakfast Day 8.

You will need

  • Personal mountaineering equipment (helmet, harness, belay device, 2 technical axes, crampons)
  • clothing for cold and rain
  • mountaineering boots
  • headlamp
  • sleeping bag
  • mattress
  • backpack 40-70 liters
  • sunglasses
  • sunscreen

Some technical or high altitude mountaineering experience is required. More importantly you should be in very good physical condition and acclimatized. For acclimatization purposes it is preferable that you have been to 5,500m recently. Cerro Soray (5,446m) may be climbed beforehand in order to help acclimatize. This climb may also be combined with the trek Salkantay Base Camp to Machu Picchu.

Sky Hight Expeditions