Surrounded by three distinct and impressive mountain ranges, Huaraz  offers access to a variety of multiday to multiweek treks and climbs.
The majority of trekking and climbing trips use porters and muleteers to carry food and equipment. This leaves trekkers with a lighter load and better prepared to confront the area’s high altitudes.
Treks, because they usually do not reach altitudes over 5,000 meters, do not require previous training. Climbs, by contrast, summit high, glacier-covered peaks and demand the use of ice axes, crampons, and technical climbing knowledge. Some prior experience is often essential.
For details about specific treks or climbs, and tips on hiring mountain guides, renting equipment, and organizing a climb or trek, see our Trekking the Andes page .
A Huaraz  classic, Montañero (Parque Ginebra 30-B, tel. 043/42-6386, www.trekkingperu.com ) is the agency and shop of Selio, who founded the Casa de Guías, and his wife Ana. The Peruvian couple coordinates trips to the traditional circuits and is now offering multiday alternative trips around Alpamayo and to deep valleys near Huaraz. Out of their office, the couple also runs an excellent gear rental shop, where you can find everything from crampons to parkas. Between them, they speak English, French, and German.
MountClimb (Mariscal Caceres 421, tel. 043/42-6060, www.mountclimb.com.pe ) is an equally good place to buy maps and rent cutting-edge gear. The owner, Alfredo Quintana, is a fully certified mountain guide, speaks English, and manages guides that speak French and Italian. Alfredo’s climbs, treks, ice-climbing courses, and guided ski descents are highly recommended.
Managed by members of the same family, Sol Andino (Gamarra 815, tel. 043/42-2205, www.solandino.com ) and Explorandes (Av. Centenario 489, tel. 043/42-1960, www.explorandes.com ) both operate well-organized, high-quality trips. Sol Andino, known primarily for its climbing expertise, offers basic trips starting at US$65 pp per day and fully-outfitted, group trips for US$80–120 pp per day. Explorandes has operated trekking trips for 30 years and was recently awarded for its environmental management. (The company uses bio-gas, composts, and packs out all inorganic trash.) New on its trip list is a Best of Cordillera Huayhuash trip.
A solid budget agency is Galaxia Expedition (Marsical Caceres 428, tel. 043/42-5355, www.galaxia-expeditions.com ). The agency offers US$45 pp per day basic trekking trips and US$65 pp per day full service trips, as well as mountain-biking adventures, an indoor climbing wall, and rental of brand-name equipment.
A recommended, fully certified mountain and trekking guide, who spends a third of her year in Huaraz , is Val Pitkethly (133 Rundle Crescent, Canmore, Alberta, Canada, T1W 2L6, tel. 403/678-6834, valpk [at] hotmail [dot] com). Val leads a few trips in the Cordillera Huayhuash  each year.
Richard Hidalgo (richard_hidalgo [at] yahoo [dot] com) is a certified guide who speaks excellent English. Richard and a team of Peruvian climbers won headlines for the successful ascent of the Shisha Pangma, a notoriously difficult Himalayan peak that rises to 8,027 meters. Richard is now on a crusade to climb the world’s 14 8,000 meters peak solo and without oxygen.
A knowledgeable trekking resource, who has spent a lot of time in the Cordillera Huayhuash  and runs logistical support for expeditions, is Chris Benway, owner of Café Andino. Chris is available at the café (Lúcar y Torre 530, 3rd Fl., tel. 084/42-1203, www.cafeandino.com ) or through his company La Cima Logistics (lacima_peru [at] hotmail [dot] com).