Alpamayo is one of the most conspicuous peaks in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range of the Peruvian Andes.It is a steep (sixty degrees), almost perfect pyramid of ice, one of a number of peaks that compose the Santa Cruz
massif, the northernmost massif of the Cordillera Blanca. Although smaller than many of its neighboring peaks, it is distinguished by its unusual formation and overwhelming beauty. It actually has two sharp summits, North and South, separated by a narrow corniced ridge.
Most popular routes start from the village of Caraz
, on the north of the Cordillera Blanca.The most common climbing route, known as the Ferrari route, is situated on the southwest face of the mountain. It was opened in 1975 by a group of Italian alpinists led by Casimiro Ferrari. It is considered a difficult climb, demanding good crampon and ice-climbing technique. There are incomparable views of steep ice faces, penitentes, gigantic white walls and ridges like those of Huandoy
and Huascaran Norte, similar to the finest of the Himalayan scenery. There are also at least six other alternative climbing routes, the second most popular being the Vasque-French route.