As part of planning a trip to Peru this summer I’ve been busy reading guidebooks and looking at maps. I’ve not climbed in Peru before so this isn’t a review of how accurate these guides are, but it will give an idea of what to expect if you’re mail ordering books.
I usually use Chessler Books for climbing guides. You aren’t going to find many of these titles on Amazon.
Climbs and Treks of the Cordillera Huayhuash Peru – Jeremy Frimer, 2005
Like all the Elaho guides this one is excellent. How one guy working out of his house in Squamish can put the whole of Mountaineers Books to shame is beyond me but he does it. Lots of black and white photos and lengthy route descriptions as well as references to the original records. Frimmer’s book also includes lots of potentially useful information, including how to get from Lima airport to Huaraz with the least amount of hassle.
Classic Climbs of the Cordillera Blanca Peru – Brad Johnson, 2003
This has more of a coffee table picture book feel to it than a pocket sized guidebook. It’s large format with lots of excellent photos and some nice 3D maps. Great for drooling over at home but not something you’ll be taking with you. It’s also a select guide so a lot more book work is required if `you’re looking for new lines.
Climbs of the Cordillera Blanca of Peru – David M. Sharman, 1995
This guide’s real problem is it’s lack of pictures. The stunning cover photo of the south face of Taulliraju is the only photo in the whole guide. The rest of the descriptions rely on sketches. It does however seem to cover all activity in the range rather than selected classics and its also a much smaller format should you want to take it with you.
I was unable to find copies of this book, it may be very hard to get hold of.
The Andes: A Guide for Climbers – John Biggar, 1999
As the title implies this covers the whole continent, including some less well know areas like the Apolobamba range in Bolivia and the Vilcanota in Peru. This and Yossi Brain’s Bolivia guide are the best source of information for Bolivia. This book has some color pictures but again the topos are based on rough sketches of the peaks.
Footprint Peru – Ben Box and Steve Frankham, 2007
Usually I use Lonely Planet guidebooks because I like the layout. In this case the LP Peru guide is a few years old whereas the Footprint guide was published this year.
There’s a couple older guides which pretty much cover the same ground but can be interesting from a historical perspective. Yuraq Janka in particular is the classic Peru guide.
Yuraq Janka: A Guide to the Peruvian Andes – John F. Ricker
This still seems to be available from Chessler Books.
The Peruvian Andes – Ph. Beaud
In French and (some) English.
Trails of the Cordilleras Blanca and Huayhuash of Peru – Jim Bartle