top of page

Frequently Asked Questions 





1. Who is this trip designed for?  


  • Student on college break? Business professional wishing to answer the call of the wild? Parent looking to connect with your adult son or daughter? This expedition is ideal for most outdoor enthusiasts over the age of 18. 


2. Who Is leading the program?

  • David “Hock” Hochschartner serves as the Executive Director of North Country School, Camp Treetops, and Round Lake Campus. His lifelong passion, both personally and professionally, has been an intimate connection with a wide range of mountain sports.  He is deeply involved with nordic skiing and racing, hiking and mountain trail running, as well as completing significant rock and ice climbing adventures around the world. Hock has accomplished technical mountaineering and climbing ascents around the world, including in Alaska, the Alps, Ecuador, Peru, and all around the United States. These accomplishments combined with his experience as a Nordic race coach, a former Colorado Outward Bound instructor and guide, a search and rescue person in the White Mountains, and as a leader of several schools with significant outdoor education programs fuel his great passion - taking people into the mountains.                                                                                                                                                                       

  • Kestrel Kunz is an outdoor professional and environmentalist with a burning passion for the Andean Mountains and South American culture. Originally from Vermont, Kestrel grew up visiting the Adirondacks and North Country School with her mother, Lindsay Putnam, who taught Spanish and led NCS trips with Hock to Ecuador. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Kestrel has made three significant expeditions to South America, first as a student, then as an explorer and an expedition leader. With a B.A.S from Quest University Canada in British Columbia, Kestrel was able to combine her passions of conserving the environment and taking people into the great outdoors - from the mountains to the rivers. Currently, when Kestrel is not exploring South America, she is working for a river conservation organization, teaching whitewater kayaking, and exploring the Colorado Rockies. On her second expedition to South America, Kestrel met up with Hock in Huaraz to complete two mountaineering ascents in the Cordillera Blanca before heading south to complete a solo trek of the Cordillera Huayhuash, carrying everything on her back. This was a life changing expedition for her and she is itching to go back and to be able to share this incredible Cordillera with you (she is also excited for the donkey support this time). This winter, while continuing to conserve rivers, she is going to expand upon her wilderness medicine training and become an EMT and Ski Patroller at Crested Butte Mountain in Colorado.


3. Where is lodging?

  • We will spend 4 nights at Casa del Zarela upon arrival in Peru as we adjust to the altitude and explore the high mountain town of Huaraz. We will also spend 2 nights after our trek at Casa del Zarela after our return. Room accommodations will vary slightly depending on the needs of the group, but could range from a small shared room to a larger dormitory style room. Breakfast will be included at Casa del Zarela and we will be able to store some belongings here while we are on the trek. Lodging upgrades are available upon request for an additional cost, with options for a single room at Casa del Zarela or accomodation at another hotel. Please email Kestrel at with your requests or inquiries. During the 12 day trek, we will be spending 12 nights in tents sleeping in some of the most beautiful places on earth. Sleeping tents will be provided, but participants are expected to bring their own sleeping pads and bags (rental options are also possible). Accommodations (i.e., camping) during the trek is considered rugged and luxuries will limited. We will have the luxury of a group kitchen tent to hang out in and eat meals and we will also enjoy an evening camping next to some remote hot springs halfway through the trek. It is highly recommended to bring a comfortable sleeping pad.


4. What are the meals?

  • All main meals and hiking snacks are included during the 18-day trip; additional snacks while in the city are not included. Participants will have the option to buy their own alcoholic beverages with dinner if desired. While we are staying in Huaraz, we will have breakfast at the hostel and we will go out for lunch and dinner together in town. While we are on our 12 day trek in the Huayhuash, all food will be provided and prepared for you. During bus transit between Lima and Huaraz lunch will be provided by the bus company - if you want to bring extra snacks for the bus ride or an alternative lunch please free to do so, however there will not be time to stop at a market between the airport and the bus station upon arrival in Lima.


  • Drinks: One drink per day is included in the cost of the trip. If you would like additional drinks, we will keep a balance and settle your tab after the trip is over. We will not bring beer along on the 12-day Huayhuash Trek, but there will be beer for sale at the hot springs on Day 6 of the trek.


5. What should I bring?

  • This trip will be a mix of urban exploring and remote high alpine trekking. You will need to bring both casual clothing for the city, as well as outdoor clothing and hiking gear for our 12 day trek in the Cordillera Huayhuash. We will have the support of donkeys for our trek to carry our gear, so you will need a daypack and either a large backpack or a duffle for the rest of your gear. All of the sleeping tents, community tents, food, and kitchenware will be provided for the trek. The Huayhuash is notorious for warm days and cold nights with occasional rain storms, so be prepared with layers, waterproof shells, and a warm sleeping bag. Good hiking shoes that you are already comfortable in will be very important. We will provide participants with a specific gear list upon registration.


6. What is included with tuition?

  • All accommodation and meals, experienced guides, in-country transportation, activities, and rescue insurance.  

7. What is not included with tuition?

  • Travel to and from Jorge Chavéz International Airport in Lima, Peru; flight & travel insurance. While a beer or glass of table wine is included when eating at restaurants, additional drinks are the responsibility of participants.                                                                                                                                                                           

8. How technical / difficult will this trip be?

  • We rate this trip as B-III level trip. Please see our Trip Rating System to compare to other programs we offer. Our trekking days will range from 4 to 9 hours of hiking with elevation gains between 400 and 800m on rugged trails. Participants will need to be prepared to hike in the wind and the cold, but also be prepared for the warm sunshine of the Andes! It will be the dry season in the Peruvian Andes, so rain and thunderstorms are unlikely, but possible. This trip does not include any technical climbing or mountaineering and we have 3 days in Huaraz dedicated to helping everyone adjust to the altitude. Previous experience at high altitude (>3000m) is encouraged, but not required. This trip is meant for avid hikers that enjoy multi-day trekking experiences in remote and beautiful places and is not a trip for people who don’t have prior hiking or camping experience.

9 What will in-country transport be like?

  • To travel from Lima to Huaraz we will take a 7.5 hour bus ride with Cruz del Sur. Cruz del Sur offers comfort bus seating with 140 to 160 degrees recline. Lunch will be provided on both the trip to Huaraz and the return to Lima. The route from Lima to Huaraz is on major highways and Cruz del Sur is considered to be one of the safest and most comfortable bus companies in the country. The rest of our in-country travel will be with a private, air conditioned van for long distances and taxis for local transit.

10 What is the cancellation policy?

  • Cancellations before April 22, 2019 will receive a refund, minus a $25 processing fee.

  • Cancellations between April 22, 2019 - May 22, 2019 will receive a half refund.

  • Cancellations after May 22, 2019 are subject to full forfeiture of the registration price.

  • Medical or family emergencies will be considered with on an individual basis.

  • To cancel, individual attendee registrants MUST contact Round Lake Campus at (518) 523-9329 ext. 5440.

11. What is the schedule?

  • For a full itinerary, please see this link. Please note that the details of itinerary may change based on weather and final booking.

  • Be aware that specific hiking plans are subject to change due to weather and availability.


bottom of page