The small, remote Huayhuash range, south of the Cordillera Blanca, offers the trekker some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. The many dramatic snow-capped and glacier-clad peaks over 20,000ft. /6000m, include Yerupaja, Peru’s second highest peak (22,133ft. /6634m) and Siula Grande (21,146ft. /6344 m). Apart from the peaks, the range is dotted with beautiful blue and turquoise lakes, stocked with trout. Open grassy valleys make perfect campsites; clear rushing streams complete an idyllic alpine picture. In the TRADITIONAL trek, we have carefully considered a balance combination between challenging routes with a good gentle walk pace. This in order to enjoy the highlight, the nature.
This trek is one of the world’s classic high-altitude routes, involving a stunning circuit of 180km around a remote and truly spectacular mountain range. The Cordillera Huayhuash still sees very few trekkers. The route has sustained periods above 13,333ft. /4000 meters, and should be attempted only by those who are experienced walkers and in good physical condition. Although there are 14 days of walking, with eight passes over 4,500m, distances walked on each day are generally short.
GRADING D SEASONApril to November PROGRAM 11 days / 10 nights
DAY 1: HUARAZ/ CUARTELHUAIN | INC: B/BL/D.
We drive towards Cuartelhuain, passing through the picturesque towns of Pocpa and Paclla with views of Mount Ninashanca (5607 MASL). We enter to the Quebrada Rondoy, which leads us to upper meadows, from where we may see the huge snow-capped Mount Rondoy (5879 MASL). We finally arrive to our campsite at Cuartelhuain, we are surrounded by impressive views.
DAY 2: CUARTELHUAIN/ MITUCOCHA LAKE| INC: B/BL/D.
We begin our trek with a series of switchbacks that lead to the Cacananpunta Pass (4750 MASL), our first big pass. We continue descending into a wide grassy valley where we can appreciate the peaks of Jirishanca Grande (6049 MASL), Jirishanca Chico (5445 MASL) and Rondoy (5879 MASL). We finally arrive to the Mitucocha Lake, where we set our camp.
DAY 3: MITUCOCHA/CARHUACOCHA LAKE | INC: B/BL/D
The route heads back down the valley below Mitucocha, this time on the south side, leading to the Carhuac pass (15,500ft. /4650m). From here, there are imposing views of Nevado Yerupajá (22,113ft. /6634m) and Yerupajá Chico (20,403ft./6121m). On the descent, we can appreciate Lake Carhuacocha, hundreds of feet below. We camp above or below the lake, with a panorama of spectacular views, at approx. 13,666ft. /4100m.with views of Siula peak (21,186ft. /6356m).
DAY 4: CARHUACOCHA LAKE /HUAYHUASH | INC: B/BL/D
Today we make the steep ascent of Punta Carnicero (15,566ft. /4670m) past the twin lakes of Atogshaico, with extensive views of Siula (21,186ft. /6356m), Carnicero “butcher” (19,866ft. /5960m) and Jurau (18,913ft. /5674m). Descending between lakes Chocopata Kocha and Huaraco Kocha to our campsite near the small settlement of Huayhuash (14,500ft. /4350m).
DAY 5: HUAYHUASH/VICONGA LAKE | INC: B/BL/D
We make the ascent to Portachuelo de Ararac pass (15,866ft. /4760m) with extensive views of Carnicero Raura and Trapesio (18,800ft. /5640m). Ahead we can see the ice domes of the Cordillera Puscanturpa (18,140ft. /5442m) as we make our way to Viconga Lake and our campsite (13,666ft. /4100m), with an optional side trip to the thermal springs.
DAY 6: VICONGA LAKE/HUANACPATAY | INC: B/BL/D
Perhaps this is the hardest day, beginning with the ascent of Punta Cuyoc (16,000ft. /4800m), then descending the steep, slippery trail to the river Quedrada Guanacpatay, with the best views of Huayhuash (18,800ft. /5640m), Nevado Diablo Mundo (17,433ft. /5230m.), Sarapo (20,523ft. /6157m) and Caramarca (18,526ft. /5558m). Making camp at 13,833ft. /4150m.
DAY 7: HUANACPATAY/HUATIAC | INC: B/BL /D
A long but beautiful day’s walk, we descend to the river Huayllapa, just below the impressive falls of Quebrada Guanacpatay, continuing to Huayllapa village. From here, we climb through farmlands and meadows to our camp in Huatiac (14,000ft. /4200m) with views of Nevado Rasac (20,056ft. /6017m) and Nevado Tsacra (18,493ft. /5548m) en route.
DAY 8: HUATIAC/SUSUCOCHA LAKE | INC: B/BL/D
Today the trail, faint at first, soon becomes more clearly defined as it climbs steeply to Punta Tapuch pass (16,000ft. /4800m), from here nevado Diablo Mundo (17,433ft. /5230m) can be seen perfectly. Then we descend into a wide valley to Lake Susucocha and our campsite at 13,666ft. /4100m, with a magnificent panorama of snowcapped peaks.
DAY 9: SUSUCOCHA LAKE/JAHUACOCHA LAKE| INC: B/BL/D
We start by ascending a valley to the east, and then we cross a pass and descend into the river Achin valley. Making camp just below lake Jahuacocha (13,666ft. /4100m) beneath the glacier Jerupaja (22,113ft. /6634m) and the peaks of Jirishanca (20,313ft. /6094m), Rasac (20,056ft. /6017m) and Rondoy (22,900ft. /6870m). With an optional short side trip to gain excellent views of the Cordillera Blanca and the most important Huayhuash peaks.
DAY 10: JAHUACOCHA LAKE| INC: B/BL/D
A day free to enjoy the surroundings - the trout fishing in the lake is excellent. There is also an optional excursion to the enchanted lakes of Solterococha and Rasacocha, which lie beneath Rasac (20,056ft. /6017m), Yenupaja north (20,403ft. /6121m) and navado Jirishanca (20,313ft. /6094m). We usually have a “pachamanca” meal; cooked in an improvised underground oven, heated by hot rocks.
DAY 11: JAHUACOCHA LAKE/ HUARAZ | INC: B/BL
We start by climbing the ridge to a rocky section (not steep), leading to our last pass at Pampa Llamac (14,333ft. /4300m). Then we descend to Llamac village we drive by dirt road back to Huaraz.
End of our services.
- High Mountain Guides bilingual, in English. Assistant to High Mountain Guide (more than 11 pax).
- Transfers from Huaraz to the different starting points and end of the trekking.
- All camping gear
- Meals mentioned at the end of each day in the itinerary.
- All necessary staff
- Entrance ticket National Park.
- First-aid kit, permanent assistance.
- Therma rest foam mattress
- First-aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.
Price does not include:
- Personal equipment
- Sleeping bags
- Walking stick
- Personal expenses
- Travel insurance
*If your clients prefer not to bring their sleeping bag or walking stick we can rent them at an additional cost. Please let us know in advance so we can book these items.
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