Peruvian Adventure 5/18/2006-6/28/2006

Steamboat Denver Miami Lima Huaraz Cordillera Blanca Huaraz Lazy Dog and LlacaCordillera Huayhuash Huaraz Lima Miami and home

 

 

6/12/2006: Today we left Huaraz at 9 AM in a van and climbed 3,000 ft to a pass through the Cordillera Negra. From there we dropped about 5,000 ft on winding dirt roads passing valleys filled with terraced fields and small villages.

Terraced fields on the way to the Huayhuash

 

Occasionally we would see a local herder or just a child standing in a field. The woman and girls would always be dressed in the bright colors of the hill people and the men would be dressed in off-brown or khaki shirts and pants with the farmers fedora blocking the sun.

A young girl tending her chickens and pig or just curious about ou passing van

 

to the base of a valley, then climbed another 5,000 ft were we were deposited in beautiful meadow at Matconcha, the beginning of our Huayhuash trek. Tomorrow morning we will set off for a twelve day 100+ mile walk around the Cordillera Huayhuash, one of the two or three most beautiful treks on the planet.

Camp I at Mataconcha. Afternoon clouds rising off the Amazon, but sunny skies ahead.

 

6/13/2006: Laguna Mitochocha: 14,030 ft

 

Day

Trek

High Point

15,360 ft

15,360 ft

Ascent

3,512 ft

3,512 ft

Descent

3,259 ft

3,259 ft

mile down and 109.5 miles to go. Note the cows, an ever present companion in Peru.

 

Left camp at 8 AM this morning. Yesterday afternoon clouds started to move in to the valley where we were camping and through the night there was a mix of snow and rain. We departed our day one camp on a clear morning with a few clouds. There was no warm up as we headed up Caccuna punta at 15,360 ft and then descended in to a small valley. We wandered over rolling hills past limestone cliffs that would make a sports climbers palms sweat, but had probably never been touched by man. Crossed a few small streams and after about 4-5 hours dropped in to a meadow just below Laguna Mitococha and our second nights camp spot. We had moved quickly and arrived about an hour before our burrows and gear. Mo and I laid back on our packs and enjoyed the afternoon warmth.

 

After the burrows, Zack (cook) and _____(burrow driver) arrived we set up camp. Quicke (our guide) and I then hiked up to Laguna Mitococha to check out the view. Once there Quicke suggested we hike up a near by pass to get a better view of the Cordillera Huayhuash. The little hike turned in to a three hour trek over another 15,000 ft pass before looping around and back to camp. The views were spectacular and we encountered a lone baby burrow at the summit of Yanayana Pass.

Cool down hike with Quike. Laguna Mitacocha below and the East face of Jerupaja above and beyond

Stuffed burro on Yanayana Pass

Top of Yanayana Pass with the reflection of Yerupaja in a pool

 

On the hike we were able to look directly across the valley where Mitococha sits at some of the legendary peaks of the Huayhuash, Jirishinca, Jirishinca Chico (also called the Bull for it double peaks), Rondoy and Mituraju.

When we got back to camp Zack had created the Peruvian equivalent of wantons with guacamole and hot tea. Mo is doing great. She was questioning her enthusiasm for tent camping for almost two weeks, but now is committed.

 

6/13/2006: Laguna Carhuacocha: 13,730 ft:

 

Day

Trek

High Point

15,170 ft

15,360 ft

Ascent

2,152 ft

5,664 ft

Descent

2,362 ft

5624 ft

 

Woke up to dense clouds hiding the peaks, but by the time breakfast was done, the ski was deep blue and the sun was shining. Before breakfast had settled we were on the trail and up over 2,000 ft to Carhuac Pass at over 15,000 ft. Stopped for a snack in one of the most dramatic settings I have ever been.

 

Crossing Carhuac Pass on our way to camp II. LR Siula Grande and Jirishanca

 

We are looking at the east face of Siula Grande and Yerapaja. Siula Grande is most famous for providing the setting (west face) for Joe Simpsons climbing epic Touching the Void. Yerapaja is the second highest peak in Peru (21,709 ft). The east face has seen only a few climbing ascents, but the most famous was the first in 1966 by Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler . This climb really marked the beginning of the climbing career of arguably the greatest high altitude climber of all time.

 

 

Peru Adventure Part Two Chapter XI

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