One of the Great Alpine Hikes of the World

Overview

The phenomenal ice range of the Cordillera Huayhuash is renowned for its knife-edged 20,000-foot peaks and deep azure lakes. Seven of Peru’s highest mountains rise from this striking massif, and it was here that the gripping mountain drama Touching the Void took place. Ours is a world-class trek that makes a complete circle of the range, crossing seven high passes with near-constant panoramas of towering Andean giants, including Yerupajé (21,759'), the second highest mountain in Peru, and the icy fang of Jirishanca (20,099'). We only offer this adventure every two years—now is the time to go!

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-4, Aug 17-20, 2020
Huaráz / Wilkahuain / Lake Churup

From Lima, we head to the mountain town of Huaráz (10,200'), where Huascarén (22,205'), Peru’s highest peak, dominates the skyline. Our warm-up hikes bring us to the archaeological site of Wilkahuain, with its burial and ritual chambers dating from the time of the Huari people, and to Lake Churup, set below the Churup Glacier at 14,700 feet.

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Days 5-8, Aug 21-24, 2020
Cacanampunta / Carhuacocha

We begin the trek on the remote eastern flanks of the Huayhuash massif. From our first high pass, Cacanampunta (15,400'), panoramas include Ninashanca and Jirishanca, and we may start to see the soaring condors of the Andes. We cross our second pass, Carhuac (15,150'), to reach our beautiful lakeside camp at Laguna Carhuacocha, with Yerupajé, Peru’s second highest peak, right in front of us—sunsets are sublime here.

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Days 9-13, Aug 25-29, 2020
Portachuelo Huayhuash / Laguna Jurau

From the farming community of Huayhuash, we climb to the top of Portachuelo Huayhuash (15,700'), then ascend two more mountain passes, including Punta Cuyoc (16,600'), the highest point on our trek. At our camp at Laguna Jurau, nestled in a cirque of massive snow peaks at 14,200 feet, we have an Exploration Day. One choice here is a hike to a high vantage point to see the dramatic peak of Siulé and part of the route of the famous Touching the Void climb.

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Days 14-18, Aug 30-Sep 3, 2020
Laguna Jahuacocha / Huaréz

After crossing two more passes, Tapush (15,400') and Yaucha (15,900'), and spectacular final views from our lake camp at Jahuacocha, we head back to Huaraz on Day 17 for a festive Farewell Dinner. Depart via Lima on Day 18.

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Highlights

Highlights

Challenging trek circling the towering, ice-draped Huayhuash—one of Peru’s most dramatic mountain ranges
Spectacular campsites by turquoise lakes, incredible views of glacier-clad peaks
Hike across seven breathtaking mountain passes
Exploration Day at Carhuacocha, a magnificent alpine lake

Details

Length: 18 days
Cost From: $4895  
Arrive: Lima, Peru
Depart: Lima, Peru
Lodging: 5 nights hotels, 12 nights full-service camping
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 2 dinners (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

12-day trek on moderate to strenuous trails, 4-7 hours a day, altitudes between 11,000-16,600 feet