Time: 15 days
Grade: hard trek
The Circuit of the Cordillera Huayhuash is one of the classic trekking circuits of the world. The Huayhuash is a compact, rugged range, and includes the second highest peak in Peru – Yerupajá Grande – 6634m. Every day on the trek hikers are treated to awesome close views of snowcapped peaks, glaciers and blue trout-filled lakes. There are no less than 8 passes to cross, the highest at 5000m. Our 15 day trek features a visit to the Base Camp of Siula Grande, made famous by the epic Joe Simpson book and the film “Touching the Void”
Although not difficult, the length of the trek, the number of nights sleeping above 4000m and the number of high passes warrants a grade of Hard.
Day 1: Drive from Huaraz to the village of Llamac to set up camp 3300m. 4 to 5 hours drive.
Day 2: Follow the river Llamac, hiking gradually up the valley to camp in open grassy countryside at Quartelhuain 4200m 6 hours.
Day 3: Cross our first pass Punta Cacanan 4700m then descend to camp at a large lake Laguna Mitucocha 4220m. 6 hours.
Day 4: We climb steadily to our next pass Paso de Carhuac 4650m to camp at trout filled Laguna Carhuacocha 4150m 6 hours. At the head of the lake are the giant peaks of the Huayhuash – Yerupaja, Jirishanca & the famous Siula Grande.
Day 5: We spend an extra day at spectacular Carhuacocha. Hike up to visit the three lakes of Siula, take an easy walk around Carhuacocha lake, go trout fishing or have a rest day and enjoy your mountain surroundings.
Day 6: There are 2 options: A gradual ascent on a good path to cross Pass Carnicero 4600m (5 to 6 hours) or a more demanding alternative Siula Pass (4800m) 6 to 7 hours. We camp by the small Laguna Carnicero 4300m
Day 7: We pass through the small settlement of Huayhuash where a few farming families live and then climb to yet another pass Portachuelo de Huayhuash 4750m. We descend past a large lake Viconga where we often see large herds of Llama and Alpaca to camp at 4480m 6½ hours. There are natural hot spring baths near the camp – enjoy your first hot bath for several days !!
Day 8: We should be well acclimatised now and ready to cross our highest pass of the trek, Punta Cuyoc 5000m. The descent is initially steep but is then easier and we and camp in large open valley Quebrada Huanacpatay 4300m 4½ hours. Option: to climb Pumarinri this day (5320m)
Day 9: A demanding climb up to the Pass Cerro Antonio (4788m). From the pass we have the most stunning views of the trek, we can see Siula Grande Base Camp and Siula glacier and several small jewel blue lakes. The descent is steep at times and we traverse above Laguna Jurau to camp in the Quebrada Calinca at Cutatambo 4100m 5 to 6 hours. A demanding but fantastic days hiking.
Day 10: We visit the base camp of Siula Grande (Joe Simpson – “Touching The Void”). We can clearly see the route that Joe followed crawling down the glacier and across the moraine rocks to reach the campsite.
Day 11: Follow down the valley Quebrada Calinca to the large mountain village of Huallapa. In the afternoon we need to climb through a steep sided valley to a high camp in the pasture at Huatiac 4350m 7 hours
Day 12: A shorter day which is appreciated after the hard day yesterday. Cross the Pass Punta Tapush 4750m to Laguna Susucocha and Cashpapampa 4500m 3 to 4 hours.
Day 13: Cross the pass Punta Yaucha 4800m to camp at one of the most beautiful sites in the Huayhuash, Laguna Jahuacocha 4150m 4 hours. Option: to climb Diablo Mudo this day (5350m)
Day 14: An extra day at Laguna Jahuacocha. Climb up Cerro Amarrillo Peak 5000m, visit Soltera Cocha Lake, hike up the pass Sambunya 4750m OR take a rest and try trout fishing.
Day 15: The final pass Pampa Llamac 4300m and a long descent to Llamac. 5½ hours. Return to Huaraz in our private van