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Classic Cordillera Huayhuash trekking circuit

Cuyoc pass 5000 m, in the Cordillera HuayhuashThe full Huayhuash trek is the classic route of the region. In making a complete loop around the entire range it crosses several spectacular passes higher than 4600m, two of which top out at over 5000m.  Our treks visit the Cutatambo valley, which is situated below the mountain “Siula Grande”, the real-life setting of Joe Simpson’s famous story, “Touching the Void”. Among the many prominent peaks visible on the trek are Rondoy, Ninashanca, Jirishanca, Yerupajá chico, Yerupajá, Cuyoc, Diablo Mudo, Rasac, and Sacra.  We also pass the lakes, Mitucocha, Carhuacocha, Atoqsahyco, Viconga, Jahuacocha, and others.  This route is also a great option because it affords the opportunity to experience the great diversity of flora and fauna in the region.  The classic Cordillera Huayhuash trek is considered one of the top ten trekking circuits in the world.

Duration: 12 days
Distance: 120 Km Approx.
Rating: Moderate - strenuous
Start: Cuartelwain

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Finish: Llámac
Elevation: 3300 – 5000m

Itinerary at a glance:

Day 1: Huaraz - Llámac - Cuartelwain 4170m.
Day 2: Cuartelwain – Qaqanan pass 4750m - Mitucocha 4230m.
Day 3: Mitucocha - Carhuac pass 4600m - Carhuacocha 4138m.
Day 4: Carhuacocha - Carnicero pass 4630m - Huayhuash 4330m.
Walking up to Siula pass, after to visit the three lakes in the Cordillera Huayhuash trekking circuitDay 5: Huayhuash – Portachuelo pass 4750m - Viconga 4407m. Hot springs.
Day 6: Viconga - Cuyoc pass 5000m - Guanacpatay (Elefante pampa) 4450m.
Day 7: Guanacpatay – San Antonio Pass 4990m – Cutatambo 4250m
Day 8:Visit base camp and glaciar of Siula Grande mount, route of Joe Simpson.
Day 9: Cutatambo - Huayllapa 3500m
Day 10: Huayllapa - Tapush pass 4800m - Qashpapampa 4500m.
Day 11: Qashpapampa - Yaucha pass 4750m - Jahuacocha 4070m
Day 12: Jahuacocha - Pampa Llámac pass 4300m – Llamac - Huaraz

Other options:

• It is also possible to have rest days in Carhuacocha and/or Jahuacocha where you can walk around the lakes to do some fishing. Another option for those in search of more extreme adventure is to organize a climb of Pumarinri (5465m) or Diablo Mudo (5350m). These are two moderate peaks that can be climbed with just one extra day. If you are interested you’ll need to bring basic mountaineering equipment along with you (climbing boots, crampons, ice axe, harness, and rope) and a mountain guide.

Things to keep in mind:

• You’ll need at least two days of acclimatization before heading out on the trek. We suggest taking a bus tour of Llanganuco lakes or the Chavin de Huantar ruins, and/or doing one of the various day hikes in the Cordillera Blanca around Huaraz.

• Bring a water bottle with you, in summer season it gets very hot.

• Bring warm clothes along, because in the mountains the temperature can quickly fall below 0 °C, especially in the early morning, at night, and even when the sun drops behind the clouds.

• Walk at your own rhythm, breathe deep, and enjoy the beautiful views of Cordillera Huayhuash.

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