Cordillera Huayhuash Trek

16 Days in Cordillera HuayHuash, Peru / (Skill level: Introductory)

Price per person

$3550

About this trip

The famed Huayhuash of the Cordillera Blanca is a stunning trek at high altitude. Trekking with Alpenglow Expeditions in Peru means you are led by one of our professional guides while taking advantage of our longtime relationship with our local logistics team to create a seamless experience where nothing is left to question.

Overview

  • skill level

    Introductory

  • Duration

    16 Days

Our expedition will begin with 2 full days of acclimatization in Huaraz. Sitting at nearly 10,000’, Huaraz is the perfect place to begin acclimatizing. We spend two days at this altitude, touring the city on the first, and then renting mountain bikes on the second.

From Huaraz, the real adventure begins as we drive to the small village of Llamac. It’s here that we meet our man of many talents, Alfredo Ibarra. He is not only the master of our burro team, but also our incredible camp cook keeping us healthy and fed throughout our journey. We’ll load up the burros at this point and begin walking along the Quero River towards our first camp above 13,000’.

From here we proceed through more than six high passes throughout eleven glorious days in the Huayhuash of Peru. Our highest pass crossed will be Cuyoc Pass at 16,404’ with most of the other passes cresting 15,000’. We’ll pass beautiful alpine lakes and glimpse mountain peaks taller than 20,000’ as we complete the circuit.

Our Huayhuash Trekking Expedition will be guided by one of Alpenglow’s certified lead guides. Our lead guides have traveled and climbed extensively in South America and know the Peruvian Andes intimately. Their knowledge of Andean culture as well as the mountains, combined with their passion for teaching others to become competent mountaineers and adventurers, guarantees that your experience will be one to remember!

We combine our guides’ experience with the local expertise of our close friend, expert Peruvian logistics operator, and  incredible cook, Alfredo Ibarra. A highlight of your trip will be waking up each morning to Alfredo’s smile, hot coffee, and tasty pancakes. These logistics ensures that you stay healthy and strong, and are able to enjoy each component of your experience.

Preparation

  • Fitness

    Trekkers must be in great physical shape to join this expedition. This is perhaps the most important aspect of high altitude trekking, and cannot be stressed enough. Regular, challenging exercise for many months in advance of departure is the only way to gain the necessary level of fitness that is needed. Please contact us for more information on physical training.

    • Day 1 — Arrival

      Arrive in Lima in the afternoon or evening. We’ll stay one night in Lima just in case of delayed flights etc.

    • Day 2 — Head to Huaraz

      Drive to Huaraz (8 hours) utilizing luxurious VIP bus service, where we base out of a small but beautiful hotel (10,000’ / 3,050m).

    • Day 3 — Acclimatize in Huaraz

      An acclimatization and organization day in Huaraz. Generally speaking, we can spend this day exploring the beautiful city of Huaraz. This not only gets our legs moving but really gets our acclimatization process jump started.

    • Day 4 — Acclimatize in Huaraz

      A second day in Huaraz is spent mountain biking on local trails to further promote acclimatization. At the end of these two full days in Huaraz we should be ready to make our drive to the village of Llamac.

    • Day 5 — Drive to Llamac and Begin Trek

      Drive (4-5 hours) to the Village of Llamac (11,152’ / 3400m), before beginning our trek. In Llamac we’ll meet the backbone of our Peruvian team, Alfredo, and his team of donkeys. This is our official trailhead and the start of the trekking and we’ll cast off towards Cuartelhuain (13,615’ / 4150m) following the Quero River. Our total trekking time today will be 5-6 hours.

    • Day 6 — Trek to Mitucocha

      Today we meet our first challenging pass, the Cacananpunta Pass (15,419’ / 4700m). We ascend over a 4-5 hour period to the pass which lies on the Andean Continental Divide. Throughout the day we’ll have views of Ninashanca (18,395’ / 5607m) and Rondoy (19,258’ / 5870m). From the pass, we’ll descend for 1-2 hours to our campsite along the shores of lake Mitucocha (14,107’ / 4300m).

    • Day 7 — Trek to Carhuacocha

      Our biggest day of trekking yet - we top a second pass called Carhuac Pass (15,255’ / 4650m) before dropping into yet another beautiful valley. Our camp for the night lies at Lake Carhuacocha (13,615’ / 4150m). Todays total trekking time should be about 6-7 hours.

    • Day 8 — Rest Day

      Rest Day in Laguna Carhuacocha. We take this day to enjoy our location deep in the wilderness. For those feeling energized, we can go on an exploration hike of the area.

    • Day 9 — Trek to Huayhuash Village

      We leave Laguna Carhuacocha and hit our third pass before ending our day in the beautiful village of Huayhuash (15,583’ / 4750m). The Carnicero pass will be challenging at 15,091’ / 4600m and will once again provide impressive views of the mountains surrounding it. Total walking time today is 6-7 hours.

    • Day 10 — Trek to Lak Viconga

      An early start has leaving the tranquil village heading towards Lake Viconga (14,419’ / 4395m). Our fourth pass of the trek is the Portachuelco Pass (15,583’ / 4750m) and provides more great views to remote peaks in the Cordillera Raura. We end the day by soaking in the hot springs of Lake Viconga. Total trekking time today is 5-6 hours.

    • Day 11 — Trek to Rinconada

      Today we cross our highest pass as we move towards our camp in Rinconada. The Cuyoc Pass (16,404’ / 5000m) will be a challenge, but a rewarding one. We continue our trek today by descending from the pass towards Rinconada where we set up our camp for the night. Total trekking time today is 4-5 hours.

    • Day 12 — Rest Day

      Today is a much needed easy day of walking through the valley towards the village of Huayllap. From there we ascend a gradual slope up a narrow valley to reach Huatiac (14,107’ / 4300m). Total trekking time is 4-5 hours.

    • Day 13 — Trek to Gashgapampa

      Another day, another pass. We leave Huatian in the morning to move towards Tapush Pass (15,748’ / 4800m). From there we descent to Gashgapampa (14,763’ / 4500m) where we set up camp. Trekking time is 3-4 hours.

    • Day 14 — Trek to Laguna Jahuacocha

      From Gashgapampa we head to Laguna Jahuacocha (13,615’ / 4150m). We climb one of our last passes of the trip, Yahucha pass (15,584’ / 4750m). From this pass we will have spectacular views of high peaks, including Yerupaja (the second highest peak in Peru). Trekking time is 4-5 hours.

    • Day 15 — Trek to Llamac, Drive to Huaraz

      Laguna Jahuacocha to Llamac, drive to Huaraz. Waking up on the shores of Laguna Jahuacocha, we are now on our last day of trekking. One final pass stand between us and the finish- Pampa Llamac pass (14,108’ - 4300m). After enjoying our last views of the Cordillera Huayhuash, it is time to bring our trek to a close. A couple more hours will bring us out of the mountains, to the small village of Llamac. From here, we will travel by vehicle back to Huaraz.

    • Day 16 — Leave for Lima

      Leave Huaraz in the morning for Lima, leave Lima in the evening.

    • Would you consider doing a private trek to the Huayhuash?

      We always welcome custom expeditions and treks. 50% of Alpenglow’s expeditions are customized.

Jaime Avila

Jaime is Alpenglow Expeditions’ senior lead guide. A native Ecuadorian, Jaime has been guiding and climbing throughout South America and the world for twenty years. He has successfully led groups on challenging routes like the Southwest Ridge of Ama Dablam (Nepal), the Shield Route of Huascaran (Peru), the Polish Direct on Aconcagua (Argentina), and El Altar (Ecuador). We have been guiding, climbing, and traveling with Jaime since 1998 and the feedback from members is always the same: there is no better teammate. Whether climbing a tough ice route, humping a huge pack, or stuck in a storm, Jaime will keep you laughing, learning, and glad to be in the mountains. He is an ASEGUIM / IFMGA certified mountain guide.

 

Guide Certifications
  • ASEGUIM
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Logan Talbott

director of operations / chief guide

Logan has been guiding professionally for over a decade in the disciplines of Rock, Alpine and Ski Mountaineering. When not out guiding, Logan keeps things running smoothly as the director of operations at Alpenglow Expeditions. From one day ascents of El Capitan to big Alpine climbs in the Himalaya, from ski descents on Denali to backyard ski tours in Lake Tahoe, he can’t help but smile when out running around the hills. Logan is a fully certified AMGA/IFMGA mountain guide, an Avalanche course leader with AIARE, as well as a wilderness EMT. In addition to guiding, Logan has extensive experience in mountain rescue, having worked for rescue teams in both Yosemite and Denali National Parks, and volunteering locally for Tahoe Nordic SAR. When not out in the hills, he lives in Truckee, CA with his lovely wife Lynette and daughter Maggie.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Esteban “Topo” Mena

Topo’s formal name is Esteban Mena, but he goes by his nickname. Topo is 28 years old and began his guiding career at 19, when he climbed Aconcagua’s South Face and became the youngest person to accomplish this difficult climb. Topo began guiding in Ecuador and Peru. In 2012, Topo summited Manaslu and in 2013, he summited Everest – both without using supplementary oxygen. Topo again summited Everest in 2016 while supporting his wonderful partner Carla as she successfully summited without supplemental oxygen. He also has climbed challenging new routes in Kyrgyzstan and China and one of his climbs (Kyzyl Asker) has been nominated for the Piolet d’Or (as part of an Ecuadorian team).

Guide Certifications
  • ASEGUIM
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

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    Cordillera Huayhuash Trek