CORDILLERA BLANCA AND HUAYHUASH

GENERAL INFORMATION

The Cordillera Blanca on the Northern Peruvian Andes is the world´s largest concentration of glaciers lying within the tropical zone. Along its 180 km length twenty to thirty peaks rise above 6,000 meters, depending on whether such multi-peaked mountains as Pucahirca and Huandoy are counted as one or four another thirty are higher than 5,700m Nevado Huascaran (6,768 m) is the world´s highest mountain in the tropical zone, and the second highest on the Andes along the Pacific Ocean. This magnificent mountain range has attracted trekkers and climbers for many years, and is now the most popular hiking region in South America. The mountains are very accessible because the western side of the Cordillera is interrupted by fifteen glacial valleys, creating ideal routes which lead past the peaks west of the main crest and into the center of the range.

To preserve from progressive destruction the flora, fauna, archeological sites and scenic beauty of the Cordillera Blanca, the Huascaran National Park was created in 1975. Qeñual and Quishuar woods and the spectacular Puya Raimondi are under the protected flora, as well as the Taruca and spectacled fauna.

Besides nature, the area was the center for the ancient pre – Inca cultures of Chavin and Recuay. The fascinating Chavin Temple is a must for those interested in Peruvian archeology for it dates back to 1000 years B.C.

Even though Cordillera Huayhuash belongs to the same mountain system as the Cordillera Blanca. Huayhuash includes the group of mountains lying between Paso de Kshapunta to the North and Laguna Viconga to the South. Within this compact area, only 30 km in length, there are seven peaks of over 6,000 meters and nine more over 5,500 meters.

The Cordillera Huayhuash is more spectacular than the Blanca. The mountains seem to have vertical ice- covered walls on all sides towering over deep – blue glacial lakes. The Chiquian and Cajatambo villages are the trailheads for the Huayhuash hikes around the massif.

ALTITUDE

At the Cordillera Blanca rise the highest peaks in Peru, among them “Huascaran” the most spectacular and second highest of the Andes along the Pacific Ocean. The 26 peaks, which surpass 6000 meters. And at the feet of many peaks we find ever growing lakes because of the recording glaciers. The two best known and most beautiful lakes are Paron and Llanganuco.
The Cordillera Huayhuash includes the group of mountains lying between Paso de Kashapunta at the North and Laguna Viconga at the south. Of the many snowcapped found in this system, five surpass the 6000 meters: Jarishanca (6094), Yerupaja (6617), Rasac (6017), Siula (6344) and Sarapa (6127) and nine are over the 5500m the two best known and most important lakes are Carhuacocha and Mitucocha. The mountains seem to have vertical ice villages are at the trailheads for the Huayhuash hikes around the massif.

 

CLIMATE AND WEATHER

All treks are scheduled in the best trekking season and should have generally fine weather conditions, though in the Andes everything is possible, including rain or even snow! On average, May, June and July are the best months for trekking, usually clear and bright with strong sunshine during the day, though nights at altitude will be very cold - well below freezing on some nights. August and September are usually slightly warmer by day and night, with more clouds, particularly in the afternoon, and greater risk of some rain. Weather conditions in the Cordillera Blanca and Huayhuash are usually unpredictable since there is always the possibility of cooler wet weather. The primary difference between seasons is that “summer” is mostly rainy and “winter” is mostly dry.

 

The following referential temperature and rainfall charts show the fluctuation along a typical year. Please note that due to climate changes temperature and rainfall expected may change sometimes.

 View Chart

MOUNTAINS IN CORDILLERA BLANCA

MOUNTAIN HEIGHT
HUASCARAN SOUTH 6268 m
HUASCARAN NORTH 6655 m
HUANTSAN 6395 m
HUADOY NORTH 6395 m
HUANDOY WEST 6356 m
CHINCHEY 6222 m
CHOPICALQUI 6354 m
PALCARAJU 6274 m
SANTA CRUZ SOUTH 6259 m
COPA SOUTH 6188 m
RANRAPALCA 6168 m
HUANDOY SOUTH 6166 m
COPA NORTH 6173 m
PUCANRANRA 6147 m
HUALCAN 6125 m
CHACRARAJU 6075 m
HUANDOY EAST 6070 m
PUKAHIRKA NORTH II 6050 m
CONTRAHIERVAS 6036m
QUITARAJU 6100 m
PALCARAJU WEST 6110 m
TOCLLARAJU 6032 m
PUCAHIRCA CENTER II 6050 m
ARTESONRAJU 6025 m
NEVADO CARAZ EAST 6020 m
PUCAHIRCA CENTER I 6010 m

MOUNTAINS IN CORDILLERA HUAYHUASH

MOUNTAIN HEIGHT
YERUPAJA 6617 m
SIULA 6334 m
SARAPO 6127 m
JARISHANCA 6094 m
RASAC 6017 m

CORDILLERA BLANCA TREKKING ITINERARIES

CORDILLERA HUAYHUASH TREKKING ITINERARIES

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