Just a quick post on our first trek in the Cordillera Blanca. This one is normally a three day trek and it’s about the closest, physically, to Huaraz of any.
This is Quicahuanca Quebrada, our route up. The term for what we would call a canyon is quebrada here.
The weather was a bit unsettled and breezy.
Our first nights camp at 4350 meters (14,270′)
The livestock in the area appear to be on the verge of starving. This little guy was begging for something to eat. Both nights we had cattle in camp looking for something, anything… they were even licking where we urinated. The land is way over grazed and there are no salt blocks anywhere for the livestock. Pretty sad.
Climbing up to the pass the weather was just a bit unsettled but improved as we got higher, fortunately. The trail up was an actual trail at first but soon turned into us picking our way through talus.
The top of the pass. 16,570′ or 5050 meters. Movement is like slow motion in the thin air.
This is looking down Cojup Quebrada, our route out. It has a very different personality than Quicahuanca. The route down to the canyon bottom was a fall line trail, not built or maintained – very loose, steep and rocky. I expect this will be the norm.
Once we reached the canyon bottom we stopped and made coffee. We were both having minor head aches from the altitude.
This is a high altitude tree that’s found in the Andes, apparently it’s called Polylepis. The bark reminds us of a baklava.
Next we’re off on the bikes again for a little multi-day adventure. We’ll travel light and plan to ride some high passes.
Patti is not feeling well today. We’ll wait till she’s back to normal before heading out again.