HUAYHUASH CIRCUIT TREK with optional summit of Diablo Mudo 10Days/ 09Nights

The Cordillera Huayhuash is said to be “the best alpine trek in the world” by many. It’s a land of jagged white peaks, verdant valleys, impossibly-crystal clear mountain lakes, and general visual perfection. The Huayhuash is impressive in both height and scale, with six peaks over 6000m - including Yerupaja (6617) the second highest mountain in Peru – and several passes over 5000m. This itinerary has the option to climb the glaciated (entry-level) peak of Diablo Mudo. We would need to know in advance if you wish to add the climb as more technical climbing gear would be required. Important: there are many options of this trek, making it longer or shorter to suit your schedule or interests. If you are short on time we can cut the trek shorter, or if you want a more reasonable pace, we can add in two rest days (or more) and add in some more remote campsites - please discuss with us and we are happy to customize this route for you!

Day 1: Huaraz - Llamac - Cuartelhuain (4150masl/13615’)

After an early breakfast in your hotel, we’ll pick you up and drive in our prívate transport to the start of the trek in Llamac. Here we’ll meet up with the rest of our expedition team, and after lunch we’ll load up and begin our trek. We start by following the Quero River to Cuartelhuain (4150masl/13615’) where we will stay camp for the night. (hiking time is approximately 5-6 hours).

Day 2: Cuartelhuain - Mitucocha (4300masl/14107’)

After a good breakfast, we’ll begin our hike up and over Cacananpunta Pass (4700m). This remarkable pass sits at the Andean Continental Divide that marks the watershed from the Andes to the Atlantic Ocean and the Amazon. Rivers on the west of the divide flow into the Atlantic Ocean whilst those to the east flow into the vast Amazon basin. From the pass we enjoy spectacular views of Mt. Ninashanca (5607m) and Mr. Rondoy (5870m). A steep descent brings us into the broad Quebrada Caliente which we follow to our campsite at the blue glacial lake Mitucocha (4300m). Here our campsite includes inspiring views of the snow-capped peak of Jirishanca (6094m). (hiking time is approximately 5-6 hours)

Day 3: Mitucocha - Carhuac Pass (4650masl/15255’) - Laguna Carhuacocha (4150masl/13615’)

After breakfast we’ll break camp and follow the Quebrada Caliente until we begin our climb up to the second high pass, the Carhuac Pass (4650m). Once we’ve achieved the pass we’ll enjoy views of Mt. Yerupaja (6634m) and Mt. Siula Grande (6344m). The Siula Grande is well-known for the documentary of Joe Simpson and Simon Yates ‘Touching the Void’. As we descend from the pass into the grassy valley below we have views to the peaks of Cordillera Huayhuash. We set up our camp at the turquoise-green coloured Lake Carhuacocha (4150m) with mountains Yerupaja and Jirishanca providing a stunning backdrop. (hiking time is approximately 6-7 hours).

Day 4: Laguna Carhuacocha - Pass Siula (4800masl/15748’) - Huayhuash (4300masl/14107’)

After an early breakfast we leave Lake Carhuacocha behind to begin a challenging climb up the vaguely defined Siula Pass (4800m). From the pass we’re rewarded with views to the beautiful lakes of Siulacocha , Azulcocha and Quesillacocha , nestled between the giant mountains of Trapecio (5653m) and Carnicero (5960m). On the other side of the pass, the landscape changes dramatically from green alpine pastures to arid terrain of black rocks and grey lakes. We continue hiking to the small village of Huayhuash (4400m) home to herders of alpaca and vicuña. Here we’ll set up camp for the night and enjoy dinner and rest. (hiking time is approximately 6-7 hours).

Day 5: Huayhuash - Pass Portachuelo (4750masl/15583’) - Laguna Viconga (4395masl/14419’)

We leave Huayhuash village in the early morning and hike over the Portachuelo Pass (4750m). This pass offers great views on the remote peaks such as Leon Dormido of the Cordillera Raura located to the southeast of the Cordillera Huayhuash. From here we walk on the right side of one of the biggest lakes of the circuit, called Viconga. This lake is used by a Lima-based electric company to generate electricity. We will set up our camp and enjoy a quick soak in the natural hot springs here. (4395m). (Hikiing time is approx. 5-6 hours). Dinner and rest at camp.

Day 6 Laguna Viconga - Cuyoc Pass (5000masl/16404’) - Guanacpatay (4300masl/14107’)

We leave Lake Viconga and slowly begin our ascent to our highest pass on the route, Cuyoc Pass (5000m). From the pass we will have spectacular views of the Huayhuash peaks in the north and the Raura peaks in the south. From here we also enjoy stunning views of the glacier of Puscanturpa (5650m). We continue our hike by descending the pass towards Quebrada Huanactapay and set up camp in Rinconada (4300m). (hiking time is approx. 5-6 hours). Dinner and rest at camp.

Day 7: Guanacpatay - Huatiac (4350masl/14271’)

After a more leisurely breakfast today, we’ll enjoy easy hiking down through the valley until we reach the village of Huayllapa (3700m). From here we continue the trek climbing gradually up a narrow valley to reach the pastures of Huatiac (4350m). We’ll set up camp for the night. (hiking time is approx. 4-5 hours) Dinner and rest for the night.

Day 8: Huatiac -Tapush Pass (4750mt/15583’) - Cashpapampa at (4500masl/14763’)

We leave Huatiac in the morning and continue our hike crossing the Tapush Pass (4800m). We set up camp at Cashpapampa (4500m) from where we will start early in the morning our (optional) climb to the mountain summit of Diablo Mudo (5350m./17552’). (hiking time is approx 4-5 hours). Return to camp Dinner and rest at camp.

Day 9: Cashpapampa - Yaucha Pass (4800masl/15748’) - Laguna Jahuacocha

If you chose to climb Diablo Mudo, we will break camp ver early (about 2:00am) and start our climb to the summit of Diablo Mudo. At this hour of the day the snow is frozen and therefore more stable. In about 6 hours we will reach the summit and enjoy amazing views of the entire region when the sun rises. We descend via a different route, ending in Jahuacocha. (about 4 hours hiking down to the next camp) Here our staff meets us via an easier route around the base. If you choose not to attempt the summit then we will sleep more and continue to Jahuacocha on lower-grounds. Dinner and rest at camp.

Day 10: Laguna Jahuacocha - Pass Pampa llamac (4300masl/14107’) - Llamac

We awake to one final breakfast in camp as today is our last day of the trek, hiking from Jahuacocha to the village of Llamac. (hiking time is approx. 5-6 hours). Return to Huaraz in about 4 hours, and end of our expedition.

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