Life-changing experiences don't happen frequently. When they do, more often than not they’re impossible to explain to other. The 19 days I spent in Peru with my father changed my life forever. Asperous peaks, an unfamiliar culture, and days spent in the seemingly endless Cordillera Blanca characterized our trip. Walking amongst these giants of the Earth, it seamed as if these were the very peaks that held up the sky. The collection of moments below are just a few of the ones that made this trip transformative. When in mountains such as these, its hard not to leave without a certain humbleness and appreciation for this incredible world.
Laguna Churup is locally known as one of the acclimation hikes which visitors must forego before venturing further into La Cordillera Blanca. We visited this lake on our second day in Huaraz, following the steps of many travelers before us. What we predicted to be an easy and quick assent turned into a two hour climb, forcing us to stop multiple times not only to take in the views but to catch the breath we could not seam to find. When we finally reached our destination, fog engulfed the lake. We clambered to a view point and waited patiently for the view to clear. Before long, the fog diminished, leaving us with a rain tickled reflection of Navado Churup.
Situated just under 16,000 feet above sea level, Refugio Peru serves as a basecamp for climbers attempting to summit Nevado Pisco (18,871'). On our trip this Refugio gave us a gate way into the mountains. Enchanted by the unbelievable views this humble abode offered, we spent two nights up here on different occasions. On both occasions this area left us breathless, sipping our matte de cocas quietly while staring out fogged windows at some of the highest peaks in the world. Both mornings we would wake, groggy from sleeping at altitude, and continue our trek through glacial moraines and unforgitable alpine environments.
Santa Cruz Trek
The Santa Cruz Trek was our longest and most memorable stretch within La Cordillera Blanca. We visited this area weeks before peak tourist season and were rewarded with clear trails and a silence that only the mountains can provide. From our multiple encounters with stray mountain pups, to trekking over a 16,000' pass, this stretch left us sad that our time in the mountains was coming to a close.
Laguna Wilcacocha was our first hike in the area. Although clouds obstructed our view of the mountains, this offered us a gentle push both into the culture of Huaraz and gave us a taste of the hardships and wonders which laid ahead.
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