On the other side
East of the Callejón de Huaylas lies the famous Cordillera Blanca. The higher mountains - which means most of them - are covered by glaciers, hence the name. The Cordillera Negra, on the western side of the valley, is lower and drier. It's far from black, as the name implies, but there are no glaciers.
In the northern part, some of the summits of the Cordillera Negra top the 5000m mark. In the south, one of the highest peaks is Cerro Huancapeti. My map says it's 4976m. I'm not sure, but I think it may be a bit higher.
On my first visit, I didn't even get close. I hadn't started early enough and I wasted some time trying to find my way to the mountain. A day later, I started earlier and knew the area a bit better. I got as far as the central summit this time, which, despite a big cairn on top, appeared to be lower than the southern one. However, it was late in the day already, too late to search for a way up there.
Where exactly is the summit of Cerro Huancapeti?
When I later googled Cerro Huancapeti, I found quite a few results, but all with very little information. In a nutshell, the sites I found said it was a mountain, gave an inaccurate location and the wrong elevation.
Often, the location was given as 9°47' S, 77° 32' W, and the elevation as something just over 4400m. Now, for that location, looking at Google Maps or OpenStreetMap, that's the elevation all right. However, based on the the AV map of Cordillera Blanca Süd, Google Maps (see below), OpenStreetMap
and my own observations, the summit location is (-9.787,-77.522) or 9° 47' 15" S, 77° 31' 20" W (rounded to the nearest 5"). To verify that location, I compared the Satellite View with some of the photos I took.
If you are using Google Chrome or Firefox, you'll see embedded interactive maps below, Google and OpenStreetMap. MS Internet Explorer sometimes has problems with embedding so you may not see them properly.
In some parts, the terrain is more rugged than the contours suggest, so don't take them too literally. For the same reason, I believe that the actual summit is higher than what the contours show.
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