Cerro Llaucha is a peak in the spectacular Cordillera Huayhuash
in Peru. By Huayhuash standards, this is a very modest peak, but it does have some of the best views of any mountain on earth that can be reached without technical mountaineering equipment.
Hundreds of trekkers pass right by this peak, but few take the time to scramble to the summit, which is really not far from the trail at all. The peak sits on the ridge not far north of the pass of Llaucha Punta. Most people reach this area on day 9, plus layovers on the Huayhuash Trek.
The old standard route on the Huayhuash Trek descends from Llaucha Punta directly to Jahuacocha, but an increasing popular variation heads from Llaucha Punta north along the ridge to Cerro Huacrish
before heading east and steeply down to Jahuacocha. The peak itself is only a short scramble from this route variant.
The peak has one short class 3 or 4 section (which can probably be bypassed), but otherwise is an easy ascent, especially by Huayhuash standards.
Cerro Llaucha as seen from the north.
A close up shot of Jirishanca from the Cerro Llaucha-Cerro Huacrish Ridge.
The summit of Cerro Llaucha.
Most people will do this climb as part of the Huayhuash Trek and most people now days start the trek at Quartelhuain. Quartelhuain can be reached from Huaraz by collectivo or private transportation from Huaraz. This takes about five to six hours.
The normal exit for the Huayuash Circuit is at Llamac, one day's walk from Jahuacocha (see the Routes Overview
Huaraz can be reached from several bus companies in Lima, many of which make the journey at night. This usually takes 8 hours. Movil Tours
and Cruz Sur
offer the most comfortable bus services.
You can also fly to Huaraz in less than an hour using LC Peru
, which flies to Huraz four days a week.
Niñashanca as seen from the trailhead.
As mentioned, most people will climb this peak on day 9, plus layovers on the Huayhuash Trek. This is on the route between Huatiaq and Jahuacocha. From Llaucha Punta (pass), head north along the ridge on the lesser used trail towards Cerro Huacrish. After 0.3 kilometers (0.25 miles) or so, the peak will be on your left. Simply scramble to the summit. There is one cliff band to climb over, but you should be able to find an easy way up it.
Enjoy the spectacular views from the summit! They are some of the best views anywhere!
The approach to Llaucha Punta.
Llaucha Punta, en-route to the summit. Cerro Llaucha is in the background.
Jirishanca as seen from the summit of Cerro Llaucha.
You must pay a fee to several of the communities along the Huayhuash Circuit. This was about $75 US per person in 2017. The fee goes for maintaining the Trails and campsites, including the toilets. Please pay the fee as it helps out the communities and the maintenance of the facilities.
Rasac (foreground) and Yerupaja (background) as seen from the summit of Cerro Llaucha. Make sure to pay your fees and take care of the area.
When to Climb
The dry season is May to September and is the best time to climb. You wouldn't want to climb this mountain when the rocks are iced up.
Jirishanca from the Cerro Llaucha-Cerro Huacrish Ridge on a nice July day.
There are campsites in the valleys on either side of the mountain. The campsites to the south and southwest of the mountain are at Gashpampa, Incahuain, and Huatiaq. To the north is Jahuacocha (lake) and another place known as Incahuain.
Mountain Forecast has a forecast for the nearby Siula Grande below. The forecast below is for 5500 meters on Siula Grande.