We were nearing the end of our big trek, but today was spectacular. It was the longest day we had and one of the most beautiful as well.
We got an early start and headed for our first pass, Tapush Punta. As we descended the valley after the pass, we could view much of the route for the last day of the trek (tomorrow). We turned east towards our next pass, the Llaucha Punta. Along the way we passed through a forest of Queñua trees which were in bloom. At 4720 meters/15,500 feet, these were the highest elevation trees that I have ever seen (there is at least one place in Bolivia where they grow higher). The trees were interesting.
We then headed for the pass where we took a rest. Kimberly decided to take the easier route to Juhuacocha, while Kessler and I (with Diogenes) decided to take the more difficult, but more scenic route over the ridge to the north while climbing some of the peaks along the way.
We headed north on a trekker made trail to where there was an awesome viewpoint of the most impressive peaks in the Huayhuash. Rondoy, Jirishanca, and Yerupaja were all in full view. While most people stop at the viewpoint, we climbed to the summit of Cerro Llaucha for even better views. It wasn’t that far out of the way. I actually beat the kids to the top since they had continued farther down the trail before climbing to the summit. There was one short vertical pitch along the way (it could be bypassed, but we climbed it directly). The views were fantastic! The weather was great as well.
After climbing Cerro Llaucha, we headed north along the ridge (with great views all along the way) to Cerro Huacrish, another fantastic viewpoint. It was really something. After resting there and taking many photos, we headed down the extremely steep slope to the east and down to Juhuacocha. This part was steep and unpleasant, and we slipped several times, but it was definitely worth doing since we enjoyed all those wonderful views. Along the way we also saw a huge icefall off the glacier descending from Jirishanca.
The lake was a very scenic campsite and the weather was good.