|Page Type:||Trip Report|
|Lat/Lon:||9.41407°S / 77.36201°W|
|Date Climbed/Hiked:||Nov 30, 0000|
Arrive in LIM at 7am. Take a 50s taxi to Oltursa. Take 11:00am bus to Huaraz for 70s.
Note: Many bus companies have morning routes to and from Huaraz
Arrive in Huaraz at 6:00pm. Take 5s taxi to hostel. Spoke to manager about plans and hiring a guide. Checked out bank, laundry, and stores.
Spoke to guide about ideas. Planned first hike to Quillqueyhuanca Valley. Guide cost $40us/day. Hired a taxi for trip (80s to drive to park entrance; 80s to come back and pick us up on Monday at 12noon.)
Taxi came to hostel at 6:00AM.
Park entrance cost 60s (10s per day, 3 days. 2nights in park). Keep receipt as it is good for all other national park entrances for 20 days.
Plan was to walk the 12K trail to where the valley divides and to hike up the left side. We each carried a 3L Camelbak and carried 2 bottles of water with our gear.
Started hike at 8:30. There is a small stream about 300 yards into the hike that offers water to load up on. Needs purifying though. Do not take water from the other main stream with red mineral deposits in it.
1—3K: Flat trail
3—5K: Path begins to get hilly. Crosses over valley floor.
5—7K: Trail moves through brush, boulders, gains a bit of elevation. Campamento 1 is at 7K. I would not camp here as it is too soon in the hike. Too open as well.
7—10K: There is a small rock cave among some boulder and shrub area. It looks like a good place to camp if it is raining or just want to rest.
10—12K: You are close to where the valley divides into left and right. This is where Campamento 2 is located, at 4,200M. Not a bad place to set up camp. Some big boulders to block wind.
The Cayesh Valley on the right side is not note for sightseeing, but the trail in leads to some adventure seeking. You can get right up to the glacier leading down from the mountains and explore a bit. We planned to hike up the left side, Pucaranra valley and get to Campamento 3, which is located at about 4,500M.
From here, the trail zig-zags (switchbacks) up to the 4,500M plateau. At the clearing, you walk about 200 yards to some small ancient stone dwellings called Campamento 3. There are streams here, but there are also grazing cattle, so water needs to be purified.
From Campamento 3 to the Huapi pass is about 500M elevation climb, about 2.5 hours. From the Huapi pass, the trail leads down to the Quebrada Cojup valley where you can hike back out another way. We decided to stay at Campamento 3 for the evening. Great star-filled sky and total quiet.
Benito took us over the hill overlooking us and down the other side to explore off-trail. We hiked over to a lagoon named Laguna Cuchillacocha. Up to 4,600M and down to about 4,300. Being my first days hiking and climbing, I pooped out and we never made it up to the pass as planned. However, it was fun and scenic just hiking around as the mountains are gorgeous. We rested the evening. We heated up tea and pasta with our trail mix. A second night with a awesome night sky and pure quietness.
Packed up and hiked down to the valley floor and climbed around a small hill for an hour until we came to a hidden lagoon below a mountain glacier called Lagoon Tullpacocha. The lagoon was not on the tourist maps, but we decided to camp for the night. We found a flat area among some bushes right before it started to rain. We took a 2 hour nap while it rained, then set up some more shelter and enjoyed the valley lagoon glacier. We witnessed 3 avalanches from across the lake. It stayed foggy here for the evening, and it rained slightly on and off. We heated up some tea and pasta for dinner and called it a night.
Packed up and started hiking back down the Quillqueyhuanca Valley. Started to see hikers coming up the valley. Up until this point, we had run into only 3 hikers on Saturday. We arrived at the park gate at 12noon where our taxi was waiting for us. Got into Huaraz by 1:15pm. Washed clothes and dried equipment. Ate some hot meals and drank a bunch of fresh fruit juices.
When I returned to the Big Mountain Hostel and checked my safety security box, I noticed I was missing my GoPro camera and my pants belt. After checking my room and finding nothing, I spoke to the manager to see if anyone had found the items. He went to his room and brought back the camera, but not a belt. Apparently, early Saturday morning before I left, I brought the camera and belt down to put them in the box but I got side-tracked in a discussion with the worker at the reception desk and had left them on the desk. The manager told me when he sat at the desk after the worker, he noticed the GoPro Hero 3 camera but not the belt. Why would anyone take a men’s pants belt and not the GoPro Hero 3 camera? Well, if you picked up the belt and inspected it, you would notice an inner, hidden zippered sleeve, and inside the sleeve I had $400 dollars. I asked the manager again if anyone knew about the belt, and he said he only saw the camera but no belt.
I am writing this to admit my fault and responsibility for the loss, but also to remind people not to trust anyone in a hostel, regardless of the relationship and reviews you hear. I highly suspect the employee or manager took the belt as there were no tourists around in the early morning, but yet I have no proof. I did notice the manger had started small remodeling projects in the hostel 2 days after this happened.
Despite the constant noise in the hostel, I stayed as I wanted to continue with the guide and taxi the manager had recommended. It was a very bitter stay from there on out, and an expensive lesson to be learned.
Met with Benito and prepped for the San Mateo climb. We went to rent mountain boots and then to his apartment to fit the rest of the equipment. The taxi would cost the same—80s to go and wait, 80 s to take us back. Benito charged 90us to guide. I thought this was good as we would go by ourselves. The cost to go with a tour agency would be about the same IF there were at least 4 other climbers. BUT, if any other climber can’t make it up the climb, all the others have to quit the climb as well, so paying to go solo and getting your personal guide is worth it. Benito charged 20us for renting the equipment which I thought was too much. I think you can find a rental list from the agencies to compare. Benito is such an experienced guide, I did not mind though.