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Smile barren sierra - Cordillera Huayhuash

Story about mountain trekking in the mountains of Peru, the amazing by its beauty of the landscapes mountain range Cordillera Huayhuash. Author - Founder of the MCS AlexClimb mountain School - Alex Trubachev!

Cordillera Huayhuash trekking program by MCS AlexClimb is here!

Only automatically translated version is available at the moment, sorry for the inconvenience.

Huayhuash. Smile of the barren sierra.

Those in school are not skipped geography lessons, of course recall that along the entire Pacific coast of South America is a long mountain range - the Andes. From the top, from hot tropics of the Panama Strait, to the cold of the southern limits of Tierra del Fuego, reaching gigantic fold mountain range, many peaks which essentially rolled over for a six-kilometer height. A huge barrier that separates the rivers across the continent into two pools - the Pacific and Atlantic oceans ...

Trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru - Guided trekking of Mountaineering School MCS AlexClimb

Deep in the heart of the Andean plateau, gently sloping hills, overgrown with stunted thorn and cactus sad anemic, merge into endless to the horizon, and the height above sea level, quietly passes for 4,000 meters, not trying in any way to change the landscape of the mountains with appropriate breaks. There are no settlements, only occasionally strayed here with their llamas wandering shepherds Quechua Indians, calmly chewing coca leaves. It - Sierra, the harsh mountainous desert that covers a significant part of the Great Range of the Andes, its ancient bent back along the entire western coast of South America, and sleeping soundly under the eternal melody of a tired monotone and surf of the Pacific Ocean.
Almost touching foam on bends gentle waves, the plane flew over the ocean, for a moment, that we sit on the water ... but flashed a narrow strip of sandy shore, and under the wing of a dotted line flashed lights airfields. Stunned many hours of flight passengers began to move and started to leave the sleepy hibernation, continuing 14 endless hours transatlantic flight.

Trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru - Guided trekking of Mountaineering School MCS AlexClimb

On padded feet, I slowly go down the ladder and hobble toward the dark and inhospitable airport building. another continent air is no different from the usual urban stench - in an atmosphere dominated by dust shades and unhealthy exhaust old cars ... Somewhere lost 10 hours, and instead of the Moscow time in the morning there was already late in the dark night. Lima lit fires in the streets, dull dull yellow light hidden from view drowsy travelers daytime mess metropolis, huge blot spilled on the hilly bank of gray and cold Pacific Ocean.
On the way to the hotel I admired from the window of a taxi by a continuous series of identical gray shabby huts and stunted poluzadohshiesya under the palm trees with dust. I could not believe that behind this decoration may be hiding a dazzling and shining world, for which we went on a trip to the other end of the earth. This season, we decided to visit the area, located away from the usual tourist routes - inaccessible and unexplored mountain system, a separate island of snowy peaks lost in the depths of the Andean highlands of central Peru.

Trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru - Guided trekking of Mountaineering School MCS AlexClimb

The few travelers who were not afraid to take this long trip, all as one claim that the Cordillera Huayhuash - a paradise earth, fantastic and unique fantastic beauty of the landscapes and the majestic grace of the heavenly peaks of the mountains, which seemed just yesterday came out from under the chisel of genius jeweler . Our team has a proven strength in the most remote and wild parts of the globe, unanimously agreed that the ten-day journey around the Lost alpine world is worth it to fly to the other end of the earth, and to endure all the hardships of a long and convoluted path to the mountains that even for the local Indians are considered to be distant and inaccessible.
... Bus Long chose from the dense bustle that prevails in the roads of the capital, made his way through the chaos of market slums on the outskirts of the city, left, in the end, on the straight line of the Pan American highway, and slowly drove south along the gray and misty shores of the Pacific Ocean.

Trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru - Guided trekking of Mountaineering School MCS AlexClimb

... Infinitely long road seemed to lead to heaven. serpentine loops followed one after another, the height at the altimeter has passed for four kilometers, and the end of the lifting to be seen. Drowsiness attacked passengers, not prepared for the height of the action. Through slumber their way a few lights squalid and deserted Indian settlements, the haze of night mist hid the harsh landscape of high mountain wilderness - the Sierras.
I woke up on the change of turns of rhythm. The road is no longer wound so fiercely. Outside the window floated incomprehensible buildings colors front lights merged into a dense pattern of night city. In a strange design side of the road flashed the inscription - "Bienvenidos a Huaraz" - (Welcome to Huaraz). Ending on the second day spent in the road ... Because of fatigue, all treated fairly indifferent to the fact that finally we got to the starting point of our mountain expedition.

Trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru - Guided trekking of Mountaineering School MCS AlexClimb

Quite lively and largest locality situated in a wide fertile valley of the Rio Santa. The valley is closed by two mountain ranges - Cordillera Negra to the west and the Cordillera Blanca - from the east. Picturesque spot, I must say. In the morning the rising sun rises over the majestic snow-capped Cordillera Blanca - White Ridge, if a Spanish translation. All the beauty at a glance, it seems - my reach and get one ... misleading. Prior to these "close" the mountains to get long and hard, Cyclopean relief scale is not to assess the human eye.

Trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru - Guided trekking of Mountaineering School MCS AlexClimb

the town's population - around 15 000 people - almost all close in blood Quechua Indians - the indigenous Peruvian population, which because of its peaceful and quiet disposition, survived the destruction of the Inca by the Spaniards during the time of the conquistadors. Quiet, simple and hard-working people. Income residents generally pretty sad - for Europeans strange to see people living without basic creature comforts - no hot water and central gas, no electricity and heating ... But people do not complain - they are unpretentious and happy with their calm and poor life. In families, as a rule, not less than three or four children, education - the state, medicine, too. And there are no surprises in the economy - in the six years of my work here, prices have not changed any centime ...

Trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru - Guided trekking of Mountaineering School MCS AlexClimb

But nature does not stint on the decoration of the land. The abundance of bright colors and vitality literally shock the visiting tourist. Mountain blinding snow peaks, rivers striking purity and strength, lakes shine like a rainbow, meadows striking abundance of a variety of plants. Rich earth, generous to his people. And within the land that - does not consider the value of the treasure is hidden. Just come to the surface veins of coal, just dig deeper - that is the gold, silver, platinum ... Nothing is forgotten nature for his favorite, for the land, nestled among the high mountain ranges of the Great Andes. This is the most shining miracle, the existence of which was impossible even to suggest a couple of days ago, the usual breathless in human meat grinder crowded mad city.
However, it was still far from the ultimate goal of our journey. From Huaraz had a long way to one of the most wild and remote areas of the province, where we have a caravan will go deep into the legendary mountain system, to actually see it, what confused and enthusiastically told other travelers.

Trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru - Guided trekking of Mountaineering School MCS AlexClimb

... An old van, heavily laden with equipment and food for our expedition, idly overcame curves dirt road, severely pitted fresh mudslides and generously strewn with deep pits in which he kept falling down, shaking of the passengers any attempt at least a light sleepy oblivion.
The road from the lively and welcoming Huaraz stretched more than six hours with no end in sight. The height at the altimeter will not fall below 4000 m, and the landscape outside the window did not please diversity - gentle, covered with stunted scorched grass hillsides, somewhere dissected outputs red rocks. Boring, bumpy, dusty road.

Trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru - Guided trekking of Mountaineering School MCS AlexClimb

The car in which we have minimum of five hours swallowed the yellow clay dust raised by peeling off the wheels with a broken dirt road weary handled through another dreary deserted hill.
Suddenly, behind the next turn ahead opened panorama, from which breath away.
Unreality paintings especially sharply felt in the background of gloomy lifeless monotony mountainous sierra, which is hundreds of kilometers around did not give a chance for life to even the most undemanding creatures. And suddenly - the nature laughing toothy smile on a dry and dark face. Against the background of a scorched desert, like a wavering mirage unreal city with sharp spiers watchtowers, nearly reach the sky, appeared mountain oasis of unique, indescribable kind. Tightly huddled together like one happy family, stretched to the sky dazzling snowy peaks dozen mountains, each of which was undoubtedly worthy of the brush of the best artists, if at all, this majestic beauty of creation available description. Openwork glaciers, a steep with China steeps, scattered at the bottom of many rivers, streams and brooks, which, in turn, was saturated with the life force of succulent grass alpine meadows. Along the lower edge of the lush green alpine pastures, he stretched the dark belt of dense virgin forest, tightly twisted together into impassable thicket of gnarled trunks of strange trees.

Trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru - Guided trekking of Mountaineering School MCS AlexClimb

Picture is complemented by an abundance of crystal clear lakes, each of which in its own way reflects the sky glow. It was useless to even try to catch all the play of colors and shades fantastic colorful ponds, a great multitude which, glittering necklace Shingles foot of snowy peaks and adorned with lush green going down gorges. All imaginable shades of green, turquoise, blue, blue and purple sparkling and continuously change color, flared and dimmed when a random cloud tucked in the sun.
So this was the purpose of our trip. Cordillera Huayhuash, amazing mountain area, lost in the inaccessible depths of the Peruvian Andes - very compact mountain system, separated from the other high peaks of Peru boundless expanse of barren sierra. All of this mountain system consists of five main peaks, the height of each of which is at least six kilometers.

Trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru - Guided trekking of Mountaineering School MCS AlexClimb

Strange names are unusual for a European ear: Yerupajá, Rhonda, Irishanka, Siula .... Like a chorus of a family of giants, the mountains are close, hugging the rocky shoulders of each other, without depressions and passes. From someone who dares to encroach on inaccessible clamped glaciers passages between the heavenly peaks need the ability to withstand the cold and brutal elements of the mountains, the ability to ascend the steep ice slopes, press in the rock to escape the rockfall, away from the path of the deadly avalanches. Wild and untamed mountains, unclimbed human tenacity.
Two Oceans gives the water its springs Cordillera Huayhuash. The rivers flowing down from the eastern slopes, gradually lose their lush agility, grow, mature and quietly lost in the wilds of the jungle Great Amazon to over thousands of kilometers of leisurely way to join in the cradle of the Atlantic. The western slopes of the Cordillera Huayhuash give rise to the rapid flow, which flows into the Pacific Ocean ...

Trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru - Guided trekking of Mountaineering School MCS AlexClimb

... The tents spread out, the smell of food is carried through the camp in a small clearing at the foot of hidden in shaggy cloud shining crown its peak. From the foot of this mountain, called Rhonda, originates our route, gently enveloping the heart of the Cordillera Huayhuash - a group of high peaks, height and complexity of which is the sincere respect of even the most experienced hikers and climbers. On the smell of the evening meal to us wandered a little guest. With a sly and slightly embarrassed smile on his round face he had something carefully hidden in the bulging pockets of the old father's jacket. However, pocket obviously could not accommodate its full contents and out frankly getting out wet tail is freshly caught trout. It was a gift, with which a small Indian so shyly came to please the huge and terrible, like the ancient gods, aliens ...
Slowly, heavily measuring out the countless steps, our unit is close to the pass, which seemed so close to the bottom, from the camp, but in fact turned out to be heavy and excessively long rise first over meadows grass, then on the icy bed of the stream, and now - for the feeble trail winds through shallow sypuhe steep rocky slope.

Trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru - Guided trekking of Mountaineering School MCS AlexClimb

... The first pass is always the most difficult. And there is nothing surprising in the fact that after the wet spending the night in the meadow Kuarteluayn turns of the trail were given heavy and slow. More slowly varying figures on the altimeter, reluctantly confirming the fact that the height, though not rapidly, but gradually approaching the level of the height of the saddle. Here are the top seemed something like a saddle - in response to my questioning look, wire-Injun nodded - ahead of the output of the pass.
The proximity of the end of the ascent quickened my steps. A little patience and here it is, the saddle of the pass, which opens up new landscapes, views of new tops and brand new, not experienced hitherto emotions ...

Trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru - Guided trekking of Mountaineering School MCS AlexClimb

- See, to us quite a bit left to go now - happily announced the Indian conductor and poked a stick in the side of the valley, to which by the most conservative estimates were still three hours of heavy shutter ... But motley beauty of the landscape inspired the hope that the release will not only heavy, but also enjoyable. Far below, the green alpine meadows highly spilled from the flat bed of the valley on the slopes of the neighboring mountain ranges. Colored spots were filled on the green slopes back freely grazing cows. Ladybirds, by the way - lovely sight one. Slimmer, healthier, skin smooth, hair to hair, already shines. You look at an animal, and, involuntarily, to recall our unfortunate poluzamorennye Cows with swollen from animal feed bellies, shabby and submissive his sad fate ...
Righteous envy rises in my throat when the horned mountain beauty, gracefully bowing his head, staring at you wet expressive eyes, Smer appraising look, playfully waving a clean fluffy tail.

Trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru - Guided trekking of Mountaineering School MCS AlexClimb

Zaglyadevshis on the cows, I had not noticed how over his head flashed fast shade of a huge bird.
- Beware of the condor! - I cried the Indian and hid behind a rock.
In the sky, circling the impressive size bird of prey, clearly annoyed by our presence and seem to fear for their eggs. The huge bird considerably narrows the range, each time closer to the people of the sun. Someone said - cautiously, he attacks! With a dull rustle above his head swept claws condor - an undisputed heaven master over these mountains. Another entry and exposed spikes up alpenstocks kept the bird from a bold attack. Meanwhile, our group was drawn into the narrow neck between the rocks - the only passage in the valley, descending to the village with a touching and so close to the Russian ear name - Kalinka.

Trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru - Guided trekking of Mountaineering School MCS AlexClimb

When the sun turned crimson sunset tops of adjacent ridges, our group went down the narrow street of the Indian village, tightly sandwiched between the rough mud walls. We spent the night in a tent on the grass of the village stadium, gathering the spectacle the whole neighborhood the kids - surprisingly modest and unobtrusive kids anxiously standing by and pretending that before tourists they do not care. Incidentally, this feature is characteristic of the majority of the rural Peruvian population. Naive workers land, they live their own simple way of firmly entrenched for centuries, and as a whole, probably not very much changed after the coming of the Spaniards. Changed faith, new customs, but the earth remains the same - sparse, rocky, requiring the back-breaking labor and love, instead of giving the bit, which is necessary for life, not more. Simple and honest people of this land. Tourists here - strange, strange creatures from another, unreachable world that no one is clear and does not need here among overgrown with eucalyptus rocks that need to be plowed, cleared of stones and planted wheat on such tiny scraps of land that every grown grain crop is sweat and the excessive labor ...

Trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru - Guided trekking of Mountaineering School MCS AlexClimb

... Ten days of travel. Behind thirteen passes and two hundred kilometers. Beautiful walk came to an end, and the experience of it will still be a long time to fill the memory motley confusion, and then take its rightful place in the store experience.
... From the ashes a fire dug a neat fold of the broad reed leaves. Inside discovered baked lamb tender meat, a decent piece of veal and half chicken. The owner welcoming hinted that there is nothing to be ashamed of, and it's a dish that Indians call pachamanku, you can eat with your hands. Lunch was delayed because the untrained person, even very hungry, to absorb so many incredibly dense and delicious food very difficult and fraught with consequences. In Peru, especially in mountainous areas, food culture is fundamentally different from European and Russian traditions. People exposed to heavy physical labor in conditions of poor oxygen alpine climate must be at least three times more calories than we who live in the plain and have forgotten a long time, that is till the ground with his hands. Do not eat in the morning - there will be forces to keep the plow, the field is not vspashesh.

Trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru - Guided trekking of Mountaineering School MCS AlexClimb

Try to book in the Peruvian eatery any dish whose name ends with "... on the poorer." And if you want advice - do not order. Because you will bring huge platter piled high with a mountain of a variety of products - boiled rice, corn, salad, stewed pieces of meat, potatoes, and so on. So feed the poor Peruvian peasant. And note - all fresh and absolutely natural, without preservatives and dyes, grown without fertilizers. Here it is, the flip side of the benefits of civilization .... We have such food is not and can not, we even taste these products are ignorant. Try the chicken in a provincial Peruvian restaurant. Surprise. Unlike the chicken, the taste is different, color and smell. Here are just a later in Moscow will be difficult to force myself to eat what we have called a chicken, that's just a little there except the name of the chicken left ...

Trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru - Guided trekking of Mountaineering School MCS AlexClimb

Sometimes rumors can be believed. All I heard was true about Cordillera Huayhuash. Even more - only slightly eyewitness could convey the incredible play of colors, lights magnificent peaks and pristine purity of lakes. No words and photos do not give the feeling of unique grandeur of nature, which is like a knife cuts all layers and oily soot all the achievements of civilization, returns the feeling of complete and unlimited freedom, silently and confidently puts human face to face with all the grandeur, the splendor and uniqueness of the world, which we are - an integral part of a whole, necessary and indispensable part.
And in the hectic everyday city life, in a whirl of small household problems, memories of ten short days spent in the shining land of dreams, become the benchmark, which is in the most difficult moments will not allow to sink into a black hole of meaninglessness and loneliness - the inevitable components in the huge metropolis life. ..

Trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru - Guided trekking of Mountaineering School MCS AlexClimb

... The bottom of the valley to the camp of the cloud. As often happens in the mountains in the evening, when the hot day the air condenses into fog and by the evening rises and pours rain alpine meadows ... Last night on the route, return to Huaraz tomorrow, then to Lima and Moscow ... After dinner, peace in the countryside tavern i do not want to think about coming back to reality. I would like to sit and watch the crackling turn into red coals of the dry branches of eucalyptus ... Soon the wind picked up and carried away mercilessly raznezhennoe sense of comfort. Cold, the rain started ...

Trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru - Guided trekking of Mountaineering School MCS AlexClimb