Acclimatizing in Huaraz
The taxi ride up was spectacular and a real adventure in itself, having to cross over a few streams that overtook the rugged road occasionally. It felt great to get closer to the mountains that had mesmerized us for days, acting as a backdrop for the city of Huaraz. We split the $20 tab three ways and started off on the trail. Doreen and I labored over the first few steps while our new friend walked off as if at the beach. Though neither of us wanted to tell the other, we later confided that we seriously doubted we would ever make it after the initial ten minutes. Soon we more or less caught our breath and Denis tried as best he could to walk slow enough to keep us in view. He was a climber and this was like a small workout for him. A huge massif loomed in the distance and it became apparent that the lake lie somewhere in the craggy peaks. We knew that the trail would have to become steeper if we were to reach our goal. We were ill prepared when we found out just how steep the going would get. It was just tough on the lungs at first, with both of us gasping for oxygen with each footstep but soon the steps became near vertical and Denis had to assist us a few times in climbing up to each level. Doreen had never done anything like this in her life and it was probably the most challenging hike I had done too. She did fine though, sometimes with me pushing on her feet and Denis pulling her by her hands from the next plateau. We finally reached the turquoise lake, which was half encircled by snowy jagged peaks. (Conclusion in next Fondest Memory)
Watch a Mass and fun chorus at St Sebastian Church
St Sebastian Church is a modern church near the construction of the new cathedral in the Main plaza. Plaza de Armas.
the Chorus has a fun beat to old church songs and it makes it very fun an festive to hear the mass.
the Bells in front of the church reminded me of the Liberty bells in Philadelphia
Pisco, the peak near Huaraz (not the drink)
Our next challenge took us to the non-technical snowy Peak known as Pisco. We went to a climbing shop and got all of the equipment needed. I am telling you, anyone looks like Chris O’Donnell in Vertical Limit with his or her equipment on. As I found out, most of that movie was faked... it looked so easy on the movie, but in real life walking on high altitude takes time, energy, and mental health/concentration. Just breathing in requires you to do so from the mouth (and the nose) at a mentally practiced rate. By the last treks on high altitudes in this trek I had it almost perfected. Oh, forget talking unless you need to, if you do then you will lose track and tire easily. Anyway, Pisco is located a bit before Vaquerias, the start of the Santa Cruz trek so we took the same transport and told them to drop us near Cebollapampa, the start of the walk to base camp. We walked about 3 hours to base camp at 4600 meters above sea level. That afternoon, snow fell in our camp. It wasn’t enough to cover the valley, but it was enough for us to freeze. Consequently, I hardly slept that night. We woke up around 2:30 AM and headed out around 3:30 AM. We climbed the first ridged to about 5000 meters above sea level. Unfortunately, I came up with a minor case of diarrhea. To make things worse, we took the wrong path for a while and ended up lost in the ridge. Eventually we find the right path, but it was too late to attempt a full climb that day. Despite on the setbacks, we got to wear the equipment for a while and we saw a beautiful sunrise. Although we didn't reach the peak, I am happy I made this little adventure. It showed me that ice climbing is not an easy thing and even those who don't make it to the top are rewarded with beautiful views or the thrill of being so high. Who knows, perhaps I will try it again someday with better equipment and a guide :).
Moneumento Nacional Wilcahuain Ruin
This a Wari ruin that dates back to 1100 AD is an imitation of the temple at Chavin. It is not only interesting in itself but can be visited on a great acclimatization hike that leaves right from town.
Huaraz - valley between the Andes
"Sundown in the Lake"
HUARÁS that is how it is supposed to be spelled ( if you do not use the accent it is better to write Huaraz)
the capital of the departamento (kind of like a State) of Ancash, which is the departamento north of Lima.
check out this YouTube of tourism and Adventure made by Aldea
Huaraz is the navel to all the adventure trips because it is bordered by "Cordillera Blanca" the Andes on one side and the "Cordillera Negra" Rocky type of Mountains on the other side and the rafty river "rio santa" that forms a picturesque valley. All the towns inside the alley from Huaraz to the Llanganuco lake enclose so much tradicion that you can poignantly capture it even trhough a simple bus ride through the alley "callejon de Huaylas"
"Huaraz Valley of Snow Crested Mountains"
Huaraz is in the heart of the "Callejon de Huaylas" = Huaylas Alley. Just imagine a White range of mountains in one side and a Rocky type of mountains in the other. In the middle the "Santa" river runs with a heavy, bubbly white water raft. Huaraz concentrates the nucleos of the comercial and turistic life of the region. So everything girates around this fun valley.
"the Andes "los Andes" the snow crested mountains"
los nevados pueden ser vistos desde cualquier lado.
the snow caped mountains can be seen from any angle.