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Trekking  Alpamayo Full Circuit to Ulta Valley

Trekking_alpamayo_peru

Cullicocha at 4600m - Alpamayo Circuit 

Alpamayo Mountain is considered by most climbers and trekkers to be the most beautiful mountain in the world.  Inkaland Treks offers the Alpamayo full circuit trek to view and enjoy this awesome “national geographic” travel experience in one of the most breathtaking scenes in the pristine Peruvian Andes.   This circuit leads us through the Los Cedros valley which remains a sparsely traveled trekking trail in the Cordillera Blanca range.  Our trek begins in the village of Hualcayan, located beyond the village of Cashapampa where the renowned Santa Cruz Trek originates. This 13 day trek holds and delivers pristine rich aqua blue Andes lakes, close up photographic views of beautiful Alpamayo, spiraling glaciated peaks, high altitude wind-swept passes and small villages where native community members warmly great you and you observe and interact with them in their ancient Quechua culture setting. The trail you’ll follow leads from east to west crossing over the Cordillera Blanca (white mountain) range in the Huascaran National Park before crossing over again where it converges with the renowned  Santa Cruz trail and then concluding our memorable trek of the Andes  at Quebrada Ulta.

 Timing: 12 - 13 days

 Grade: (Effort output) Hard to Strenuous

The Alpamayo to Ulta Valley  full circuit represents a fairly demanding trek suggested for clients who are in at least average to above average fitness. Exercise preparation is your best wellness routine so that you can fully enjoy this amazing Andes trekking experience. Graded as hard to strenuous because of the terrain and altitude we hike during 12 - 13 days trek.

Day by day Itinerary

Day 1: Huaraz / Hualcayan village
Our Inkaland Treks team will pick you up from your hotel after breakfast and start heading out for our 5 hour comfortable van ride heading north to the village of Hualcayan situated at 9,514ft / 2900m where our donkeys and Arrieros will be waiting for us. Overnight at our camp at Hualcayan.

Day 2: Hualcayan / Wishcash
After breakfast we begin our continuous climb up a “switch back” trail from the village of Hualcayan to Wishcash 14,108 ft / 4300m hiking for approximately 4 to 5 hours. Overnight at our camp at Wishcash.

Day 3: Wishcash / Ruinapampa
From Wishcash we continue our trek ascending to the spectacular lake Laguna Cullicocha 15,912ft / 4850m where we cross our first high Pass named Osoruri 15,584ft / 4750m.  From this beautiful high pass, we begin our long descent to our next camp at Ruinapampa 12,467 ft / 3800m with an approximately 8 - 9 hour hike.
 

Day 4: Ruinapampa / Cruze Alpamayo
A fairly easy relaxed day trekking while ascending easily up the valley to our next camp at Cruze Alpamayo 13,615ft / 4150m. This day includes approximately 3 - 4 hours of hiking.

Day 5: Cruze Alpamayo / Day Rest
This can be an optional day on the trek so as to spend an additional night at our Cruze Alpamayo camp to just chill-out appreciating the superb views of Alpamayo. With this additional day in the high Andes, we can trek to Laguna Jancarurish or visit the Alpamayo Base Camp 14,764ft / 4500m.

Day 6: Cruze Alpamayo / Safuna or Huilca
This sixth day is long and demanding hike as we ascend up to the windswept Paso Cara Cara 15,846ft / 4830m from where we capture even more breathtaking panoramic views of Alpamayo and the surrounding lakes. From this vantage point we then continue our trek to our next Paso Mesapata 14,764ft / 4500m before descending to our next camp at Laguna Safuna 13,780ft / 4200m. Today’s trek is approximately 7-8 hours.  We have the option to camp at Huilca which is about 1 hour further distance from Safuna. Our trekking guide and our clients can decide on this option depending on the group’s level of fitness.

Day 7: Safuna or Huilca / Jancapampa
From Laguna Safuna or Huilca we ascend to Paso Pucajirca 15,092ft / 4600m as we next camp in the grassy valley of Jancapampa 11,811ft / 3600m which we’ll reach after approximately a 7 hour hike.  With the local Quechua farm families living in this valley, we have the opportunity to meet and interact with the warm and welcoming village people.
 

Day 8: Jancapampa / Huecrococha
This eighth day we pass by several Quechua farming communities with their sheep and livestock as we continue our ascent up to our next Paso Tupatupa 14,436ft / 4400m before descending to our next camp alongside Laguna Huecrococha 12,959ft /3950m which we reach after approximately 7 beautifully scenic hours of trekking this day.

Day 9: Huecrococha / Tuctubamba
 On our ninth day we ascend up to Paso Alto de Pucaraju 15,256ft / 4650m from where we are treated to an absolutely stunning panoramic views of mount Taulliraju, the majestic massif spiraling to 19,127ft / 5830m before we begin our steep descent to our next camp at the peaceful Tuctubamba valley 13,944ft / 4250m arriving here after an approximately 7 hours of trekking.

Day 10: Tuctubamba Rest Day
On our tenth day we have the opportunity to enjoy the spectacular ice capped Andes’ surroundings by spending an additional restful night at our Tuctubamba camp. From our this camp we can ascend up to the renowned Santa Cruz trail climbing to Paso Punta Union 15,584ft / 4750m from where we capture the panoramic views of the Santa Cruz Valley with its stunningly beautiful Laguna’s, or we can just chill-out this day and enjoy the sun’s warmth on this tenth day.

 Day 11: Tuctubamba / Molino Pampa
 We head downhill along the rich lush valley of Huaripampa passing by farmland as we head towards the settlement of Colcabamba which provides us a photo rich opportunity to again meet and interact with the local Quechua villagers. From here we climb up to Molino Pampa in the Quebrada Keshu 11,811ft / 3600m. This day includes approximately 7-8 hours of hiking.

Day 12: Molino Pampa / Avalancha Camp
Today is a short day where we climb on a steady ascent to a high campsite called Avalanche Campsite at 15,256ft / 4650m reaching this campsite in about 4 hours.  We’ll spend the afternoon watching avalanches crash down from the glacier with their thundering sound bouncing off the opposite side of the valley we just hiked.

Day 13: Avalancha Camp / Quebrada Ulta / Huaraz
We complete our trek with our final gentle ascent for approximately 2 hours to the high and narrow pass of Punta Yanayacu 15,912ft / 4850m. From this vantage point we have close views of the glaciers on Nevado Contrahierbas and the massive peaks of Chopicalqui 20,817ft / 6345m and Huascarán 22,204ft / 6768m.  We then descend to Quebrada Ulta where our private transportation will be waiting for us for our return drive back to Huaraz.

 Note: If our clients elect to conclude with the 12 day trek option, then one of the rest days will be dropped.


Client Comments:

CORDILLERA BLANCA - May 2013
Hi Greg and Edita,
I was just looking through the pictures from our trip to Huaraz and thought about dropping you a line.
Everything went great. The team was punctual, accommodating, reacting quickly to the changes in our schedule and even weather conditions, providing the most optimal alternatives. Edita, you are very knowledgeable, energetic, honest, trust-inducing guide. Greg, your responsiveness during the planning stage separates this company from all others. You both deserve the great success in your endeavor.
I would definitely trust Inkaland Treks to organize our multi-day experience in the Andes.
Thank you,
Yuri Kamisky / Rusia

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