Laguna Churup

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Lake 69 & Llangnauco Lakes- Challanging Day Hike

Laguna Churup

ACTIVITY: Hiking  DIFFICULTY: Medium/Hard  DURATION: 1 N    ELEVATION: 3 990 – 4 450 m / 14 600 ft

Trip Overview


♦ Deep blue coloured lake
This is challenging yet a fantastic acclimatization hike affording magnificent panorama views of Huaraz
This is one of the most beautiful aqua colored glacial lakes of the Cordillera Blanca Range
Considered by most hikers as one of the most impressive scenic day hikes in the entire Cordillera Blanca
This hike rated as medium to hard , because of the altitude and  challenging hiking effort

Visit the popular Laguna Churup located at  28 km/17 miles east of Huaraz. This is challenging yet a fantastic acclimatization hike affording magnificent panorama views of Huaraz and the landscape around and the imposing peak of the Churup peak. Lake Churup lies at an altitude of 4450m in a big cirque with the snow covered Churup summit in the background. Typical for a cirque lake. Its water is extremely clear and has a deep blue colour near the edges of the lake.
Drive up on the dirt road to the parking place at Pitec ( not a village , but a few farmhouses),along drive we pass through traditional village of Unchus and Llupa with its traditional adobe houses and reach farmlands, there is opportunity to see local quechua  people on their traditional clothes and working land with their hands. Then as we reach Pitec , after checking with the  Huascaran National Park range, start ascending following the path over the long ridge. After about 1 ½ you reach a steep an rocky part, to the left of the water fall. From there, you reach lake Churup  after a quite intimidating 45 minutes climb. This climb can be  a real challenge climb , to avoid this steep part, there is an option to climb more to the left where is a a kind of metal rope  that helps to climb. Then as you arrive to the lake will be impressed for the beautiful view of the lake and landscape sourrounded.
Spend time walking around lake side, take pictures, relax and have box lunch enjoying the nature. Then return on the same way back to Pitec, where our private transportation waits to drive you back to Huaraz hotel.
Full day hike approximately 7- 8 hours.

Itinerary Description
Inkalanad Treks recommend our clients to start early; our team will pick you up at your hotel then drive north in our private transportation along the Callejon de Huayhuash valley following the curse of the main river Santa in the Valley that divides the Cordillera Blanca at the East and the Cordillera Negra at the West, passing traditional town with its farmlands and enjoy the view of the peaks of the Cordillera Blanca. As we reach Yungay drive up on the dirt road to the North East where is located the Llanganuco Valley, just at the entarbce of the valey we Stop at the Huascaran National Park check point to register the continue drive up passing the beautiful lakes of Chinancocha and Orconcocha , make an stop at the side of the Lake Chinancocha to takes some pictures then drive ahead to Cebollapamapa at 3900, our star hiking point  to the lake 69.

At the beginning it is an pleasant hike on the almost flat area for about 1 hour, passing through quenual tress enjoying view surrounded on the back ground we have the view of Huascaran mountain, the highest peak in the Cordillera Blanca, Chopicalqui, Yanapaccha.Then ascend on the well market sig sag path to the first small lake, as we gain hight a dramatic glaciated peak of Chacraraju,Yanapaccha, Huascaran,Chopicalqui  and water falls in the valley comes into view. Continue ascending on the last sig sag path to  the lake 69, some people find hard demandind the last section just before o reach the lake, you may feel the effects of the altitude and get tired just a last effort to get the lake. It is really worded to reach the lake you will be impressed by the beauty of the lake and a close up view of the Pisco and Chacraraju mountains. Relax take pictures have box lunch enjoying the landscape sourrouded then descend on the same way to Cebollapampa, where our transportation is waiting to drive you back to Huaraz Hotel. Timing about 10 – 11 hours full day adventure journey. 

Is this Trekking for you?
This walk is considered to be of a strong / difficult degree, therefore we recommend doing it at the second to third day if possible. Proper acclimatization is important for this program. Undoubtedly one of the best in the Cordillera Blanca for the impressionate mountain view it offers.
With a buna physical condition and adequate acclimatization – guarantees your enjoyment to the maximum.

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1: Huaraz / Vaqueria / Cachina or Paria
After breakfast at your hotel we pick you up with our private transportation and drive north from Huaraz along the Callejon de Huaylas passing traditional towns in the valley with astonishing views of the peaks of the Cordillera Blanca. Then we reach Yungay the town that was completely destroyed by an earthquake in the 1970’s from where we drive up on the dirt road through the beautiful Llanganuco Valley and one of the main entry points into the Huascaran National Park.  We continue up the valley passing the two Llanganuco Lakes (Chinancocha and Orconcocha) and the winding road up to the Portachuelo Pass (15,617ft / 4760m) with its amazing panoramic views of the white-capped peaks of the Cordillera Blanca mountain range. At the top of the pass we’ll stop to take photos of the peaks of Huascaran, Huandoy, Pisco and Chacraraju. Then drive down to Vaqueria (11,811 ft / 3600m) where our arrieros and donkeys wait to load our gear.  From Vaqueria we have a relaxing hike, leaving the road behind. We pass farmer’s plots with small houses and cattle herds.  We continue hiking on a gently gradually path to our first camp at Cachina camp (11,975 ft / 3650m).  5 hour drive and a 3 to 4 hours hike.
Meals Included: Snack, Lunch. Tea Time & Dinner

Option: This day there is an alternative to camp in Cachina or Paria. Chachina Camp site is just an hour before Paria campsite. Our Guide is flexible on this depends on our clients’ fitness.

Day 2: Cachina or Paria / Tuctubamba
Today is a short gradual 4 hour hike up into Huaripampa Valley to our camp at Tuctubamba 12,959 ft / 3950m. You will have an alternative option for a side trip to hike up to the Punta Union Pass (15,584 ft / 4750m) where, if weather conditions are favorable, you’ll have amazing close-up views of the surrounding mountains and down into the Santa Cruz Valley. Alternatively, we can hike straight to Tuctu camp below the looming figure of Mt. Taulliraju (19,120 ft / 5,829m) and enjoy the afternoon relaxing for the next day (3 to 6 hours extra).
Meals Included: Breakfast, Snack, and Lunch. Tea Time & Dinner 

Day 3:  Tuctubamba / Huecrococha Lake
After breakfast we are ready to reach our first Pass of the trek. From camp we have a slow ascent to the right of the valley where we climb steeply on a rocky switch back trail with the last section scrambling on rocks to the top of Alto de Pacaraju Pass 15,256 ft / 4650m from where we look at the panoramic scene behind us, we have astonishing views of Mt. Contrahierbas (19,798 ft / 6,036 m), Huascaran 22,204 ft / 6768m, Chopocalqui 20,846 ft / 6354m, and Taulliraju with the Punta Union Pass. With its trail that descends into the Santa Cruz Valley. We then descend slowly down through lupine covered hillside to our campsite at beautiful Laguna Huecrococha 12,959 ft / 3950m. (Duration 6 to 7 hours).
Meals Included: Breakfast, Snack, and Lunch. Tea Time & Dinner

Day 4: Huecrococha /Jancapampa
Today we camp at Jancapampa where there is the opportunity to meet the local Quechua people still wearing their native traditional Andean colorful clothing. We might expect to see them at our camp offering to sell beer. As we cross a grassy slope we arrive at a bridge (13,366 ft / 4,100m) from where one can see Mt. Pucahirca and its glacier. We’ll then cross and skirt a marshy pampa and then next pass Tupatupa 14,436 ft / 4400m.  From this vantage point we have a broad close-up view of Pucahirca Mountain and many other surrounding peaks. From here we then descend to camp at the head of a wide open valley at Jancapampa 11,811 ft / 3600m. (Time: 6 to 7 hours).
Meals Included: Breakfast, Snack, and Lunch. Tea Time & Dinner

Day 5: Jancapampa / Huillca or Safuna
Today is a long tough day. We start hiking on a long gradual ascent through the forested valley past grassy meadows to finally reach a scree slope and pass Laguna Sactaycocha, then climb steeply to the reach the top of the rocky narrow Yanajanca Pass 15,092 ft / 4600m. From this point we descend to Quebrada Yantu Quenua then continue to walk to the settlement of Huillca or Safuna in the Quebrada Tayapmapa 13,780 ft / 4200m. From our campsite we ascend steeply through a sparse forest below the Yanajanca pass at 14,600 ft / 4,400 m with glacially polished cliffs on either side. Then from the narrow pass we descend to the settlement of Huillca at 13,400 ft / 3,600m where we camp (Time: 7 hrs, Distance: 4.3 miles / 7 km).
Meals Included: Breakfast, Snack, and Lunch. Tea Time & Dinner.

Day 6: Huillca or Safuna / Cruze Alpamayo
Another long day as we cross two passes. To reach the first Pass we climb gradually to Mesapata Pass at 14,643 ft /4460m, then we descend walking on nearly a flat area for about an hour before we climb to cross the second pass, Cara Cara (15,846 ft / 4830m) where  at times it is windy and cold.  From here we have the first views of the pyramid shaped Alpamayo and the impressive views of the neighboring peaks of Quitaraju and Santa Cruz. As we descend down from the Cara Cara Pass we have beautiful views of Laguna Jancarurish and the Quebrada Alpamayo as we approach our campsite at  Cruze Alpamayo just below the impressive Alpamayo peak 13,615 ft / 4150m. 7- 8 hours.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Snack, and Lunch. Tea Time & Dinner

Today is an extra day on our program itinerary just to relax at Cruze Alpamayo enjoying the pyramid shape of the famous Alpamayo.  There is an option to do a short climb up the moraine to the lake Laguna Jancarurish for close up views of Alpamayo (2 ½ hours total). Or simply spend the day at camp just relaxing.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Snack, and Lunch. Tea Time & Dinner

Day 8: Cruze Alpamayo / Osoruri
A tough long day. We start by walking on nearly flat easy gentle terrain for about 2 hours before we ascend on a well market trail towards Osoruri Pass at 15,584 ft / 4750m.  From the Osorui Pass we capture a magnificent view of the valley below with its rich farm land and the mountain view of Milluaraju as we descend to our next camp at Osoruri. 7 Hours hike approximately.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Snack, and Lunch. Tea Time & Dinner

Day 9: Osoruri / Wishcash
This day we start ascending gradually to the Paso Cullicocha Pass at 15,912 ft / 4850m, from where we have a magnificent view of the Santa Cruz peak. We then descend to our next camp the view of beautiful colored Laguna Cullicocha as the Santa Cruz Mountain comes into view. We stop here for a while at Laguna Cullicocha to enjoy lunch and take photos before we continue descending towards our Wishcash campsite. Overnight at the Wishcash campsite and during the afternoon you’ll enjoy views down the valley  and of the Cordillera Negra Mountain range just in front camp.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Snack, and Lunch. Tea Time & Dinner

Day 10: Wishcash / Hualcayan / Huaraz
We do our last hike down to the village of Hualcayan. Descending on a on a long switch back trail you’ll enjoy views of the rich colorful farm land in the valley. As we reach Hualcayan our private transport awaits us to drive us back to Huaraz.
3 hours walk and 2 ½ to 3 hours drive back to your hotel in Huaraz.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Snack, and Lunch

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