Trip Report
BEHOLD! Cordillera Huayhuash (alpine circumnavigation)
Wednesday July 2, 2014 7:13pm
Cordillera Huayhuash Alpine Circumnavigation
Cordillera Huayhuash Alpine Circumnavigation
Credit: srathbun

July 2013. Scott Berry and I completed Jeremy Frimer's alpine circumnavigation of the Cordillera Huayhash mountain range outside of Llamac, Peru.

Over 8 days, we undertook what is quite possibly the best hike in the world. We made two glacier crossings, one rappel, and there is even some low 5th climbing near one of the passes. The route consists of approximately 20,000' of elevation gain and descent over 60 miles, crossing five 5500+ meter passes, and is the single most beautiful trip I've ever had the privilege of taking.

More info on this trek can be found on Jeremy's website here:

Brother and sister playing in the streets of Chiquián.

Our friends we shared a bus ride with from Chiquián to Llamac; the gateway to the HuayHuash.

Hiking out of Llamac.

First views of the range out of Llamac.

Yerupajá and Rasac bathing in the alpenglow.

Qonsti Casha is used in roof construction of adobe houses to create a lattice on which ceramic tiles are placed.

Mataji, and her offspring.

The Wamanpinta plant is boiled in water and used as a diuretic, more specifically for UTI's.

The adventure begins! Heading for Rasac Punta after our first night at Jahuacocha, counterclockwise around the range.

Rasac Punta finally in sight now...

Qallu-qallu; qallu in Quechua means tongue; and is used as a remedy for heart pain.

Looking down Rasac Punta, the first pass. We crampon up, and set camp for the second night near the small lagoon in the photo.

Alpenglow on Rasac Oeste.

Looking back on Rasac Punta and Rasac Oeste, on the morning of our third day. Jaeger solo'd the first ascent of Rasac Oeste up the obvious ramp. He then continued on to climb Rasac proper.

Numerous ice lines up the south face of Rasac from Quebrada Segya.

The route from Rasac Punta up the pass north of Rosario.

Nearing the pass...

Carnicero shrouded in clouds. 5960 meters.

Yerupajá South Face, West Face of Siula Grande and Serapo

Looking back on our route from near our camp for the third night at Laguna Jurau.

Gaining the glacier above Laguna Jurau.

Scott applying friction.

Jurau D, E and F. 5500+ meters

Passing through Trapecio Punta.

Our camp for the fourth night below the West Face of Trapecio. 5653 meters.

South Face of Trapecio. Alex Lowe solo'd a vertical ice flow up the right side of this face.

Nevados Jurau from the south. Departing from the Valley Circuit... gunning for Siula Pass where we spend our fifth night.

Siula Grande's East Face from Siula Pass.

Yerupajá East Face from Siula Pass. Messner climbed a new route on this aspect in 1969.

Yerupajá's flutings.

Yerupajá Chico and Jirishanca.

Dropping below Siula Pass.

Jirishanca Chico from the Jirishanca base camp.


From the pass east of Jirishanca Chico.

Alcaycocha. 4670 meters.

The route begins to arc to the west around Jirishanca Chico out to this hanging valley. The locals had trapped a herd of "wild" horses in here, hence our name.

We found hundreds of these ammonoid fossils being pushed up out of this fault at 17,000' entering the hanging valley. Also known as shaligram when these holy stones are found on the bank of Kali Gandaki River in Nepal. It is forbidden to purchase shaligram. Vishnu is sometimes known as shaligram, and the stone is a material manifestation of Lord Krishna.

We spend our sixth night just below the hanging valley. After encountering difficulties in the pass north of Paria Peak, we try our luck on the pass south of the peak. It doesn't go.

Wrong way!

Go this way!!!

Night #7 on the ridge/pass!

Descending Garagocha Punta to Laguna Garagocha. We make one rappel here.

After eight days, we're back on the streets of Chiquián! Hope you enjoyed!

  Trip Report Views: 3,231
About the Author
srathbun is a gym climber from Mount Shasta.

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El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
  Jul 2, 2014 - 07:19pm PT
Rad trip and spectacular document!

Great share!
(downsize a few of those pics)

Trad climber
The state of confusion
  Jul 2, 2014 - 08:56pm PT

Um, WOW!!!!

Kind of like a junior Everest circumnavigation, like Ned Gilette!
Super neat!

  Jul 2, 2014 - 09:07pm PT

so sweet on so many fronts...

thanks much for the share and for taking the time to put that together...
john hansen

  Jul 2, 2014 - 09:19pm PT
really enjoyed it.

Great photo's.

Social climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Jul 2, 2014 - 09:29pm PT
An Excellant adventure with lots of great photos. I'm envious!

Thank you for sharing your story and photos!
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
  Jul 2, 2014 - 10:07pm PT
Damn fine trip with a great presentation. One badazz backpack.

  Jul 2, 2014 - 11:37pm PT
Excellent in every way!
Larry Nelson

Social climber
  Jul 3, 2014 - 01:30am PT
Beautiful country, awesome hike..Excellent.

Trad climber
  Jul 3, 2014 - 06:50am PT
Absolutely wonderful photos. Thanks for this TR.

edit: the one photo of Yerupaja. Looks like a big block of ice is ready to launch.

Oakland, CA
  Jul 3, 2014 - 08:01am PT
Well shoot that was outstanding. Thank you!

Ever since reading the mind-blowing ethnobotany book One River, I try to pick up as much as I can about local plants and their uses when I travel, language permitting. It sounds to me like you did some plant-themed chatting with the locals as well. Nice!

What a set of pics, too...

Edit: Alex Lowe, swoon. And cool Touching the Void crawlway bonus pic.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Jul 3, 2014 - 09:17am PT
Even though I saw all these when Shane came back from the trek, saw his partner’s slideshow about it, I am happy to look at these photos again! Some beautiful peaks out there! Hope to come back to Peru one day. Difficult peaks, cheap food, good rock climbing. Wish the women were good looking. I guess can’t have it all. Brazil is not far away though..

Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
  Jul 3, 2014 - 09:46am PT
Fantastic photos! Thanks for sharing your adventure, Shane!

Trad climber
under the sea
  Jul 3, 2014 - 10:35am PT
Absolutely awesome. Makes me want to go back to Peru right now.

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
  Jul 3, 2014 - 10:58am PT
I did that solo back in 2001. It is one of the best treks I've ever done! Your photos bring it all back to me!

Gym climber
Mount Shasta
Author's Reply  Jul 4, 2014 - 03:09pm PT
Thank you all for your kind words. Glad others enjoy!

FortMentäl: Ski expedition to New Zealand, climbing in Ruth Gorge, and/or Grand Himalayan Trail
Vitaliy: LULZ
Shimanilami:I think you likely did the valley circuit as the alpine circuit hadn't really been noticed until 2003, regardless... beautiful beautiful area!

Trad climber
portland, or
  Jul 3, 2014 - 01:09pm PT
That's about the most spectaular looking choss I've ever seen! Thanks for sharing!

Oh, and Yur gonna die (some other time, glad it wasn't thsi time)!

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
  Jul 3, 2014 - 03:33pm PT
Super sweet
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jul 3, 2014 - 06:30pm PT
Just awesome, wow!!!!
Peru Bergsport

Mountain climber
Huaraz, Peru
  Jul 12, 2014 - 04:51pm PT
the ALPINE ROUTE HUAYHUASH, three days ago we have completed our expeditions following the Canadian explorerer Jeremy Frimer, who has opened thsi route and now we will satrt promoting this route for hiking companies around the world.
the ALPINE ROUTE OF HUAYHUASH 8 days we started promoting at US$ 1200 per person, with Donkey support and 2 days with porters.
if you are interested in cooparating with our local company we will be happy to support you in organizing logistics for this new route
Hiking support Peru Bergsport
Trekking Arrangements for logistics support

Social climber
State of decay
  Jul 12, 2014 - 05:41pm PT
Great pics and very cool TR. Nice job guys!!!

Gym climber
Mount Shasta
Author's Reply  Jul 12, 2014 - 07:32pm PT
Thanks Tony! You in Huaraz now?

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
  Jul 12, 2014 - 08:36pm PT

Thanks for letting us tag along.
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