Hike Cullicocha - Quebrada Alpamayo

Hike Cullicocha - Quebrada Alpamayo

Walk across two passes

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Time: 6:00 h

Alpamayo BC trek 3: You can expect two high passes the third day of the trek – Osoruri (4 860 m asl) and Vientunan (4 770 m asl), over which you get to the desolate valley of Quebrada Alpamayo. If you do not plan any side trips, these are the highest places that you will reach. This stage is difficult rather due to high altitude rather than due to absolute elevation and length.
 

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Outlook of the camp at the lagoon Cullic

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From the camp at the lagoon Cullicocha (4 620 m asl) leads the path first in the north direction along its shore, before it starts to rise into the pass Osoruri. You can expect something over two hundred meters of altitude, so nothing extreme. The views of the lagoon ended with massif of Santa Cruz improve with time (see the introductory photo in the photoreport), but the sun is directly against you, so taking photographs is better here late in the afternoon. Also from here you can see a simple camp on the shore of the lagoon and traversing path you came there yesterday.

 

Outlook of the camp at the lagoon Cullic

Unnamed top

Directly above you rises pointed unnamed peak (5 312 m asl) with remnants of glacier.

 

Unnamed top

Across the pass Osoruri

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If you are looking forward to the amazing views from the highest pass on this entire trek, you will be mistaken. After lagoon Cullicocha disappears in the depths below, you will walk the terrain that resembles a small gorge rather than pass.

 

Across the pass Osoruri

View of the ridge Milluacocha

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A few hundred meters away finally begins to open the view of the ridge Milluacocha lining Quebrado Alpamayo from the north.

 

View of the ridge Milluacocha

Nevado Milluacocha

Views of Nevado Milluacocha from different angles will accompany you throughout the rest of this trekking stage.

 

Nevado Milluacocha

View of the Pass Vientunan

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The path drops for about 30 minutes to a rocky ridge, from where you can already see to the second pass of this day – Vientunan (4 770 m asl). But before you reach here, you'll have to traverse for a long time the rocky slope, where once had been glacier. It means that you have to descend to about (4 540 m asl) and then again ascend these meters.

 

View of the Pass Vientunan

Vientunan Pass (4 770 m asl)

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The way up to the pass through the mountain slope will take you about an hour. Roughly in the middle is a possibility to camp (Campamento Osoruri) in case you walk this trek e.g. reversely.

 

Vientunan Pass (4 770 m asl)

Nevado Milluacocha

From the pass Vientunan is probably the most beautiful view of the whole ridge Nevado Milluacocha.

 

Nevado Milluacocha

Quebrada Alpamayo

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From the Pass Vientunan awaits you the worst part of this whole stage – a long descent to the valley bottom of Quebrada Alpamayo (you will descend more than 750 altitude meters).

 

Quebrada Alpamayo

Walk through Quebrada Alpamayo

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After you descend to the valley, the path leads along a contour a few meters above the river. Right at the beginning there are a few houses and fields and then follows the definitive end of civilization. The entire valley is a kind of a trap in case you have health problems or something happens. It is not possible to descend through the canyon and on both sides are high passes impassable in bad weather. And there are minimum of other tourists. There are days when you not meet a living soul here. So consider this before you set out here.

 

Walk through Quebrada Alpamayo

Mountain meadow

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Three and a half kilometers before the end of this stage is a pretty upland meadow with a creek. There are usually grazing cows. On the horizon slowly peeks the ridge with Alpamayo.

 

Mountain meadow

The first view of Alpamayo

In clear weather, you can finally see the first three peaks of the ridge including Alpamayo. But it is true that from the north side and bigger distance looks its peak slightly featureless.
 

The first view of Alpamayo

Camp Jancarurish (4 210 m asl)

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Finally, you are at the end of this stage, in camp Jancarurish (4 210 m asl). It is an awesome place with stunning view of Alpamayo and other peaks around.

Camp Jancarurish (4 210 m asl)

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