Peru

Hike in Quebrada Ulta

The valley below Huascaran

Petr Liška
Wrote 2007 articles and follows him / her 154 travelers
Hike in Quebrada Ulta
Inserted: 20.10.2013
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The descent through the valley Ulta to Carhuaz is rich not only in scenes from village life at the foot of Cordillera Blanca, but also in views of the highest mountain in Peru Huascaran. But the walk is very long, about 30 km from Base Camp Olimpica and even if you walk practically all the time downhill. If you do not want to go all the way on foot, you can try to hitchhike. But the bus lines in the direction of Carhuaz go only early in the morning.

Sunrise in BC

Before you pack the tent and set off from Base Camp back to civilization, you will certainly enjoy the beautiful sunrise.
 

Sunrise in BC
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View of Huascaran

If you arrived to Base Camp on the path from the pass Punta Olimpica, you will be surprised by the descent path to Ulta Valley through quite thick „horror“ woods full of twisted trees. After about an hour walk from Basecamp you finally climb out of the woods and get to the pleasant plain (at about 3980 m asl) overlooking the walls of Huascaran – an ideal place for a snack. You can undertake a hike through this valley called Quebrada Matara and move to see Huascaran better.
 

View of Huascaran
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Quebrada Ulta

Just a few hundred meters from the plain with views of Huascaran you get to the bridge over the river, where can join to the road leading to the pass Punta Olimpica. Now you can hope to hike someone. But the traffic is very weak here and even the two buses that pass here in the morning do not have to stop. So be prepared for a possible long walk up to Carhuaz. The view to the widest part of the valley opens after a short walk.
 

Quebrada Ulta
Author: © gigaplaces.com

Meanders

This part of the valley Ulta is a paradise for cattle – offers plenty of water and pasture. Although it does not seem so at first sight, this part is practically flat for more than 6 km. In the middle there is turning through sharp winds directly up to the lagoon Huallcococha ( 4350 m asl).
 

Meanders
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View of Nevado Ruricocha

From this side looks Ruricocha the most monumentally.

View of Nevado Ruricocha
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Huascarán

After about an hour wandering through a wide valley you find yourself in a small side canyon, through which you can see up to Huascarán.
 

Huascarán
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View of the canyon

Now begins a little boring part of the walk, because there is not much to see. After an hour opens the valley and you can slowly begin to see on the horizon the neighboring mountain Cordillera Negra.

View of the canyon
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Winding paths

At the winding path drops the path below 3,500 meters above sea level and the world of boxes starts. From this point also begin the classic „back“ views of Huascaran. However, if you are lucky and Huascarán is not hidden in afternoon clouds.
 

Winding paths
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Hills full of fields

The surrounding ridges must be very fertile when they are completely covered with fields.

Hills full of fields
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Two Huascarans

Huascaran are actually two mountains divided by a strong pass at a height of over six thousand meters above sea level.

Two Huascarans
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The village Shilla surroundings

After a while start scattered simple rural buildings.

The village Shilla surroundings
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Boxes up to the edge of the abyss

Practically every suitable free place is cultivated. Farmers just have to be careful :-)

Boxes up to the edge of the abyss
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Eucalyptus groves

There are eucalyptus woods in a lower positions and close to the water. Mountains begin to be already slowly on the horizon.

Eucalyptus groves
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Look back

At last the outlook you may be amazed how far you've already walked. Exactly in the right there is a significant “V” cut in wood – this is entrance into the mountains interior and into Quebrada Ulta.

Look back
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The outlook of Carhuaz

After more than an hour descent from the village of Shilla you can finally see Carhuaz ( 2645 m asl) from the outlook point. There you can accommodate or return back to Huaraz by frequent buses.

The outlook of Carhuaz
Author: © gigaplaces.com
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