After 2 hours on the pass I finally started my descent down the goat track with many tight switchbacks. I caught the Belgians pretty quick. They were sitting having a snack. I decided to join them.
They gave me a bag of dehydrated fruit & nuts & a pack of sultana biscuits. We discussed the map before I headed on.
I took the alpine circuit again & was really enjoying my afternoon. I had managed to walk the entire day solo. It had been one of the most spectacular days on ANY trail I have ever hiked.
I crossed a small glacier fed stream as I entered the Huayhuash camp. I sat in the sun for a while before deciding on a place to put my tent. I set it up far away from the group.
A few from the group came to visit & chat. Everyone intrigued at how I could get 5 days worth of stuff in my 30 litre pack.
The Belgians arrived & set up near by & then Ross & Jeff. I cooked a killer pasta dinner with onion & salami in the shadow of the Huayhuash range. Soooooooo good.
Wow I have no words to describe today.
I am really struggling to summarise today. I want to paint a clear picture. It was unreal. I set off at 9 with the boys as they didn't have a proper map & we thought it would be easier to route find together.
We were taking the alpine route again. All the directions were about how hard it was too find blah blah blah.
It was a climb straight out of the gates. Again nothing too serious. We passed a small family on horseback shifting cattle. We crested the first climb & continued in the general direction of the pass.
The valley was beginning to open up behind us as we climbed higher. Again there was no trail it was a wide open area with all sorts of grasses growing.
We got to the top of the first ridge & in the distance we could see the pass. It was a nice flat approach with Mount Trapecio towering high above us. It had a huge glacier on it.
We crossed the flat lands hopping between pockets of water trapped between weird & wonderful sponge formations. The flora was incredibly diverse & colourful.
We spotted the Belgians half way up the pass but decided they had taken an indirect route. We opted for the weakness in the mountain & were rewarded with an actual trail.
I powered my way up the climb as we all know by now I like climbing & I kinda wanted to beat the Belgians :) I got to the top of the false pass & waited for the boys.
I had beaten the Belgians & when they spotted me waving to them they came over. We had a brief chat before they continued up. It was by now a real lunar landscape.
Red & grey scree everywhere with very little vegetation. The boys arrived we had a chat before heading on. We continued climbing & hit out first token patch of snow.
I caught the Belgians again just before the top & continued on to the moraine lakes sitting at a lazy 4900 metres. I put my pack down & began to wander in between them
There must if been a dozen. All fed from the glacier about 200 metres away at this stage. The colour of the water was amazing. Crystal clear but somehow this luminescent blue.
You could see the sponge growing under the water in all these weird and wonderful shapes. I wanted to go swimming. Hahahah however I did not bring a towel a change of clothes or anything swimming related.
The boys got to me & declared they were going swimming. I laughed. I was designated camera operator. So they stripped down & jumped in, go pro running & me taking photos.
Once they got out we watched the Belgians high up on another ridge line pushing for the summit. It looked like a tough way to go. Very steep & a lot of scree with loose large rocks.
We decided there was a weaker point in the pass & headed for that. Again I pushed on ahead of the boys. As I crested 5,000 mtr I met the path.
Yep looks like we are on the right track. I met the Belgians as they came around the corner. In their out of breath state they declared I had definitely taken the correct route.
They knew they had gone wrong at some point but pushed on rather than descending. We were standing at the junction of a sweet steep snow covered chute heading up to 5,100 or you could go down to some beautiful green Lagunas & the easier route.
I left the others & went over the pass. This is where the day became absolutely incredible. As I hiked over the pass Mount Trapecio came into full view as well as the glacier & the surrounding mountains.
Instead of words here's the pictures. My words just won't do it justice.
I was blown away. This is by far one of the most amazing tranquil places I have ever been. I was rewarded with 45minutes all to myself. I don't think I said anything other than WOW for about 2 hours.
The mountains & being being this close to a huge glacier that could swallow you up & nobody would know is just incredible. I was in love :)
To Be Continued............
I am an ultra runner, Mountain biker, Packrafter, Climber, Ironman, Endurance Athlete