Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Huaraz -Quebrada Ulta and Laguna Llanganuco

Huaraz : 3090 metres above sea level. It is the main city in the Callejon de Huaylas with a population of over 120,000. Huaraz is the centre for high altitude sports and outdoor activities.The city was completely destroyed by an earthquake in May 1970.Within its duration of 45 seconds virtually every structure in Huaraz's city centre was destroyed. Within a few minutes the north of the city was obliterated by an avalanche of icy mud carrying boulders and other debris. As many as 20,000 people were killed.
The city is 420m north of Lima. There are many stores offering trekking or guided climbing trips.The central part of Huaraz is nothing to write home about. But further north in the town you have views of the mountains which are spectacular.
We decided to ride up a valley just south of the city after a couple of false starts we found the  right road. Roads are not marked very well and asking people doesn't always help.
Donkeys being used to transport bags of cement to a building site.

Quebrada Rajucolta valley south of of Huaraz. Not sure if the hut is for people or stock. Further up the valley a padlocked gate stopped our progress.
Bugger. Locked gate 7 km walk up to terminal lake.

After another day of catching up on chores. We decided to head north of Huaraz to a town called Carhuaz we then headed east up the Quedbrada Ulta valley and another high altitude pass. After going through some major road reconstruction we came onto a nice knew tar sealed road with no traffic on it. The government is obviously intending to make this a major tourist route in the future.
But for the moment we had one of the most assume sealed and gravel high altitude routes pretty much to our selves.

 Huascaran 6768 metres ?

Punta Olimpica 4890 metres. Getting slippery and narrow on the top.The highest point on our adventure so far.

Looking back up to Punta Olimpica

We stopped for lunch at Chacas. No tourists in this little town. People were steering at us like we had two heads. Off the tourist route now. Joe did a great job of navigating us over to Yanama on unmarked roads with our map which is okay if you are on the main roads.But scale not great. Route started to get pretty bad but then came right.
The road got worse. These guys were going the same way as us.Okay on the bikes .Joe pushing. They wouldn't have got much further . Road got muddier and steeper.
Heading west again and up to Portachuelo 4767 metres.
Portachuelo paso 4767 metres

This road dropped over 2000 metres in a series switch backs. Very steep not a great place to go to sleep.

A few crosses on one of the corners.
Laguna Llanganuco heading down to Yungay.

Yuncay is another town that was obliterated by a huge avalanche of water in recent times resulting in many deaths

 Took the advice of the Lonely Planet guide book and decided to stay in Caraz. Nice town. We were allowed to park bikes inside hostel. A long day, great riding.

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