We love nothing more than seeing photos our travelers take on our journeys. It’s even more special when the photos are from Trip Leaders who remain completely inspired by the landscapes, even after years of exploring the same trails season after season. Here is Ryan Kost after our recent adventure: Trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash.

Back down from our two-week circuit of the high alpine loop in the Cordillera Huayhuash with Wilderness Travel. Over 100 miles covered, with 50,000 feet of ascents/descents. Lots of fierce sun, frigid evenings, fresh locally grown/butchered food, laughs, struggles, incredible landscapes, and seeing many old friends.

I continue to connect deeper with this place and try and find new ways to experience and truly see it. This place will always be one of my greatest classrooms in the dusty path of life and I am forever grateful. Here are some select photos from our trip around this amazing range. In short, no prose or photos will ever fully capture the magic of Cordillera Huayhuash.

getting ready for the day in cordillera huayhuash peru

Our team readying the horses for the day.

sunset in cordillera huayhuash
Santa Rosa sunset. We had already hiked up and over this 16,000′ pass during the day, but I was feeling good and long wanted to return for sunset. I huffed it up as quick as I could back up a couple thousand feet to take in the splendor of the evening theater. Worth it.
couple by lake in cordillera huayhuash peru

Sonya and Juan take a quick morning break from milking the cows at their home in Carhuacocha. Great to connect with them and have formed relationships like these over the years. Juan gave me some fresh milk not more than 20 seconds out of the cow in that plastic jug. Nice boost to start the day.

person with horse near lakes in cordillera huayhuash peru

Oh, to feel small is a wonderful experience. Magic of these mountain cathedrals.

woman in village in cordillera huayhuash peru

Navarra 86 years old in Llamac. She remembered me from years past and I stopped in to say hello. She looks quite serious here but is full of laughter and life. I told her I’d visit her again in just a couple weeks to check-in. You can see the mountains tattered on her skin. It’s beautiful. It’s resilient. It ain’t easy.

night skay in cordillera huayhuash peru

Night sky every single night. Puts some perspective on our ego pie.

sunset in cordillera huayhuash peru

Alpenglow from a solo sunset scramble.

  • woman in village cordillera huayhuash peru

Elder in Huayallpa. We chatted for a few moments, and I played with her cute dog. Frequenting these communities over and over has allowed me to gain intimate access and relationships versus being a fleeting visitor. It’s a wonderful feeling.

two people standing in camp at cordillera huayhuash peru

Fidila and Landa and their two dogs Lobo and Billy at their home in Matacancha. It was great seeing them, and we shared a tea in their house over lots of good conversation. Amazingly, they live so remotely but their three children live in Italy and Argentina (Buenos Aires).

two people standing near lake in cordillera huayhuash peru

Mi amigo Lucio “Luchito”! What a relationship we’ve built over the years. So lucky to have him on our team.

cattle in cordillera huayhuash peru

Bringing the cattle back from the grazing grounds to the corral in Mitucocha. Another day’s work. Amazing to watch how efficient this guy was on the horse getting all the cows where they needed to be for the night.

golden hour in the mountains in cordillera huayhuash peru

Golden glow over Gashpapampa.

person on horse in cordillera huayhuash peru

Marco and our trusty emergency horse. No helicopter rescues in this part of the world if needed. We rely on the strength of these animals.

hiking group in cordillera huayhuash peru

The A-Team and me. Abel, Me, Lucio, and Marco on top of Santa Rosa Pass roughly 16,500′.

A dusty traffic jam during our morning commutes.

solar rainbow in cordillera huayhuash peru

Solar rainbow. Local knowledge says if this rainbow persists well into the afternoon there will be rain. If it disappears, then no rain. It went away around 2:00 pm and no rain.

rasac mountain cordillera huayhuash peru

Fiery Rasac.

glacier lake in cordillera huayhuash peru

Gangrajanca and remnants of avalanches flowing into the lake. Incredible to see how fast these glaciers are melting. Beautiful to experience the thundering sounds and cascading ice but very scary. These are happening all day, every day now.

hiker near lake in cordillera huayhuash peru

Our descent down to “Old Lake.”

food prep in cordillera huayhuash peru

Kitchen duties. Antonio and Abel working their magic.

dog in cordillera huayhuash peru

Dog bed, Andes-style.

woman with dog in cordillera huayhuash peru

Community camp lady plays with her dog. I asked her to show me some tricks. She laughed…held her hands out and did a little dance with her pup. We later gave her breakfast. I handed her some bread and cheese and she gave it to the dog, haha. She enjoyed the soup, though.

Burro team in cordillera huayhuash peru

Our burro team carries our gear up to over 16,500′ near Cuyoc.

mountains in cordillera huayhuash peru

Incredible contrasts and geology.

dog mountains lake view in cordillera huayhuash peru

Morning views from inside a home.

—Text and photos by Trip Leader Ryan Kost, Trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash.

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