Trekking the Huayhuash Circuit: Peru

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The Cordillera Huayhuash Circuit has been described as possibly the best and most demanding alpine trek in the entire world!

Peru’s Cordillera Huayhuash is a vast and dramatic mountain range where condors soar amidst icy peaks while llamas, alpacas and viscachas roam the wilderness. We plan to undertake a long, high altitude trekking circuit which circumnavigates the entire range, crossing multiple high passes. Peru's second highest mountain (Yerupaja) can be found amongst the ice-fluted summits of the Huayhuash as can Siula Grande, the mountain made famous by Joe Simpson’s book, Touching the Void.

Be warned - this is a genuinely remote and very high altitude trek which will challenge even fit and confident hikers!

This is also a trek which will require a serious commitment of time and some expense too. We will first need to fly into Lima and then journey several hours north to Huaraz deep in the mountains. From Huaraz we will then need to spend 2 or 3 days out hiking in the mountains in order to acclimatise to the extreme altitude before our bodies will be sufficiently adjusted to cope with the journey into the Huauyhuash.

Expect a true adventure into a vast region of huge mountains overlooking a wild landscape of rolling grassy meadows, moraine and steely blue-green glacial lagoons. This is unquestionably one of the finest high-altitude treks in the Andes, if not the world, which is suitable for fit hikers.

Our plan is to undertake this trek guided by an experienced local team from this part of Peru. They will ensure we are well looked after and our camping gear is carried by donkeys, so each of us only needs to carry just a light backpack each day. Our Peruvian cooks will also keep us well fed by providing us with 5 meals a day!

We intend to gather a small group of adventurous mountain trekkers to tackle this high altitude challenge over 14 days with the support of our Peruvian crew and their burros. At night we will camp out and temperatures can drop well below freezing. At the highest pass we will be above 5000m and we will rarely descend below 4000m.

This trek is suitable only for fit hikers with previous trekking experience. You need to be able to endure tough consecutive days of walking in mountainous terrain at high altitudes. All in all you will require 3 weeks off work to join the trip as we will need about a week to allow for travel to and from the mountains and the acclimatisation day hikes from Huaraz. The trek itself is 14 days.

As a general guide to fitness we would say that if you have climbed a high mountain like Kilimanjaro or are a keen weekend hill walker who likes the more challenging hikes, you might consider joining the Huayhuash Circuit Trek.


SAFETY: We consider safety to be our number one priority and while we never take unnecessary risks, we do recognise that any outdoor activity involves a danger of personal injury or death. Remember that you should be aware of and accept these risks as you are responsible for your own safety and you should not undertake anything beyond your abilities. It is also your responsibility to be correctly equipped for the weather and activity you have chosen to participate in.

INSURANCE: You will need to have travel insurance. It is recommended to have this in place at the time of booking your flight.

It is also essential that you take out travel insurance that covers mountain activities over 5000 meters.

The BMC offer excellent policies for all outdoor enthusiasts at competitive rates .

VISA: Please check with the Peruvian embassy if you need a visa to travel there. It is your responsibility to obtain all necessary documents, including visa.