Huantsan. Mountain in Cordillera Blanca, Peru

Huantsan

Mountain in Cordillera Blanca, Peru

Nevado Huantsan(6395m), volgens de locals de K2 van Peru. Sneuvelen veel klimmers. Photo © Bas Wallet

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Huantsan

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Huantsan or Nevado Huantsan, known as the ‘K2’ of the Andes, is a 6,369-meter mountain peak in the Cordillera Blanca Range in Ancash, Peru. Based on peakery data, it ranks as the third highest peak in the Cordillera Blanca and the fourth in the department of Ancash.

Huantsan belongs to Peru’s list of peaks higher then 6,000 meters. It is one of the most impressive mountains of the Cordillera Blanca. It consists of four peaks, Huantsan itself is 6,369 meters, the Huantsan West is 6,270 meters, the North Huantsan is 6,113 meters and the South Huantsan is 5,913 meters. Huantsan is located at 24 kilometers east of the city of Huaraz.

As most of the other mountains in the Cordillera Blanca, it is a part of the Huascarán National Park (Wikipedia Article).

Despite being unknown to most mountaineers, Huantsan is one of the most impressive mountains of the Cordillera Blanca and not the first choice of many because of the numerous glacier cracks it presents.

Trekking

At the beginning of the hike, you will start at Huaraz and from there, you would head towards Pitec. From the base of Huantsan, you can hike up two separate trails. The first trail you can hike is on the western side of the mountain, and the second trail is on the eastern side of
the mountain. Both trails are of equal difficulty. This is a hike that will take at least a couple days, depending on the weather conditions, so be prepared for camping in the middle of nowhere. This will make your adventure even more exciting!

Weather

Nevado Huantsan has cold, dry weather. The best time for trekking is from June to September.

The Advantages

  • The scenery is breathtaking.
  • The unique landscape that this hike offers allows you to capture beautiful photos. Each day, you can observe a stunning panorama on the white peaks.
  • The skies have very little cloud coverage, which can make for some amazing horizons.
  • Due to the severity of the hike, by the end you will feel accomplished and satisfied.
  • Because it is relatively unknown among travelers, it is never overcrowded and it is a peaceful environment.
  • There are different tours suited for everyone’s budget.
  • The locals are very friendly. It makes you feel at home.

The Disadvantages

  • It is considered a very difficult mountain to climb.
  • Initially seems to be an easy climb, but it gradually becomes a more complex hike.
  • The trails are very difficult and they should not be hiked by kids or by families travelling with children.
  • It can be very cold and windy since it is apart of the Andes mountain range.
  • Because of the altitude, a lot of people cannot make the hike and are often frustrated that they could not complete the climb.

Recommendations

  • Since it is a difficult hike and considered dangerous for many, it is recommended to go with professional climbers.
  • Special gear for cold weather and snow is a must, especially if you are planning on camping (make sure to bring sleeping bags made for winter).
  • Since Huantsan Mountain is part of the Huascarán National Park, a fee of about $ 23 USD is charged.
  • Beware of the weather. Even if it might seem to be a nice day, it can become very cold and windy, which will make it more difficult to finish the hike, or could cause a delay in your climbing adventure. Bring extra layers of clothing at all times.
  • Try to get acclimated first as it is at a high elevation. Most people take a day, even if you are an active person, the altitude might affect you. Remain hydrated at all times, this will help the altitude sickness.

Nearby Sights

There are many other places you can enjoy while you are visiting this beautiful area. Not to far from Huantsan Mountain, you will find Lake Rajucolta. Laguna Rajucolta lies at 4,250 meters, a perfect glacial lake backed by the majestic Nevado Huantsan. Nevado Huantsan dominates the surrounding landscape to the point that you hardly notice the surrounding waterfalls and high cliffs during your hike. It is a perfect glacial lake, having the majestic white peak framing its background. This is an easy to moderate hike that would take you 5 hours (to peak and back).

Another place worthy of a visit is Lagoon Maparaju. It is also part of the Huascarán National Park, and you can enjoy its beauty, and the variety of flora it offers is just stunning.

Lake 69 is a blue and scenic lake that will take your breath away. It takes one day to hike and it is a must-see. It takes about 5 to 6 hours to hike up and down, totally worth it. You won't need a guide.

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Author: Steffanie Paredes. Last updated: Sep 19, 2014

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