Lake Churup, Huaraz
Huaraz Travel Blog› entry 36 of 92 › view all entries
Following Trujillo I travelled by quite uncomfortable night bus to Huaraz, back up in the Andes at 3100 metres. So after a day´s recovery (suddenly going up 3000 metres takes its toll) someone suggests that we go for a bit of a walk up a nearby hill.
Of course all hills here are mountains - the guidbook says that 26 snow-capped peaks can be seen from Huaraz and although I didn´t count them all I belive them. The mountain we were climbing, for example, went as high as 5500 metres which I believe is considerably higher than anything in Europe. And this is one of the smaller ones! Although we only climbed to 4500 metres it would have been helpful if the hostal we were staying at had informed us BEFORE we set out that this tough walk should only be attempted by very fit and acclimatized people.
As you can tell it was a tough walk, and at times involved a bit of rock climbing/scrabbling too. But the result was, once again, worth it as the lake we were aiming for was just beautiful and very isolated. There´s something great about being the only people there, as if you are discovering it for the first time. The waters were an awesome blue/green colour and just beyond where we got to was the snow-line of the mountain peak.
Unfortunately I accidently led the descent and decided that an extremely rickety ladder we used to go up ought not to be risked again on the way down. So instead I took us on a path that led us down the path of the waterfall that roared out of the lake and down approx 30 metres. Not a wise choice, especially as the surrounding rocks were very slippery, and I´m not exaggerating when I say that at one point I froze - caught in an uncertain position on a steep bit of rock - and considered my fate if I was to slip and fall down the path of the waterfall. The bottle of water that slipped out of my rucksack pocket gave me a good indication as it bounced down out of sight.
But we got down that bit in the end and after an unexpectedly long 6-7 hour trek we got back to Huaraz, suffering from altitude sickness despite the use of coca leaves to keep it at bay!