Day 3 Carhuacocha to Huayhuash Camp
In the morning, Jake and I both felt fatigued and groggy. A man approached our tent early as we were packing up to collect our 2nd protection fee of the trek. He hike 2 miles from his village to meet us here. He was surprised we didn’t have burros carrying our gear. We joked telling him, “we are the burros.” He laughed with us! We also asked him if he had seen any other hikers on the trail. He told us he hasn’t seen anyone for 3 days. Looks like we’re all alone out here!
Our day started out sluggish. Honestly, we were unsure if we would be climbing our highest pass today. No headache, no nausea, stable heart rate – we just felt out of it. After about an hour of hiking, we stopped to eat some food. The calories instantly revived us! Oatmeal in the morning just wasn’t cutting it at these altitudes.
The trail took us right up against the glaciers. Giant ice chunks would break and echo loudly cascading snow down to the deep blue lakes below. The hike up to the pass was very steep. One of the hardest accents we’ve had so far. It started to rain halfway up the pass. The mountains were hidden by fog and would peek in and out with the passing clouds.
Almost to the top, it started to snow! We climbed higher and higher until we reached a giant cloud of fog at 15,800ft and alas – the summit. There were cairns stacked high all around us like beautiful pieces of art. We didn’t stay long at the top. Snow started to stack on our heads and backpack. One pack of Oreos later, we decided to make the trek down before we got too chilled. We embraced the snow playing Christmas tunes along the way. It was a beautiful hike.
Dropping in elevation, the snow quickly turned into rain. It rained and rained the rest of the afternoon. We spent the evening playing cards, drinking tea and listening to music.