The Cordillera Blanca (Peru)
To me, one of the gems of Peru, is undoubtedly the Cordillera Blanca (White Range) and the Huascaran National Park.
Little description of places…:
Nevado Alpamayo is one of the most remarkable peaks of the Cordillera Blanca in the Peruvian Andes. It peaks is at 5,947 meters above sea level.
With an average slope of 60 degrees, it forms an almost perfect pyramid of ice and particularly photogenic and unique. Alpamayo, a dream name for every mountain people…
Often considered one of the most beautiful mountains in the world, also called the ‘Diamond Mountain‘, this summit with perfect shapes, is the jewel in the Cordillera Blanca.
Not to mention the many attractions of the area: wild valleys, colorful lagoons, Indian villages and archaeological site…
Cordillera Blanca, a real ‘sea of mountains’ and finest collection of 6000 mountains, after the Himalayas (Alpamayo, Huandoy, Chopicalqui…), offers extraordinary diversity of over 200 km. It is difficult to escape of such a monument!
It is interspersed with high valleys perpendicular to CAllejon (the ravines) that penetrate deep into the massive and clearly separate groups of vertices.
In the isolation of its nature, it hides a wealth of lakes; narrow paths open horizons and rare sites.
Practically all massifs are protected in the Huascaran National Park.
This park has been recognized as a National Park in 1975 on an area of 340,000 hectares and was declared a Natural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 1985.
The park protects one of the high mountain ecosystems of the world’s most surprising: 663 glaciers, 269 lakes, 41 rivers and many mountains among which 26 exceeded the 6,000 m altitude.
Abundant flora and fauna find refuge in this park: about 800 species of plants and dozens of animals.
In addition, the park includes 33 pre-Inca archaeological sites and hosts dozens of peasant communities who speak Quechua and dedicate their life to the agriculture using traditional techniques, faithful guardians of the Andean traditions and folklore.
At the heart of the park, The Huascaran is the highest mountain in Peru and the third summit of South America and the whole American continent with 6768 m altitude.
The Huascaran is the cause of many devastating avalanches.
In 1962, one of which resulted was the death of 3500 people.
Also in May 31, 1970, the entire valley was hit with a particularly deadly earthquake. More than 250,000 people lost their lives. The town of Yungay was completely devastated. The earthquake broke the north peak of Huascaran which caused an avalanche. The avalanche landed in a lake at the foot of the mountain in one hour, causing a sort of tidal wave. The sludge is then lowered into the valley al 300 km per hour. 80,000 people died that day in Yungay.
Only 92 people who have survived and fled to the hills and are now in the cemetery.
Among these, there were three Japanese people who managed to film and photograph the avalanche…