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Cordillera Huayhuash - Peru

Wed 09 Mar, 2016 8:22 am

In August last year a group of four of us completed a twelve day guided hike in the Cordillera Huayhuash.
This walk is located in the Pervian Andies.
If you've heard of of 'Siula Grande' then you probably know of the epic survival story of Joe Simpon and Simon Yates detailed in Joe's book ' Touching the Void'. 'Siula Grande' is located in the Cordillera Huayhuash and our group walked up the valley to view the famous mountain.
It is a remote and spectacular walk in high altitude.
If you're interested in reading the trip notes for this walk, here is a link to my travel blog.


Cordillera Huayhuash - Peru

Wed 09 Mar, 2016 1:05 pm

Beautifully written Sonja. Anyone who has read Joe Simpsons harrowing story could not fail to recognise the name Suila Grande. Having read the book I could not bring myself to watch the later movie.

I have met Joe a couple of times and don't think I've ever encountered a more intense personality. I've also met Simon Yates and it seems to me that both are still deeply affected by the experience.

You reached 4250m on the first day? Ouch, no wonder you had a headache. How well I remember my plodding progess at altitude, counting out 30 step before stopping for air.

Re: Cordillera Huayhuash - Peru

Wed 09 Mar, 2016 3:45 pm

Sounds like a great trip- thanks for the report :)

Re: Cordillera Huayhuash - Peru

Mon 20 Feb, 2017 6:21 pm

Hi Sonja, I'm planning to do the Huayhuash independently in June this year with my partner. I'm reading all sorts of conflicting info about what sort of temperatures to expect and what sort of gear I might need. I'm wondering what sort of sleeping bag you used - did you bring your own or use one provided by the company? It seems that reasonably warm days and nights of 0 to -10 degrees are normal. Was that your experience?

My bag is rated -11, I think my partner's a little less warm. Some things I've read have suggested that a -20C bag is needed. Surely though -11 should be fine, wearing everything and with a Nalgene hot water bottle if necessary! I don't think my mat is warm enough though, so I'll have to either rent a foam one to supplement it or buy a warmer one.

Any other tips would be much appreciated!


Re: Cordillera Huayhuash - Peru

Tue 28 Feb, 2017 3:47 pm

Hi Drew
I've done the Huayhuash and frankly I would take a bag warmer than -11C.
I did and was happy about it.
I reckon a 0F (-17C) bag is about right.
If you do go with your current bag take plenty of thermals etc to wear at night.
As for a mat, something like a Neoair Xtherm is perfect, or you could go for a Prolite etc on top of a foam mat.
If you want advice on an excellent, no-ripoff guide who could probably arrange bag hire for you let me know.
I used this guy twice and can highly recommend him.
There are plenty of fly-by-nighters in Huaraz, as there are everywhere.


Re: Cordillera Huayhuash - Peru

Tue 28 Feb, 2017 8:42 pm

Thanks Roy, good to have an opinion from someone on the forum - even though I don't know you it feels closer and more trustworthy then random people on blogs!

Not sure yet if we'll take our bags or hire over there. From what I've seen of the hire gear over there it seems most sleeping bags are synthetic fill and therefore very heavy. But I'll send you a PM for your guide's details and maybe ask him about hire gear.

I'm happy to wear clothes to bed to boost the sleeping bag of course. Ultralighters would argue that if you're not wearing a few layers to bed on the coldest nights then you're probably carrying unnecessary sleeping bag weight. It's a fair point I reckon. I've only once slept in my down jacket but there've been plenty of occasions I've been cold and should have put it on (but it was too important to my pillow structure!). We'll have thermals, probably fleece pants, probably a fleece and down jackets. All that would go a long way to keeping warm I reckon!

We also have those Sea to Summit thermolite reactor liners. The claims they make are ridiculous but they do add at least some warmth.

One other option I thought of is to take my 0c rated Enlightened Equipment quilt to use opened up over the top of both of us. It's 500gm so not much extra weight between 2 of us.

We have Prolite and Prolite 4 mats. I'll consider buying something warmer but they're pretty pricey so I suspect we might use foamies.
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