October 4 – 6, 2019
Day 360 – 362

Finishing the Santa Cruz trek, Johanna, Aurora and me are continuing to trek around the laguna 69.

This lagoon is the most touristic one in the area. Most people take a day-tour to go there and come back to Huaraz on the same day. But there is also quite a few things to see around this lagoon, so it would be a shame to miss them.

Day 1

From the previous Santa Cruz trek, we take a bus that drives us to the entrance of the trail, 30km further and at the altitude of around 4600m.

We planned to hike a lot on the first day, but we got “stuck” looking at the view on the first mirador we passed by.

We set a camp next to a nice emerald lagoon at 4360m.

Day 2

It’s a chilly night! We wake up with some ice on the tent.

This hike is much different from Santa Cruz. Here, you are not in a Canyon but instead, surrounding by big and vast landscape. Also, since it is not a main route, the path is not clearly marked so we walk a bit slowler.

We hike to the lagunas Demanda. Next to it is a shelter where we stop to eat.

As it is getting late, and as I have a different plan from Johanna and Aurora, I leave them to continue on my own.

I continue hiking to the famous Laguna 69 at 4600m. I am not gonna lie, it is a beautiful lagoon, but there are also a lot of others beautiful lagoons. Being over-touristy, you build up over-expectation.

No time to stop for very long, I continue to hike to the other side of the mountain. I pass by a pass at 4885m, before going down again.

While hiking, I can see my destination for tomorrow: The col of Pisco. Pisco is a 5765m mountain nearby. Fo the night, I reach the Pisco base camp at 4675m, where I spend the night.

This will be the highest I have slept so far. I fortunately sleep in a tent, but inside the corridor of the shelter, which made it much warmer.

Day 3

My plan is to hike to the col of Pisco, which is on the glacier. In order to walk on the glacier, you have to get crampons of course, which I have. But you can’t go on the ica too late in the day because when the sun goes up, it melt the ice and it can get dangerous.

So in order to do some ice walking, you need to get up as early as possible. So, I woke up at 2am for a 3am start, in the dark. Gladly, the path is well marked and I use my GPs to find the way.

When I reach the glacier at 5100m, you begin to have light. I put on my crampons and start walking on the ice. The ice is good and the weather very clear, without rain and/or snow. So walking and finding the way is very easy.

I pass by a few crevasses, easily dodgeable. The view gets more clear with the light and the sunrise, and I found myself above the clouds, making it an amazing viewpoint.

Above the clouds

I reach the col at 5340m. From there, I can enjoy the view from the Pisco mountain and from both sides.

I spend some time up there. I then only leaves me one thing to do: go down. It is a long way since I have to go down 1500m in elevation.

But eventually, I reach the entrance and make my way back to Huaraz, exhausted after this 6 days trek but with many memories in my mind.

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