This is the third post of my series about our customized 7-day Huayhuash tour from Llámac to Cajatambo. To be able to really go into detail I want to dedicate an individual blog post to each trekking day so that this post describes the hike from Quartelwain to Mitucocha. In my series, I want to take you with me on this journey alongside the Northern and Eastern flank of the Huayhuash circuit. To get some general information about the Huayhuash Mountain Range, check this post.


Rain in the morning

On day three we had to hike from camp Quartelwain to camp Mitucocha. We had noticed that the weather tended to be stable in the morning getting worse around midday. Although there were good weather phases also in the afternoon, the weather tended to change faster and unpredictably. Thus, our alarm clock rang at 5.15 in the morning. Unfortunately, today everything seemed different. The first downpour reached us almost immediately after sunrise. Therefore, even before departure (7.10 am) we were just moderately motivated.


Pass Cacananpunta

From our camp on 4170m we followed a small path up to pass Cacananpunta (4690m). Due to the enormous rainfalls of the season the entire way resulted extremely muddy and slippery. We were following a mix of mud and donkey shit for hours so that our motivation declined even more. We were in a bar mood, especially as there was no improvement in sight after reaching the mountain pass. Questions like “Why all that?” came into our mind. The view into Quebrada Caliente was nice, but not spectacular. Where the hell were all those breathtaking glaciers we had heard about when reading about the Cordillera Huayhuash?


Unexpected hailstorm

Although the stage from Quartelwain to Mitucocha is not too long, day 3 certainly required perseverance. Luckily, the way down to Janca was faster than expected so that we reached camp around 1 pm. Before getting there, the community charges an entrance fee of 40 Soles per person (valid for two camps!). When paying the entrance fee the weather was quite nice. The summits were still coved by clouds but the view was beautiful anyway. While we were walking from the community’s ‘entrance’ to the actual campground – a distance of not more than 10 minutes – the cloudcover rapidly increased. Although we were running the last few hundred meters in order to set up our tent before the storm, we were hit by a heavy hailstorm. The well-thought construction of our tent saved us from greater damage. It allows to first build up the tent floor and outer tent and later set up the inner tent. In another blog article I have written about my experiences with the MSR Hubba Hubba NX tent. Luckily, we had got up early and did not experience the hailstorm up on pass Cacananpunta.


Strong hail did not pose a problem for the Hubba Hubba


Camp Mitucocha

Soon the entire landscape was covered by a white layer of hailstones. The bad weather vanished as quickly as it had come and when I jumped out of the tent about ten minutes later I could not believe my own eyes. For the first time we were able to see the entire Huayhuash mountain range. The summits and glaciers of Yerupajá Grande, Yerupajá Chico, Jirishanca and Siula Grande demonstrated their imposing appearance behind the picturesque Río Janca creek. Out motivation lack was gone, and we exactly knew why we wanted to do this trip at all costs. We spent the afternoon cooking outside, washing clothes in the beautiful creek and taking photographs before it started to rain again in the evening.


We spent the afternoon enjoying the surroundings outside the tent.



Please consider that tenting at the lagoon (as delineated in older maps) is NOT allowed anymore and will be fined by the local community. At this camp toilets were again in good conditions.

Camp Mitucocha is a perfectly photogenic location for landscape photography.

During this time of the year it’s not that easy to identify the campgrounds. One usually has to look for a small toilet cabin as well as for a water spring (such as a mountain creek or river).

A rain cover for the backpack is absolutely essential.


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