Pastoruri Glacier – Our first time over 5000m asl

Pastoruri Glacier

A trip from Huaraz

Postoruri Glacier – located at around 5200 masl is a great attraction for travelers who begin their adventure in the high Andes. A great way to explore the area is with a one-day tour. The guide will tell you more about the glacier itself, the region as well as he can share the knowladge about how to deal with the altitude sickness. The trip started at 9 am. The starting point was the city of Huaraz at 3000m asl, but we would make it to over 5000m in just few hours. It was going to be a great day!

Entrance to the Huascaran National Park

Meeting the locals

At the very beginning, the guide saidwe would need to drink a cup of coca leaf tea, that helps with acclimatization. He explained the plan of the day in details. Spanish comes in handy as English speaking guides are a rare phenomenon up here.

You can chose from variety of coca products such as candy, sweets or just chew on dried leaf. We felt that it helped because we had no problemes ascending the mountain.

However our moves were a bit slowed down and the heart rate higher. On our way we stopped for a nice picture with a chilled family of alpacas. They were wearing sunglasses and peruvian traditional clothing. You could cuddle a baby alpaca too! What a lovely experience.

High mountains flora of Huascaran National Park

Than we stopped in a groove of incredible cacti. They grow up to 10 meaters and can live for over 50 years. Just have a look.

Pastoruri Glacier

Finally, we arrived at the parking lot from where the path to the glacier starts. It is about 1 kilometer long, however because of the high altitude it takes about an hour to reach the glacier. We were walking slowly and had a break to catch our breath, every now and than. If you wish to you can save yourself the hassle and hop on a horse for 50 soles. We made an effort to walk ourselves the whole way and we took some nice pictures in the meantime.

Unfortunatelly the glacier is retreating and it had already lost 25% of its size and 15% of mass in the last 30 years.

The landscape was pure magic. The sun was shinning in one moment just to let the snow flakes fall gently in the other. We could see the glacier from the distance and feel its cold presence. We were happy to marvel at it while it still exists in this tropical region of Peru.

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