Huandoy Ice Falls
High in the Cordillera Blanca behind llanganuco lodge, towers the great Huandoy mountain, the second highest in peru at 6,395 metres. The gianormous snow capped mountain constantly drops large amounts of snow from its high glaciers onto the Rajururi gorge below, a popular spot for locals to hike up with their donkeys to harvest the ice.
The 5 hour return hike starts behind the lodge Past the bright blue lake and ruins of keushu. Although less popular than the llanganuco lakes, it was a beautiful hike. As we started to climb through the Rajuri gorge we were met with pretty streams and dense bush, losing the path a few times we finally made it to an opening where the trail stopped. The terrain soon became rocky and steep, with large car sized bolders that i can only assume came from the towering steep cliffs either side of us.
After a tiring 3 hour hike we finally reached the ice falls, at 200 metres wide and perhaps double long stretching to the base of the Huandoy. Staying clear of the fallen ice we sat on a large bolder near wooden crosses, memorials for those who lost their lives harvesting ice when more fell from above, crushing them. We could see the extremely large glacier the shelf above us, melting slowly in the sun.
The weather had turned for the worst whilst enjoying the view and we decided to head back amongst hail and rain. The path back down was slippery and a little harsh on the knees. I was happy to have a hot shower and coca tea waiting for us as the bottom.