'98 PERU TRIP II - The Approach

Santa Cruz
Street scene in Santa Cruz,  en route from Caras to Cashapampa

(Left click any photo to see full sized image)

David and Liberato with gear
David and Liberato gearing up for the walk.
After 2 days acclimatizing and lounging about Huaraz, it was time to get about the business at hand.  On Monday morning, Liberato met us bright and early to begin our 2 day trek to Basecamp.  

The unfortunate thing about using burros to ferry gear into a basecamp is that you tend to bring along far more equipment than you could ever hope to use.  This was clearly the case with me as I had a full size expedition pack (stuffed to the gills) for the burro AND an additional medium sized pack (~40 lbs.) for my back. 

Mike seemed to "trim the fat" better than either David or myself.  Liberato, of course, had everything he needed for eight days packed in a bag smaller than most of the daypacks I've owned. 

We left Edwards at about 8 AM and made our way accross town to find a collectivo (taxi) to Caras.

Crossing town to pick up a collectivo
Rio Quilcay
Rio Quilcay in Huaraz
Collectivo in Huaraz
Our collectivo from Huaraz to Caras
En-route to Cashapampa
Riding from Caras to Cahsapampa
Our collectivo from Caras to Cashapampa was nothing more than a pickup truck with handrails in the back which we shared with about 15 Quechuans.   The lack of comfort is almost made up for by the price (about $1 US for a 1 hr. ride). 

I'm sure we could fit more in this thing!!

Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz.  Nevado Santa Cruz in background.
Streets of Santa Cruz
The Streets of Santa Cruz
After an hour long "E-Ticket" ride hanging onto the back of a pickup truck,  we arrived in Cashapampa at about Noon where Liberato helped arrange for an arriero (burro driver) to take our gear to basecamp.


Rio Santa Cruz

Rio  Santa Cruz. Taken on first day of approach to Alpamayo Basecamp.

David on line at the supermarket.
Cashapampa is a sleepy little town at about 12,000 feet with one (tiny) store and a population composed almost entirely of farmers and arrieros.  After about an hour wait for our arriero, we began the hike up the Quebreda Santa Cruz.
Mike and David hangin' w/ the kids
Michael and David await an arriero in Cashapampa while providing endless entertainment for the local kids.

We arrived at our first camp as darkness set in.  There, I shared my tent with Liberato AND our arriero. (Yes, it's a 2-man tent.) The following day, we continued up the river valley to Alpamayo Basecamp at approximately 14,000 ft.  The hike up this valley is truely spectacular. 

Cross in Cashapampa
A cross facing up the river valley in Cashapampa.

Small hut high in the Quebreda Santa Cruz
You're not so tough.....
Alpamayo Basecamp
Alpamayo Basecamp
Waterfall in Quebreda Santa Cruz
Paramount Pictures anyone???
Artesonraju seen from Alpamayo Base Camp
Click HEREto find out how the photos were taken.