Huaraz, Peru

I am in Huaraz, Peru acclimatizing to elevation. Yesterday I did a hike up to 14,600 feet at Laguna Churup yesterday. The day before we hiked to a Wilacacocha Lake at 12,500. Today is a rest day in Huaraz, Tomorrow, we drive to the start of our 9-day, 65-mile Cordillera Huayhuash trek. Our highest elevation will be a pass at about 16,600 feet. I will be traveling with a Canadian couple and guide. There will also be a cook, a horseman, and several donkeys. Very exciting!

There is very little English spoken here. I am fumbling through a crash course in Spanish. Amusing. ūüôā

Click here for some photos from the past few days around Huaraz.

Laguna Churup
I have been meeting people. It is almost magical the way you meet certain people. Some you meet and and then you find them sitting beside you on the airplane or in the same hotel or on the same hike. I found a consistent circle of connected friends for a few days here in Huaraz. Very nice.
It is morning …and I am drinking a cup of coffee in my hotel.

Coyote Gulch Backpack

The best part of our Utah trip was spending a leisurely four days backing 12-14 miles in Coyote Gulch.  Coyote Gulch is a desert paradise! We found beautiful campsites along the river every day.

Click here to see the photos.

Day 1
For our first day, we started at the¬†Crack-in-the-Wall trailhead. Our route took us across the open desert about 2 miles to the rim of the canyon. The initial drop into the canyon is through an narrow crack in the rock, too narrow for backpacks.¬† We lowered our packs about 30 feet with a rope. As we descended toward Coyote Gulch, we had magnificent views of the Escalante River towards Steven’s Arch. Once down in Coyote Gulch, we found a beautiful campsite on a sandy bank beside the river. The total hiking distance for the day was 3-4 miles.

Hiking below Crack-in-the-Wall

Day 2
Our 2nd day took us about 5 miles up river to a camp just before Coyote Natural Bridge.¬† The high temperatures for the day were in the 80s. We hiked in the river most of the day.¬† We dunked under waterfalls and did “water yoga” – yoga in the shallow river.¬† At the end of the day we found a campsite just before Coyote Natural Bridge and a built a small rock dam in the river to create a pool in which to soak.

Coyote Natural Bridge

Day 3
Our third day in Coyote Gulch was one to relax and enjoy being here.  We hiked about a mile up river to a beautiful campsite we found the previous day.  We set our things down and explored up canyon toward the possible climbing route to exit Coyote Gulch.  On the way, we ran into a Mormon quartet singing in a magnificent stone cathedral.  Their beautiful voices echoed off the stone walls filling us with awe and reverence. Later in the day, we relaxed back in camp, played games, and bathed in the river.  What a delightful day! We are so blessed!

Camping in an amazing alcove!

Day 4
On our last day in Coyote Gulch our group split up.  I choose to take the challenging climbing route out of Coyote Gulch  with one other friend to the Water Tank trailhead. The others took the hiking route via Hurricane Wash.  The climbing route was a thrill and challenge.  The view of Jacob Hamblin Arch from the top of the canyon was other-worldly.

Jacob Hamblin Arch
Jacob Hamblin Arch