Though only 30 kilometers long, the Cordillera Huayhuash packs in some incredibly dramatic mountain scenery. It is one continuous serrated ridge that falls away into fluted snow faces and glaciers. Seven peaks here top 6,000 meters, and another seven are over 5,500 meters.
The highest peak, Yerupajá (6,634 meters), is the second-highest peak in Peru and is followed by Siulá Grande (6,356 meters). Here, Joe Simpson fell into a crevasse and lived to tell the story in Touching the Void.
The Huayhuash is 50 kilometers southeast of the Cordillera Blanca  yet utterly different. First, there are no broad, U-shaped valleys in the Huayhuash that lead over high passes to the other side. Instead trekkers must walk around the outer edges of the range, climbing up and over passes between 4,500 and 5,000 meters. To manage these heights, nearly all trekkers use arrieros and burros, which can be contracted easily at the range’s trailheads.
The peaks here tend to be extremely technical, with the exception of Nevado Diablo Mudo, and require guided expertise, as well as previous experience. Because of Huayhuash’s attitude, we recommend three days of acclimatization in Huaraz  before a trip.
The other main attraction to the Cordillera Huayhuash is its raw wilderness feel. Although daily colectivos and buses have made the area easily accessible, the rocky ridges, ceding to turquoise lakes, and wide open rolling grasslands draining into the Amazon basin , give the area a pristine feel.
Condors are seen here frequently, along with a range of migratory birds, and small herds of vicuñas live up in the narrow valleys.
Transportes El Rápido (Mariscal Cáceres and Tarapacá, tel. 043/72-2887) in Huaraz  has a bus at 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. to Chiquián (US$3, three hours) and at 6 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to Huallanca (US$4, four hours), continuing on to La Unión (10 hours). Empresa Andia in the main square of Cajatambo has buses every morning at 6 a.m. to Lima  (US$8, nine hours).