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In June 2011 we made a return visit to the Cordillera Blanca. Our previous trip had been one of our cycling highlights, and had left Colin poring over maps in search of new roads. He noticed one leading to Lake Safuna right underneath Alpamayo, recognised by a panel of experts as the most beautiful mountain in the world. This was enough for him to long to return.

That was as far as our plans went. We considered a reverse Huascarán circuit, or a complete ride along the Callejón de Conchucos (the system of valleys bordering the Cordillera on the east); we had thoughts of riding up to some more lakes; we had heard of the route to Pasto Ruri, and read the account of two enterprising cyclists who had ridden there with their children.

But none of this was determined in advance: we planned the route as we covered it.

The modesty of our objectives gave us the freedom to do something we’ve often missed out on: taking rest days whenever tiredness or the existence of good hotels justified it. This (besides age, decrepitude, undernourishment, and several kg of paperback novels) may account for our record low of 42km per day.

There are 3 pages of route notes containing thumbnail links to 54 photographs:

  • L. Safuna: Starting from Caraz, we crossed to the Callejón de Conchucos and rode to Lake Safuna in the heart of the Cordillera. (The views of Alpamayo are of its less flattering face.)
  • Yanama: We returned to the Callejón and crossed the Portachuelo de Llanganuco and continued to Huaraz, the main town of the region.

[Click on the rectangular boxes to see detailed maps.]

  • Pasto Ruri: After a brief excursion to L. Rajucolta, also in the midst of fine mountains, we rode to the high and remote Pasto Ruri glacier, ending the trip back at Huaraz.

Also shown on the map are roads covered in:

The narrative, meanwhile, covers the trip in 3 pages and adds some other pictures.

We have drawn a new high-res map and updated our old one:

  L. Safuna cycling map.

  Huascarán cycling map.

We do not have a general info page for this trip, but we have updated the old one.

GPS tracks

The GPS tracks were not recorded at the time but drawn subsequently (2019) from Google Maps. They should be used with caution.

index : Caraz–Yuracmarc : Carhuaz–Huaraz : Carpa–Pastoruri : Chopicalqui–Car : HatunMachay–Hua : Huaraz–Carpa : Huaraz–Rajucolt : PaloSeco–Safuna : Pastoruri–Yanas : Piscobamba–Yana : Pomabamba–Pisco : Safuna–Pomabamb : Sihuas–PaloSeco : Yanac–Sihuas : Yanama–Chopical : Yanashallash–Ha : Yuracmarca–Yana

home | intro | photos | route notes | narrative | gps tracks | ride stats