Highs and Lows of Trekking Peru’s Cordillera Blanca: Days 7-11

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The last five days of the Cedros-Alpamayo Circuit were, in many ways, the most remote and the most dramatic portion of our experience of the Cordillera Blanca. Now that the popular Santa Cruz portion of the trek was days behind us, we ran into far fewer hikers and felt like we had this alpine wonderland largely to ourselves, that is, except for the sheep and alpaca. Day 7 brought us to the Cara Cara Pass and revealed the first of many stunning views of the picturesque namesake peak of Alpamayo. Day 8 was a short and relatively easy trek that afforded us time to explore the moraine below Alpamayo before leisurely stolling down Quebrada Alpamayo on a relatively flat path for a change. Day 9 presented a long and challenging 2-pass day with impressive views of Laguna Cullicocha at the end to erase at least some of the weariness. Day 10 began the long, slow departure from the mountains as we headed out of the Cordillera Blanca and down toward the village of Hualcayan. Day 11 finished the trek and brought us back to Huaraz for a few creature comforts: hot showers and cold beer to celebrate our successful return! (more…)

Highs & Lows of Trekking Peru’s Cordillera Blanca: Days 4-6

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Days 4-6 on the Cedros-Alpamayo Circuit saw us saying farewell to the Santa Cruz Valley and crossing the Alto Pucaraju Pass into the Alpamayo side of the Cordillera.  The remoteness of the Cordillera Blanca gradually sinks in as we head deep into the heart of this magnificent range. Although this section of the trail takes us through the occasional small mountain hamlet, civilization is far from our minds as dazzling turquoise lakes, soaring jagged peaks and high mountain passes become our constant companions.  (more…)

Highs and Lows of Trekking Peru’s Cordillera Blanca: Days 1-3

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Most people who travel to the Cordillera Blanca come to enjoy the Santa Cruz Trek, a popular 4-day hike which passes over Punta Union (4750 meters/15,584 feet) at its highest point. We wanted to stay longer in the Cordillera and see it from all sides, so we opted instead for the Cedros-Alpamayo Circuit, which combines the Santa Cruz Trek with the Alpamayo trek in the adjacent valley. Beginning in Cashapampa and proceeding counter-clockwise to the end point in Hualcayan, this route allows you to immerse yourself in the mountain culture of Peru and experience this spectacular range of peaks from nearly every side. Our itinerary had us complete the circuit over the course of 11 days, allowing us to hike and photograph at a leisurely pace. (more…)

Your Guide to Peru’s Cordillera Blanca: The Cedros-Alpamayo Circuit

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Mention hiking in Peru and chances are that most people immediately think of the classic trek along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Well, here’s a little secret: while the Inca Trail is fantastic, it’s not the only game in town. Many people may not realize that Peru is home to countless other trekking opportunities that can give the world-famous (and extremely popular) Inca Trail a serious run for its money any day of the week. So, if you are looking for a serious romp through a beautiful alpine paradise with only a handful of other people, have we got a place for you!  (more…)

Getting Our Hiking Legs in Huaraz: Laguna 69 Overnight

Overnight Hike to Laguna 69

Laguna 69 is the most popular day hike in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca and is a consistent crowd pleaser for good reason. The hike itself passes through a valley in Huascarán National Park that sports gorgeous alpine scenery before heading up to an unbelievably blue lake nestled below a sheer wall of stone and ice that rises hundreds of meters above. The view of Laguna 69 is so grand, it’s impossible to fit it into your camera without using a wide-angle lens! (more…)

A Return to Peru

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Be forewarned. Traveling is seriously addictive. Develop a case of wanderlust, and it is hard to ever feel totally satisfied. Case in point: we have an ever-evolving wish list of travel destinations that somehow seems to get longer the more we travel. And, with an endless supply of amazing new places to discover, it is a struggle for us when we visit a country and really love it. Will we ever find our way back again? Or, with so many new places to go, will we just have to be satisfied with one visit to a dream destination and move on? (more…)

Wonderland Trail News You Can Use!

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Hello all! We know it has been a while since our last post, and we apologize for the long period of silence. It’s been a very busy school year for us, and we’ve had to put this here blog on the back burner for a while. We know that’s a totally lame excuse, but we have been diligently working on some posts from our trip to Peru last summer. We promise to start publishing those posts soon, but, before we do, we have some very exciting news to share with anyone who is still out there. So here goes… (more…)

Love Your Gear: MindShift’s Rotation 180 Professional Backpack

We at Take a Hike Photography try to combine our two greatest passions of hiking and photography every chance we get. Over the years, however, we’ve discovered that these two hobbies don’t always mix well in the field, especially if you are crazy serious enough about your photography to carry a DSLR camera with you on the trail like we are.

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We never set out on a hike without our Canon 7D bodies, a selection of lenses, various filters and a tripod in our kit. Believe you me, the weight of the camera gear alone adds up in a hurry, and lugging it around mile after mile takes some serious dedication. (more…)

Plan Your Trekking Adventure: Ladakh, India

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Located in the Himalayas of northern India near the border with Tibet, Ladakh is one of the world’s great destinations for alpine trekking. With the promise of pristine landscapes, stunning vistas and the tranquility of trekking through a land far-removed from the distractions of the modern world, Ladakh is well worth traveling halfway around the world to get there.  (more…)