The day after arriving in Huaraz, Peru, I met a sprightly 83 year old local woman by the name of Dolores.
We struck up a conversation about trekking, and upon hearing that I planned to do a day hike to the famed Laguna 69 of the Cordillera Blanca, she informed me that it “was not an experience to be undertaken on one´s own.”
I assumed she was referring to the dangers of AMS, due to the lake being situated at 4650 metres above sea level (15,256 feet).
However, I was given reason to second guess myself, when upon parting ways she gave me a knowing wink and a firm pat on the backside. I couldn’t get the Simon & Garfunkel tune, Mrs. Robinson, out of my head for the rest of the day. 🙂
As to the actual hike itself………..fantastic! The trail leading to Laguna 69 was clear and easy to follow. The ascent was gradual and the views were stunning. Rather than do the standard out and back hike, I decided to extend the excursion by heading up and over a nearby 4900m plus pass towards the glacial area surrounding Refugio Peru. The going was significantly steeper and more challenging, but well worth the extra effort. Upon reaching the mountain hut, I headed SE along a well definted path back to my original starting point at Cebollapampa.