- Tme: 7:45 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Distance: 9 kilometers
- Hgh point: 5350 m
- Campsite: altitude: 4460 m – on banks of the Chachakumani River at a site also used as a base camp by Chachakumani climbers
On leaving our campsite, during the first hour of our day’s walk we headed down the Kelluani Valley on a faint trail that led us higher and around the corner to a hidden valley. I looked west towards the Altiplano before we started up the valley; one of the shots can be seen three images below.
As the elevation gain/loss chart shows, the ascent to the day’s high point was a gradual one. Along the way we were treated to more stunning views of this section of the Cordillera, with the Chearucu and Chachakumani massifs the main attractions. The weather – for the sixth day in a row – was clear and sunny. Our climbing goal for the day was a trekking peak named Cerro Chachatuju at about 5350 meters. The pix below show us at the start of the final ascent and then the action as we came up to the top of the peak itself. It was about noon when we got there and we would make it the day’s lunch stop.
And then it was down to the Chachakumani valley and our campsite of the day. when we came to the final ridge with a clear view of the valley we could see that the tents were already up not far from the banks of the river.
It has been another day of stupendous mountainscape views. We headed down knowing that the next day we would not be moving – it was the one designated rest day in our itinerary and I was looking forward to the luxury of staying in my sleeping bag until the sun hit my tent (that is, around 7:45).
During the trek usual get up time was around 6:20. The first half-hour or so was spent putting all of our personal gear – sleeping bags, Thermarest pads, clothing – back into the duffels. Then, while we were having breakast in the dining tent, the tents would be taken down and packed away by the arrieros. By the time we were ready to leave (usually around 7:45), the camp was pretty much dismantled except for the dining and cook tents.
On Day 6 we got to see yet again the efficiency of the cook team and the muleteers – 3 p.m. and the tents were already up! It would take us another hour to make the descent and head to the dining tent for afternoon tea.