Rajucolta: A bikepacking loop

I’d been looking forward to my arrival in Huaraz, renowned by many off-roaders and adventurer tourers for its proximal location to the Cordillera Blanca. Our ride into Huaraz had us pass through Huascaran national park near Laguna Portuchuelo, and the sheer amount of traffic had left me somewhat disappointed. I had been yearning for the untouched wilderness experience and this wasn’t it. To top off my frustrations, I spent the first week in Huaraz bedridden wih the runs. Discouraged and keen to keep tracking south, I had convinced myself to head off as soon as possible. Luckily, I bumped into Paul Griffiths (http://theridesouth.com/), fellow dirt road adventurer.

Paul suggested an overnighter up to Laguna Rajucolta, so we awoke ready to go, or at least I did. Paul had spent the night before with his head resting on a toilet bowl as a pillow. The following day things looked more positive and we set off in search of adventure.
  Paul must be a pilot, cause he was flying up the hills! I opted for the turtle method. I don’t think the age old adage proved thruthful here.

  Huantsan’s 6200+ meter peak catching some late afternoon sun. We trucked on, making it to camp just before sunset. Practically throwing our bikes down, we scrambled up to the laguna for golden hour.

 Not a bad view, but as the sun lowered so did the temperature. We retreated back down to camp. Of course, our stove decided to malfunction. A broken o-ring and no repair kit meant slow and temperamental cooking. In the end, we prevailed and went to bed with bellies full.

 We awoke to a gentle covering of frost and beautiful soft light. With a bit of coaxing, we managed to boil some coffee. Two cups each in fact!

  Sometimes it takes a photo for you to realize how dishevelled you’ve become.

  Once the sun came up we thawed out quickly. There are no middle grounds up here, it’s either bloody freezing or too hot.

 Back on the bikes we take a more technical route back to Huaraz

  Much more technical… And definitely not repeated multiple times for the photo. 

  It started out pretty rideable

  Even for someone like me!

  But the inevitable came. The bikes were up on our backs for a short stroll up to the top. 

       Near the saddle, the pampa flattened our nicely allowing us to ride with relative ease. 

      After a short section of steep and unrideable descent, we were treated a beautiful network of farm tracks.

  It doesn’t get much better than this, let’s be honest.

Conclusion: sweet ride but I’m now stuck in Huaraz with Giardia.

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5 thoughts on “Rajucolta: A bikepacking loop

    • Thanks Anna, it’s certainly pretty spectacular. Unfortunately I’ve been having bad stomach luck and haven’t been out there as much as I’d like. I’m excited for the ride just south of here if it pans out!

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