Routes will be added to as I type and plan them up clink on the links below or follow the navigation menu to view planned routes by country.
- Ausangate Traverse
The Ausangate Traverse although is not the longest of bikepacks routes in Peru, it is, apparently, the most beautiful. Skirting the mountain’s south eastern flank, it offers some of the most dramatic vistas in the Peruvian Andes, around the ancient Incan capital of Cusco, and nearby Machu Picchu.
Although relatively short in duration his route is meant to be a challenging undertaking, with a massive climb, two high passes to contend with, andfrequent areas where carrying and pushing the bike will be required. given the location and height weather patterns are expected to be variable and severe at any time of year.. Given its height it is vital that I acclimatised well beforehand, to tackle it safely.
Getting to the ride. will involeve Travelling from Cuso involving either a day’s pavement riding or a few hour bus journey from connecting Pitumarca and Tinki. I Plan to stay overnight in Ocongate which has a store, food and accommodation. If I go from Juliaca, I will get supplies from Pitumarca.
Outside of winter October to April early starts will be required and establishment of early camping spots to be able to enjoy the visuals, and hopefully avoiding the late afternoon rains and storms into the evenings. Navigation along the route is expected to be difficult given the frequency of trails established by trekkers and herders, some are expected to be more tradable than others.
The route reaching a maximum height 4900m over two high passes Arapa and Apuchata. Inbetween are the Lakes, Jatun Cocha and Jatun Puka Cocha.
Its considered best to ride in the direction from Pitumarca to Tinki and take advantage of a highly visual descent into the lower lakes off the back of the first pass whilst only requiring a relatively gentle ascent.
The high pastures and mountains are inhabitaed by alpacas and llamas traders called the” O’eros” the animals are considered highly respected by the famers and locals for historical cultural reasons.
Theft along the trail is said to be fairly common so will need to keep everything locked and covered.
Distance 72 km
time 3-4 days
unpaved riding 60%
total ascent 2134m
Highest Elevation 4900m
reference to http://www.bikepacking.com/routes/ausangate-traverse
2. Northern Cordillera Blanca Loop
Getting to ride Peru’s Cordillera Blanca high mountain pass, is expected to be the highlight of the expedition. This route will take me through some pretty dramatic landscapes, morphed by the big peaks and glaciers on route.
There is lots of climbing to be had here, with two 4000m passes to contend with and a 3000m descent into the Rio Santa Valley. Before heading back to the start point, of Yungay, via the Cañón del Pato tunnels, which I will be needing my lights for.
With a stunning patchwork landscape intermingled with ice falls, beautiful lakes, huge granite cliffs and ancient forests I am sure there will be plenty to keep me visually entertained.
Given the height and potential for altitude sickness I am going to acclimatize in Huaraz, an eight hour bus ride from lima, for a week or so, taking short rides up into the passes. I plan to ride out of Huaraz for quite a few of the routes I am planning.
Time 7-9 days
Total Ascent 8734m
highest elevation 4698m
3. High mountain pass Cajamarca to Caraz
This is a very long route over some high passes, maxing out at 4175m, it entails some big 3000m climbs, it is meant to be attempted between may and September but I am hoping that its still passable. The route uses both dirt mining roads and tracks and has a water crossing which should be emotional. Supplies will be sought in Jesus, Cachachi, Cajabamba (a big town), Huamachuco, and Huallanca. It is considered necessary to stock up on water for the section between Huamachuco and Mollepata.
I may well hook this up with the northern loop and make the entire ride into a three-week expedition.
Time 7-8 days
Total ascent 11,165m
4. The Great Divide Route
This challenging route through seven of the high Peruvian Cordilera high mountain passes, the highest being 5000m is expected to be emotional. The ride will take me through the Cafiete Valley bounded by glaciers, high mountain peaks, grassy plateaus, waterfalls and rich aqua blue lakes.
The route begins from, the main road from Lima to the cities of the mountains, Carretera Central and ends at Huancavelica
Time 6-8 days
Total ascent 4959m
Highest Elevation 5000m
5. Quebrada Honda and the No Name Pass
This route although short is meant to be brutal into the un named pass, bounded by glaciers and snow packed peaks, given the nature of the trekking route quite a lot of bike carrying and hiking it up difficult sections are expected. This is considered to be a risky ride given the conditions and vulnerability as a result of exposure along the route.
The ride starts off from the eastern side of Cordillera Blanca on the Punta Olimpica road from Chacas and finishes on the main road from Caraz to Huaraz.
Time 2-3 days
Total ascent 1399m
Highest elevation 4734m