Cordillera Huayhuash

Cordillera Huayhuash
Towering mountains, thunderstorms, lakes, rivers and landscapes dripping with breathtaking light. Joshua Cripps shares with us his extraordinary adventure in one of the most inspiring areas of our planet

Around mile 65, my thighs were turning to jello. It was day 7 of my 100-mile trek through Peru's Cordillera Huayhuash and about an hour earlier I had hit a high point in my life – literally – when I crossed San Antonio Pass at an elevation of 16,568 feet (5,050 meters) above sea level. And now I was stumbling along after my guide, Wilder, as he floated effortlessly down the 2,000-foot, trail-less hillside to the valley floor below. Peruvians don't seem to believe in switchbacks even on their steepest slopes, and with every downward step it felt like I was doing a one-legged squat. With the quaking in my quads threatening to reach a catastrophic level I sucked in a lungful of the thin Andean air and distracted myself with the scenery ahead.

Truth be told, that was the easy part. Everywhere I looked, the landscape was gobsmacking. These were easily the most majestic and beautiful mountains I had ever laid eyes on. And yet, only a few years earlier I had never even heard of them.

Back in 2011, I was in the early days of my full-time career as a photographer and in order to scratch out a living I was...

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About Author

Joshua Cripps

Josh spends a great deal of time every year in the field seeking out the finest landscapes on earth. Hiking at least 45 miles to capture every photo, Josh ensures that every image he crafts represents the very heart of the wilderness.

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