The hike to Laguna Churup was supposed to be a very nice acclimation walk.
It was an absolutely beautiful one and a very good test for high altitude… but we couldn’t reach the top!
We started from the beautiful Hof Hostel (3600m). This added the few 4 km walk which at this altitude are not so insignificant. The hike itself was really nice and, if you go slow, was not too hard. We were not the fastest, but who cares?!
We knew there would be few parts of the hike that will be tricky. Small climbs, a little bit like “via ferriata”, but “a lot of people do it, so it’s not really impossible”… Ok, we wanted to see how we would manage!
… Well… the climbs were not that easy, oh men! I’m not into it and I proved it again!
From the bottom, it didn’t look impossible. When we reached the first difficulty, enough people were around us to help, so that was fine. The second difficulty appeared… ok, we could manage this one too, we were so close to the Laguna!
But when snow started to fall and difficulties to pile up, it became too much for my muscles and my courage!
We finally stopped literally 10 min before the top and went down on our bottom under the falling snow! Counting the 4 additional km back to our paradise, we were completely exhausted! And there were even not hot showers to save our day!
No regrets though, the hike itself and the landscapes were absolutely amazing!
Lessons learnt… don’t start too late any hike in the Andes (snow has more chance to fall after 1pm), don’t necessarily believe guides and hikers when they tell you “anybody can do it!” and keep trying at least the first part of the hike because it is always worth it!