DixPix Photographs

     

SOUTH CORDILLERA

 
     
  Terrain - RANGES OF PERU AND BOLIVIA  

 

At this latitude, the Cordillera bulges out to the east, forming a complex of several mountain ranges in both Peru and Bolivia.  Some of these are famous in the annals of mountaineering, such as the Cordilleras Blanca and Huayhuash in Peru and the Cordillera Real in Bolivia.  Unlike the desert ranges farther south, winds from the Amazon basin supply moisture for extensive glaciation at altitude.

 

Cordillera Blanca in Peru, as seen from the Cordillera Negra to the west. Click to see big picture (598x450 pixels; 100 KB)
The central section of the Cordillera Blanca, the main summit being Nevado Huascaran, which at 6768 m. altitude is the highest in Peru. Click to see big picture (640x281 pixels; 46 KB)
The classical view of Huascaran is from the remains of the city of Yungay, most having been wiped out in 1970 when an earthquake triggered a huge landslide from the mountains.  The death toll was roughly 75,000. huascaran
Viewing the Nevados de Caullaraju Range from near Peru's Lago Conococha on the south end of the Cordillera Blanca. Click to see big picture (640x392 pixels; 65 KB)
Nevado Caullaraju rises to 5686 meters, about 18,650 ft. Click to see big picture (575x437 pixels; 85 KB)
The magnificent peak of Nevado Huantsan dominates the southern part of the Cordillera Blanca, and at 6395 meters altitude, it ties with N. Rondoy for the second highest summit.  It is also a technically difficult ascent. Nevado Huatsan
Farther north towards Huascaran, Nevado Shaqsha (5723 m.) stands immediately above the Santa Valley, showing off its spectacular south face.  In the background is part of the Uruashraju group, of similar altitude. Nevado Shaqsha
The massif summits of Nevado Huandoy anchors the northern half of the Cordillera Blanca.  Its northern summit shares the altitude of 6395 meters with Nevado Huantsan to the south.  Only Huascaran stands higher. Nevado Huandoy
Near the north end of the Cordillera Blanca rises Nevado Santa Cruz, to an elevation of 6259 meters. Nevado Santa Cruz
By comparison to the Cordillera Blanca, the adjacent Cordillera Negra on the west is lower, with few striking or icy peaks.  The Matamata massif in the northern part of the range is about as wild as it gets. Click to see big picture (632x439 pixels; 125 KB)
Nevado Chachani (6057 m.) on the left and Volcan Misti (5822 m) on the right; twin guardians of the city of Arequipa in southern Peru.  Misti is not dormant, however,and may be more of a threat than a guardian.
Turning south, Cerro Mismi (5547 m.) rises above the Rio Colca to north of Arequipa.  The slopes of the far side are considered the farthest source of the Amazon River. Click to see big picture (607x362 pixels; 64 KB)
This was taken on the first recorded (ie. post-Incan) ascent of Cerro Mismi in 1966. Click to see big picture (640x413 pixels; 96 KB)
A closer view of the summit of Cerro Mismi, also referred to as Nevado Mismi. Click to see big picture (626x410 pixels; 102 KB)
The volcanoes Sabancaya (5976 m.) and Hualca Hualca?, above the town of Chivay on the Rio Colca.  This is how it looked in 1966. Click to see big picture (593x388 pixels; 80 KB)
And here is the same view in 2011.  What happened to the ice?
Volcan Sabancaya is considered the most active volcano in Peru, although you wouldn't know it from this photo. 
Approaching the summit of Sabancaya in 1966 between eruptions.  Click to see big picture (633x392 pixels; 110 KB)
Nevado Huarancanate (5360 m.) stands across from Sabancaya to the east. Huarancante
Summit of Nevado Huarancante in 1966, looking across at the Sabancaya area. Click to see big picture (599x393 pixels; 86 KB)
Nevado Coropuna, seen over the Sabancaya complex Click to see big picture (640x379 pixels; 78 KB)
The east peak of Nevado Coropuna, Coropuna Este, as seen from above the town of Viraco. Click to see big picture (640x298 pixels; 38 KB)
Steam vents near the summit of Coropuna Este in 1966. Click to see big picture (640x415 pixels; 86 KB)
Turning now to Bolivia, and looking across part of its capital La Paz at Nevado Illimani (6438 m.), the highest summit in the Cordillera Real. Click to see big picture (640x450 pixels; 129 KB)
Another view of Nevado Illimani. Click to see big picture (640x384 pixels; 69 KB)
And one taken of the summit from an airplane. Click to see big picture (640x418 pixels; 101 KB)
A plane flies over Nevado Wayna Potosi (6088 m.), visible from the La Paz airport. Click to see big picture (640x460 pixels; 80 KB)
Farther north in the Cordillera Real, the summits of Ancohuma (Janq'uma)  at 6427 m. altitude (on the right), and behind the more difficult  Illampu (6363 m.) Click to see big picture (640x352 pixels; 93 KB)
The highest summit in Bolivia is not in the Cordillera Real, however. 
Volcan Sajama (6542 m.) is a rather isolated volcano in western Bolivia, near the border with both Chile and Peru.
Click to see big picture (640x377 pixels; 67 KB)
The ranges farther east in Bolivia lack the altitude of Cordillera Real.  In this aerial view their profiles are outlined by their evening shadows. Click to see big picture (569x436 pixels; 107 KB)