80K - PORTACHUELO PASS
80K - PORTACHUELO PASS DESCRIPTION
This route is aimed at those who have plenty of experience in Trail Running, that are physically and mentally prepared for the altitude, that are looking for an Ultra distance, that wish for challenging routes and mountain conditions and that are suitably insane to match. You have EXTENSIVE mountain experience, if you don´t this route is NOT for you.
The start line at 00:00 is located on a rocky knoll above the main lawn of Llanganuco Mountain Lodge, overlooking the turquoise lake & ruins of the 5000 year old archaeological site of Queshu, with the second highest mountain in the range: Huandoy (6395m) as its backdrop, Huascaran (6768m) and the highest mountain in the range is just off to the right. Start line, Finish line and group photos back in the same spot are what Facebook profile photo wet dreams are made of.
Although you will be starting at midnight to a full moon, to take advantage of the cool of the night/morning. You will be running through the heat of the day, the sun here is about as brutal as anywhere on the planet, come prepared - for extreme cold and extreme heat.
Competitors get the chance to spread out on a dirt track through an avenue of pine trees as they press towards the single track trail that climbs up around the lake of Queshu to the entrance to the Rajururi Gorge with spectacular views of the moonlit massif of Huandoy. Descend clockwise around the lake to run along sweeping, smooth single track to the dirt road. At KM marker 17K turn right, where personnel will indicate to you.
From here the route follows a loop along the ridge-line of Atma, past adobe dwellings, local cattle, cultivated fields of quinoa and kiwicha. Trail conditions are excellent in most parts, allowing competitors to really find their rhythm. Of course with local dwellings come local dogs, there is a local trick to counter these, which will be revealed at the induction talk on Saturday.
This Atma loop offers the most complete views of mountains along the Cordillera Blanca including Hualcan and Ranrapalca. The altitude profile is only 174m of ascent/descent over 11km, take advantage of this and keep your rhythm strong.
There is the opportunity to walk the Atma loop on the Saturday in preparation for the race on Sunday.
Completing the Atma loop back to KM17 marker, you then meander along a contouring irrigation ditch to the PNH entrance just 1K away. Once inside the park there is a short section of dirt road to the Pre-Inca trail of Maria Josefa through the cloud forest, you´ll be glad for some shade as the sun is going to be super hot, scolding in fact. Minutes inside the cloud forest you will be glad to reach your first PA (Aid Station) before crossing the cascading Llanganuco river on a wooden bridge. Here through the cloud forest you will find a combination of rolling earthy sections and rocky steep sections, pace yourself, chose when to run and when to climb hard. Plunging out of the cloud forest at 3850m, you reach the most famous of the Llanganuco Lakes - Chinancocha (Girl Lake), do not be tempted to go for a boat ride, but turn left at the lake to reach the dirt road again. You will be on the dirt road again alongside the lake (unless you want to swim the lake) until the start of Orgoncocha Lake (Boy Lake) where you will gain your second aid station. Refuel and continue on this dirt road, take advantage of the dirt road and find your running rhythm alongside Orgoncocha lake, because when you hit the VERTICAL past Cebollapampa, if you did not...you will wish that you had. On the hard right hand turn past Orgoncocha Lake, ignore the road and instead head straight on down a dirt single track that will run parallel to the river until you reach the Henostroza PA at Cebollapampa, this is the main aid station, and somewhere that you can send a drop bag with your vegan diet, toothbrush, nipple lubricant and perfume.
From here head back out across the wooden bridge you just crossed and head up the steps to your left to reach the dirt road. Run the casual gradient until you see our personnel pointing you up the steep Inca route to Portachuelo de Llanganuco 4700m. This route is spectacular but gnarly, if you time it right you could arrive for sunrise around 6am. Your reward for braving the 80K is now to run DOWN the switchbacks of the dirt road, allowing you to find your rhythm and eat up some miles. Half way down - your route will detour down a gnarly Inca section taking a more direct route back to Cebollapampa and Henostroza base station.
Here keep the river on your left and head up the valley, sections of this are eminently runnable, until you get to the back of the valley where you will have three sets of switchbacks to contend with before a long traverse left, with views of a large waterfall from the pampa below Lake 69. A short set of rocky switchbacks will pop you through a col to the less than impressive lake 68. This is NOT your target (This is not UT68), but there is some good easy running past this lake. After crossing a stream, scan for Viscachas (rabbit/squirrel cross) in the rocky ridge on your right. Skirt Left under the huge cliffs of Chacaraju mountain to reach another set of 3 switch backs, but now at a more brutal altitude and rather more challenging underfoot. Pace yourself. Lake 69 is something to behold. 69 Aid station is here to welcome you. Here you may see some 42k runners, they will head straight back down. However you are a BADASS 80K runner so you continue another 300m up from here to some of the most brutal terrain you will ever see on an Ultra. You will have moraine to cross, with rock fall risk just before reaching your aid station at a glacial stream on the Moraine. These guys were keeping an eye on you in case you got hit by rockfall and they had to drag your arse out of there. Continue across more moraine to reach Refugio Pisco 4670m. From here nail it down the donkey smashed trail back to Cebollapampa, this is some of the worst under foot conditions (apart from the aforementioned moraine)
Again take advantage of the Henostroza main base station, then cross back over the bridge for Pisco refuge but keep left along the river once crossed, for a single track back down the other side of the river to mix it up a bit.
Back at the Orgoncocha aid station you will be shown another section of Pre-Inca trail down past the Yuyucochas (Baby Lakes), past high altitude Cacti forest and swirling river back to Chinancocha. Again run alongside the lake to regain the same route back down through the cloud forest, to your last aid station again on the wooden Bridge. Here you will be guided to a very little known and overgrown section of Inca Trail down through more cloud forest to Rumi Saka - Stone Bridge, where you will cross to gain some switch backs up the cliff to find the road just inside the park from the control station. From here you climb hard to regain the irrigation ditch and follow it home. Cut off 16:00hrs. 16 hours total.
SCHEDULE & CUT OFF
The race starts at 00:00 on Saturday 10th June with the cut off time on Sunday 11th June at 16:00, with a total race time of 16 hours.
INCLUDED IN PRICE
UT69 aims to become a highly recognised trail race event, and a social scene in itself to bring together the trail running community, enjoy the local culture & spectacular setting. Included in the price of the entry ticket UT69 also offers
- Free camping for participants on Saturday night.
- A BBQ burger and beer on both Saturday and Sunday.
|< 15 Apr||$83|
|< 31 May||$99|
The ITRA (International Trail Running Association) has certified this race as an official trail run. Below are the specific details from the ITRA and their evaluation of the race's difficulty by assessing it on a range from 0 to 6 points.
|UT69||10th/11th June 2017||ITRA NO:||Endurance||Mountain||Finisher|
|80K||76.20KM / 2780m||40415-19727||ITRA-3||ITRA-6||ITRA-340|
PORTACHUELO PASS ROUTE
Please find below a google earth map that outlines the route for the Llanganuco Lakes race.
Know someone that would like to run this race? Help us get the word out and share the race below.