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Taken beneath Taulliraju’s eastern ridge, Cordillera Blanca, Peru, on August 25th, 2014

The most popular trek in the Cordillera Blanca in Peru is the 4-day walk up Quebrada Santa Cruz. During much of the 2nd and 3rd days of the trek the view is dominated by towering bulk of Taulliraju, a 19,100-foot peak. During my first two days on the trail I saw almost nothing but clear skies and I was beginning to worry I might not make any worthwhile images of this beautiful mountain.

Even the 3rd day of the trek started off cloudless. But in the two hours it took me to hike from the previous night’s camp up to Punta Union, the 15,500-foot pass separating Quebrada Santa Cruz from the next valley to the east, moisture began accumulating in the atmosphere and soon there were dramatic clouds swirling around the mountains’s peaks and ridges. From the top of the pass I could see some small pools of water farther to the east, just off the main trail.

Still, it was at least another hour’s walk before I reached the first of them. Scampering off trail through the tussock grass I came around the backside of this small pool where I could see near perfect reflections of Taulliraju and its eastern ridge. Since it was midday there was very little color in the clouds. Even the grass itself was a plain, muted brown. So with the lack of rich color in the scene I captured this image, seeing in my mind’s eye a black and white photo of this beautiful section of the C ordillera Blanca.

View more beautiful Peru photos.

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