jirishanca-mitucocha-cordillera-huayhuash

Behind the scenes of this photo

Taken on September 2nd, 2014 below Laguna Mitucocha and Jirishanca in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru

I don’t personally put a lot of effort into celebrating my own birthday. But sometimes when the circumstances are right I’ll do a little something nice for myself. And this year I decided to fly myself to Peru and go for a trek in the Peruvian Andes. Specifically in the Cordillera Huayhuash, one of the most beautiful mountain ranges on the planet.

The timing of the trip was a bit iffy: near the end of the dry season, and because of that I wasn’t sure what kind of weather I’d experience. And like any good landscaper I was afraid of endless days of sunshine. So when I arrived in Huaraz, the trekking capital of Peru, and saw that the forecast consistently called for cloudy days and thunderstorms I did a little happy dance and set out on a 10-day, 100-mile walk through the Cordillera Huayhuash.

On the second day of the trek, my actual birthday, the scenery turned from merely pleasant to jaw-droppingly spectacular. Myself, another bloke from South Africa, Brett, and our guide spent my 33rd wandering around the flanks of this beautiful mountain, Jirishanca, lounging in the sun, and circumnavigating stunning Laguna Mitucocha. Toward sunset we retired to our camp about a mile from the lake and I watched in eager anticipation as dramatic clouds moved in around the mountain’s 20,098 ft high summit.

I went sniffing for compositions along this stream and found this choice spot boasting a beautiful view of the Jirishanca’s glaciers and snow-clad summit. Then as the sun sunk low into the western sky it lit the clouds from behind like nature’s largest candle. Happy birthday to me!

View more beautiful Peru photos.

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