Within 20 minutes of the Laguna 69 trek (or Laguna Sesentinueve), I was already regretting the decision and the burning in my glutes. I hiked with my friends Eva and Monica; they’re master trekkers.
Apparently, the number 69 has no special meaning. So you can stop reading perverts. The lakes in Huascaran National Park didn’t all have names when the park was established in 1975; so a numerical based naming system was used.
We paid 35 soles each for the Laguna 69 tour. It included the round-trip transfer from Huaraz to the base of the hike in Huascaran National Park. We also paid 10 soles each for the park entry fee. Food and water was not included, so we brought our own.
I left my DSLR and tripod at the hostel as I didn’t want to carry the extra load.
Eva, Monica, and I started the trek at an altitude of 3800 metres. We were given 3 hours to hike the 7-kilometre trail to Laguna 69’s altitude of 4600 metres. We reached Laguna 69 within 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Just like Jatun Cocha, I chewed cocoa leaves to try and control my heart rate during the trek.
The landscape provided soaring mountains with and without snow, several narrow waterfalls, and a Godzilla-like deposit of cow shit. You don’t see many cows on the trek, but they have a shitload.
As expected, the Laguna 69 trek was worth the burning of my glutes. The lake produced a hue of turquoise. I imagine the color was due to the minerals (or what is called rock flour) from the grinding of the mountains against the glaciers. Some of it may have been funneled from the waterfall in Laguna 69.
A few of the other hikers from our bus took a dip into the water. As much as I can handle cold water, hiking to and from Laguna 69 was enough extremity for me. Plus I didn’t have a spare set of clothes, not that I wanted to carry the extra weight between cow shit.