Campo Santo de Yungay   5828
previous panorama
next panorama
Orientation on / offOrientation on / off



Location: Campo Santo de Yungay (2570 m)      by: Pedrotti Alberto
Area: Peru      Date: 16-08-2019
The earthquake of degree 7.9 that hit the district of Ancash on May 31, 1970, caused the collapse of a huge mass of rock and ice from the flank of the Huascarán Norte. The avalanche reached at an incredible speed the nearby town of Yungay, which was completely destroyed, with approximately 20.000 people killed - their corpses are buried under the debris still nowadays, since no excavation of the area has been performed.
The town has been rebuilt 1 km west, while the site of the old town has become the national monument Campo Santo de Yungay.
One month before I was on the other side (Conchucos) of the Cordillera Blanca, at the Sanctuary of Pomallucay, highly venerated for the huge wooden cross called the "Señor de la Justicia". By chance, I reached Pomallucay from Huachucocha precisely when the birthday of an Italian missionary was being celebrated. Since the man, Padre Elio, 71 years, 37 of which in Peru, comes from Valtellina, precisely from Isolaccia, a little village on the road to the Foscagno pass, I had pizzocheri (the typical dish of Valtellina) at lunch and pizza at dinner. This is not precisely an every-day menu in the Peruan Andes. But what made the dinner so special was the fact that one of the men sitting at the table happened to be one of the few (approximately 300) survivors of the 1970 catastrophe. And so, he started to remember... A group of survivors were the people visiting the cemetery, which is located on a little hill. Another big group was that of the children playing at the stadium, a little outside town. Apart from these, only isolated people were spared, for example he was working in a field higher on the mountain that day (the disaster took place at mid-afternoon).
In the 360° picture one notes the two Huascarán summits: clearly on display, on the northern one, the rock band from which the avalanche originated. Another object that can be noted is the bicycle, which was there since actually I entered the monumental area not from the usual entrance, but coming directly from the Cordillera, after a six-days tour around the Huascarán itself:
1) ascent from Carhuaz (2640) to Punta Olimpica (4890), and subsequent descent to Chacas (3350);
2) long stay at Chacas, headquarters of the widespread Italian humanitarian machinery in Ancash. Padre Ugo de Censi, the founder of all this, also coming from the Valtellina, and considered a saint in the whole region, especially after his death on December 02, 2018, is buried in the Chacas cathedral. Although Chacas was preparing for the huge Assumption feasts, which last one whole week here, in the afternoon I preferred to go on with my travel: descent to Acochaca (2800), with a goodbye to the asphalt, which I would find again only outside the main entrance to the Campo Santo. Ascent to Pupash (4060) and descent to the wonderful Yanama (3400);
3) walking day, with ascent to Punta Yanayacu (4850) and to a rock tower (4990) on the other side, for panoramic sake;
4) fist ascent, from the Yanama-Vaqueria side, to the Llanganuco (4767), with descent to the Lagunas (3800), and a night in the aluminium emergency wrap in order to be in a position to perform the next day, in perfect weather, a
5) second ascent to the Llanganuco, as documented in N. 26027, the only work coming from this tour that I managed to publish so far. Descent to Humacchuco (3300), leaving for the next day the
6) completion of the descent to Yungay - namely, consider that the speeds allowed by a road like this are truly limited.

Location: -9.15041 -77.73655


The originality and beauty of your image almost make it hard to believe the that this is the site of a natural disaster and tragedy of an enormous scale. Unless I'm mistaken the tree stumps behind your bicyle are the (l)onely remains of what was here before the mudslide.
2019/11/07 03:42 , Augustin Werner
Incredible story. Just reading Amitav Ghosh on how humans tend to take quiet times for granted as a habit and can't grasp catastrophic events and change. Pefrect display, as usual - another habit? Cheers, Martin
2019/11/07 19:39 , Martin Kraus
Ein ausgesprochen schönes, ja fast lustiges Panoramabild mit einem ernsten Hintergrund. Sind diese kleinen Dächer Schattenspender, da es dort bestimmt sehr heiß war, und weshalb sind an den Palmen unten diese rot-weißen Binden und darüber die kreisförmigen?
Alberto, bei diesem Erdbeben sind auch alle 15 Teilnehmer der tschechoslowakischen Expedition "Peru '70" in ihrem Ausgangslager am See Llanganuco (3850m) in der riesigen Lawine, die sich am NW-Flanke des Huascarán Norte gelöst hatte, umgekommen. Unter ihnen war auch der Bergfotograf Vilém Heckel, dessen Bergbilder wir uns in seinen Büchern, vor allem dem über die Bergexpedition in das Besinghi-Gebiet des Großen Kaukasus, mit großem Interesse angeschaut haben.
2019/11/08 11:54 , Heinz Höra
Heinz: ja, die auf der Seite Chinancocha - Orgoncocha ist natürlich eine andere, "kleinere" Lawine. Ich werde die (ungluablich steilen) Wände dieser Schlucht in anderen Werken zeigen (wer weiß, wann??).
Weiß und Rot sind einfach die Farben der peruanischen Fahne.
LG Alberto.
2019/11/08 16:48 , Pedrotti Alberto
Your panoramas " underlined " with your always highly informative personal travel reports are (for me) of greatest interest and really joyful to read - even if this is a sad place in Peruvian history! Perfectly composed and another excellent panorama, Alberto !!!

Un caro saluto a te, Hans-Jörg
2019/11/09 11:09 , Hans-Jörg Bäuerle

Leave a comment

Pedrotti Alberto

More panoramas

... in the vicinity  
... in the top 100