Huascaran National Park, rules implemented to trek and climb in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru
Authorities of the Huascaran National Park, Cordillera Blanca, Peru, are attempting to impose rules that oblige trekkers and climbers to hire local guides.
News has come in about the fact that the authorities governing the National Park of Huascaran in the Cordillera Blanca in Peru are now attempting again to apply article 7 of their Reglamento de Uso Turístico (RUT, Rules of Tourist Use) by which anyone who wishes to venture into this beautiful park is obliged to use the services of a local travel agency as well as hire a local guide. This regulation, which has come into force this season, also applies to alpinists aiming to climb its countless beautiful peaks that include the extraordinary summits of Alpamayo and Huascaran, at 6768m the highest peak in the massif.
In truth the current regulation was passed in 2008 but at that time it hit against strong opposition, in particular from the local climbing community and the UIAA (The International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation) which even sent a delegation to Peru to ensure that this measure was dropped. Many believe this regulation was created due to local economic interests but, above all, many see this as a serious threat to everyone's freedom to take to the mountains.
It will be interesting to see how this develops... What is certain is that the head of PNH currently has no means to implement this measure and it's unlikely that alpinists will willingly accept or adapt to this new situation that would radically change the way we take to the mountains, practice alpinism and enjoy its freedom. In fact there are currently climbers and trekking groups without guides within the PNH. Nevertheless, Sevi Bohorquez, the highly experienced Andes climber the author of "Cordillera Blanca, Escaladas, Parte norte" , suggests that pressure applied on the Park's Office may help this measure to be dropped. Protest emails should be sent to email@example.com, while more information can be found on andesinfoplus.blogspot.com.es