Peru (6,768 m) – Sacred Incan Site Honoring Huascar
Mount Huascaran is the tallest mountain in Peru, and one of the tallest mountains in the world when measured from the Earth’s polar axis. Held to be sacred to the Incas, the mountain was named in honor of Huascar, who served as emperor during the 16th century. Huascaran is the centerpiece of Huascaran National Park, which is famous in the Andes for hiking and recreation.
Huascaran has an interesting, if violent, history. Located in an area prone to earthquakes, the mountain has been shaken many times. Whole villages have been destroyed, and tens of thousands of people have been killed by landslides off of Huascaran. It is believed that over 60,000 people were killed in an earthquake in 1970 alone. One a more positive note, Huascaran holds the record for being the site of the world’s highest dinner party in 1989.
Mount Huascaran is in an isolated part of the Andes, but because of its popularity there is good road access. The most popular jumping off point for visiting Huascaran is the town of Huaraz, about twenty miles away, though the closes large city is Chimbote about 100 miles away on the coast. The primary base camp for mountaineering is the village of Musho located between the mountain’s two summits.