Climate Change Route a complete failure, facilities Pastoruri Glacier totally abandoned

I n the 80s and 90s Pastoruri was natural sight that attracted about 100,000 tourists each year. But global warming has hit the Pastoruri hard and in two decades the glacier has shrunk to about half its original size and tourist numbers have dropped dramatically. For this reason, in March of 2013, Pastoruri became part of a new “Climate Change Route” (Ruta del cambio climatico), which promised to offer visitors a unique experience: to see the irreversible impact of global warming and to witness the glacier before it disappears. However in 2017, the trail, the signs and facilities around the receding icecaps of Pastururi are totally abandoned and no one seems to care. Not to mention the access road which is still unpaved, as is the case with the road up to the Llanganuco Lakes.

In 2017, the Climate Change Route is a complete failure and to make things even worse, the facilities around the Pastoruri Glacier are totally abandoned as information signs and the trail towards the glacier require much more than a simple facelift. BBC Mundo reported in November 2013 about the seemingly prosperous project and so did many national newspapers labelling it as ¨The newest tourist attraction of Peru¨. However, a couple of weeks ago, Ronnie Díaz, general coordinator of the Association of Guides Specialised in High Mountains in Ancash (AGOEMA) questioned the actual state of the facilities around Pastururi and the ´political intentions´ and interest in general regarding the Climate Change Route on social media. The photos speak for themselves.

Much has already been said about the disappearing of Pastoruri and this won’t take long if we have to believe Dr Lonny G. Thompson. ¨These glaciers are remnants of the past and at Mount Kilimanjaro we´re losing half a metre every year. I mean they´re just relics of another climate. It takes a while to warm them up but when they do, they will go. The worst thing for a glacier is water¨, so predicted the American paleoclimatologist and distinguished university professor at the School of Earth Sciences, Ohio State University, Lonnie G. Thompson in 2016 in an exclusive interview with the Huaraz Telegraph. Also adding: ¨The worst thing that can happen to a glacier is to get wet. On Pastoruri, I have to admit that I haven’t studied it specifically, but I have seen the photographs. The glacier is not very thick, so maybe in ten years? They can go pretty quick. I repeat that I haven’t worked specifically on Pastroruri, so I don’t have any numbers to look at, but it would not surprise me¨.

Pictures: AGOEMA

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