Cordillera Blanca

Cordillera Blanca

The Cordillera Blanca (Spanish for "white range") is a mountain range in Peru that is part of the larger Andes range and extends for 200 kilometres (124 mi) between 8°08' and 9°58'S and 77°00' and 77°52'W, in a northwesterly direction. It includes several peaks over 6,000 metres (19,690 ft) high and 722 individual glaciers. The highest mountain in Peru, Huascarán, at 6,768 metres (22,205 ft) high, is located there.

The Cordillera Blanca lies in the Ancash region and runs parallel to the Santa River valley (also called Callejón de Huaylas in its upper and midsections) on the west. Huascarán National Park, established in 1975, encompasses almost the entire range of the Cordillera Blanca.

Snowmelt from the Cordillera Blanca provides part of northern Peru with its year-round water supply, while 5% of Peru's power comes from a hydro-electrical plant located in the Santa River valley. The area of permanent ice cover shrank by about a third between the 1970s and 2006.

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