Photographer's Note

This is a picture of the Cordillera Blanca (black mountain range) in Peru.

Peru has a fairly unique topography. Starting from the pacific coast of Peru and heading inland:- there is a band of desert where no rainfall has ever been recorded. This strip rises up into the Cordillera Blanca. These hills reach 5000m in height and are brown, dusty and covered in scrub. They are not snow capped.

On the other side of these hills the elevation is even higher as the peaks are pushed above the snowline in the Cordillera Blanca (white mountains) that reach up to 6700m and are heavily glaciated.

The slopes on the other side of the Cordillera Blanca drop straight down into the Amazon basin and Amazon rain forest. This is what contributes to the desert area along the pacific coast as any moisture is pushed up and over the Andes, by the prevailing winds, and the rain is dropped on the slopes that lead down to and feed the mighty Amazon river.

This is also why Peru boasts such a varied collection of flora and fauna as it possesses such a diverse set of habitats.

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Additional Photos by Richard SG (escher1) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 30 W: 5 N: 240] (1268)
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