Alpacas in the Andes mountains in Peru

Alpacas in the snow in Peru

I recently came across this interesting photo which is quite unusual.

The photo shows a herd of alpacas in the Andes mountains in Peru. I have previously posted that most of the South American alpacas live in the Alto Plano high plains of Peru which are between 3,000 and 4,000 metres above sea level, and this photo proves it.

Apart from the snow, this photo was clearly taken at a high altitude as the valley behind the alpacas is relatively flat, a sure sign that they are above a glacier behind them, which would only occur above an altitude higher than 3,000 metres above sea level.

I know this after more than 50 years of alpine snow skiing, much of it at high altitudes.The highest altitude that I have been is 3,842 metres at the Aguile Midi, Chamonix, France, the highest lifted point on the planet. I then skied down through the Vallee Blanche, two and a half thousand vertical metres back to the town. What a great day, I sure needed my alpaca ski socks, it was so cold up top!

Anyway, back to the theme, how do alpaca's survive in such harsh conditions? At these altitudes, its freezing in winter and very hot in summer with intense alpine sunlight.

Its all about their wonderful fleece. Over thousands of years, alpacas have developed a unique double fleece, the outer hairs are long and quite coarse to protect the animal from the elements and then they have a soft inner fleece which is semi hollow to warm them in winter and cool them in summer. A natural wonder.

Alpaca fibre is a  perfect filling material for bedding because of its unique properties.

Interested to read more? To view some more reading material, please click 

A short history of alpaca's

Alpaca fleece ... fibre of the God's .. its true trust me


alpacas in australia

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