Some friends and myself are planning a trip to the Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Huayhuash next summer (late June to early August). Looks an ideal time to visit, however with a La Nina currently happening we are wondering if anyone has firsthand experience of what effects this will have on these ranges?
We're aware that this wet season (December to February) will potentially be drier and cooler. With our time of visit in the dry season being potentially cooler than usual. This sounds great when you look at some of the horror cornices and flutings, but could this go too far and result in faces and couloirs of bullet hard black ice?
Some of the peaks we are looking at are Artesonraju (SE Face/Buttress) in the Blanca and potentially peaks like Jirishanca (Cassin) or the remote Jurau/Carnicero (probably West side) in the Huayhuash.
In reply to Swampi: It's only just a La Ni£a at the moment, from what can tell, globally (it's a big deal here in Australia as it makes for a wet summer, and El Ni£o causes us droughts). It's not as strong as the La Ni£a around 2010-11.
The previous big one before that, around 1998, made the Andes extremely dry and some Bolivian peaks were totally devoid of snow. I doubt this one will be like that (and by 1999 they'd recovered completely). The Blanca is melting anyway, and a friend who was climbing there, and in the Huayhuash in August, said it was very bare then, but to me his photos didn't look too bad. I've seen pics of Artesonraju looking worse.
July-August is late to be there though, nowadays, and even more so in a La Ni£a year. June would be better, but it's always a gamble any year.
Edit: Just to add, and maybe contradict myself - the southern Andes, TdF and Antarctic Peninsula are having an unusually clear, sunny and warm period of weather at the moment, so that does lean toward a La Niña in progress.