June 24, 2010
If you’ve been following me on FaceBook or Twitter, then you know I recently returned from a successful climb in Peru. My friend, Eric Alexander, and I traveled to the Cordillera Blanca to climb Alpamayo—a 19,500 foot peak that easily ranks as one of the most beautiful mountains on the planet.
We are still processing all of our photos and videos, so this post is mostly a teaser. I’ll get the full trip report up in a couple of weeks. But I’ve had so many people asking about our climb that I wanted to tell you a bit about our ascent now.
I’ve been to Peru four times before; first as a 17-year-old with my family to visit Machu Picchu, once to climb Artisanraju (another gorgeous peak), and twice to lead groups of blind and sighted students on the Inca Trail. This trip, we went fast and light with just the two of us flying south. We also hired a local guide, Rodrigo Callupe, who was outstanding and operates the best guide service in Peru.
As you may recall, just over a month earlier, I climbed a famous route in Alaska on a mountain called Moose’s Tooth. It isn’t as high but it is Alaska, in April, so we were expecting it to be cold. Here we were in Peru near the equator, in May, and I was much colder. Oh well, at least we had good gear—the Mountain Hardwear Compressor Jacket totally rocks, by the way!
The climbing between base camp and our high camp was surprisingly difficult, with some fairly technical ice that wasn’t any easier due to our heavy packs. Once we got up on the plateau at 18,000 feet, the weather socked in and it was starting to look grim for a summit push.
Well suffice to say we made it. I won’t give away all the details just yet. But it was a great adventure with some memorable moments. Here are a few photos to give you a taste of what’s to come.
Climbing up to High Camp with a heavy pack/
On the way to High Camp.
Our summit day was cold and nasty; glad to have my Mountain Hardwear shell!
Some added spice involved tunneling though snow.
Me and Eric on the summit!