Tuesday, July 19, 2011

We're all back safe in Huaraz. The weather stopped us at 19000 on Chopicaqui. Details to follow...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

And we are off again... next stop Chopicaqui basecamp.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Basecamp view

Back in Huaraz

We're back in Huaraz for the night. Switching to the Llanganuco Valley tomorrow for an attempt on Chopicalqui (background photo for the blog). If all goes to plan we'll summit on Sunday and be back in Huaraz on Monday.

Our week in the Quilcayhuanca Valley was a great way to acclimate. Our basecamp was in a meadow at 13600 feet with spectacular views of Pucaranra and Chinchey. We shared the 7 mile long valley with only a handful of humans and many free roaming cattle, horses and sheep. While there we did several hikes up to 15000 and a climb on Jatumontepuncu up to 17400, just short of the summit blocked by a massive crevasse and overhanging ice wall.

One thing that immediately struck us was the amount of glacial recession compared with photos from the mid 90s guide books we have. Several hundred vertical meters of glacier has melted away throughout the valley due to global warming. This has made getting on a route the most challenging part of the climb and in some cases such as San Juan made it nearly impossible to climb.

For this reason as well as weather concerns and route finding issues, we opted to forego Chinchey and change our attention to Chopicaqui. A shower, clean clothes, a soft bed and Pisco Sours were also a big influence on our decision.

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Change of address. Basecamp at S 9 deg 26.410 min W 77 deg 21.135 min

Click here for Google map

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

And we are on our way with clear blue skies overhead...

address for next 12 days

Click here to see where we will be at for the next 12 days.

Chinchey is the righthand 6000m peak just to the north of base camp.
Maparaju and San Juan are the 5300m and 5800m peaks to the east of base camp.

Check out the links to the left to get the exact details...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Option 2 details

We're heading out at 8am tomorrow morning to the Quilcayhuanca Valley. We'll catch a ride to the end of the road where we'll load up the burros with our gear and trek in 5-6 hours to base camp.

The plan is:
Thursday - rest; hiking
Friday - rest; leave late evening for Maparaju
Saturday - summit Maparaju and return to base camp
Sunday - rest
Monday - move to San Juan high camp
Tuesday - summit San Juan and return to bad camp
Wednesday - rest
Thursday - move to Chinchey camp 1
Friday - move to Chinchey camp 2
Saturday - summit Chinchey; return to camp 2 or 1 or hopefully base camp
Sunday - return to base camp or extra day
Monday - return to Huaraz

I doubt I will have cell coverage so expect no updates until we are back in Huaraz.

Sent from my iPhone

Cordillera Blanca from Japeujiva

Nice day for a hike to 15K

Yummy dish at Hotel Andina

Sunset from hotel in Huaraz

Pile of gear at Lima bus station

Having lunch at 15K on Japrujirca. Beautiful day with an amazing view of the entire Cordillera Blanca range. Will upload photo later.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Option 2

Today we explored Huaraz and discussed our options with a couple of outfitters. The team is very interested in both options 1 and 2. We decided on option 2 because it is more remote and less traveled. We may well be the only climbers on Chinchey this year. The weather is improving with scattered clouds and only a few brief showers. After lunch we did a day hike up to about 11,200 to check out some ruins. Tomorrow we plan to make a day trip to Japrujirca.

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Buenas tardes. After two hard days of travel we have arrived safe and sound at Hotel Colomba in Huaraz.
We've all arrived in Lima. Getting a few hours of sleep at a hostel before catching the bus to Huaraz

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Two thirds of the way to Lima, Chuck and Keith are in Panama awaiting their next flight and filling up on a local beverage. Hot and humid here.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
We're all at PDX boarding our planes heading for Lima, Peru. Keith and I are flying through Houston and Panama City. Kari and David through Atlanta. The adventure begins!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Welcome to my blog. I created this site to share information about our Cordillera Blanca 2011 Expedition with friends and family. In the right hand column you will find links to our itinerary, information about the mountains we are climbing, some maps, local weather conditions and general background information about Peru.

On Saturday, July 2nd, I will be departing Portland with three friends for a 19 day expedition to the Cordillera Blanca region of Peru. We will be flying into Lima, the capital of Peru, arriving in the early hours of Sunday morning. From Lima, we will travel all day via bus to Huaraz, near the southern end of the Cordillera Blanca range. Huaraz is a small city of about 100,000 people at an altitude of 10,000 feet. Its proximity to the mountains and its altitude makes it an ideal place to acclimate while finalizing the last minute details of our expedition.

We plan to spend 2 days and 3 nights in Huaraz at Hotel Colomba. While in Huaraz, we will arrange base camp logistics with our outfitter and hire burros for transportation into base camp. We'll also do a day hike up Japrujirca (15,164 feet) to further acclimate. Lastly, we will decide which routes we want to climb based on the latest weather forecast and route conditions.

On Wednesday, July 6th we head off into one of the many valleys of the Cordillera Blanca. The valley floors are 13-14,000 feet in elevation, surrounded by magnificent peaks ranging from 18-22,000 feet and of varying degrees of difficulty. Once settled at our base camp, we'll spend the next several days on a series one and two-day acclimation climbs up peaks around 18,000 feet high. We will be hiring a local cook and assistant to prepare authentic Peruvian food for us while in base camp as well as watching our gear while out climbing.

Once we are acclimated and weather permitting, we will set our sights on one of our major objectives. Most likely this will be either The Shield route on Huascaran Sur or the SW Ridge of Chopicalqui. The Shield route on Huascaran Sur is a sustained steep snow and ice route straight up the west face of Peru's highest mountain and the sixth highest peak in the Western Hemisphere. The SW Ridge of Choplicalui is a long ridge leading to a snowy summit mushroom which is the backdrop for this blog.

I hope to make a few updates to this blog while in Peru. I should be able to make updates while in Hauraz and perhaps on the approach into the valleys. However my posts will be limited by cell coverage, battery life and how busy I am having fun. As in the past, no news is good news.

I hope you all enjoy the information I've put together on this blog and feel free to email me with any questions you might have.