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.