Climbing in the Cordillera Blanca - part 1

Trip Start Apr 07, 2010
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Trip End Jan 19, 2012


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Mountaineering

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Friday, June 17, 2011

We are in Huaraz, Peru (a mecca for high altitude mountaineering above 5000 m) for at least the next 5 or 6 weeks. Our friend Kevin joined us from the USA to share the adventure. After that the plan is to head to other mountains further South in Peru, then go to Bolivia for some more climbing.
We are taking roughly a 3-month break from cycling and will resume our bicycle ride to Patagonia early September 2011.

June 10, 2011: Arrived in Huaraz (3100 m), settled at Jo's place.
June 11, 2011: Bought food and packed for the first acclimatization outing (4 nights).
June 12, 2011: Taxi ride to Pitec (3800 m) at the head of the Quilcayhuanca Valley. Hike 14 km on almost flat terrain and set up camp at 4000 m. We all feel the altitude and have slight headaches.
June 13, 2011: We take it very easy today. We need more time to properly acclimate. We move our camp into the Cayesh Valley only about 2 km away at an altitude of 4200 m. Later in the afternoon, we go for a 2-hour hike without packs to see how our bodies will react to the altitude. We hike to 4600m and turn around.
June 14, 2011: On the move at 7:30am, we are heading for the summit of Maparaju* (5326 m). We have doubts we will reach the top as we feel that we might not be sufficiently acclimated, so we move at a very slow pace. We reach the snow line at 11am and gear up for glacier travel. After a short detour to check out a more direct route, we reach the summit* at 2:30pm. However, it seamed like the real summit was about 200 m away and 3-5 m higher than where we stood...so we mark it with an asterix. Back at camp before dark.

June 15, 2011: We have a lazy morning and start heading down the mountain. Kevin heads back all the way to Huaraz for his dream "pollo a la braza". We, on the other hand decide to camp high (4000 m) another night. Shirley's right foot hurts a bit...might as well acclimate while she recovers from it. Shirley stays at camp all afternoon, while Yannick goes for a 6-hour day hike up an unnamed ridge just under 5000 m.

June 16, 2011: Awake at 5am, we are hiking out at 6am. We arrive in Huaraz by noon and chill the rest of the day.
June 17, 2011 (today): Relaxing morning. We are hoping to head for the Llanganuco Valley (trailhead at 3900 m) this afternoon or tomorrow morning...we are taking 9 days of food with us. We are planning to climb 3 or 4 peaks in the area.
#1: Pisco Oeste (5752 m), Southwest slopes, PD
#2: Huandoy Oeste (6356 m), Northeast ridge, AD-
#3: Chopicalqui (6,354 m), Southwest ridge, PD+ or AD-
#4: Yanapaccha (5460 m), West face, PD+

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