Entries By alan davis
July 19, 2018
At the end of this past April, eleven RMI guides came together in Washington to take the AMGA Alpine Skills Course, a prerequisite for the Alpine Guide Course, and a great continuing education opportunity for all of us to remain at the forefront of current guiding techniques. After a winter of far-flung adventures, Dave Hahn, Andy Bond, Mike King, Jenny Konway, Grayson Swingle, Hannah Smith, Gloria Roe, Nick Scott, JT Schmitt, Alan Davis, and myself converged on Ashford. These courses are an important chance for us to refresh our skillset and learn some new tricks from our peers and the instructors from the AMGA.
Over the course of 5 days at Paradise in Mt. Rainier National Park, and on Mt. Erie, outside Anacortes, WA, we reviewed snow anchor construction and multi-pitch techniques for snowy environments, belaying and lowering techniques, short roping and short pitching, and anchor station management. Success in our guiding often lies in not only being able to utilize a number of techniques to manage risk, but in being able to maintain efficiency and timeliness at the same time. As we worked through different transitions, techniques, and scenarios with our peers, we all walked away with a few new tools in our bag and I’m convinced will be better guides for it.
This was a fantastic event for the eleven of us, and many thanks go out to RMI and the AMGA for putting it on. Congrats to Dave Hahn, Andy Bond, Mike King, Jenny Konway, Grayson Swingle, Hannah Smith, Gloria Roe, Nick Scott, JT Schmitt, and Alan Davis for completing the course!
Saturday, July 14, 2018 - 4:10 PM PT
We’re back in Huaraz! The team is all safe and sound in the friendly, and bustling, city of Huaraz after a wonderful four days in the Llanganuco Valley. We saw amazing nights skies; we endured unusual Cordillera Blanca weather, and we summited an amazing mountain in Pisco Oeste, at 18,871’.
The stars aligned for us during our last climbing objective here in Peru. For a while, it seemed that the weather wouldn’t cooperate and would prohibit us from climbing to the highest summit of our trip. But with a bit of improvisation, and a little extra hard work by the team, we achieved our goal, climbed in good style, and snuck in Pisco’s summit in the only 12-hour window of good weather the mountains would muster over the past four days. We’re counting our lucky stars back here in the city, and we’re prepping for our last celebratory dinner to share stories, lessons, and reflect on the past two weeks we’ve spent together in one of the most beautiful mountain ranges on Earth. Tonight is our team’s last night to experience some of Peru’s finest cuisine as the recovery stage of our climbing begins. Chances are some folks will indulge in the local favorite, Cuy, a.k.a. Guinea Pig. Don’t worry, we won’t send pictures. Meanwhile, enjoy some photos of our most recent climb! We’re back to sea-level tomorrow as our team begins the long journey home. One more final post tomorrow, before you all see your loved ones once again!
Until then, hasta luego!
RMI Guides Robby Young, Alan Davis, William, and Peru Team “Pisco”
July 13, 2018
Friday, July 13, 2018 - 8:07 PM PT
Today, around 7:45am, your ESS-Peru Team was standing on top of Pisco Oeste! Due to weather yesterday, we made the climb from Base Camp at 15,200’ rather than moving camp higher on the mountain. The ‘audible’ paid off, and we were lucky to spend most of our 12-hour day of climbing under clear skies! The views from Pisco are famous in the Cordillera Blanca, as you’re surrounded on all sides by some of the highest mountains in the range. We spent a good while on the summit today, just below 19,000’, enjoying our last summit of the trip to its fullest. The climbing was superb to boot. The unsettled weather over the past few days laid down a fresh coat of light snow throughout the range. What a treat it was to break trail above 18,000’! After our climb, most of us settled into our tents all afternoon, recovering from our long day. Tomorrow, the comforts of city living await in Huaraz. We’ll send pics when we arrive! Until then, buenos noches.
RMI Guides Robby Young, Alan Davis, William, and Peru Team ‘Cuy’
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Congrats to everyone on another awesome achievement!
Posted by: Paul M Meese on 7/14/2018 at 3:57 am
July 12, 2018
Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 4:44 PM PT
It’s an incredibly rare event to be held down by weather here in the Cordillera Blanca in the months of July and August. The dry season here is wonderfully tranquil, for the most part, yet today, was a day the mountains were not their warm and welcoming selves. We had originally planned to move to high camp on Pisco today, but threatening clouds, wind, and snow showers kept us out here at Base Camp at 15,200’. Luckily, we’re acclimatized, and Pisco can be easily climbed from here at Base Camp in one day. We’re saving the energy of hauling heavy loads up high, and are going to make a go at it later tonight from Base Camp, if the weather allows, of course. We get really spoiled here with weather here in Peru for the most part, so is certainly out of the ordinary to need to improvise. Despite all that, we’re excited to go climb tonight, we’re well rested, and we just ate steak and French fries at 15,200’. Life is good! We’ll let you know how our climb goes tomorrow! Wish us luck!
July 12, 2018
Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - 6:00PM PT
Our climb of 18,898’ Pisco Oeste has officially begun! We woke up in Huaraz this morning refreshed and ready to ‘tackle our day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.’ A beautiful 3-hour drive later, we were in the heart of the stunningly beautiful Quebrada Llanganuco, and made the short 2-hour hike to 15,200’ Pisco Base Camp. It didn’t take long to get camp built, and we even had time to check out the Refugio above camp on the hill. Naps and then a dinner of spiced chicken, rice, potatoes, and fresh pineapple hit the spot. We’re ready to keep this train rolling tomorrow with an anticipated move to 16,200’ moraine Camp. We’re hoping for good weather and continued good health! And as always, we’ll keep you up to date!
July 10, 2018
We’re back in the comfy confines of Hotel Andino in Huaraz City! We’re indulging in the excellent cuisine here at the hotel, enjoying some clean clothes, and doing the “climbing gear shuffle” as we unpack and repack for our next adventure. Upcoming, Pisco Oeste, a nearly 19,000’ peak located in the beautiful valley of Llanganuco. We’ve trained, we’ve acclimatized, we’ve climbed hard, and we’ve learned a lot this past week; and we’re ready for the expedition ahead of us! The adventure begins tomorrow with a beautiful drive and a four-hour hike to Pisco Base Camp at 15,500’, before a move to high camp the following day. It’s been a wonderful stretch of climbing here in Peru so far, and we hope our good luck with weather will continue (fingers crossed!). For now, enjoy some photos from our last week in the Ishinca Valley. More to come!
RMI Guides Robby Young, Alan Davis, William, and Peru Team “Cuy”
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July 9, 2018
This morning around 9am, your ESS-Peru Team stood on top of Nevado Urus Este! What a beautiful morning it was; light breeze, mostly sunny skies, and some high clouds over the neighboring giants made for some incredible morning light. With an unknown summit elevation somewhere between 17,600’ and 18,028’, Urus gave us a great taste of true Alpine climbing with some steep snow and a bit of rock scrambling. After a tranquil sun filled descent, we made it back to the comforts of the tents in time for lunch. We spent our afternoon eating the remaining delicacies from our cook, Raul, including pancake pizzas, more delicious soups, and the main course of Lomo Saltado and Jello. Our stomachs are full and our muscles are recovering from a weeks worth of great climbing here in the Ishinca Valley. Tomorrow morning, we bid this beautiful valley farewell and head back to the comforts of Huaraz City for a night of rest and recovery before our next Cordillera Blanca adventure.
July 8, 2018
Sunday, July 8, 2018 - 4:00 PM PT
Hello Loyal Blog Followers!
Peru Expedition Skills Team here, enjoying a nice sunny day here in the Ishinca Valley. We slept in today; well deserved after our big climb of Nevado Ishinca yesterday! Per usual, we feasted for four meals today. You wouldn’t believe we’re at 14,400’ in the mountains of Peru given the fact that our diet today included fresh pineapple and melon with yogurt and cereal, yellow potato salad, dried corn and charcuterie, and pork chops for dinner! Oh boy, what a treat! It wasn’t just r+r today, however. We got a second chance to hike to the overlook of Tocllacoccha (Lake Toclla), this time without the wet weather. What a sight it was; with large glaciers pouring into turquoise water below the hulking mass that is Tocllaraju. We spent some time geeking out on crevasse rescue, and even practiced rigging rappels off the big boulders here at camp. A great day indeed! Tomorrow (tonight rather), we will make an attempt on Nevado Urus. Wish us luck! We’ll let you know how it goes!
July 7, 2018
Saturday, July 7, 2018 - 5:17 PM PT
We’re happy to report that our team stood on top of Nevado Ishinca this morning around 9 AM. At around 18,143’ high, we certainly had to put the work in, reaching the high point of our trip so far. Winds were light and skies were the brightest of blues for us today, and we sure felt lucky after some rare Cordillera Blanca snow earlier in the week. The team enjoyed pork chops tonight, and two rounds of lunch before that. We’re truly spoiled here in Peru, that’s for sure. We’re planning on resting here in the Ishinca Valley tomorrow, and getting into some crevasse rescue and a smattering of other technical skills as we continue our progression toward Nevado Urus in a few days. Thanks for following along!
Another day here in the beautiful Ishinca Valley! However, unlike yesterday’s rain and snow, today was splitter and bluebird! We took advantage of the sunshine and made our way up to the toe of the Ishinca Glacier for some on-snow training. The views of the massive Ranrapalca as well tomorrow’s objective, Ishinca, were second to none. We all got some much needed rest this afternoon, and are tucked into the tents already this evening, in anticipation of a 2am breakfast and an attempt on 18,143’ Nevada Ishinca tomorrow. Wish us luck!