Entries By robby young
July 14, 2016
Our 14,000 feet home here in the Ishinca Valley was draped in sunshine for most of today as we did some technical training right outside our tents. A thorough knots review and a gear prep session has prepared us for our first day on the ice tomorrow. We even had the time to sneak in an acclimatization hike this afternoon up the moraine to the overlook into Laguna Tocllacoccha. The views from there proved spectacular, as always. From our 15,200’ perch, we were able to see where glacier meets lake, deep within the surrounding moraines carved out by the most recent glaciation, below the 6000m summit of Tocllaraju. For some of us, this was an exciting new high altitude record. Light rain is audible on our tent flies as we’re bedding down for the night. An early wake up is in store tomorrow as we plan to spend the day reviewing glacier travel and ice climbing at the toe of the Ishinca Glacier. Stay tuned, friends.
RMI Guides Robby Young, Eric Frank, Edwin, and the Peru Seminar Crew
P.S. Spanish climbing term of the day is “Ballestrinque”, which means Clove Hitch.
July 13, 2016
Hello from our beautiful camp in the Ishinca Valley. This morning the team packed up our gear, and bussed two valleys to the north of Huaraz to the Pashpa trailhead. There we loaded the equipment onto our trusty little mountain burros and hiked along a turquoise blue stream to the very top of the valley at 14,200ft.
After multiple hours of hiking at altitude to get to camp, the team was ready for a solid dinner and our cocinero (camp cook) didn’t disappoint. We were treated to a hearty meal of beef, potatoes and rice, plus desert!
Currently we are tucked into our sleeping bags being lulled to sleep by a nearby glacial river and anticipating a full day of training tomorrow. Thanks for following along.
July 12, 2016
Greetings from Hotel Andino in the beautiful Huaraz City, Peru. Our expedition prep got off to a stunning start with a picturesque trip up to Puca Ventana (Red Window) at 11,600’. The additional elevation and light exercise will be crucial as we prep to move up the Ishinca Valley at 14,400’ tomorrow morning. A casual lunch at the climbing hangout Cafe Andino kept us energized through the afternoon as we began the packing and gear sorting for our upcoming week in the Cordillera. Tonight we enjoy the comforts of civilization at our hotel for one last night. Our next dispatches will be from the high valleys as we move closer to our first climbing goal of Ishinca (18,143’). Stay tuned, friends!
RMI Guides Robby Young, Eric Frank, Edwin, and the ESS-Peru Team
July 12, 2016
Greetings from Huaraz!
The ESS-Peru team has arrived safely in Huaraz. After a short night of sleep yesterday evening, we left the chaos of a busy Lima city behind, traveled up the Pacific coast, over a 14,000’ pass, and down into the Ancash Valley; home of the Cordillera Blanca Range (The White Mountains). We kicked off our stay at Hotel Andino with an incredible dinner, as usual, and are looking forward to the incredible views of the mountains from our hotel balconies in the morning. Tomorrow, our expedition prep begins. An acclimatization hike tomorrow morning to 11,500’ into the hills above Huaraz City (pop. 127,000) will serve a crucial purpose as we coax our bodies into their high-altitude form.
That’s all for now. Thanks for following along!
RMI Guides Robby Young, Eric Frank, and the ESS-Peru Team
Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. Copa taught us a great lesson about ourselves today; about how much trail we could break, how much wind we could withstand, route finding we could do, crevasses to go around, or in other words, what are we made of. The climb stopped for us at 5,850m, basically a few feet from gaining the summit ridge. But the team had been building up to the circumstances with the previous climbs, and we held it together until it was no longer the right thing to do. Regardless, the feel of accomplishment is very present, and we’re celebrating at Base Camp with the most awesome of dinners our cook Emilio could collaborate, including homemade chocolate cake, which by the way, made at 14,800ft on a portable propane stove top, is big deal. We’ll head to Huaraz tomorrow after loading our donkeys, and close up our program with a celebratory dinner.
Spanish word of the day: viento blanco (cloud cap)
July 6, 2016
Hello. This is the Peru Seminar calling in from our high Camp on Copa. We are going to bed. It’s 6:30 pm local time and we are hoping to give you guys a call tomorrow from the summit. It’s been a little bit of a taxing climb this year. Much drier year than others, but we managed to get up to camp. We hope to have a good climb tomorrow. Stay tuned.
RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos calls in from Copa High Camp.
Good luck on the BIG summit today!
Posted by: Sandy Sawyer on 7/7/2016 at 5:59 am
Good luck and I hope you make the summit today!
Posted by: Mike mangano on 7/7/2016 at 3:44 am
July 5, 2016
And we arrived to Copa BC! A good 5 hour approach, brought us to the drainage if the Lajiacocha lake, at some 14,800ft. Some clouds are currently covering the skies, and we can tell snow falling up high, but spirits are high…we’re on the mountains! Our cook is prepping our dinner, and the night is falling. Without going crazy, tomorrow we’ll move to high camp. We’ll be calling from there, all excited about our summit push!
RMI Guide Elias deAndres Martos and Team.
Good Luck!! And I hope the weather is good for you!
Posted by: Mike Mangano on 7/6/2016 at 4:47 am
July 5, 2016
Monday, July 4, 2016 - 10:35 p.m. PDT
Good evening from Huaraz,
We descended this morning from Ishinca Base Camp, and by early afternoon, we arrived at the trailhead of Pashpa. After unloading the donkeys and loading the bus, a one hour drive took us back to our hotel in Huaraz. Early tomorrow morning we’ll depart for the trail head of Vicos, towards Copa Base Camp. The climbing team is doing well and motivated for the upcoming objective, a Denali sized mountain on a range with more than 100 peaks of that height! We’ll be checking in from our camps in the upcoming days.
RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos and team
And another summit came our way! Urus East proved to be a steep challenge today; bare glacier ramps of crystal clear ice preceded by long stretches of gnarly boulders and slabs and an engaging fourth class summit pyramid, sure squeezed our skills and endurance. But the views of our pinnacle objective coming up, Nevado Copa, across the valley to the north, reminded us that today was only another milestone in our journey to the 6,000-meter mark, and we descended in style, as guides like to say “keeping it together”, (and perhaps also animated by the improvised karaoke that Dan improvised on top to the tunes of Phil Collins’ “On a The Air Tonight” song.)
Tomorrow we finish our leg in the Ishinca Valley; we’ll be heading back out to Huaraz for the evening, and to an earned shower before “getting dirty” again for the last leg of our trip. Check tomorrow for some pics as soon as we get internet again.
Good night, RMI Guide Elías de Andres and team.
-Spanish climbing word of the day: “mochila” (backpack)
July 3, 2016
Good morning. This is Elias and the team calling from the summit of Urus East, 5,380 meters. It’s 9:30 am local time. We are having a good time. The weather is perfect, and we are about to start our descent. Check us out on the blog tonight for a full recap. We’ll be heading out tomorrow for a rest day in Huaraz before heading out to Copa. That’s all for now. Bye.