Entries from Peru Seminar
July 22, 2022
July 17, 2022 Ishinca Valley to Haraz
With a cold frosty morning and a hot cup of coffee we spent our last morning tearing down our Ishinca basecamp to head back to a night of civilization. Much to our chagrin, our bus broke down due to a leak in the air brakes. Thus, we were stranded for multiple hours on windy rough mountain roads. At least the sun was out and a rescue bus on the way. After another duffle shuffle we made it back to the hospitable Andino hotel in Huaraz with just enough daylight to dry out our tents and sleeping bags on our hotel decks. A well-deserved meal with hot showers were in order as our turnaround to head to our next objective is hours away.
July 18, 2022 Huaraz to Copa Base Camp
Another duffle shuffle and we were on our way to the Copa trail head just an hour north of Huaraz. The trail was in great condition, and we were in forests of eucalyptus until we reached about 13,000’ winding up and up until we reached our basecamp for Copa at 15,200’ over laguna Lejlacocha. The mountain was in the clouds for most of the day, but we were able to enjoy occasional glimpses of the glacier in between rain showers even a nice sunset. After a 4600’ gain in elevation, we were ready to eat a quick dinner and crawl into our warm sleeping bags to rest before our move to high camp tomorrow morning.
July 19, 2022 Attempt to Move
We were thwarted on our attempt to move from basecamp to our high camp at 17,200’ due to extremely high winds and cloud cap over the upper mountain this morning. Fortunately, we were able to rest in the sun at basecamp despite nearly losing our cook tent from the high winds ripping through camp. The winds finally subsided in the late afternoon and the Viscachas came out to play as well as the Andean geese. With the mountain looming in its majesty above our little basecamp, we came to a group consensus that we might as well try to go climbing tonight. As long as the weather stays calm, route conditions allow, and our bodies hold up, we’ll give it an honest go…
July 20, 2022 Copa Summit Push
It felt like a summer climb in the cascades, walking out of camp with only a few hours of sleep and anticipation, but we left our camp at 10pm after a cup of coffee to give it a go. 2 hours out of basecamp, past a glacial lake and through boulder fields of old, we wandered up to the bottom of an ice chute. Our entrance to the glacier. We quickly transitioned into boots and crampons and climbed the three pitches of rock and waterfall ice onto the steep snow slope that brought us to what would have been our high camp at 17,200.’ We paused here to add our hard-shells to arm ourselves against the windy night as we gulped down some gummies and chocolate covered espresso beans. As the night progressed so did the wind, sustained at 15-20mph with gusts of 30+ at our faces. Looking up between the occasional sandblasts from the sugary snow, the Milky Way and all its splendor still shone brightly, so we continued. We meandered through the steep snow slopes, crevasses, and seracs of the Copa glacier until finally the last pitch onto the summit plateau. 6,188m (20,301ft) and we arrived in a single push from basecamp. Something none of us thought we would pull off. 14,000’ to over 20,000’ and back in a day seemed out of reach, fortunately the weather was clear and just good enough that pacha mama (Goddess of the Andes) allowed us safe passage into this beautiful and sacred space. With tired bodies and full hearts, we celebrated one last mountain meal back in basecamp and slept hard to prepare for the walk back to civilization the next morning. Thankful for a safe and successful trip to this special Andean paradise.
July 18, 2022
July 16, 2022
We began our morning with another alpine start and left basecamp under the stars at 2:00 a.m. for our summit attempt of Urus Este. We climbed the steep rocky approach in the cool night air. With frosty packs the team made the toe of the glacier and donned our crampons, ropes, and axes just before the skies became purple and pink. Reaching the summit of Urus Este in style, 100% of the team was all smiles!
More to come!
RMI Guide Alan Davis and team
July 18, 2022
July 15, 2022
We had a long restful night of sleep at base camp and took our time in the morning as we eased into bacon and eggs while enjoying many cups of coffee and tea. In the afternoon we found a good crag near camp where we could work on more rope skills and set up rappel stations. The backdrop of the Ishinca valley and Tocllaraju made for a nice classroom setting. A quick but delicious dinner and early to bed for another alpine start as we put in our bids of Urus Este tomorrow morning.
RMI Guide Alan Davis and team
July 18, 2022
July 14, 2022
After waking to wild horses outside our tents in search for scraps, we gulped down some coffee and porridge and began walking uphill in the cold of the night at 2:00 a.m. We made the toe of the glacier by 5:30 a.m. and donned our crampons and climbing gear. Due to the melting out of the glacier we attempted a new route over a rocky ridge where we began climbing two pitches of firm nevé to the cruzy glacial traverse toward the steep summit ramp. The team dug deep through the heat of the morning and reached the summit of Ishinca where we were surrounded by cobalt skies and beautiful snowy peaks. Back at camp, the team was tired and ready for bed. We enjoyed fresh avocado salads and asada then quickly got horizontal under a clear starry night. Ready for a well deserved rest day tomorrow!
RMI Guide Alan Davis and Team
July 13, 2022
RMI Guide Alan Davis checked in via inReach. The team arrived at the western end of the Ishinca Glacier at 14,400' yesterday. They will spend a couple of days building on the skills in preparation for our first summit bid, Ishinca at 18,143'.
All is well, no hiccups!
July 11, 2022
Acclimatization has been going well thus far here in Huaraz. Not only have we been sleeping at 10,000', but yesterday, we went for a hike a few hours round-trip walk from our hotel to the "Puca Ventana" or "Red Window" which overlooks the city. Today, we went up to 14,700' on another hike to the beautiful turquoise Laguna which sits in front of the 18,000' "Nevado Churup." After packing for the week ahead, we all enjoyed another delicious meal at the Hotel Andino. Early to bed for some rest before we begin the 6-day adventure that awaits in the Ishinca Valley where we will set up our basecamp and attempt our two objectives (Nevado Ishinca, and Urus Oeste). Stay tuned!
RMI Guides Alan Davis and Emma Lyddan
July 9, 2022
Hello from Huaraz!
After a few years of hiatus due to the pandemic, we were welcomed back graciously into the beautiful country of Peru. It was such a treat to again be able to enjoy the bustling coastal grandeur of Lima while sampling delicious ceviche and other fine Peruvian cuisine last night after some long flights. We began our eight-hour bus ride to the climbing and trekking hamlet of Huaraz promptly this morning after breakfast and were greeted by the always friendly staff at the Andino Club Hotel. A true climbers hotel with some Swiss roots. It was so great to catch up with our local partner and IFMGA guide Peter as well as some of the other support staff with whom we hadn't seen in a few years. Tired from multiple days of travel via busses and planes we quickly enjoyed dinner and got settled into our rooms for a full nights rest where we will begin acclimatizing by sleeping at 10,000'.
RMI Guides Alan Davis, Emma Lyddan and Team
Robby ... thank you so much for all of the updates. You have some excellent writing skills! And thanks for getting everyone thru unscathed. Enjoy some downtime!!!
Posted by: Bridget on 7/30/2019 at 3:05 pm
What a wonderful read = can see the stars in the clear mountain air and the calm of the then broken by first light = so well written thank you for sharing God Bless
Posted by: Bobby Brown on 7/28/2019 at 8:12 pm
Congratulations to the whole team for an amazing climb! And thanks to Robby, William and Alfie for getting the team out and back successfully and safely!
Posted by: Barbara W on 7/27/2019 at 12:57 pm
July 26, 2019
Posted by: Robby Young
Congratulations and well done to all!!!
Posted by: Michelle on 7/26/2019 at 6:39 pm
Wonderful pics! Looks like an incredibly arduous accomplishment. Congratulations to all the team; proud of you and looking forward to hearing the stories!
Posted by: Barbara w on 7/26/2019 at 6:34 pm