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Entries from Peru Seminar

Mt. Rainier: Five Day Teams Turned back by High Winds

The Five Day Climb July 19 - 23 led by RMI Guides Henry Coppolillo and Mike Bennett reached 11,300' today before strong winds forced them to switch their ascent to a descent. The teams have returned safely to Camp Muir. They will pack gear and enjoy the morning from sunshine from 10,000' before continuing down the remaining 4.5 miles to Paradise later this morning. There adventure will conclude this afternoon at Rainier BaseCamp. 

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Peru Seminar: Davis & Team Enjoy Rest Day in Ishinca Basecamp

July 22, 2024 - 5:25 pm PT

Rest day in Ishinca basecamp. Woke up as the sun hit the valley and were welcomed into the dining tent with omelettes and coffee. We spent the day at our training crag just down the creek where we practiced more knots, hitches, fixed rope ascension, crevasse rescue, anchor building, and haul systems. Early to bed for a final summit attempt of our last peak of the trip, Urus Este.

RMI Guide Alan Davis

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Peru Seminar: Davis & Team Reach Summit of Ishinca

Sunday, July 21, 2024 - 6:15 pm pT

Alpine start had us leaving camp at 0100 in the cold, clear of night. Thankful the winds died down, we walked by the bright moonlight hardly needing headlamps. We reached the toe of the glacier an hour before dawn and began working our way up the icy slopes, hearing nothing but our footsteps and the occasional cracking and popping of the ancient ice shift beneath our feet. We were greeted with a spectacular sunrise that seemed to last for hours and enjoyed the summit mostly to ourselves, save one party of three. After an hour on the top, we made our way down back to basecamp and rested. We feasted on the finest Lomo Saltado in the Ishinca valley provided by Peter’s father Emilio, a retired guide whom is one of the best camp cooks around. With full bellies and gratitude we enjoyed another beautiful alpine sunset and promptly got into our sleeping bags for some good earned rest. Photos to come!

RMI Guide Alan Davis

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Peru Seminar: Davis & Team Train Near Basecamp

July 20, 2024 - 5:45 pm PT

Woke with the sun and some good Peruvian coffee. The winds were quite strong and kept us tent bound initially. We spent the day resting and working on knots, hitches, and rappelling at our campside crag. After dinner it was early to bed for another alpine start as we attempt the valley’s namesake, Ishinca, in the wee hours of the morning.

RMI Guide Alan Davis

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Peruvian coffee definitely sounds tasty!

Posted by: Some guy from Puyallup on 7/21/2024 at 11:53 am

Peru Seminar: Davis and Team Summit Vallunaraju!

After two nights of being spoiled with plush mattresses and running water in the Llaca Valley Refugio the team put in a full day (16 hours) of climbing and was rewarded with a breathtaking sunrise and perfect weather on the summit of Vallunaraju at 18, 655 ft. 

With only a few hours of sleep and some hot coffee and tea, we departed Vallunaraju basecamp with a classic alpine start at 11 pm. After a 3.5-hour approach on a rugged climber’s trail, we donned our boots and crampons and climbed a full pitch of alpine ice—a highlight of the climb. We then meandered through a maze of icy crevasses and steep snow until we gained the col between Vallunaraju’s north and south summits. The beautiful alpine sunrise provided the mental boost needed to gain the summit ridge and ascend the final 300 feet of steep snow to the summit. With only a breath of wind and smiles all around, we took in the views of the greater Cordillera Blanca and got a sneak peek of what’s to come in the Ishinca Valley.

We reversed course and began our descent in the sunshine, looking down at the city of Huaraz where a hot shower and bed awaited us. With tired bodies and full hearts, we were greeted with a bowl of hot soup and tea at basecamp. We then packed up our duffels and headed back to Huaraz via the rugged trail of a "road," thankful for a safe and successful climb.

The team enjoyed a well-deserved rest day in Huaraz, just enough time to unpack and repack duffels. Today, we are headed into the Ishinca Valley where we will establish basecamp for the next five nights. We will be focusing on climbing skills and resting up for more summit attempts.

RMI Guide Tatum Whatford & Team

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Peru Seminar: Davis & Team Check in from Vallunaraju Basecamp

Checking in from Vallunaraju Basecamp!

We had an early start from town and made our way up the rugged 4x4 roads to our Basecamp for the next couple nights at 14,600.

Upon arriving, we wasted no time and started our acclimatization approach to the glacier which currently sits at nearly 16,600. Here we spent the afternoon on Glacier travel skills, rope techniques, and arresting a fall. Once back at camp we enjoyed a hot meal of crusted trout and potatoes. Tomorrow we will rest.

RMI Guide Alan Davis

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Peru Seminar: Davis and Team Get Comfortable at 10,000’

It was such a treat to again be able to enjoy the bustling coastal grandeur of Lima and watching surf for a night before the next long travel leg. As we arrived by bus two nights ago, we were greeted with our first views of the Cordillera Blanca and the towering giant that is Huascaran. We were welcomed back 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 guide Peter Alvarado as well as some of the other support staff with whom we hadn't seen in a couple 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 10,000’.

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." Early to bed for some rest and last minute gear shuffling before we begin our trek into the the Lllaca Valley where we will set up our basecamp at around 14,500’ for the next few days as we prepare for our first objective of Vallunaraju.

RMI Guide Alan Davis

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Please share photos of your adventure, if at all possible. (The Peru Seminar is one I’ve been mulling over for quite awhile now—the Cordillera Blanca seem absolutely magical to me.)

Posted by: Some guy from Puyallup on 7/14/2024 at 5:55 pm

Peru Seminar: Alan Davis and Team check in - Ishinca Valley to Copa Summit

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. 

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Peru Seminar: Davis and Team Summit Urus Este!

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

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Peru Seminar: Productive Rest Day For Davis and Team

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

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