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Published byBryanna Ridgely
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Peru, 2013 Artesonraju, 6025 m (19,800’)
Our goal is the famous peak from the Paramount Pictures logo.
Huaraz (base town) Nestled in the low valley at 10,000’
Sunset on the peaks from my hotel balcony.
First acclimatization hike up to Lago Churup 14,600’
I had the place all to myself.
2 nd acclimatization hike up to Lago Llaco. It was a really bad road up. The other 2 cars we saw broke down. We made it, somehow.
Hiked up to the glacier’s edge at 16,400’
Time to head to the high mountains.
Loading up the 80 lb pack with 7 days of supplies and gear.
First camp was beyond the other side of the Lago Parron.
Lake camp. Our goal has come into view.
A steep climb up to Moraine Camp. 15,900’
We passed many memorials to fallen climbers. Not really a good omen.
Weird plants along the way.
John and our cook approaching Moraine Camp. Our route is up the right side.
Pretty views. High camp will be across the low glacier and in the col.
Joaquin cooking us dinner as it starts to snow.
More snow. Not good for our chances of summiting.
We crossed this glacier a few times, preparing our high camp on the other side.
We had to descend a rock slide to even get to the glacier.
Lots of crevasses to negotiate.
On the way to high camp. 5000 m.
Me trying to spot our route in the snow and clouds.
Time to make dinner and melt water for our ascent.
Our route goes up the face on the right. But first we have to cross a jumbled crevasse field, left over from when the glacier on our route ripped free and avalanched to the base.
I hate 1:00 am starts. Cold climbing through the night, weaving through crevasses.
A sketchy snow bridge to cross on the way. But it was our only option.
First light and we are just to the base of the steep face. Camp is at the bottom, somewhere.
Arduous climbing, The fresh snow is knee deep and doesn’t afford a lot of good protection.
Starting to feel the toes again.
Crossing the bergschrund at the base of the face.
Up through a sketchy rock band.
The weather deteriorates when we are about at the arrow. We decide to head down. 250 m shy of the summit. It’s a bummer because I was feeling strong.
It’s snowing hard and waterfalling down the entire face above us. It buries us and our anchors in seconds.
We make eight 70 meter rappels to get back to the bergschrund.
Final rappel over the berg. We were just up there in the clouds somewhere.
A steep harrowing descent down a debris slide.
John leading the descent. Our tents are the two dots way down below.
Back down to Moraine Camp. The view from my tent.
John filtering our snow samples. Science!
The steep hike down to the turquoise lakes.
Saying goodbye to Artesonraju.
Back in Huaraz, eating and drinking and replenishing. It’s best to avoid the sex burgers.
Until next time,
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