Tag: acclimatization

Kilimanjaro weather can be great, weather on mountains can also not be great. As we tried to sleep in our tents in preparation of our 11pm wake up for our summit bid, our tents folded like tacos in the wind and sounded like chip bags with snow and hail. Needless to say, I don’t think anybody slept. We got up, ate a light breakfast and started our ascent. About 5 inches of new snow had fallen overnight and the wind had increased, we climbed higher and higher in the dark bucking a serious wind, steady and unrelenting. By around 5:15AM we stood at Stella Point, the bulk of the climbing below us the sun rose and illuminated Africa and the clouds below. We made the final stroll to the summit and at 6:40AM we all celebrated. The descent was straightforward if not muddy due to the melting snow and the wind had abated. We were in high spirits as we strolled back into camp until we saw what remained of much of our camp. The winds throughout the night had taken their toll on our cook tent, our dining tent and our porters sleeping tent leaving them destroyed. What would generally be a celebratory lunch turned into a rush to pack and head down the mountain. As the icy winds began again we hurriedly packed our gear and hightailed it down the mountain. After a 4 hour hike we finally got to relax at McKay high camp where we are, drank water and tea and slept like baby rhinos.
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The last day of any trip is bitter sweet. On one handed we long for cold beer, new food and hot showers while on the other we have to leave a place we have given so much for. We came out here and climbed the mountain and the trip is over. Now we all go back to our lives and have the memories and pictures. This was on all of our minds as we hiked the 10 kilometer hike out to the gate, through the rain forest we saw more birds and monkeys than we could count. We arrived at the gate to our team singing and dancing and congratulating us on a great climb. We feasted on a fantastic buffet lunch, thanked our staff, said goodbye then loaded up in the van back to the hotel. We are all sad to be going home, but psyched for the pool.
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Yesterday was a favorite so far for our Kilimanjaro team! The Baranco Wall can be an intimidating feature and as we woke up we could only see it for brief moments through the breaking fog. We stashed our trekking poles and steadily climbed. Mike, Todd and Cassey showed no signs of slowing as we crested the wall! As we bobbed and weaved our way around the mountain we were all in awe on the mountain to our left, and the beautiful countryside of Tanzania to our right. Karanga camp was a welcome sight!

Today we sit primed and ready for our climb tonight! The climb from Karanga to Kosovo camp at 15,500ft is a rewarding but demanding day. As usual Mike, Todd and Cassey floated it! As the scrub brush disappeared leaving only gravel and rocks, one starts to feel the change from hiking to climbing. Now we rest, drink water, eat and prepare for our late night start and our climb to the top of Africa!

Sid Pattison

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There are few places like the beautiful Shira Camp sunrise on Mount Kilimanjaro. Looking out over the jungle, seeing Meru peaking up above the clouds watching the frost give way to sun warmth is fantastic. Today the team rocked our acclimatization day climbing up to 15,000ft to the Lava Tower! We moved confidently and steadily up, happy to see our lunch tent through the mist. We dined in luxury on chicken, pasta, sandwiches and fresh fruit while trying out best to master the Swahili phrases of gratitude we have been learning. After a good break we descended down through the Hidden Moorlands of indescribable beauty. Wandering past waterfalls, clumps of wild Dr. Suess trees we arrived at Baranco Camp at 12,750ft. Red blood cells freshly oxygenated, we rest before dinner.

Sid Pattison

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Early this morning our Ecuador climbers reached the summit of Cayambe at 5,790 m (19,000 ft)! Located in the Cordillera Central, this glaciated super-volcano runs along the Ecuadorian Andes mountain range. The volcano and most of its slopes are located within the Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve. Weather conditions looked beautiful on the summit today with epic views from high above the clouds! After a short rest at the high altitude hut, our team packed up their gear and will now drive back down the mountain and toward their next mountain ascent on Chimborazo.

Way to go team!!

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William enjoying the amazing summit views from Cayambe.

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Summit success!

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Route to summit.

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Lower glacier crossing.

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Beautiful views in the Andes as our climbers set off for the Ecuador volcanoes! Our team will spend the first few days acclimating on local peaks close to Quito in preparation for Cayambe at an elevation of 18,996 feet. For a detailed overview of this exciting climb please visit our page here.

To the top!

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William celebrating his first summit of Pasochoa. This extinct volcano is located in the Guayllabamba river basin in the Ecuadorian Andes.

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Now passing the remote Askole settlement at the foothills of the Karakoram wilderness, our K2 team is in good condition and excited for the adventure ahead. Our Madison Mountaineering K2 International Expedition has five climbers for K2 plus 2 guides, 1 camera man and 1 base camp chef, and we are traveling with and sharing some resources with another K2 Expedition led by Kari Kobler from Switzerland. The two expeditions combined have sent in an advance group of about 300 Pakistani porters and about 100 horses to carry equipment and supplies. In addition to the advanced group of porters and horses, both expeditions combined also have an additional 300 Pakistani porters and more than 100 horses traveling into K2 Base Camp with the climbers. There are just under 100 permits issued for western climbers and supporting Nepalese Sherpa’s for 2016 for the four 8,000 metre peaks in the Karakoram region that include K2, Broad Peak and Gashaburm 1 and 2. There is only about 45 climbing permits for K2 for 2016.

We are excited to be connecting climbers scaling the worlds highest peaks to physicians, researchers, emergency teams, friends and family in near real-time using the first and only fully integrated remote physiological monitoring platform capable of doing so this season on K2. As a part of this ascent, this project represents the collaboration of three leaders in wireless technology and communications – WiCis-Sports, Thuraya, and OCENS, – to stream vital sign and location data within seconds to any internet-enabled device anywhere in the world. With the goal of advancing the availability of scalable, continuous monitoring for those participating in extreme outdoor adventure sports, this project goes well beyond to keep explorers everywhere well within reach.

Thank you Stuart for the photos and update!

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K2 Hotel in Skardu

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Getting ready to leave the K2 hotel

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Driving from Skardu to Askole

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Our team had 15 Toyota Landcruisers full of people and supplies. Trucks went ahead with other supplies. One of the rivers had a fairly good mudslide causing our trucks to get stuck

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One of the many bridges on the drive from Skardu to Askole

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A cooked chapatti

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The drive 130 km from Skardu to Askole took about nine hours

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A Toyota Landcruiser overheated and needed water after each steam

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Drive in from Skardu to Askole was very narrow and steep in many parts

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The trek in to K2

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Preparing dough for chapattis

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Cooking chapatti

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Jeff, José, and I have made a safe and successful ascent of Cayambe volcano! After we finished our acclimatization hikes near Quito we departed for Cayambe hut at an elevation of 15,250 feet. After a hour of driving from Hacienda Guachala we took our expedition vehicle across rocky and steep terrain toward Cayambe. The hut was beautifully located and provided spectacular views of the mountain. After three days of glacier training we prepared our gear and left at 11pm for the summit. After 7 hours of climbing we made it over the last crevasse and to the top on a crystal clear day just as the sun came up over the horizon. We were the first climbing team to reach the summit 🙂 We had an amazing adventure and thank our guide José Luis for his expert guidance and support! I will be posting additional photos from our expedition to the Madison Mountaineering Facebook page!

Onward!

-Andrew Tierney

Photos taken below by Andrew Tierney using a GoPro Hero 4 Black and iPhone 6. Enjoy! 🙂

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Dinner at Hacienda Guachala. The Hacienda Guachalá is known as the oldest hacienda in Ecuador, and the most important hacienda until the middle of the 20th century. The oldest buildings date from the year 1580!

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Breakfast with a view at Hacienda Guachala.

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Middle of the World!

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Happy Birthday Jeff! 🙂 Mountain Birthday’s are the best!

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Jeff with Cayambe in the background!

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Glacier training on Cayambe.

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Ladder training in preparation for Jeff’s upcoming Everest ascent!

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Andrew enjoying the fixed ropes and ladders on Cayambe!

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Jeff preparing to cross the ladder.

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Andrew on the summit of Cayambe!

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Jeff on the summit of Cayambe! Rise & Shine!

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Spectacular sunrise across Ecuador!

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Cayambe Hut

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Cayambe Volcano

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Last sunset before we made our ascent!

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Yesterday Jeff, José, and I summited Pichincha in record time and enjoyed panoramic views of Cayambe, Cotopaxi (active), and many other notorious mountains across Ecuador. Once we reached the summit at 15,700 feet we had lunch and continued to acclimate as we prepare for the journey to Cayambe hut today. After our climb we checked out of our hotel in Quito and drove a short distance to Hacienda Guachala, a famous establishment that dates back to 1580! As we fell asleep we enjoyed a warm fire in our room and woke up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee on our patio. Today we will journey to the Cayambe hut and begin to review the technical skills that we will need for the climb. Service will become harder to find but I will try and update the blog as soon as I am able. Onward!

-Andrew

 

Photos taken below by Andrew Tierney

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Bouldering across a rock field as we make our way up Pichincha.

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Jeff and José Luis climbing up the last few steps of Pichincha!

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Jeff and Andrew at the summit of Pichincha (15,700 feet).

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Beautiful views looking over the city of Quito from Pichincha!

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Today Jeff Glasbrenner and I explored the rolling country side and completed acclimatization hikes near Quito. We cruised to the top of Pasochoa at 13,860 ft and bagged another nearby summit as well. After a day of hiking we explored the beautiful city of Quito where we saw the historic sites and had an authentic Ecuadorian dinner in town. Tomorrow we will continue to acclimate to the altitude with our amazing guide, José Luis, and climb Pinchincha at 15,700 ft. The weather is beautiful and our team is very excited to begin our journey to Cayambe in the days to come.

To the top!

-Andrew Tierney

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Photos taken using DJI Phantom 3 Professional drone and GoPro Hero4. Enjoy!

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Virgin of El Panecillo overlooking the city of Quito

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Church of San Francisco

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One of my favorite shots looking over the city of Quito!

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Basílica del Voto Nacional – Quito

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Rolling layers of fog made for a beautiful picture here from the summit of Pasochoa (13,860′).

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Jeff and I taking our first summit photo! More to come!!

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Our adventure rig for the week!

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Climbing down from Pasochoa over the rolling hills outside of Quito

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Palace in the Plaza Grande

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Church of La Compañía de Jesús

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Chopicalqui and Pisco!

Join us in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru for some amazing climbing on peaks up to nearly 21,000’ high. We will climb Pisco first (18,980’), and then attempt the nearby Chopicalqui (20,850’) second. The setting is spectacular, with these and many other jagged high peaks covered in snow, with lush meadows and grasslands below, in addition to crystal clear blue lakes. These peaks are excellent training for higher altitude climbs, and are great for building upon technical climbing skills such as cramponing, rope travel, and ice axe technique. We have ample time for acclimatization, and utilize high camps to position us for the summit attempts. This is one of our favorite programs in the Andes. The local Peruvians / Quechuas we work with are very positive and engaging, and we are blessed to share time with them in the mountains at our base camp and at the high camps.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lima, Peru.

Day 2: We board our private air-conditioned bus and make the scenic drive to Huaraz. Along the way we see the coastline, and stop for a traditional lunch. We arrive at our hotel in the evening and begin acclimatizing that night, approximately 10.000 ft.

Day 3: We spend the day organizing gear and acclimating in Huaraz. A mountain bike ride is optional. We enjoy a nice dinner and sleep in our hotel again.

Day 4: We drive through the countryside and beautiful lakes to the beginning of the hike to Pisco base camp. After unloading from the bus we make the short hike to our camp and settle in for the night.

Day 5: We make a carry to our Camp 1 on Pisco and return to base camp to sleep.

Day 6: After a leisurely breakfast we pack up and climb to our Camp 1, and review some technical climbing skills.

Day 7: We review climbing skills and continue acclimating.

Day 8: We negotiate the rocky moraine and climb up to our Camp 2, adjacent to the glacier. We go bed early in preparation for an alpine start!

Day 9: We awake early and after a quick breakfast depart camp to climb the glaciated slopes leading up to the Col, then make our way through crevasses and up steeper slopes to the summit (18,880′). The views are spectacular and we can see many of the high peaks in the Andes. We return to camp and continue back down to our base camp.

Day 10: Today we relax in base camp and have an optional afternoon hike to a beautiful nearby lake.

Day 11: Now that we are acclimated and rested after climbing Pisco, we focus on our next challenge: Chopicalqui. We depart camp and climb to an intermediate camp on Chopicalqui.

Day 12: Today we make a carry to the high camp, climbing the glaciated slopes, then return to intermediate camp to sleep.

Day 13: Move to high camp. We rest in the afternoon and go to bed early in preparation for another alpine start!

Day 14: Summit day!! We awake before dawn and after a quick breakfast head out onto the glaciated slopes, climbing varying degrees of snow and ice, a ridge line, and a few steep sections, then reach the summit. The summit is small and well defined, and a worthy accomplishment! We descend and sleep in our intermediate camp.

Day 15: We return to our base camp, enjoy a wonderful backcountry dinner, and our final night out in the mountains!

Day 16: After breakfast we pack up camp and make the short hike to our private bus, then drive back to Huaraz where we check into our hotel and enjoy the comforts of civilization!

Day 17: We drive from Huaraz in our bus to Lima, then depart for home that evening. Optional extra night in a hotel and flight the next day.

Dates and Costs

June 15 – July 2, 2018

Cost: $4,150
Deposit: $800

Cost Includes:
• Airport pickup upon arrival in Lima
• Welcome dinner
• Accommodations in Lima for 1 night upon arrival, 2 nights in Huaraz before the climbs and then 1 night in Huaraz after the climbs.
• All ground transport during the expedition.
• All group gear such as tents, cooking equipment, climbing gear, etc.
• Communications equipment (VHF hand held radios)
• All food and meals during the expedition outside of Lima.
• Western guide
• Peruvian support staff including cooks, porters, base camp manager.

Not Included:
• Wire transfer fee
• Airfare to Peru
• Meals in Lima
• All expenses incurred for an early departure from the expedition.
• Medical and evacuation insurance, trip cancellation insurance.
• Personal items (see gear list)

Gear List

Ice Axe: General mountaineering tool (65cm)
Crampons: General mountaineering crampons
Climbing Helmet: Must be able to fit over your ski hat
Ascender: 1 right or left hand ascender (Petzel brand is best)
Alpine Climbing Harness: A mountaineering harness, with adjustable leg loops. Not a rock climbing “sport” harness.
Carabineers: 3 locking and 3 regular
Rappel device: ATC or figure 8
Mountaineering boots: Nepal Evo, Koflach Arctis Expe, etc.
Hiking shoes: comfortable boots or shoes for walking around base camps.
Booties: Optional, down is best.
Wool or synthetic socks: 6 pair
Liner socks: 3 pair
Synthetic Short underwear: A non cotton style underwear.
Lightweight Long Underwear: 2-3 pair long sleeve shirt and long pants
Heavyweight long underwear: 1 pair
Short Sleeve Synthetic Shirt: 1-2 pair
Lightweight Nylon Pants: 1-2 pair
Soft Shell jacket: With or without hood
Soft Shell Pants: With accessory side pockets
Hard Shell Jacket with hood: A waterproof and breathable shell jacket
Hard Shell Pants: Waterproof and breathable shell pants
Down Parka with hood: This “puffy” jacket we wear when taking breaks and sometimes when climbing on a cold summit day.
Insulated synthetic Pants: These are nice to have when climbing on summit day.
Synthetic or wool hat (ski hat).
Balaclava: to protect your neck and face in high winds.
Baseball Cap or other sun hat: To shade your face / neck from the sun on a hot day.
Bandana or Buff: To protect your neck / face from the sun.
Glacier glasses: Full protection with side covers or wrap around.
Ski goggles: To be worn on summit day in the event of high winds.
Lightweight synthetic liner gloves: For wearing on a hot day.
Soft shell gloves: To wear for moderate cold / wind.
Shell glove with insulated liner: To wear for severe cold / strong wind.
Expedition Mitts: Large enough to fit a liner glove inside.
Expedition Backpack: 50L pack should be large enough.
Sleeping Bag: rated to at least -20°F.
Compression stuff sacks: For reducing volume of the sleeping bag, down parka, etc., in your pack.
Self inflating sleeping pad: Full length is preferred.
Closed cell foam pad: To be used in conjunction with the inflating pad for warmth and comfort when sleeping.
Trekking poles: Adjustable
Cup: A plastic 16 oz. minimum cup or mug
Bowl: A plastic bowl for eating dinner or breakfast out of
Spoon: Plastic spoon (lexan)
Headlamp: With 2 extra sets of new batteries
Sunscreen: SPF 50 or better
Lip screen: SPF 30 or better (2 sticks).
Water bottles: 2 or 3 wide mouth bottles with 1 liter capacity.
Water bottle parkas (2): fully insulated with zip opening.
Thermos: 1 liter
Pee bottle: 1 liter minimum bottle for convenience at night in the tent.
Toiletry bag: Include toilet paper and hand sanitizer and small towel
Hand warmers & toe warmers: 2 sets of each. Or use Hot Tronics for foot warmer system for summit days.
Knife or multi tool (optional).
Trash compactor bags: to line back pack and stuff sacks in the event of rain or wet snow is falling on us.
Camera: bring extra batteries and memory cards.
Travel Clothes: For days in Lima / Huaraz.
Duffel bags (2) with locks: To transport equipment.
Base Camp Items: Kindle, Ipad, smart phone, etc.
Snack food: Please bring a few days of your favorite climbing snack food such as bars, gels, nuts, beef jerky, etc. A variety of salty and sweet is good.
Small personal first aid kit: Include athletic tape, band aids, Ibuprofen, blister care, personal medications, etc.
Medications and Prescriptions: Bring antibiotics (Azithromycin, etc.), and altitude medicine such as Diamox, Dexamethasone, Tadalafil.

Day 1: Arrive in Lima, Peru.

Day 2: We board our private air-conditioned bus and make the scenic drive to Huaraz. Along the way we see the coastline, and stop for a traditional lunch. We arrive at our hotel in the evening and begin acclimatizing that night, approximately 10.000 ft.

Day 3: We spend the day organizing gear and acclimating in Huaraz. A mountain bike ride is optional. We enjoy a nice dinner and sleep in our hotel again.

Day 4: We drive through the countryside and beautiful lakes to the beginning of the hike to Pisco base camp. After unloading from the bus we make the short hike to our camp and settle in for the night.

Day 5: We make a carry to our Camp 1 on Pisco and return to base camp to sleep.

Day 6: After a leisurely breakfast we pack up and climb to our Camp 1, and review some technical climbing skills.

Day 7: We review climbing skills and continue acclimating.

Day 8: We negotiate the rocky moraine and climb up to our Camp 2, adjacent to the glacier. We go bed early in preparation for an alpine start!

Day 9: We awake early and after a quick breakfast depart camp to climb the glaciated slopes leading up to the Col, then make our way through crevasses and up steeper slopes to the summit (18,880′). The views are spectacular and we can see many of the high peaks in the Andes. We return to camp and continue back down to our base camp.

Day 10: Today we relax in base camp and have an optional afternoon hike to a beautiful nearby lake.

Day 11: Now that we are acclimated and rested after climbing Pisco, we focus on our next challenge: Chopicalqui. We depart camp and climb to an intermediate camp on Chopicalqui.

Day 12: Today we make a carry to the high camp, climbing the glaciated slopes, then return to intermediate camp to sleep.

Day 13: Move to high camp. We rest in the afternoon and go to bed early in preparation for another alpine start!

Day 14: Summit day!! We awake before dawn and after a quick breakfast head out onto the glaciated slopes, climbing varying degrees of snow and ice, a ridge line, and a few steep sections, then reach the summit. The summit is small and well defined, and a worthy accomplishment! We descend and sleep in our intermediate camp.

Day 15: We return to our base camp, enjoy a wonderful backcountry dinner, and our final night out in the mountains!

Day 16: After breakfast we pack up camp and make the short hike to our private bus, then drive back to Huaraz where we check into our hotel and enjoy the comforts of civilization!

Day 17: We drive from Huaraz in our bus to Lima, then depart for home that evening. Optional extra night in a hotel and flight the next day.

June 15 – July 2, 2018

Cost: $4,150
Deposit: $800

Cost Includes:
• Airport pickup upon arrival in Lima
• Welcome dinner
• Accommodations in Lima for 1 night upon arrival, 2 nights in Huaraz before the climbs and then 1 night in Huaraz after the climbs.
• All ground transport during the expedition.
• All group gear such as tents, cooking equipment, climbing gear, etc.
• Communications equipment (VHF hand held radios)
• All food and meals during the expedition outside of Lima.
• Western guide
• Peruvian support staff including cooks, porters, base camp manager.

Not Included:
• Wire transfer fee
• Airfare to Peru
• Meals in Lima
• All expenses incurred for an early departure from the expedition.
• Medical and evacuation insurance, trip cancellation insurance.
• Personal items (see gear list)

Ice Axe: General mountaineering tool (65cm)
Crampons: General mountaineering crampons
Climbing Helmet: Must be able to fit over your ski hat
Ascender: 1 right or left hand ascender (Petzel brand is best)
Alpine Climbing Harness: A mountaineering harness, with adjustable leg loops. Not a rock climbing “sport” harness.
Carabineers: 3 locking and 3 regular
Rappel device: ATC or figure 8
Mountaineering boots: Nepal Evo, Koflach Arctis Expe, etc.
Hiking shoes: comfortable boots or shoes for walking around base camps.
Booties: Optional, down is best.
Wool or synthetic socks: 6 pair
Liner socks: 3 pair
Synthetic Short underwear: A non cotton style underwear.
Lightweight Long Underwear: 2-3 pair long sleeve shirt and long pants
Heavyweight long underwear: 1 pair
Short Sleeve Synthetic Shirt: 1-2 pair
Lightweight Nylon Pants: 1-2 pair
Soft Shell jacket: With or without hood
Soft Shell Pants: With accessory side pockets
Hard Shell Jacket with hood: A waterproof and breathable shell jacket
Hard Shell Pants: Waterproof and breathable shell pants
Down Parka with hood: This “puffy” jacket we wear when taking breaks and sometimes when climbing on a cold summit day.
Insulated synthetic Pants: These are nice to have when climbing on summit day.
Synthetic or wool hat (ski hat).
Balaclava: to protect your neck and face in high winds.
Baseball Cap or other sun hat: To shade your face / neck from the sun on a hot day.
Bandana or Buff: To protect your neck / face from the sun.
Glacier glasses: Full protection with side covers or wrap around.
Ski goggles: To be worn on summit day in the event of high winds.
Lightweight synthetic liner gloves: For wearing on a hot day.
Soft shell gloves: To wear for moderate cold / wind.
Shell glove with insulated liner: To wear for severe cold / strong wind.
Expedition Mitts: Large enough to fit a liner glove inside.
Expedition Backpack: 50L pack should be large enough.
Sleeping Bag: rated to at least -20°F.
Compression stuff sacks: For reducing volume of the sleeping bag, down parka, etc., in your pack.
Self inflating sleeping pad: Full length is preferred.
Closed cell foam pad: To be used in conjunction with the inflating pad for warmth and comfort when sleeping.
Trekking poles: Adjustable
Cup: A plastic 16 oz. minimum cup or mug
Bowl: A plastic bowl for eating dinner or breakfast out of
Spoon: Plastic spoon (lexan)
Headlamp: With 2 extra sets of new batteries
Sunscreen: SPF 50 or better
Lip screen: SPF 30 or better (2 sticks).
Water bottles: 2 or 3 wide mouth bottles with 1 liter capacity.
Water bottle parkas (2): fully insulated with zip opening.
Thermos: 1 liter
Pee bottle: 1 liter minimum bottle for convenience at night in the tent.
Toiletry bag: Include toilet paper and hand sanitizer and small towel
Hand warmers & toe warmers: 2 sets of each. Or use Hot Tronics for foot warmer system for summit days.
Knife or multi tool (optional).
Trash compactor bags: to line back pack and stuff sacks in the event of rain or wet snow is falling on us.
Camera: bring extra batteries and memory cards.
Travel Clothes: For days in Lima / Huaraz.
Duffel bags (2) with locks: To transport equipment.
Base Camp Items: Kindle, Ipad, smart phone, etc.
Snack food: Please bring a few days of your favorite climbing snack food such as bars, gels, nuts, beef jerky, etc. A variety of salty and sweet is good.
Small personal first aid kit: Include athletic tape, band aids, Ibuprofen, blister care, personal medications, etc.
Medications and Prescriptions: Bring antibiotics (Azithromycin, etc.), and altitude medicine such as Diamox, Dexamethasone, Tadalafil.

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