Planning Trip for Cordillera BlancaHerein are the trip details to the Cordillera Blanca from May 17 to June 10, 2006 by myself, Kevin Alexander and friend/climbing partner Vlado Matuska. I will do my best to detail our rather enjoyable and successful experience in the Andes of Peru. I highly recommend this region for anyone considering it. The views, vegetation, culture and people are most impressive, giving visitors lasting memories.
I am what you would call a rookie to mountaineering and trip reports, please be patient with me. For me the interest in mountaineering was sparked by several books with what I considered awesome pictures. Of what I have read, I have been most intrigued with the climber’s descriptions of their bodies breathing and dealing with lack of oxygen. I have little interest in doing anything relatively technical.
Since the first time I met Vlado, he has always been eager to describe his past climbing accounts, which captivated my attention. Around November of 2005, Vlado expressed an interest in traveling to South America for another climbing trip. I asked if I might accompany him. For me the adventure began immediately, I had to immediately purchase nearly half of the items found on the Peru Equipment Checklist, lose weight and get into shape.
My training schedule included intervals every other day on a stationary bicycle and a weekly 3 to 5 hour hike starting with 20 then ending with 50 pounds of water in my backpack at the end of five months of training. I dropped 30 pounds of weight and felt ready for the trip. Final training three weeks before departure to Peru included Vlado guiding me up Mt. Rainier for preliminary glacier techniques/rescue. We didn’t make the summit, but I learned valuable experience, especially on the way down getting caught in inclement weather.
Our trip itinerary was most influence by Brad Johnson’s book Classic Climbs of the Cordillera Blanca. Also influencing our itinerary were tons of internet searches of which the most useful were www.mtnguide.com , www.SummitPost.org , www.climbingwithbob.com , and www.AlpineAscents.com .
Vlado made a visit to American Alpine Institute in Bellingham Washington to purchase new ropes; Greg Parke of American Alpine Institute helped us finalize our decision to stay at the hostel Benkawasi in Huaraz, Peru, www.grupoandesextremo.com/Benkawasi/index.html . We set up our reservations via emails to the owner Benquelo at Benkawasi@Hotmail.com .
Besides the airplane tickets to Lima the only other decision/reservation we made before arriving in Peru was our hotel in Lima. I travel pretty extensively within the United States and have club points with Holiday Inn. We made reservations at the Holiday Inn Express in the Mirafloras suburb of Lima.
Peru Equipment Checklist
Peru Itinerary 2006