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Mount Vallunaraju on the "Off Season"
Trip Report

Mount Vallunaraju on the "Off Season"

 
Mount Vallunaraju on the "Off Season"

Page Type: Trip Report

Location: Ancash, Peru, South America

Object Title: Mount Vallunaraju on the "Off Season"

Date Climbed/Hiked: Jan 26, 2010

Activities: Mountaineering

Season: Summer

 

Page By: ljbailey

Created/Edited: Nov 16, 2012 / Nov 29, 2012

Object ID: 825729

Hits: 1208 

Page Score: 74.01%  - 4 Votes 

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The Team starts out sick!

 
Base camp
 

This was My first real mountaineering experience in the "CORDILLERA BLANCA!" I seemed to have symptoms of altitude sickness before the day of the hike. The night before our attempt, after hanging around base camp all afternoon and acclimating, things took a slight turn. My two climbing companions, and also my close friends fell sick. After a near fistfight, and the releasing of different bodily fluids by my teammates,(to put it lightly) we began the ascent from low base camp or the "refugio." It was just after 2:00 am. The approach was very steep. Through the dense darkness of the night, I wondered if my teammates noticed the feeling of openness behind us that I had. It was very well disguised by the brisk dark night and the steep walls on each side of the valley below. We had to stop every few minutes for one of our sick team members. Sadly, Jamin, who is the most avid climber between the tree of us decided to turn back before the glacier.  
 The aproach
On our second attempt; Jamin looks out around the same spot were he had to turn around the first time up.


I noticed as we approached the moraine field that the rocks were glazed with ice. It didn't dawn on me until my second attempt, that this was a good sign! It meant that the glacier had refroze that night and conditions were good.(on the off season they get a lot of new snow here and it takes time to settle)

On the Glacier


The bottom of the glacier was a gradual wall easily scaled by some toe picking and mild ax use. Once on the glacier, it didn't take very long for the creeping candle like alpenglow to overtake us from the east! It was a sight that I hope to take in again, and again, and again!
first light
alpenglow

We went over a very cool walkway separating two crevasses. This little boy from Maine was "in heaven" for lack of better words! We easily walked over a couple crevasses. I got a good photo while nervously standing on an ice bridge, and My friend Alex captured one looking back at me! We took more than a few brief stops for my friend Alex, who was now displaying more signs of altitude sickness than I thought that I had. It worked out good because I got to take photos and footage, and we got some good looks at our summit! There were no other traces of teams before us, so you could guess that we were happy to have a very seasoned guide with us. He is a local Peruvian. He was trained by the swiss, and he is very well known in the area! Magno Camones is his name.
Me going over a crevasse
me crossing a crevasse!


 
The summit
 


The Summit

Near the top!
The steep slope just below the main summit


The last crevasse had a steep slope above it. We traversed across to arrive near the sub summit, and than we approached the main ridge! The path was narrow, and Magno punched through a weak spot in the snow. It than collapsed, and tumbled down the steep wall to the crevasse below! With the valley and the base camp down to our right and the surreal summit at our fingertips, Our team cautiously made our way up!

 
last scramble
Alex climbing up!


Finally, The summit of Vallunaraju. We were at 18963 feet, or 5780 meters. I felt like pitching a flag or something! I felt like there were no other people at that elevation in the world at that particular moment!(who knows, maybe there wasn't. After all, it was the "off" season!)....
At the top!
Magno,(left) Myself,(center) and Alex(right)

Than, looking around at the large and silent, but mysteriously communicating gentle Giants around me, I was humbled... I had made it to the top...I made it to the summit of one of the smallest, and non technical mountains in the "Cordillera Blanca" range in the "Andes mountains" in "Ancash, Peru!)
 
View from the top
 


See my video on "youtube"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgoHwTYh5-Y

Images


Comments


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rggMagno's last name

rgg

Hasn't voted

Probably you climbed with Magno Camones.
Posted Nov 22, 2012 12:07 pm

ljbaileyre: Magno's last name

ljbailey

Hasn't voted

Thanks, I am going to get his contact info from my friend before I make the update...you got some sweet photos of your own man!
Posted Nov 22, 2012 12:32 pm

Viewing: 1-2 of 2