Altitude Sickness BITES!! Date Climbed: Nov 20, 2012
Nice 2 day trip from Arequipa. My partner and our guide Eloy summitted while I waited just at the base of the final ridge. The penitentes were brutal!! Recommend being well acclimatized for this climb so that you don't suffer as much as I did.
On the 24th we drove from Arequipa to basecamp at somewhere between 5000 and 5100m. Early the next morning, we started our way up the eastern slopes, but around 5900m or so we were forced to turn back because of avalanche danger. Can you believe it? Avalanche danger on Ampato in May? Well, the past wet period has produced a whole lot more snow in the area than normal, and while that´s good for pictures, and made my other climbs so far much more enjoyable (I like snow and ice), this time the mountain didn´t allow us safe passage - so we went down.
We drove from Arequipa on Wed. and set up camp at the basecamp at 16,540'. We left camp at 6:35 am on Thurs. I was too tired and turned back at the base of the summit plateau but Smiley and Nathan went on to summit at 2:30, even after climbing a false summit first. We returned to basecamp at 4:32 and then went down to the Refuge to sleep (14,680').
"As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life - so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls."