Today I´m having a well deserved rest day after Misti.
We were 3 guides and, at first, 13 tourists, most of which had never climbed a mountain. One had to return even before we were half way to base camp, and one of the guides went back with him - of course, he caught up with us again. Yesterday, summit day, 8 of us made it to the top, the other 4 all got at least to the outer crater rim at just over 5500m.
The main equipment to bring is boots. I was the only one with proper mountaineering boots, that is, crampon friendly ones. In fact, not even the guides had proper mountaineering boots, they were more like good hiking boots.
To be true, anybody who wanted to, could get boots from the organization - I didn´t quite catch if that was included in the price or not, and didn´t see what boots they provided, as I didn´t see anybody hiring. As a result, almost everybody had cold feet on the ascent.
All other necessary gear was provided free of charge. That included tents, sleeping mat and bag, warm overpants, fleece, jacket, ice axe, crampons, mittens, headlamp and even more stuff that I forgot about. The mittens were a bit lacking, several people got really cold hands, but from what I heard from the others, all the other stuff was up to the job. I used my own gear, mostly.
We needed crampons as of 5400 m. And I mean we really needed them. It wasn´t overly cold. Judgeing how my hands and feet felt, I would say that it probably wasn´t even as cold as -10 celcius just before sunrise, and virtually no wind.
I booked through Carlos Zarate Adventures, on Santa Catalina 204 and I do certainly recommend them (by the way, they are closed on sunday afternoon, or maybe the whole day, that I don´t know for sure). All the information that I got beforehand proved to be totally correct, the guiding service was fine and there were no hidden charges anywhere. Only breakfast turned out a bit sparse - it was a good thing I had plenty of snacking food with me (and yes, Carlos had indeed told me that I would need to bring snacks).
As it turned out, the other 12 had booked through various different agencies but the actual organization was done by one and the same outfit, I think the´re called Quechua Trek or something like that.
Oh, and what I had not expected before, but Carlos told me before I booked, was that I had to carry not just my own stuff to basecamp, but also 5 liters of water (one of which would be used to cook our dinner and to make our tea at breakfast), and half a tent. Same with all the other agencies though.
I´ll see what mountain I can try for tomorrow. If there´s anybody else going to Chachani, I´ll go too, and report back about it, otherwise I´ll see about other mountains around. Basically, if there´s anybody interested in any of the bigger mountains nearby, I´m game.
Last edited by rgg
on Wed May 18, 2011 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.