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Chachani or Misti (or both?)

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Chachani or Misti (or both?)

Postby Boleslav » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:47 pm

We might have few days in Arequipa area and would like to undertake a climb or two.
Which of these two mountains would you do and why, if you had tie for only one?
we will be well aclimatized by the time we get there from other climbs in Huraz.

I know that Misti is "just" a walk and for Chachani we will need crampons and ice axe, which is fine.

thank you for your opinions.
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Re: Chachani or Misti (or both?)

Postby rgg » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:52 pm

First of all, I have to admit I haven't climbed either yet - but I'll be flying to Peru next week and so I've been reading about the mountains there for some time now. If I were in Arequipa, already acclimatised, with time for just one of these two, it would be Chachani.

The first reason is that I would expect it to be a more interesting climb. Misti is most likely just hiking, no crampons needed, whereas on Chachani I would at least hope that there is some snow or ice up there. And I like snow and ice.
Secondly, there are probably less people on Chachani. I don't mind a few people, but I've read that Misti is very popular indeed.

By the way, are you sure you need crampons and ice axe for Chachani? I mean, I would hope so, but according to John Biggar's book, there is no permanent snow.

Oh, and looking at other mountains near Arequipa, I have to say that I find Nevado Solimana interesting ...
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Re: Chachani or Misti (or both?)

Postby Boriss Andean » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:13 pm

I climbed Chachani and Misti last year during the winter months. It was an awesome experience. But if I'd have the chance to go back and climb only one peak again, I'd go for Misti. Personally I had more fun climbing Misti, even though it was just a hike.. I enjoyed the views from the summit as well as the open active crater view. What a view!, Very scenic volcano.

I did enjoy climbing Chachani too, but I didn't like the long approaching. Other than that, it was fun!

BTW, it might depend on mountain conditions and season, but by the time I climbed Chachani (February) I did use crampons and ice axe. They were very useful on those snow/icy slopes.
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Re: Chachani or Misti (or both?)

Postby Scott » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:43 am

I haven't climbed either (we went for the nearby Ubinas instead), but El Misti looks much more impressive than Chachani from most directions. El Misti is a perfectly symmetrical volcano with an impressive crater while Chachani is more of a shapeless mass.

I thought Hualca Hualca looked like the most impressive mountain in the area, but it's a bit farther out. Solimana is pretty cool looking too, but is even farther away.
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Re: Chachani or Misti (or both?)

Postby Boleslav » Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:43 pm

thanks a lot for the information

would you know how busy are both mountains?
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Re: Chachani or Misti (or both?)

Postby Boriss Andean » Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:28 pm

Boleslav wrote:would you know how busy are both mountains?


I haven't climbed them during the summer months, but I guess both can get pretty crowded. El Misti is a popular climb in the Arequipa area, therefore you'll find lots of people in June and July for sure. There are good large campgrounds in both mountains where you can set your tent with no problem.

The main outdoor activities offered by the Adventure Agencies in Arequipa are climbing El Misti (first), Chachani and the Colca Trekking. So many people think about climbing El Misti as a first option.

SummitPost'er Vic Hanson lived in Arequipa for a few years. His Trip Reports are a good source of information. I highly recommend them.

http://www.summitpost.org/users/vic-hanson/28256

Boriss...
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Re: Chachani or Misti (or both?)

Postby Boleslav » Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:28 am

thank you , his trip reports are very informational indeed
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Re: Chachani or Misti (or both?)

Postby Boleslav » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:26 pm

High Expeditions- you said you did not like the long approach on Chachani.
Where did you start your climb? are you referring to the approach from the car to base camp or basecamp to the top?
thank you
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Re: Chachani or Misti (or both?)

Postby Boriss Andean » Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:44 am

I started the climb at La Azufrera trailhead (Northeast route). I meant the approach with the truck, it normally takes 2- 3 hours. It took us more than 4 hours to get to the trailhead. The road was been maintained so I guess we didn't drive by the main road. I think the main road is being used nowadays. I remember we paid USD. 100,00 for a RT ride in Arequipa.
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Re: Chachani or Misti (or both?)

Postby bledl » Sun May 01, 2011 8:02 pm

I think both of them are more kind of hikes than climbs. I did not find any snow on Chachani, so I never had to use crampons or an ice axe. Warm clothing, hiking poles and enough water and you`ll probably be fine. Lots more interesting: Coropuna or Solimana.
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Re: Chachani or Misti (or both?)

Postby rgg » Wed May 04, 2011 2:01 am

I arrived into Arequipa today, and there is plenty of snow on Chachani right now.
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Re: Chachani or Misti (or both?)

Postby Boleslav » Thu May 12, 2011 4:23 pm

thanks again. got few more quesitons, if you dont mind:

How cold and windy is it on the mountain?

What clothing would you recommend that we bring?

What personal equipment do we need to bring?
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Re: Chachani or Misti (or both?)

Postby rgg » Sat May 14, 2011 1:32 am

Tomorrow I´ll head out for Misti, with a guide and a group. It´s a two day trip, we´ll be back early afternoon the next day. Going guided is much easier than going solo, and including transportation, tent, cook and guide it costs 240 soles, or about 85 USD.

There is snow up on Misti right now, so crampons will be absolutely necessary, and I´ll bring an ice axe too, if only to aid with self arrest.

As for the temperature and wind, that will depend on the day of course. I don´t expect it to be much lower than -10 celcius, if that, but I´ll be prepared for around -25. If it´s colder, including the windchill factor, I must abort, because I want to keep my fingers and toes.

To give a anecdotal report of possible conditions, to acclimatize, I´ve been trekking and sleeping higher and higher the last week. Most days started with no more than a few isolated clouds, usually building up during the day, and clearing again after dark. It only snowed (and below 4500m or so it rained) on one day out of nine.
Last night I slept at around 4900 m, which is higher than the camp site for Misti, and it was -3.5 degrees inside my double wall tent. No problem with a good sleeping bag. As for wind, there was a little bit when I put up my tent, but it died down completely a few hours after nightfall. When the sun rose, around 6 am, it started to warm up, but when I broke camp just before 8, there was still some rhime on the outside of my tent. On some of the mountains, I saw small remnants of snow lingering in shady gulleys as low as 4000m!

Apart from the technical gear, the most important items that I´ll pack will be my down jacket, down mitts, my very warm (and big and heavy) down sleeping bag and exped down mattress. I´ve tried and tested this combo to temperatures aroun -20 celsius or so. If it´s that cold and real windy, I found that my mitts were lacking...

By the way, the company I´m going with provides all the technical gear, sleeping bag, mattress, clothes and so on, should you want to, at no extra cost. That means you don´t necessarily have to bring anything yourself. I´ll use their crampons, because my own only fit my plastic double boots, which are too warm for Misti, but for the rest I prefer my own stuff.
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Re: Chachani or Misti (or both?)

Postby Boleslav » Sat May 14, 2011 11:12 pm

RGG
I would be grateful if you could let me know what the conditions were, we are leaving for Peru in 4 days.
Who are you climbing with and would you recommend them?
thank you!a
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Re: Chachani or Misti (or both?)

Postby rgg » Mon May 16, 2011 8:31 pm

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.

Good luck,
Rob
Last edited by rgg on Wed May 18, 2011 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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