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Chachani or Misti (or both?)

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Re: Chachani or Misti (or both?)

Postby Boleslav » Tue May 17, 2011 1:44 am

Rob,

this is incredibly helpful as I am packing and leaving for Peru in couple of days.

So I take it you were hiking in the mountaineering boots from the car to the basecamp and then used them again for the climb to the top?

How was the trail? I have very nice new mountaineering boots and am contemplating if I should bring them, I do not want to destroy them if the hike/ climb is on the rocks, sharp scree.

If you do Chachani, please, post here your findings too.
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Re: Chachani or Misti (or both?)

Postby rgg » Thu May 19, 2011 12:18 am

Boleslav wrote:So I take it you were hiking in the mountaineering boots from the car to the basecamp and then used them again for the climb to the top?


Yes, I did. They were light mountaineering boots, with a specially molded heel to easily fit crampons. I bought them last November, mainly for trekking actually, and at that time crampon compatibility was no consideration. They were ideal for the job.

Boleslav wrote:How was the trail? I have very nice new mountaineering boots and am contemplating if I should bring them, I do not want to destroy them if the hike/ climb is on the rocks, sharp scree.


I`m not all that familiar with the american trail grades, but the trail to basecamp could be done in any kind of hiking boots. I could have done it in my Teva`s. The trail from camp to the summit is rough. I think that, with excellent balance, it might be possible to get to the summit without using your hands, but perhaps not. I used mine several times.
The route down is only partly the same as the way up. And indeed it includes a scree slope! However, any decent pair of mountain boots should have no problem with that. If they do, ask for your money back. Mine don`t look any worse for it - well, a bit dusty.
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Re: Chachani or Misti (or both?)

Postby rgg » Thu May 19, 2011 12:54 am

I climbed Chachani earlier today.

First of all, I now agree with HIGH EXPEDITIONS that Misti is a more beautiful experience. Very subjective of course, but the view of the crater of Misti, especially with all the snow, was amazing!

Comparing the climbs (along the common routes offered by the Arequipa operators):

Misti, from the south
- trailhead ±3400m
- camp ±4500m
- summit 5822

Chachani, from the north
- trailhead ±5000m
- camp ±5200m
- summit 6057m

On Chachani I needed my hands a few times, but the trail isn`t all that much rougher than on Misti. Part of the way down to basecamp is via a large scree slope, with wonderful fine scree - thanks to that, I got down from the summit in an hour and a half!
Chachani has a few things in its favor: the short approach hike to base camp, which takes just an hour and a half, and the fact that it is only some 900m to the summit. However, it was quite cold at 5200m, I quickly got in my sleeping bag right after dinner, I was freezing. During the climb it was cold too, and occasionally windy. I found it harder than Misti, even though we took an hour less to get to the summit, but I have to say that my stomach was acting up a bit, so it`s not a fair comparison.

Although the route is on the north side of the mountain, there is still enough snow to need crampons. Ice axe is only for self-arrest (or use it as a walking pole).

I climbed Chachani with my plastic mountaineering boots (Scarpa Omega). I figured that they wouldn`t be too warm for the hike to basecamp, and I was right.

By the way, from the approach to Chachani as well as from its summit, I got excellent views of Misti`s north side, and saw that there is virtually no snow there, only near the summit. However, the standard Misti tour follows the south route, which is described here.
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Re: Chachani or Misti (or both?)

Postby rgg » Thu May 19, 2011 1:06 am

Previously, I wrote about Misi

rgg wrote: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.


I have to correct myself here. Since I wrote this, I learned, from other climbers on Chachani, organized by the same company, that some items were free of charge, but most did in fact come at an additional cost. Which items are free and which not, I don´t know, since I mostly used my own gear.
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Re: Chachani or Misti (or both?)

Postby kevin trieu » Thu May 19, 2011 4:50 am

Hi Rob,

I'll be to coming to Arequipa from Huaraz mid August to climb the volcanoes in the area with Nevada Solimana and Coropuna as the main objectives. Can you recommend a hostel or cheap place to stay? Also, a reliable bus company and or driver to take us to the trailhead. Can you recommend logistics that allows us to do both without going back to Arequipa after each climb? We are experienced climbers with gear and only need a ride to and from the trailhead. Do you have any interest in climbing these two peaks? We will be heading to Bolivia afterwards to climb in the Cordillera Real.

I just read your Plan & Partners. We should exchange emails and see if our schedule match for climbs in Ecuador/Bolivia/Chile/Argentina. I'm also interested in Chimborazo. I'll also be attempting Huscaran Sur again as I only got to 19,000' on my last attempt. I'm landing in Lima June 9th and is planning to be down in South America on an extended basis.

Thanks,
Kevin
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Re: Chachani or Misti (or both?)

Postby Boleslav » Thu May 19, 2011 5:49 pm

Rob-
thank you for great info.
What worries me if one goes in large group of 13 climbers is how can the guides manage to keep the pace of all people.
Did your group split into smaller and the guides were hording them or did everyone just go in their own pace?

how busy was Chachani?
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Re: Chachani or Misti (or both?)

Postby rgg » Thu May 26, 2011 9:48 pm

kevin trieu wrote:Can you recommend a hostel or cheap place to stay?

Well, in Arequipa I´m staying in a midrange place, hostal La Casa de Melgar. A fine place, but between cheap and expensive.

kevin trieu wrote:Also, a reliable bus company and or driver to take us to the trailhead. Can you recommend logistics that allows us to do both without going back to Arequipa after each climb? We are experienced climbers with gear and only need a ride to and from the trailhead.

So far, I´ve just taken any bus that was going my way when I was on my own, or private transport when going guided. For mountains near Arequipa (Misti, Chachani), you best pop into the office of Carlos Zarate Adventures, or of Quechua Explorers, and they will both give you honest advice, and if you want to, they will arrange private transport.
However, Coropuna and Solimana are a long drive from Arequipa, so private transport from here will be quite expensive. I seriously looked into climbing these two, and it should be possible to get at least close to their respective trailheads by public bus, so from a cost perspective, that´s a viable option. Again, the two companies above can give you good advice on which bus to take and where, as well as how to combine the two without going back to Arequipa, because I agree that that would be silly.

kevin trieu wrote:Do you have any interest in climbing these two peaks?

Sure, but during my period here in the Arequipa area, nobody else showed up at the two companies mentioned above to express interest in these two, and to hire a guide all for myself for these two is a bit expensive. By the time you´ll be here, I expect to be somewhere in the wider Cusco area, and after that in the Cordillera Blanca.

kevin trieu wrote:I just read your Plan & Partners. We should exchange emails and see if our schedule match for climbs in Ecuador/Bolivia/Chile/Argentina. I'm also interested in Chimborazo. I'll also be attempting Huscaran Sur again as I only got to 19,000' on my last attempt.

I´ve sent you my email, so we can explore further possibilities.

Cheers, Rob
Last edited by rgg on Fri May 27, 2011 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chachani or Misti (or both?)

Postby rgg » Thu May 26, 2011 9:56 pm

Boleslav wrote:What worries me if one goes in large group of 13 climbers is how can the guides manage to keep the pace of all people.
Did your group split into smaller and the guides were hording them or did everyone just go in their own pace?


At first, one guide took the lead, one stayed with the slowests and the other was somewhere in between. Everybody could go at their own pace. After an hour, the first guide called for a break to let everybody else catch up. As I like to keep moving, after that I decided to stay in the rear myself, which meant I only had very short breaks but could keep walking.

After a few hours, we got to the point where the first group started walking again before the last few had caught up, and I left the rear.

At 5400m or so, we put on crampons, and there were no more ´organized´ breaks higher on.

Boleslav wrote:how busy was Chachani?

We went with 6 climbers and 2 guides on Chachani. Two climbers stayed in camp, too sick to climb. I understand that there are climbs on Chachani almost every day. The day before us I think there were two climbers, the day after there was a big group with porters - pretty ridiculous for Chachani, since the walk from the trailhead to camp is short, so if you can´t carry a bit of gear, how do you think you can climb the mountain the next day?
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Re: Chachani or Misti (or both?)

Postby Boleslav » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:35 am

We ended up going with Quechua, as most of the companies, as mentioned here before by RGG, do use them or pull with them anyway.
Their equipment was so so, it pays to ask to see the crampons day before the climb, to check if they fit your boots and are in decent condition.
We shared their transportation but had a private guide, which proved to be good choice.
The morning of our departure we have met the rest of the group, there were additional 13 climbers and they were shown their equipment including the tents etc that morning. There was no time to check for any problems, missing pats etc.

We climbed in our own hiking boots, which was sufficient for the Misti climb.

In next few days we climbed Chachani with Quechua, private again, only one day as we did not see too much of a point to walk to the base camp on day one in two hours and then sleep there.
We left Arequipa around 23.00 arrived to the parking space after 2.5 hours and stood on the top of Chachani after another 7 hours. We never saw anybody else on the mountain that day.
We climbed in our trekking boots, which was sufficient, but were thanksful for having down jacket as the climb was on a cold night.

Out of those two mountains we actually liked Chachani more for its views of the surrounding mountains.
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