It was a tough trek, but I had a blast. I especially liked playing with the kids in the villages along the way. Even though we just missed the summit, at 5300 meters/17,400feet it was still an altitude record for me at the time even though I broke it a few days later.
I completed the Colca to Andagua route with my five year old son. In some of the more remote villages, far from the roads, apparently he is the only "gringo" child ever to visit, so he´s a real curiousity and hit with the locals. In two villages, all the children in the village gathered to meet him. They played together and somhow had "conversations" even though they don´t speak the same language. He´s a real hit with the adults too, especially the women. In a remote area in the high desert we even met the Peruvian Army who was on a training camp (?). They were mighty curious about what this gringo kid was doing out in the middle of no where and were quite amused with it all. They gave us a ride to our next destination in the army truck and even gave Kessler their candy from the food rations.
Kessler is a surpurb acclimatizer. At high altitude, his blood oxygen saturation leval has been reading higher than mine. Not sure why, but he seems to acclimatize better than adults, including myself. No headaches at all. His blood oxygen level was 88% at 5000 meters/16,400 feet. He´s doing great, but we hired an extra mule to ride on occasion on the really tough 1500 meter/5000+ feet elevation gain days at high altitude.
Everything went very smoothly and the only complaining Kessler has done at all was breifly when we got nailed by a blizzard at 17,400 feet on Cerro Cerani. Kessler already has a bunch of 19, 20, and 21,000 foot peaks picked out that he wants to climb "when he is nine". Hmmm, we´ll see, but probably have to wait.
The only bummer was that I really wanted a crack at the true summit of Cerro Cerani. Because of the snowstorm and bad weather, we had to be satisfied with just reaching the col at 5300 meters.