Back to Work—at the foot of Cordillera Blanc

Trip Start Mar 21, 2012
Trip End Mar 25, 2013

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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bienvenida a la Cordillera Blanca!!

We’ve now settled into our routine here in Peru, working as volunteers for the Andean Alliance and living at the lovely Lazy Dog Inn. We are situated between the mountain communities of Rivas and Cachipampa at the foot of three spectacular valleys of the Cordillera Blanca.

The main focus of our work for the Andean Alliance is the development and teaching of a six-week outdoor leadership and mountain skills course for the teenagers in these communities. Work wise, the last week and half has consisted of getting student enrollment moving so that we have enough students to run the course. We presented our course to the community at a local meeting where our Spanish presentation was translated by the president into Quechua!

We now have 13 students from 14-19 years old and we start our course this coming weekend!

Lindsey running a meeting for the outdoor leadership course

Kids love the computer lab. These computers are running the Linux-Ubuntu OS.

We’ve also been helping set up a computer lab and local library (computers and books were donated from schools and donors in Lima) in the Andean Alliance spearheaded community center: El Centro de Yurac Yacu ("White Water" in Quechua).

The Lazy Dog Inn

Our work is sponsored so-to-speak by the gracious owners and heavily involved community members of the Lazy Dog Inn, Canadians Diana and Wayne. We are housed and fed at this beautiful mountain lodge at 3650 meters (~12,000 feet). The digs are awesome and the food out of this world!

A shot of the grounds of the Lazy Dog Inn

We’ve been out acclimatizing in the mountains on our days off and made a great trip to Hatun Machay, (one of the great spots we found during our 2009 South America travels).

Some shots from hiking and climbing around this area!

Lindsey digging the Llaca Valley

The beautiful Taulli flower and the imposing West Face of 6162m Nevado Ranrapalca

The valleys that cut into the Cordillera Blanca are lined with huge, vertical granite rock walls! Some of climbing routes have been put up by climbers over the last decade but there is still so much rock climbing potential to be explored in these valleys!

Ben rocking the Chris Cass look!

At the end of our first week here, we attempted the nearby peak of Rima Rima but altitude sickness kicked in slightly about 5000 meters so we hope to return and climb it later!

Ben posing out on the flanks of Nevado Huapi

Ben on his attempt of the SE ridge of Haupi. Poor snow conditions and wind higher on this ridge made him turn back a mere 200m from the summit.

Animals in the Cojup valley get great views everyday – well, in the dry season anyway.  Palcaraju dominates the end of the valley.  Palcaraju's glacier moraines that you can see in this photo are mountains in themselves!!

Back to Hatun Machay

The last time we were in Hatun Machay it rained most of the time we were there. This time we were blessed with relatively good weather despite the fact that the dry season hadn’t really begun yet.

Hatun Machay in morning light

Linds on a Hatun Machay classic

Andreas ripping the crux of a fun 11b in Las Pequeñas

Ben’s favorite area at Hatun Machay – La Fisura – “The Crack” which has three great, relatively challenging routes!

Ben cleaning up

While waiting for the snow to consolidate with the dry season (or the "tourist season" as the locals call it) now just starting, we have kept ourselves active, healthy (for the most part), and minds busy. Well, we've also made a little fun in the meantime too with the Lazy Dog folks and some of their social festivities! Each year a bunch of the ex-pats and some Peruvian locals get together and do a Bob Dylan tribute at Cafe Andino! Truly a unique experience in the heart of the Peruvian Andes!

Wayne et al rocking it!

Diana and Wayne duet!

More photos can be found on flickr here:

Acclimitizing in the Cordillera Blanca:
Attempt on Huapi:
Andean Alliance Set:
Back to Hatun Machay:
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JMo on

Love what you're doing at the Andean Alliance - inspiring! I'm looking forward to hearing more about when you get back. J

PAX on

broke det's trailer again, you help me fix it?

benglenn on

You guys are so inspiring! Thanks for the frequent updates. Love the volunteer work you're doing, would love to learn more.

Angela Rae on

We're routing for your Lindsey, here in Ballard! You and Ben are champs, and make it look so easy!

Greg on

Nice! Looks fun.
The climbing looks stellar.
Why is there a bolt next to a crack? It better bottom out!

judy atkinson on

love getting your blogs. What an adventure are both an inspiration. Inspired me to run a big whopping 5 km in the Goddess Run in Victoria last weekend. 1900 women raised $22000 for Transition Houses, etc. Good fun. Keep the news coming! hugs.

Shelia Zentler on

Great adventures, keep the pictures coming!

Dave Yount on

That healthy basic food, that high altitude, your activities..... seems like yer both gettin' in great shape!

benandlindsey on

Thanks all for the stoke!

@ Max - many, many trailer parts available down here in Peru. Just let me know what you need.

@ Judy - great job on the run and the fundraising! Inspiring!

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