Skiing and Climbing on Pasturori

Trip Start Jul 13, 2006
Trip End Aug 17, 2006

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Hola Familias y Amigos! Welcome to Chapter Two: Climbing and Skiing in Peru.

Once returning from the acclimatizing trek, (see photos from our first travel blog entry), we spent two days in Huaraz assessing our health and discussing climbing options. Charlie was recovering from major stomach issues, while Jason and Christian had concern that they weren´t too far from similar health issues. In Huaraz, one cannot escape an ill, sinking feeling in their stomach; it could be an upset tummy and is often the case, or it could be a severe case of diarrhea--also a strong probabibilty. Yet one cannot sit in Olaza´s Hotel room second guessing while beautiful days pass by. No, you pack your bag, keep immodium and antibiotics close by, and continue the adventure.

We needed an acclimatizing peak. We chose Pastoruri Montana. A little over 17,000 feet, Pastoruri Mountain provides fun, easy iceclimbing and incredible telemark skiing: things to see in the attached photos and videos. Thirty-six hours later, having accomplished our goals on Pastorui, everyone had shown positve signs of having adjusted to the high altitude--a good sign for the bigger things to come later on this trip. However, there is more to our story than good, fun acclimitaztion.

On the way to our base camp, it is good to stop and smell the flowers. In this rare and incredible instance, however, they are the endangered, sometimes 30 feet tall Puya Raymondi. These plants will flower only once in a 28 year life span. Some of the fauna here is just as exciting. Vicuna are some of the larger mammals that live in this region. We saw one! Their fur are used by locals to make extremely soft sweaters, hats and other warm things. Base camp itself rests at the foot of Pastorui Glacier. It was wonderful to cook and camp next to the icy blue water, climb the nearby glacier, and watch the brilliant sunset.

Our second day at Pastorui Mountain, Christian and Charlie skied to the summit, while Jason found more climbing possibilities and made his way to the top with ice tools and crampons. Jason discovered amazing rock samples to bring back to his science class. Charlie and Christian enjoyed the skiing enough to ski back up some of the steeper sections and recorded a few sections descending. Though acclimitized, it was an amazing experience for them to feel so out of breath after making only several telemark turns. Perhaps you will hear their heavy breathing on a video recording.

We got back to Huaraz feealing good about our accomplishments and in time for dinner at Brasa Roja. But the dinner part did not end up being a good thing. Early the next morning, Christain and Jason began taking continuous, impulsive trips to the bathroom. It had to ne the chicken! Charlie did not seem to be at all affected by the meal, probably because he was still on antibiotics. Jason´s and Christian´s worse nightmare, however, became reality. At present they are on antibiotics and nearly recovered from what Charlie had experienced two weeks ago. Tomorrow, July 31, we head out to begin climbing Yagnappasha. Will someone suffer another bout of Montazuma´s Revenge or something like it? Maybe. Will we have an incredibly exciting climb and adventure? Bet your last centimos.
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