Yannapaccha and Jason Goes Home

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

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Thursday, August 3, 2006

Welcome Back to Part Three of our Travel Blog. If you missed the last two entries, you can go back and check them out. Click links to our photos and videos. And Please Post Us a Comment--it´s easy and we want to hear from you.

Sunday, July 30, we buy food and supplies for Yannapaccha, one of the Andean Mountains over 18,000 feet. At one point during the busy day, Charlie is unaware of the missing grate between the sidewalk and so falls two and a half feet below the cement. Though it could have been much worse, Charlie´s legs and knees are cut and bruised; his left knee is sore enough that he needs ice that night and the next morning. There are all sorts of ¨booby-traps¨ like this in and around Huaraz. There is, for example, an uncovered manhole outside Olaza´s Hotel in which someone under five feet could disappear entirely!

Monday, July 31, we take an hour long collectivo drive(a mini-van crammed with 15 to 20 people at various times along the road from Huaraz) to the town of Yungay. At one point, there were so many people packed into the mini-van that it was impossible to shut the side door; the driver´s assistant stretched his body and arm across the doorway to keep passengers from falling out onto the road we travelled at 30 miles per hour. From Yungay it is an hour long taxi drive though a spectacular mountainous pass to the trailhead. Toyota Corolla is the the most popular taxi-car. The mileage on this one is 220,000 miles, but more amazing is the abuse these cars take on uncomfortablly rocky roads connecting one side of the valley to the next.

After two hours of motor transportation, Jason, Charlie and Christian are the trail to Camp 1, Yannapaccha. Camp 1 would have been a lovely field and pristine lake at 14,000 feet had it not been for the large number of cows and cow dung. We could not keep the annoying animals away from our campsite.

Tuesday, August 1, at 3:00 in the morning, Jason and Charlie scream with terror. One bold cow had stepped through Jason´s tent and put large tear through the rainfly! It was at that point, the cow-madness, when Charlie realized that he was ill. Oh boy, not again! Cold chills, sweat and a crampy stomache kept him awake through to the morning. That morning, Christian helped Charlie get him and his gear back to the road, where Charlie could retrace the transportation process back to Huaraz.

Soon Christian rejoined Jason and the two made the ardous trek to Camp 2--a rocky base just below the start of the glacier, the start of what will be the morning climb to its summit. Around the time they cooked dinner, a small hail/snow/wind storm began to rain. So much for a relaxing sunset.

Wednesday, July 2 at 2:30 in the morning, Jason ad Christian wake up to the sight and sound of an intense snow storm. Their plan: ascend the first rocky section of the climb, see how the weather turns, and reassess. Fotunately, the storm lightens up and the two continue the climb of steep snow, glacier, and ice.

Approximately 500 feet from the summit, Jason and Christian are aware of the time. Jason, if he is going to make his flight back the the States, must be on a bus Thursday morning that departs from Hauraz. They make the wise but tough decision to turn around and descend back to Camp 2. From Camp 2, they hurriedly pack their gear and hike down the trail back to the road. Sadly, however, it is late, their are no taxis on the deserted road, and they are 32 kilometers from Yungay.

They have no choice but to walk the road to Yungay where they hope they will find a ride to Huaraz. Two kilometers later, an empty tour bus comes bouncing down the road. The driver is going to Huaraz! For ten soles each(about $3.50), the driver gives them a lift. Back at Olazas Hotel, in Huaraz, they find Charlie taking it easy, eating a bowl of rice, slowly recovering from a mild case of diarrhea.

Thursday, July 3, Charlie and Christian escort Jason to Cruz del Sur, a bus station from where Jason will depart to Lima and then to the U.S. It is sad to see Jason go. Charlie snaps a picture of Christian in tears (?) as Jason checks his bags. He has left. And then there were two...
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