La Montana de Vallunaraju
Trip Start Jul 13, 2006
5Trip End Aug 17, 2006
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We--Christian and Charlie--are back from Vallunaraju! After saying good-bye to Jason, we had spent the next thirty-six hours resting in Huaraz and preparing for this spectacular double-headed summit at 18,900 feet. Before we get to some exciting details related to this mountain experience, however, a few accounts worth mentioning:
You never know who you are going to meet at Olazas Hotel. Charlie, reclaiming his health with hot coca tea and anxious to email the latest news to Izzy from the Blancas had little care for the conversation that some very tall man beneath the tan trekker hat was trying to have with him. Though cordial to the thin giant, Charlie´s thought: here´s a zealous American trekker who has nothing better to do than disturb him with questions about where he has been and where he was going
Outside our favorite burrito joint, Chilli Heaven, we watched the local knife sharpener roll his knife contraption along the sidewalk. The waitresses brought out the knives to be sharpened.
We found it funny that when returning from our 3 day climb with dirty backpacks our taxi driver cleaned the trunk so that our packs would be lying on a clean surface!
Sleeping above 16,000 feet (our basecamp) is difficult because as we fall asleep our heartrate drops and our body gasps for air jolting our body awake. Very uncomfortable, a bit like drowning.
So a quick rundown of the peak. We hiked to basecamp on Saturday up one of the steepest trails either of us had ever been on. The trail ascended overy 2,500 ft. in under a mile. That would be like hiking Mt. Marcy in a mile! We met some Chilean, Spanish and Guatemalan climbers that had summited earlier that day and they gave us a few tips as to locating the galcier