El Altar, The Italian Route

I knew that the trek in would be interesting when we stopped by a hardware store in Quito to buy rubber boots. We also made a quick stop at the grocery store to pick up 30 liters of water as the Campo Italiano has only a trickle of running water. It seems hard to believe at face value, but because the camp sits on a ridge, very little of the glacier melt is directed its way. Yet another reason wonder why this climb is unpopular, I guess.[...]

Artesonraju, The North Ridge

Initially when planning my first Cordillera Blanca trip, like probably many others, I had the target of climbing Alpamyo.  It’s a beautiful peak with a reasonably moderate route to the top.  Logistics should be easy with plenty of companies running up and down the peak.  However, in the back of my mind, I had always been more drawn to Aresonraju.  I don’t actually know when it first got planted in my mind, but it was stuck in there.  As I searched for an operator to support an Alpamayo climb, I couldn’t help but feel that I was selling my aspirations a little bit short.[...]