Cordillera Blanca 2019, Redemption

Coming back to the Cordillera Blanca for the 3rd year in a row, this time with Jessica. We very quickly scrapped our original plan we made back home when arriving. With our limited number of days and being close to the end of the season, we decided to be conservative than originally expected and tick off a few of our to-do's. [...]

Tocllaraju, West Face Direct

Three seasons ago, I met a friendly Spanish-Argentinian duo in the Ishinca Hut. We would be climbing Tocllaraju on the same day, them from the West Face, and me from the Northwest Ridge. I snapped this photo as a memento for them, but it ended up being my cell phone’s background for the next 2 years. I couldn’t stop looking at it, thinking about it, what an epic route. [...]

Yanapaccha, West Face

Yanapaccha is another one of the lower altitude and lower difficulty peaks that I have been wanting to climb for a little while. With the funky schedule in the Cordillera Blanca this year, I thought that it would be a great opportunity to knock this one out. [...]

Huarapasca, South Route

Huarapasca is a hidden gem of the Cordillera Blanca. Not appearing in any guide books and out of sight from pretty much anywhere, this amazing climb sits relatively untouched. It is also one of the very few single day climbs in the range that can be done car-to-car. [...]

Vallunaraju, SW Route

Vallunaraju has been a climb that I have been wanting to climb since the first day I arrived to Huaraz back in 2017. Towering over the city, the peak is dramatically obvious with it’s two “horns”. Although by the standards of the Cordillera Blanca it is neither very high nor very difficult, it had been calling me. [...]

Cordillera Blanca 2018, Death & Failure

Planning my return to the Cordillera Blanca, something in my gut felt off a few weeks before heading out. So much so that a month before flying out I dramatically reduced the length of my trip without really any good reason. Maybe I felt that my success rate of 100% in South America the previous [...]

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.[...]

Illiniza Sur

Illiniza Sur, Illiniza Norte’s far less popular yet much more difficult sibling, was our main objective.  Up until 2009, there were two routes up Illiniza Sur, with the most popular route being La Rampa.  As of 2017, La Rampa is pretty much just a melted out rock shooting gallery, so we would be using the other route.  Funnily enough, nobody really seems to remember what the current route used to be called back when there were two routes.[...]