Ahhh . . . the long-awaited fourth chapter is here
After setting up our tents in the most beautiful basecamp in the history of climbing, our thoughts turned to filming, climbing and skiing. We made a plan to simultaneously acclimatize and scope our theoretical ski lines from some 4500m peaks across the valley.
Beautiful views of Jirishanca:
The fluted beauty of Yerupaja – maybe the most flutey of all of Peru’s fluted peaks, and since Peruvian peaks are the flutiest in the world, Yerupaja is the most fluted peak in the world . . .
Amazing views aside, our recon-trip showed that the snow faces we wanted to ski were very steep (yeehaa) and very icy (boooo). We also got a better Idea of how we would reach snow. Obviously trips like these experience varying degrees of success, but the whole exercise seems pretty pointless if you don’t even touch your skis to snow (which has happened to me in Pakistan). Reaching the skiable terrain in Peru is not like jumping on the gondola at Whistler. It takes considerable acclimatization, ferrying of heavy loads, high camps, and then further recon missions into the jumbled serac-filled glaciers, before our skis could slide on sud-american snow!
Making matters a little complex was the fact that I wasn’t acclimatizing well. From past experience my body seems to do well at altitude. Surviving at altitude is a genetic crap-shoot and has little to do with fitness. My sickness back in Huarez made me weak and dehydrated. Several days later I was now experiencing headaches day and night. My body wasn’t getting used to our altitude gains. Koky had some diamox with him and I had just read an article by the preeminent high alititude doctor, Charles Houston, that taking 250mg of diamox before bed would aid in acclimatization without all the symptoms (peeing too much ect. . . ). This seemed to help, and I was back to the blissful experience of ferrying loads.