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Land of the Incas, land of the mountains:

Expedition Peru 2019

In July, team athlete Mario Walder together with Alexander Huber and Fabian Buhl started their expedition to Peru, which doesn't only have a lot to offer when it comes to history and culture, but also lets every mountaineer's heart beat faster. In the following report, Mario tells us about what the 3 mountaineers experienced there, which challenges they were confronted with and which special moments they took home with them.

Land of the Incas, land of the mountains:

...In the shadows of Jirishanca, the Matterhorn of Peru...
In the beginning of June 2019, our journey to the Codilliera Huayhuash finally starts. After a long flight to Lima, the capital city of Peru, we take the bus to Huaraz. We run some errands and eventually reach Queropalca, the last civilisation on 4100m. Together with 12 donkeys, our cook and provisions for 3 weeks, we make our way to our base camp. We take a day off and start our journey to the foot of the mountain the next day. We are able to free-climb the first 120 meters and secure our 2 climbing ropes, everything is fine. However, the weather forecast predicts a week of bad weather. So we decide to change our route to the Codilliera Blanca, a day's journey away. There we plan to acclimate to be preprared for the summit. After a 10 ½ hour push and at -20 degrees, we are finally standing on the 6034m high summit of Tocllaraju. 

The next day we arrive back in Huaraz, where the weather forecast predicts 10 days of good weather. However, back in the base camp, things (as it is often the case) turn out differently than planned...our friend Fabian suffers a severe tonsillitis. Our summit goal just seems too dangerous to try with antibiotics and a bad cough. Eventually, we leave the base camp, knowing to have made the right decision. The mountain will still be there next year and there is nothing more important than health. One week later and mostly cured, we leave for the 5325m high granite giant La Esfinge. In 6 ½ hours we climb up the 800m high wall and eventually stand on the summit, happily and with the best weather we enjoy the afternoon sun. Even though we weren't lucky on the Jirishanca, there's only one thing that counts: We can all come back home healthy and with 2 beautiful summits to tick off our list. Thank you for the support!

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