Peru Expedition 27 May - 30 June 2016

Wednesday 25 May 2016, 12:24am -- jazmorris
Artesonraju

Artesonraju, Paron Valley

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Trip Summary and Four New Routes on Taulliraju
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About the Expedition
Itinerary
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Trip Updates

SANTA CRUZ UPDATE ~ 29 June

There's an immense satisfaction in seeing the fruition of many years of hard work, perseverance and the continual acquisition of skills garnered from climbing in New Zealand and abroad.

Nothing demonstrates this tremendous New Zealand climbing ability better than the four first ascents on Taulliraju (5830m) over the past two weeks.

One of the hardest mountains in Andes, Taulliraju's South Face towers imposingly over the Santa Cruz Valley, with all previous ascents notorious for their difficulty and levels of commitment.  New Zealand's involvement with Taulliraju began in 1989 when Lionel Clay & Pete Sykes climbed a 'cunning variation' on the South Face, coming within shouting distance of the summit.

Thanks to dry conditions across the Andes, in the last two weeks, the New Zealand Alpine Team Expedition made four first ascents, including the first full traverse of Taulliraju, the first New Zealand and Australian ascents of Taulliraju, and potentially the first female ascent of Taulliraju.

The West Ridge of Taulliraju: R. Pearson, A. McDowell, R. Measures, S. Fortune; 26 June 2016.

(AI5, M4, 5.8)

In a landmark ascent by two young Kiwis, Rose Pearson (26) and Alastair McDowell (24), chased by a couple of their mentors, Steve Fortune and Reg Measures, climbed the full West Ridge of Taulliraju.

In an undertaking which began over two years ago, we were ridiculed, chastised and vehemently discouraged from even considering the West Ridge. Lionel himself contacted us early on, stating: "It's a bloody Peruvian Ridge so if it has not been yet climbed it goes without saying it will be for a very good reason".

Nevertheless, the dogmatism of youth triumphed, and the 17th June 2016, saw Rose, Jaz Morris, Reg and myself begin our first attempt on the West Ridge. From the Taulliraju-Rinrijirca Col, we made slow progress, as we scoped the best way up the route; eventually being turned around above a serious rock step on Day 2; a third of the way up the route.

Refusing to accept defeat, Rose riled-up incoming Alpine Team mentee Alastair McDowell, and stole off with him for another attempt on the Ridge. Early on the 23rd, the pair started up the ridge, making quick time over the old ground. However progress above our previous high point proved slow and similarly arduous, and with dwindling food, the team faced at least one hungry night on the mountain.

Unbeknownst to them, Reg and Steve decided to go for the second ascent a day after, so on the 24th, all eyes in base camp turned to the West Ridge to watch the action unfold.  Hot on the heels of the young team, it still took Reg and Steve till the 26th to catch up with Rose and Al, a short distance from the summit.  Together, the four of them surmounted the final difficulties, feeling a modicum of relief upon joining the top of the Italian Route and knowing they were finished with virgin ground.  Summiting late on the 26th, the teams pooled resources to descend the SSE ridge, bivying once more in deteriorating weather, to finally fall into welcoming arms just below Punta Union Pass on the 27th - 5 days after Rose & Al set off from base camp with 3 night’s food.

The first ascent of the West Ridge was made possible by generous support from Sport New Zealand's Hillary Expedition Grant, the New Zealand Alpine Club Expedition Fund, Austrian Alpine Club, and the Expedition Climbers Club, and the numerous sponsors of the New Zealand Alpine Team; Macpac, Tendon, Jetboil, and Salewa.

East Rib of Taulliraju: B. Dare, S. Skelton; 19 June 2016.

(5.10b, M5, AI5)

Fuelled by a good forecast, a promising reconnaissance, and the sight of others on the mountain, Ben and Steve Skelton decided to go for their premier objective - a new route on the East side.

Beginning with a testing warm up, the pair climbed the initial pitches of the French Guides' Route to bivy at the base of the SSE ridge.  The following morning saw them hit the ground running; rapping over a seriously overhanging serac to gain access to the base of the East Face.  With a third of the work done, all that remained was to climb the route and get back down.

Wandering across snow slopes, the pair accessed the East Rib and were straight into 12 pitches of sunny rock climbing, dancing around the occasional patch on snow until they made the NE ridge; dropping over the far side to snuggle on the North Face for the night.  A traverse, some mixed pitches, and some ice pitches rounded out the full mountain experience, seeing the pair summit around midday and make their way leisurely back down the SSE ridge to their waiting tent.  Determined to somehow stymie their efforts, the mountain threw in one stuck rope 20m off the ground the next day as they descended the Guides' Route, but a few hours of retrieval work and a merry jaunt down the hill saw the, back at base camp well in time for dinner!

ANZAC Variation to the French Army Route: D. Joll, S. Fortune, M. Scholes; 17 June 2016.

(M6, AI6)

Having been in the Santa Cruz only a couple of days, the eager team of Dan, Steve and Matt set off to scope the peak in an attempt to see what challenges it held. Leaving base camp under the auspices of attempting an established route - perhaps either the French Guides' route or the French Army route, it was with some surprise that we saw them later that same day ascending a line on the French Army buttress well left of the namesake line.  Encountering serious ice and mixed difficulties, the team put up 10 pitches on the buttress before meeting the SSE ridge where they bivyed, before climbing the classic route to the summit the following day, marking the first New Zealand and Australian ascents of Taulliraju. Returning to their bivy, the team descended the Guides' Route, putting in a valuable line for the other three teams to subsequently employ.

South Peak of Taulliraju: S. Fortune, A. McDowell, R. Pearson; 21 June 2016

(TD-, M5)

The veritable library of route guides and magazine features we had on Taulliraju at base camp failed to document any ascent of the prominent South Peak of Taulliraju. Enticed by the prospect of a day trip up this pyramidal peak, Steve Fortune, Rose and Al set off bright and early to ascend the skyline ridge.

Whether previously ascended or not, the fresh rock-fall scars they scaled on the first couple of pitches likely heralded untrodden terrain. Another pitch, a step and a corkscrew around to the SE side for about seven pitches saw the trio top out on the South Peak with enough daylight for Rose and Al to scope the descent line down the SSE ridge for their ensuing West Ridge ascent.

Finishing the raps down the now well trodden Guides' Route in the dark, the team made it back just in time for a late supper and a rest day, before setting out on their historic ascent of the West Ridge.

--

This inaugural expedition of the Expedition Climbers Club and the culminating expedition of the New Zealand Alpine Team's first rotation will be remembered for the superb mountaineering achievements on an international scale.  Not only were four new routes climbed on Taulliraju, but three of these resulted in summits of the elusive peak, two of these were by entirely new routes, three new routes were climbed by Steve Fortune with a plethora of partners, and all of the aforementioned climbing was carried out in less than two weeks in pure alpine style.

In addition to the fierce Taulliraju action which went on during our time in the Santa Cruz, Al and Lincoln summitted Alpamayo via the French Direct, as did Dan, Reg and Matt (in a blistering time of 1.5 hours), and Jaz and myself.  As for us, we spent an extra day up at Alpamayo High Camp, climbing Quitaraju the next day via the North Ridge.  Dan and Matt climbed what appeared to be a new line on Curicashajana (fondly named Pigeon Spire for its striking resemblance) on a rest day, and Lincoln and Ben went to scope a new line on one of the Pucarashita, but backed off in the face of hideous serac threats to the approach.

 

 

Climbing Taulliraju 5830m, Cordillera Blanca, Peru

West Ridge of Taulliraju - The First Ascent

Photo Album

Climbing La Esfinge 5300m Paron Valley Peru

La Esfinge - Alpine rock climbing in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru

PARON VALLEY UPDATE ~ 14 June

First and foremost, I'm glad to be able to report that we're all safe and sound from our adventures in the Paron Valley, and we even survived the post-Paron fiesta, which in itself is remarkable!

Furthermore, the fact that there was a party is evidence for the fact that there were a couple of summits attained, because as we all know, no cumbre, no fiesta, or as our cooks frequently liked to remind us, no cumbre, no cena (no summit, no dinner).  In an attempt to avoid my interminable verbosity, I'll endeavour to run through each team's time in the Paron, with various anecdotes throughout.  *Having written the blog, I have two apologies: 1) Read like a choose your own adventure - pick who you want to know about and read their bit; it ended up still being verbose, sorry! 2) Apologies for the pop-culture theme, but sometimes it's good to have a break from over-infused climbing jargon ("I'm super-psyched on the mad-sendage of the FA on the sick peak by that rad line bruh").* Anyway, here goes:

Josie & the Pussycats (Steve Fortune, Daniel Joll & Matt Scholes)

Just like that early 2000s classic film, these three shot to success fairly early in the trip, with their plan for the valley going fairly flawlessly.  They started off with a night at our basecamp at the head of Laguna Paron (4200m) before going back down valley to a small gear cache and heading up to the basecamp for La Esfinge (The Sphinx).  Staying in a luxurious bivvy cave overnight, they were up early, and with enviable speed, dispatched the 15-pitch route in three blocks, making the first summit of the trip.  A few hours saw them rap down, collect their gear, and get back to our basecamp in time for dinner.

After a couple of rest days, they were back at it, heading up to the high camp for Piramide de Garcilaso with Reg.  The following day saw a little more classic alpine cluster, with an early morning alpine start resulting in a very alternative start to the classic route being climbed (they've generously agreed not to call it a new route though).  Nevertheless, with daylight, they corrected this minor navigational difficulty, and returned to the correct line.  They got to within 5-10 metres of the summit only to be stymied by a cornice and classic Andean snow.  14 raps, and a mad-dash under a heinous serac (resulting in one's crampon escaping, and another succumbing to a sprained ankle) saw them back down to basecamp once again in time for dinner.  That spelt an end to the good weather, and after a couple of days loitering round basecamp, Dan & Matt returned to town a few days early, while Steve nursed his ankle back with the help of various poultices thanks to our two Peruvian Cooks.

Mean Girls (Stephen Skelton & Ben Dare)

Too cool for school, Skelton & Dare ditched the mainstream and went into the Paron a couple of days early.  With a bit of early acclimatisation followed by some track maintenance for the rest of us (as alluded to in the earlier blog post), these two headed up to the Caraz Basecamp (5000m) on about the second day in the Paron to attempt a new line on one of the Caraz peaks.  In an ascent which immediately put the 10+ year old guidebook out of date, they both named and climbed a new peak in one busy day, scaling 'Caraz IV' to within 30m of the summit, only to be halted just below the ridge by another one of those Peruvian Cornices  (it's a recurring theme), which attempted to chase them off the route, by collapsing on them right at their high point.  Nevertheless, they scurried down, also making our shared Paron basecamp just in time for dinner.  Given the kind of dinners we came to expect from our cooks (fried trout, endless soup and fresh meat all the way through till our 10th day), there was always incentive to never miss dinner wherever possible!

A few days later, they returned to the Caraz BC for a go at a new route on Caraz II, but given the dry year it's been so far, the glacier was impassable, and that plan came to an abrupt end.  A few rest/weather days saw the pair split their separate ways, with Ben going and soloing a route on the left-hand side of Piramide up to the ridge, while Steve and Rose went off to La Esfinge for a speedy ascent to within 2 pitches of the summit, when a unexpected snow storm struck, resulting in 14 raps, but still making the base of the wall by 6pm.

What a Girl Wants (Alastair McDowell & Lincoln Quilliam)

Both on the hunt for a Father figure, Al & Linc followed Skelton & Dare into the Paron early with Al demonstrating the benefits of a week's extra acclimatisation and a previous ascent of La Esfinge with our in-country liason, Aritza, just before we all arrived.  On a similar schedule to the previous two, Al & Linc also went up to Caraz BC to try a route on on the the Caraz peaks.  Kindly breaking trail for Skelton & Dare, they went one couloir further over, and helped with the naming of Caraz IV; climbing a line within earshot of the Mean Girls.  They too were brought up short of the ridge by cornices, and after some exciting v-threading of the route, didn't quite make it back to the Paron BC that night, instead facing the harsh reality of dehydrated food for another night at the high Caraz BC.

After a wee rest back down at the Paron BC, the two potential contestants for next season of The Bachelorette Australia set up an advanced base camp for Piramide, and a day after Josie & the Pussycats, went off in search of summits.  Said summits were sadly elusive however, with the team making it a third of the way up the original route before the fresh snow caused a turn-around.  With impressive perseverance, they left gear high for another attempt.  Sadly on attempt no.2, a small bout of high-altitude asphyxiation for Alastair due to an unventitlated tent and more snow resulted in a midnight descent to basecamp.  Inspired by the Book of Twight, Lincoln set off for one last summit, soloing near to the summit of the North Peak of Piramide via the Paron Glacier on the second-to-last day in the Paron.

Team Twilight (Rose Pearson, Jaz Morris & Pete Harris)

Having done little classic mountaineering in the past few months, the whole team was out for blood (yes, that was a terrible reference, I'm sorry).  Rose was psyched for some rock climbing, and planned to head up La Esfinge with Reg & Claire, but after a quick acclimatisation to 5000m, sickness struck the proposed Sphinx team, and the instead Rose had to wait until the next full moon for her power to return.  Meanwhile, Jaz & I (#teamEdward #teamJacob) decided to take on the mighty Nevado Artesonraju.  We cached gear at the Paron Moraine Camp (4800m) and went back down to Paron BC, aware that climbing to 6000m in the first week of the trip was a pushing the acclimatisation.  The next day, we were accompanied by Reg & Rose, who decided to try Artesonraju with us while Claire recovered from the double whammy of altitude & mysterious food poisoning illness.  The benefit of our 12am alpine start was somewhat diminished by the lack of a moon, and slow navigation up the Paron Glacier to the base of the face.  At this stage, the altitude and Bella Rose had a falling out, and Reg and her decided to play it safe and return to basecamp.  Jaz and I pushed on up the classic 1000m SW Face, only to be punished by the altitude and firm conditions, turning around in the burning sunlight at about 5850m - less than 200m from the summmit, but an unassailable distance when the meagre oxygen refuses to flow into your barely acclimatised lungs & muscles.

Despite the rather demoralising 800m downclimb, we were barely back at basecamp (in time for dinner, I'll have you know) before we were talking about another attempt.  We too decided to try Piramide after a rest day, and all of team twilight headed up to give it a go the same day as Al & Linc.  The weather had other plans though, and the full contingent of snow showers, small spindrift avalances and unconsolidated powder resulted in a turn-around early on the route.  Haunted by the bitter taste of failure, we resorted to original plans, and Rose went off to Sphinx with Steve Skelton (as discussed above), while Jaz & I went for take 2 at Artesonraju.

With fresh tactics, we went light, camped high, and plugged tracks to the base of the route the day prior.  Naturally, we woke at 2pm to 10cm of snow and no sign of our tracks.  We returned to an uneasy sleep, only to wake at 4pm hoping for a miracle.  None appeared, and so we rose at 6am to see if we could get up anything.  A little purposeless wandering saw us heading up the Paron Glacier until we struck upon another party's tracks, at which point we aimed for the high point at the head of the glacier.  A couple of hours and two pitches of glorious aerated Peruvian ice later, and we finally claimed our first summit/nipple on the ridge, which thankfully already has a name - Paron Sur (5550m).  

Miss Congeniality (Reg Measures & Claire Measures)

As mentioned earlier, Claire has been tortured by a mysterious Peruvian illness after the first couple of days in the Paron, so returned to Huaraz and remains in the process of determining the nature of said ailment.

Meanwhile, as recounted above, Reg came to attempt Artesonraju with Team Twilight, and then got up the Original Route on Piramide with Josie & the Pussycats, before returning to Huaraz with them to aid in alleviating the enigmatic illness.

Final Anecdotes

There's little more that should be said, given this has gone on too long already.  Nevertheless, here's a couple of things:

-Our Peruvian Cooks are incredible.  We ate bread rolls for 1-2 meals per day until our last day (day 10) in the Paron

-As signed off with in the previous blog post, the approach was fairly unpleasant, perhaps most beautifully illustrated by Jaz falling 5 metres down a bluff into the lake with a 15kg pack on the way out.  I've never seen someone doggy paddle with such power ever before!

-Dinner every night involved 3 courses, and breakfasts commonly involved stovetop coffee, with pancakes or omelettes.

-We taught our Cooks the card game Scum/Kings & Assholes.  They don't speak English, and between all of us, there's very little Spanish.  Needless to say, there's evolved a 'Peruvian Rules' version of the game.

Given this written behemoth, you'll all be glad to know I won't be writing again until the end of the trip.  We're off the the Santa Cruz tomorrow for two weeks.  We'll be coming out around the 28th of June, probably with many more stories to tell!  I hope you've recovered by then to read to final blog post for the trip.

Until then,

Pete (#teamJacob) 

31 May - Just a quick update before the whole team heads into the Paron Valley for the next 10 days.  The 29th May saw the majority of us head up to Lake Churup for a short acclimatisation walk - an hour and a half's drive from Huaraz.  A scenic 700m climb took us to the lake at about 4550m above sea level, with several of us braving the temperatures for a quick swim.  On the 30th, we split into a couple of groups, with Ben, Stephen Skelton, Alastair & Lincoln heading into the Paron to begin scoping the area, while the rest of us went for some high altitude cragging at Hatun Machay.

At 4300m, Hatun Machay is a glorious high altitude plateau covered with surreal moon-scape style rock outcrops.  Reminiscent of a volcanic version of Castle Hill, it's truly a unique kind of acclimatisation to be clipping bolts in shorts and t-shirts over 500m higher than the summit of Mt Cook!  While the lack of oxygen showed in the panting after every crux move, and the long-lasting pump, it balanced out with the sheer pleasure of sport climbing in such a spectacular location (see some of the photos below).  Only a couple of hours from Huaraz, we just made it an overnight trip, staying at the Refugio adjacent to the climbing.  

We came back down to Huaraz today (31st May), and are all noticing our acclimatisation beginning to kick in; breathing easier here at 3100m.  A quick call from Ben at the Paron road-end this evening indicated that the approach to our basecamp in the Paron might be significantly more arduous than anticipated.  While we were expecting a 2 hour walk from the road-end to our camp at the head of the lake, Ben noted that it took them 5 hours, with multiple slips and NZ style moraine to negotiate.  Jaz and I are already looking at 30+kg packs, so tomorrow's walk could prove interesting.  The remainder of the team heads up the Paron tomorrow for 10 days, returning on the 11th June to Huaraz.  Can't wait to get into the mountains and sink the axes into something solid!  Will update on our return to civilisation, but for now, buenos noches. -Pete

28 May - We've arrived in Huaraz! Everyone made it on time to Lima and fortunately so did our bags! After the last arrival we packed up our charter bus, leaving at midnight for the winding and bumpy 7 hour drive to Huaraz. No sleep combined with sea level to 3000m and I'm feeling a bit hungover! We've unpacked and had a good look around town before we begin some short acclimatisation walks and climbs tomorrow. - Jaz

25 May - We're packed (just within the luggage allowance!) and off tomorrow - looking forward to a team rendezvous in Lima on the 27th. - Jaz

24 May - Pete Harris and Jaz Morris here, firing up the blog. We have a pile of gear that presently fills about 2 cubic metres. Over the next two days, this needs to somehow become only 50 kg each and in a form that can be presented to our airline company. Wish us luck.

 

About the Expedition

The 2016 expedition to Peru is the first annual expedition of the Expedition Climbers Club.  This expedition is also the first expedition to be supported by the Expedition Capital Fund.  The Expedition Climbers Club is the organisation that runs the Remarkables Ice and Mixed Climbing Festival, which in turn provides all money raised at the event (via registration fees and the Capital Fund Auction) to the club's Expedition Capital Fund.  The club also runs the mentoring program The NZ Alpine Team, summer and winter climbing meets and womans only trad climbing weekends.  Members from the club and the NZAT are helping to organise this expedition.

The Expedition Capital Fund is providing a subsidy of $5000.00 NZD.  This money goes directly towards the costs of the shared base camp facilities.  Over a group of 15 people this will not mean a significant subsidy for any one person.  However there will be many advantages of being on a expedition with such a large group of Kiwi climbers.  The ability to meet and form new friendships with other Kiwi climbers, share knowledge about route conditions, enjoy being at a base camp with more than just one other person to talk to will be among some of the advantages of being on such a trip.  It is also important to understand that successful expedition climbing often relies on making many trips over several years, often with the same group of climbers.  By being on this expedition and meeting so many other like minded people, the chances of your future expedition climbing success will be increased.  

 

Itinerary

Departure date from NZ is Friday 27th May 2016.  We will all fly from NZ and share a pre booked private bus direcct to Huaraz.

May

27th: Arrive Lima, transfer Airport-Huaraz overnight

28: Huaraz. Albergue Andinista Hostel

29: Aclimatation trek to Churup Lake (4,485 m) or Ahuac Lake (4,580 m).

30: Hatun Machay rock climbing.

31: Hatun Machay rock climbing & return to Huaraz. Albergue Andinista



June

1st: Transfer Huaraz to Paron Valley

2: Paron Valley

3: Paron Valley

4: Paron Valley

5: Paron Valley

6: Paron Valley

7: Paron Valley

8: Paron Valley

9: Paron Valley

10: Paron Valley

11: Paron to Huaraz. Transfer to Albergue Andinista Hostel

12: Huaraz rest day

13: Huaraz rest day

14: Huaraz to Santa Cruz Valley via Cashapampa and Llamacorral.

15: Llamacorral-Taullipampa B.C.

16: S.Cruz Valley

17: S.Cruz Valley

18: S.Cruz Valley

19: S.Cruz Valley

20: S.Cruz Valley

21: S.Cruz Valley

22: S.Cruz Valley

23: S.Cruz Valley

24: S.Cruz Valley

25: S.Cruz Valley

26: S.Cruz Valley

27: S.Cruz Valley

28: S.Cruz Valley

29: Contingency day

30: Return to Lima overnight - make own way back home.

Costs

The following are estimates. Flights $2300 ex. Chch. Insurance $600 (Austrian Alpine Club ) - 1000 (New Zealand Alpine Club) (amount of coverage varies between providers - 25,000 Euro Rescue/500,000 Euro Rescue - AAC, Unlimited Medical and Rescue - NZAC), in country travel, food and lodging including base camp cooks, hostels, donkeys where required $3500. All up we would expect the trip to cost people anywhere from $6000 - 7000 NZD


Packing List (for three people)
Climbing Food:
Equipment:
Climbing
  • 2 x half ropes 60m. We use Tendon Master Half Ropes 
  • 1 x cragging rope for Hatun Machay
  • 12x quickdraws for town cragging.
  • 20m of 6mm prussic cord for fixing anchors.  
  • Crampons
  • 2 x ice axe and/or mixed climbing tools per person with hammer/adze
  • 1 x small file for sharpening crampons/picks 
  • 1 x spare pick for ice tools.
  • 1 x allen key or spanner for tightening axes
  • 1 x travel bag for crampons
  • 12 light weight 60cm extendable quick draws
  • 2 x 120cm light weight spectra sewn sling
  • Pitons (approx 6, 3 each of knife blades and angles)
  • 2 x auto locking screw gate style biners for ATC and for fixing anchors per person
  • 2 x light weight screw gates per person
  • 2 x snow stakes
  • 1 x ATC guide style belay device per person
  • 1 x daisy chain or safety sling per person
  • 2 x alpine light weight etrier 
  • A mix of hooks and beaks for aid [optional]
  • hand drill and small selection of bolts [optional]
  • 1 x helmet per person light under 400g
  • 1 x climbing harness per person (needs to weigh less than 350g)
  • 2 x sets of wires number 1 – 8 + 1 set RPs & offsets
  • Double set of cams 0-4 camalots (this allows us to have gear stashed in two seperate climbing locations)
  • 1 x light weight biner per cam
  • 12 x ice screws for team, 2 long, 8 med 2 short, Petzl light weight screws 
  • Ice screw sharpener
  • 1 x v-threader per person
  • Spinner leash for attaching ice axes to harness
  • Ice clippers for harness
  • 2x screamers
  • 1 x chalk bag per person
  • 1 x spare pot of chalk
  • 1 x crack climbing gloves
  • 1 x fifi hook 
  • 1 x grigri
  • 3 x tibloc
  • 3 x micro traction
  • 1 x binoculars

Route bivvy gear:

  • 1 x shovel (light weight) [optional]
  • 1 x double bivvy quilt (Macpac prototype), if taking bivy bags x single bivy bag Macpac Alpine Cocoon
  • 1 x light single skin tent
  • 1 x bothy Bag 3 person Rab Sil Bothy 
  • 1 x sleeping mat each (3/4 Z rest with clip in point)
  • 2 x 120L Macpac Duffle bags each for travel 
  • 1 x 35 - 45 L climbing pack (under 600g) NZAT Macpac Pursuit 40
  • 1 x 1L water bottle per person
  • 2 x 1L bladders per person
  • 1 x 1.5L piss bottle
  • 1 x 10L water bladder
  • 1 x pen + notebook per person
  • 1 Jetboil 800ml variety
  • 1 spoon per person
  • Drybags for gear at least five large ones per person. (and stashing kit at high bivvy sites)
  • Sat Phone is handy for getting up to date forecasts while away in the mountains and emergencies.   

Base camp gear:

  • 1 x leatherman multi tool per two people
  • 1 x light climbing knife i.e. petzl knife that can attach to harness one per person
  • 1 x long flexible drinking straw per person for use on route and glaciers each person, 30cm or longer.
  • Lighters, gas, soap, other cooking supplies can be brought in town.
  • Sleeping bag for base camp Macpac Epic 400
  • Individual tent for base camp we took Macpac Olympus Tents a good sized 2 man base camp tent. 
  • 1 x silk sleeping bag liner per person
  • 1 x small dry bag for top of pack per person
  • Stuff sack for organising clothing or a Macpac cram sack

Footwear:

  • 1 x alpine boot mid weight like Salewa Pro Series or for longer , higher routes where a bivy is planned a double boot is ideal. 
  • 1 x pair jandles per person
  • 1 x town shoe
  • 1 x pair approach shoes per person Salewa Mountain Trainer
  • 1 x spare laces for climbing boots per person
  • 1 x tight fitting rock shoe per person for sport climbing in town.
  • 1 x climbing shoe that can fit a mid weight sock snugly per person.  
  • 1 x spare laces for climbing shoe per person
  • Lube for boot zippers
  • Wax or waterproof boots before departure
  • Walking poles

Clothing: (all items for each person)

General Equipment: (for each individual person)

  • 1 x medium size tube of sun block
  • 1 x Lifestraw filter bottle for drinking water on approaches and base camp
  • 1 x re usable mini sun block case
  • 1 x lip balm with sting so it can hang around your neck
  • Baby wipes as many as you feel you need (purchase on arrival)
  • 1 x personal first aid kit, you can buy basic pain medication in town, however bring any specific strong pain medication you think might be necessary plus general antibiotic.
  • 1 x small bottle of detol / hand sanitiser
  • 2 x rolls of dental floss
  • 1 x tooth paste
  • 1 x small tooth brush
  • 1 x tube of mouth ulcer gel
  • 1 x tube of canastine style unti fungle cream
  • 1 x small travel alarm clock
  • 1 x alpine climbing watch with altitude and barometer (need 1 between 2 minimum)
  • 1 x compass
  • 1 x area topo map 
  • 2 x head lamps and 2 sets of spare batteries
  • 1 x digital camera + spare memory card if required
  • Charger for digital camera
  • Spare camera batteries and memory cards
  • Spare batteries watch
  • Spare batteries travel alarm
  • Personal toiletries
  • Vitamin supplements
  • Power adaptors specific for Peru 
  • Eye patch & ear plugs for bivvys
  • Solar panel with double USB adaptors 
  • Tablet or e reader 
With Thanks To Our Sponsors

This trip wouldn't be possible without some serious sponsorship for which we are very grateful. With big thanks to Macpac, Jetboil, Tendon Ropes, Salewa, Pete, Rose and Jaz are supported by: Sport New Zealand, Pete, Rose, Jaz, Ben, Steve S, Dan, Steve F and Matt are supported by: New Zealand Alpine Club, Pete, Rose and Jaz are supported by: Austrian Alpine Club.

Press Release

19 May 2016 Departing on the 27th May, the Expedition Climbers’ Club (ECC) 2016 Peru Expedition will be the largest international climbing trip to leave New Zealand in the last 40 years. The expedition will be based in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca mountain range, with members of the 12 person group attempting to climb a variety of unclimbed routes on the many 5000 and 6000m peaks in the area. The expedition is also the pinnacle of the ECC’s 3-year elite youth development program; the New Zealand Alpine Team. South America, and Peru in particular, was the scene of a plethora of historic New Zealand first ascents during the 1960s, including the first ascent of Nevado Cayesh, multiple new routes in the Cordillera Vilcabamba, and a new route on Taulliraju in the Santa Cruz Valley in 1989.

Three young New Zealand alpinists seek to draw upon this rich New Zealand history in their attempt at the first ascent of the West Ridge of Taulliraju. Rose Pearson (26), Jaz Morris (25) and Peter Harris (23) have been mentored in the New Zealand Alpine Team for the past 3 years, with training trips throughout New Zealand, as well as to the French Alps, Canada, Yosemite and Alaska.

With extensive support from Macpac, Sport New Zealand’s Hillary Expedition Grant, and the New Zealand Alpine Club Expedition Fund, the trip to Peru is the culmination of their tenure as mentees in the Team. On their intended objective of the West Ridge, Mr Harris notes:

“It’s an ambitious climb which will certainly test us in an inhospitable and perilously exposed environment, but with the range of abilities the three of us bring to the table, coupled with the extensive mentoring we’ve had from New Zealand’s top alpinists in the Team over the past three years, we’re excited to attempt such an aesthetic line.” Sport NZ Chief Executive Peter Miskimmin, who sat on the selection panel, said the adventure planned by the team is truly inspiring and he hopes it will encourage other Kiwis to take on the outdoors. “Sir Edmund Hillary inspired us as a nation, and our Hillary Expedition grants honour that history. The adventurers we’re funding on these expeditions are like the high performance athletes of the outdoor sector,” Miskimmin said.

“We are an adventurous and pioneering nation. Kiwis set their sights high and these expeditions are a great example of that. Each person will need to be physically and mentally tough to succeed. They’ll need to plan well, yet be ready to deal with the unexpected. I hope that, like Hillary, these adventurers go on to create their own inspiring stories for other New Zealanders to share.”

The Expedition Climbers’ Club was created in 2013 as a vehicle for getting New Zealanders alpine climbing, both at home and in the greater ranges. To achieve this, the Club runs the Remarkables Ice & Mixed Festival to facilitate the meeting of like-minded climbers, the Expedition Capital Fund to help support yearly international Club expeditions, and the New Zealand Alpine Team to mentor the best up-and-coming young alpinists.

ENDS