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  • Mt. Bierstadt Group Summit - Front Range, Colorado
  • A rest before the summit push on Dallas Peak - San Juan Range, Colorado
  • Broken Ankle + 6 Miles = Tired
  • The classic San Juan approach - San Juan Range, Colorado
  • Overlooking Noname Basin from Twin Thumbs Pass - San Juan Range, Colorado
  • Upper Noname Basin - San Juan Range, Colorado
  • Nearing Noname Cabin - San Juan Range, Colorado
  • Twin Thumbs Twins - San Juan Range, Colorado
  • Nearing the summit of Pt. 13,736 - Sawatch Range, Colorado
  • Blustery day on Iowa Peak - Sawatch Range, Colorado
  • Morning snow at 15k, Cerro Ramada - Cordillera Ramada
  • Artesonraju from the summit of Nevado Pisco - Cordillera Blanca, Peru
  • February crowds on Gray's Peak - Front Range, Colorado
  • Kicking steps on Cerro Lliani - Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru
  • Final traverse to the summit of Wheeler Mountain - Ten Mile Range, Colorado
  • The long walk to Pachanta - Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru
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    Afternoon at 17k on Cerro Ramada - Cordillera Ramada, Argentina
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    The final ridge on Iowa Peak - Sawatch Range, Colorado
  • Summer summit on Longs Peak - Front Range, Colorado
  • A rest day at the Pachanta Hot Springs - Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru
  • Mind over matter on Mt. Parnassas - Front Range, Colorado
  • Rest stop on Cerro Lliani - Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru
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    Post nap surprise on Cerro Ramada - Cordiller Ramada, Argentina
  • Summit on Cerro Lliani - Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru
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    Ridge walking on Grizzly Peak - Sawatch Range, Colorado
  • Enroute the summit via the West Ridge on Pacific Peak - Ten Mile Range, Colorado
  • Mule train bound for Chilca - Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru
  • Taking in the view from Fletcher Peak - Ten Mile Range, Colorado
  • Hiking on Silverheels - Mosquito Range, Colorado
  • Traversing! Gladstone Peak - San Juan Range, Colorado
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    The best of times at Willow Lake - Sangre de Christo Range, Colorado
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    High Altitude Cerebral Edema? - Cordillera Ramada, Argentina
  • Bound for Chilca - Vilcanota Range, Peru
  • Going alpine light, Holy Cross Ridge - Sawatch Range, Colorado
  • Cumbre! Campa I - Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru
  • Roadside lunch with the best of company - Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru
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    Long ridge walk to the summit of California Peak - Sangre de Christo Range, Colorado
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    Crossing el Rio Colorado . . . in the afternoon - Cordillera Ramada, Argentina
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    Dealing with Fall snows high on Casco Peak - Sawatch Range, Colorado
  • Moonrise over Mercedario - Cordillera Ramada, Argentina
  • Still climbing at 20,900 on Cerro Ramada - Cordiller Ramada, Argentina
  • Talus on Halo Ridge, Mt. of the Holy Cross - Sawatch Range, Colorado
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    Deteriorating conditions on Mt. Arkansas - Ten Mile Range, Colorado
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    After the climb - Cordillera Ramada, Argentina
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    Taking in the view from the summit of Crystal Peak - Tenmile Range, Colorado
  • Topping out on Mt. Arkansas' North Couloir - Mosquito Range, Colorado
  • Glissade on Mt. Arkansas - Mosquito Range, Colorado
  • Hard snow morning on Teakettle Mountain - San Juan Range, Colorado
  • Spring snow announces the start of the climb on Dallas Peak - San Juan Range, Colorado
  • Crossing the Eolus Catwalk - San Juan Range, Colorado

Peru 2011

Logistics I - Planes, Trains, Automobiles & Lodging

Air Transportation:

Most of the U.S. majors fly from the CONUS to Lima, Peru, our initial destination for this trip. From Lima to Cusco, the choice is one of local carriers. We chose a combination of American and LAN for our trip, traveling first by American to Miami and then on LAN from Miami through to Cusco.

Though we'd had a devil of an experience with American on our trip to Bolivia in 2007, they redeemed themselves in 2010, when we flew them to Santiago. However, from Santiago to Mendoza, we'd gotten a taste of LAN and it was a smooth, very smooth experience. That outfit even delayed a bag with class, so when given the opportunity to split the ticket among carriers with LAN as a player, we jumped at the opportunity. This was in spite of my cardinal rule not to split carriers but . . . that Chilean outfit really made an impression the year before.

The run from Lima to Cusco can be had on LAN or another Peruvian carrier but as noted we simply connected from our Lima flight to our Cusco flight. The only hassle is that the bags must clear customs in Lima and then be re-checked for the next leg to Cusco . . . regardless of carrier.

The cost of the flight from Denver to Cuzco was $1537 and we purchased just before the price jump associated with the Middle East's weekly revolts began in earnest. I suppose one could consider an overland link to Cuzco but we never gave that option any thought due to the distance, time constraints and minor additional cost. Just doesn't make sense.

Rail Transportation:

Rail? Yes, believe it or not there are only two realistic ways to get to Machu Picchu from Cusco . . . hike in via the Inca Trail over a couple of days . . . or take the train from Cusco's Poroy station to the Aguas Calientes station at the base of the mountain upon which the ruins sit. Peru Rail runs the line and the trip takes about three hours. There are two classes of service, the earlier Vista Dome service and a later less cushy service that follows. There is also the "local" that is for Peruvians only, though I have a hunch that would be fun ride in and of itself.

We took the Vista Dome service which includes a snack service and other food for purchase. For hard core train fans, there is no vestibule riding, which is disappointing for those of that bent . . . you know who you are and what I am talking about. One of the neat parts of the trip is the use of a switchback to lose the elevation necessary at one point.

Van Transportation:

Our logistics provider provided van transportation to and from the airport, the train station and the trail head for our hike/trek. Our driver/facilitator was John and hecovered every angle that needed attention. He simply could not have provided better ground transportation for each and every part of our trip. Did I mention that he knows where the best Lomo Saltado can be found, can expedite small change early in the morning, and knows how to put the hustle into a program without cramping anyone's style. John was assited by Mariella who helped with the translations, connections and provided a informal tours at the various stops along our trip to and from trail heads. Two great folks.


Our Cusco lodging was at the Hotel Apu Huascaran . . . a great choice on the part of Carlos. The rooms were fine and we were greeted in the traditional manner with a cup of coca tea. I pity you folks who living in fear of a corporate UA as this a tradition in which there is no harm in partaking. For those unfmiliar with a cup of coca tea, there is no buzz or other discernable effect but for the lore (?) of the medicinal effect on the soroche. Living in Wyoming at 6000 feet and climbing many weekends a year to 14k has relieved me of the soroche threat but sitting in the hotel's sunny courtyard is certainly a pleasure regardless.

The Apu serves a good continental breakfast, inclusive of eggs cooked upon request. The beds have the substantial blankets I've come to expect in the andean highlands. The staff is super friendly and can make arrangements for various services as need be. There is a great restaurant serving Lomo just up the street and at the end of the day, you can wander up to deck on the top floor and take in the sunset over Cusco. Again a great pick by our logistics provider.


Logistics Continued