Training, Gear, and a Game Plan
Training for a summer South American trip may not be physically easy but it certainly fits more into the normal routine. Our trip was planned for the middle two weeks of June so Colorado's Spring snow climbing season was to provide an ideal training regime. Beginning in early Spring, we climbed as often as we could, aiming to include steep snow and long routes to ensure that we are all in "mountain shape" but the very late snows of the Sprng of 2011 as well as individual team member's scheduling conflicts did preclude the opportunity to practice any substantive couloir climbs and or glacier travel rope work. However, some of the training climbs we were able to pull off included:
Add to these weekend climbs the usual personal efforts that for me included 300+ miles of biking to and from work, 5 hours of aerobic group PT per week ranging from Bootcamp to Zumba routines. Also a better diet that took off twelve pounds of extra weight that really did not need to go to Peru.
Most importantly . . . we did squeeze in two trips to Los Campos II, a Peruvian Restaurant in Denver to bone up on Lomo Saltado and Inca Cola selection.
This trip necessitated little in the way of new gear beyond a new set of the prussic knots, adding bit more Smartwool to the layering system and adding a couple of light pulleys to my rack to gain just a bit of advantage in the event I became a z-puller. We all loaded up on GU energy gels and the miscellaneous comfort items that make the rest days a bit more tolerable.
Our goal was to explore Peru's Vilcanota Range, the most substantial peak in which is 6000+ meter Ausangate. We planned to fly from Denver to Miami and then onto Lima for a short layover before our final destination of Cuzco. We planned a combination tourist/rest/luggage catch up day during which we would tour Machu Picchu. from there, we were off to our entry point trailhead at Tinqui, about six hours by van from Cuzco. We planned two days to cross over Campa Pass, hopefully climbing Campa in the process. A camp in the valley was the next plan from which we would assess a climb of Mariposa, Ausangate, or another peak that caught our eye. From there, we planned to go downstream to our exit trailhead at Pitumarca, a total distance of about 80 miles from start to finish, counting climbing, recon and miscellaneous mileage.
Well, that's not exactly how the trip unfolded but we were pretty close. Most importnatly we got off the climbing trade routes, saw some country that does not see a large number of climbers and/or trekers and pulled off a trek between two points, making for an bundle of adventure.