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Timcb

Adventuring

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A buddy of mine, Justin, and I are going to be traveling for 2 or 3 months this summer, sometime in the May to August period. We're trying to decide where to go right now, here are our criteria:

 

-Trip is alpine climbing focused, but not entirely spent climbing. We're thinking 60-70% of the time we'd be climbing. The rest of the time would be travel, exploring, visiting different parts of the area, interacting with locals, community service would be great.

-Interaction with foreign cultures is critical. Alaska and the yukon would great for climbing, but we want to get out of the country.

-We're willing to accept some logistical hassles, we have the time to handle them, but we're both relative expedition noobs- having made one trip down to ecuador for two weeks.

-I speak a little spanish, Justin's willing to learn.

-as far as climbing goes, we're looking for grade II-IV, PD to AD, alpine rock to 5.7 or 5.8, AI 3 or 4, WI 3.

-high altitude a must (5,000 to 7,500m), preferably with routes from day climbs out of camp, to week long trips (but no establishing multiple camps, himalayan expedition style)

-we're looking to really get out there off the beaten track. The further afield, the better. Having 2 or 3 months for a trip like this is very rare for us and we really want to be able to take advantage of our time.

 

So we have a couple places we're toying with, but where would you go? why?

bigdrink.gif

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Unfortunately, it will be winter in Patagonia, otherwise that would be my number one suggestion.

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i always say this, b/c i had a great time there, so: peru. winter is the best climbing season there, with (usually) relatively little precipitation and avvy danger. many climbs of the kind you want, inexpensive, nice people. the mountains are very densely packed there, so you can expect to do several routes from one base camp. lots of archaeological fun for your off time, though the best of that is in the south, while most of the good climbs are in the north. and you could go to the jungle too. climbing books to check out are david sharman's guide 'climbs of the cordillera blanca of peru' and john biggar's 'andes: a climbing guide'. i'm told there's a new one by....brad johnson? something like that. oh yeah, go to argentina while you're there. great food, beautiful women, excellent suits to be had for $60. that's all i know.

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i always say this, b/c i had a great time there, so: peru. winter is the best climbing season there, with (usually) relatively little precipitation and avvy danger. many climbs of the kind you want, inexpensive, nice people. the mountains are very densely packed there, so you can expect to do several routes from one base camp. lots of archaeological fun for your off time, though the best of that is in the south, while most of the good climbs are in the north. and you could go to the jungle too. climbing books to check out are david sharman's guide 'climbs of the cordillera blanca of peru' and john biggar's 'andes: a climbing guide'. i'm told there's a new one by....brad johnson? something like that. oh yeah, go to argentina while you're there. great food, beautiful women, excellent suits to be had for $60. that's all i know.

 

How is the political situation there? Stable/relatively safe?

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Both Bolivia and Peru are in prime condition during the South American winter. There is nothing major to worry about politically in either country.

 

Jason

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politically good. few kidnappings (nothing like columbia, for example), and the senderos were wrapped up years ago. we had no thefts or confrontations in a month in country (well, a friend of mine was nearly arrested for bouldering on a church, but that was in the capital...). i don't want to over recommend, b/c everyone's experience will vary, but i looooooved it there.

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russia (altai mountains near border of siberia, mongolia and china), china (sichuan), pakistan.

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Try Huaraz, Peru. It's paradise. Lots of rock, ice and mountaineering around. There's a huge climbing community there. It's about three hours from Lima, which is quite possibly the most ghetto city in South America.

 

Check out Northern Chile too. San Pedro de Atacama is a nice base. There's some decent mountaineering around. And the culture is amazing. You can also check out Parc Nacional de Lauca near Arica, Chile. There's not much in the way of accomodation in the park, but it's only an hour bus ride from the Panamericana.

 

La Paz is probably better though... if you're willing to put up with the big city. There's a larger selection of mountains and rock around.

Good luck!

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Try Huaraz, Peru. It's about three hours from Lima,

 

Maybe in the Batmobile, usually 7 hours by bus. In any case, I'll second Peru.

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Try Huaraz, Peru. It's about three hours from Lima,

 

Maybe in the Batmobile, usually 7 hours by bus. In any case, I'll second Peru.

 

Yeah... you're right. I think I'd had too much Pisco...

bigdrink.gif

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Big deal. We spell Venezia with an i-c-e, Praha with a g-u-e, and Deutschland with a G-e-r-m-a-n-y.

 

I'm pretty sure being able to spell country's names how we want is part of the global war on tyranny or whatever.

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Cool- thanks for the feedback.

 

Obviously, Peru and Bolivia are pretty high on our list. With the time we've got, we'd be able to climb in both countries, get down to the jungle, and out to the coast. Logistics aren't bad and the climbing would be excellent. It seems like a no-brainer.

 

However, we're still thinking about central asia (pamir, karakoram, tien shan). Anyone travel or climb in those ranges? How was getting around, working with a liaison, getting permits, not speaking the language..? I'd imagine there's plenty to climb even if you're not chad kellogg or kelly cordes

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kyrghizstan

 

thumbs_up.gif

 

It doesn't get better than this in fulfilling your parameters. Fly in to Bishkek, look dirtbag, don't hesitate to refuse the initial prices of taxi-drivers, make sure your US bills are crisp & clean (preferably unfolded... for best exchange rate), don't pull out the Patagucci until well after your business dealings are behind you and you're headed for the mountains. Leave the blue jeans home... they're high-dollar and top fashion there; wear dark-colored cargo pants when traveling. Arrange ahead to have a guide service take you to your destination; you might get some beta from the Russian alpinist, Denis Urubko, or Chad Kellogg, or Garth at www.alpinefund.org, or Scott MacLennan with the Anatoli Boukreev Memorial Fund at www.boukreev.org. PM me if you need help reaching any of these people.

 

Learn a little Russian.

 

This is the height of adventure.

 

thumbs_up.gif

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I'll throw another recommendation in for the Cordillera Blanca. There is tons of stuff to do there, the locals are awesome and there are so many Quebradas out there to explore that 2-3 months would be easy to fill. The standard trek through Quebrada Santa Cruz and Llanganuco offer many side trips to great looking peaks (Huascaran, Alpamayo, Artesan Raju, etc.) in addition to many others. There are equally awesome trips around there in other quebradas also. Just watch out for the mangy/crazed cows. I wish I could find the picture of one of the qubradas with grass like a golf green covering the floor with giant pristine granite boulders dotting it- a bouldering haven with big walls all around for the taking. Yum.

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What about Baffin Island or Greenland?

 

yeah there are sooooo many 5000 to 7500m peaks there! rolleyes.gif

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What about Baffin Island or Greenland?

 

yeah there are sooooo many 5000 to 7500m peaks there! rolleyes.gif

 

cry.gif guess i'm just not a mountain dork. HCL.gif thanks for pointing that out wave.gif

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