The story about ALPAMAYO in outdoor mag, Germany

15 11 2010

outddoor mag 01 | 2011 will be sold from 14.12.2010



Finally – the first story about our trip is going to be printed. In the german magazine “outdoor“.

Just before christmas “outdoor”, being published by Motorpresse Stuttgart, will have a 8 to 10 page story about our circuit of the Alpamayo on the Santa Cruz Trail.

Outdoor 01/2011 will be on sale from 14. december 2010.



Outdoor_Preview 01 | 2011


Outdoor 12/2010 - das aktuelle Heft

Around the Alpamayo

6 06 2010

From Cusco we hopped to Lima (one hours flight) to drive north to Huaraz, a small town in the Cordillera Blanca – also called the “Chamonix of Peru”.  More than 20 mountains over 6000m (19700 ft) were waiting for us. We did a 9 day hike around the Alpamayo (130 km, 90miles, with one or two passes every day) and are now back in Huaraz. Today we take a bus back to Lima – to fly home on monday.

A little detour to the Alpamayo basecamp.

Day 2 of the Alpamayo Circuit. Amazing glaciers all around the camp.

Fiesta in Cusco

24 05 2010

After hiking 10 days to Machu Picchu and back we spent some very relaxed days at Cusco. We happened to be able to watch a big fiesta on the sunday of Pentecost – all different cultural groups of Cusco and surroundings met at trhe Plaza de Armas – it was a show of historic and modern costumes, dance, music and a mixture of colours you nearly couldn’t believe…. I am lucky I brought enough memory cards for my camera… more photos soon.

Peruvian colors at the Pentecost fiesta in Cusco.

Been there… the Inca City

22 05 2010

The typical Machu Picchu view... okay, the background only.

The promised photo…. 7 o’clock at Machu Picchu. Now we are back in Cusco, resting, and planning the last days. Probably more trekking north of Lima, at Huaraz.

This was the path around Salkantay…   beautiful and stunning landscape, but quite a tough walk….

The way to and around Salkantay.

Machu Picchu via Salkantay

20 05 2010

Just a quick note from the Internet cafe in Aguas Calientes – we hiked from Mollepata (80 km from Cusco) around the Salkantay Mountain to Machu Picchu – visited the legendary and really impressive Inka city yesterday. Today we start hiking back to Mollepata – 3 or 4 days…. photos when we are back in Cusco. Everything fine – also thanks to Mountain Lodges of Peru where we spent a wonderful first night.

Mountain Lodges of Peru - Soraypampa.

Peru – the prussian country of the potato

10 05 2010

Peru is the most amazing country we have travelled in so far. People are very very friendly and warm and  – it must come from the line of the Incas – are extremely well organized.  This shows in a prussian sort of punctuality and cleanliness which is almost too much. Even for us disciplined germans. The driver, supposed to pick you up between 3.00  and 3.30 am (yes, in the morning) rings the bell of the hostel at exactly 3.00 am. Two different chauffeurs of 4x4s, getting us to and back from the foot of 18.000 feet mountains were exactly on time – not one minute late even if they had to drive for 3 hours to arrive at the pick up point.

The big double storey busses, preferred means of transportation with own terrepuertos (groundports instead of airports) leave their bay punctual – 9.30 is 9.30, not one minute later.

When you have to use the Banos (bathrooms) at the bus station you pay 1 soles (25 Eurocent) and you get a  printed ticket as proof that you paid. Every piece of luggage gets a tag and you only can retrieve your bag when showing your tag with the identical number. It is more strict than being in an airport.

Even the taxi drivers in Arequipa where we stayed for ten days only try once to rip you – a little bit. A normal tour within the town costs 3 soles (= 1US $). If you ask for the price they tell you: 4 soles. You say “no” with a smile, they smile in mutual understanding and say “3 soles”. Deal done.

The other astounding aspect is the cuisine with a lot of varieties like ostrich, alpaca, guinnea pig (no, we didn’t taste that), all sorts of seafood and “cebiche” (or ceviche, the Peruvian way of sushi) and countless sorts of potatoes in all sizes and in colour variations from red over greenish-yellow to blueish.

There are dozens of differents kinds of potatoes in Peru.

We have this knowledge from a supermarket in Lima, but there is a better source:

Although the Spaniards could never have guessed it, potatoes were to be Peru’s greatest legacy to the world. They originated in Peru and grow there in a profusion of varieties and colours. It has been calculated that the world’s annual potato harvest is worth many times the value of all treasures and precious metals taken from the Inca empire by its conquerors.

The Conquest of the Incas, John Hemming, Pan Books

Writing this in a bus from Cruz del Sur rolling over the altiplano at 3800m altitude (12.500 ft) between Arequipa and Puno we are looking forward to visiting the lake Titicaca and the capital of the Inca empire – Cusco.

Nice try, thanks Chachani

8 05 2010

First morning light on Chachani summit.

The Chachani (6076m, 19.930ft) is the most impressive and highest volcano near Arequipa. We tackled it quite fearless and perhaps with a bit of lack of respect on our own – but had no luck.

With a 4×4 transport it takes 2.5 hrs from Arequipa to get to the begin of the trail at 4855m (15.930ft). Then you hike up to your base camp at about 5200m (17.060ft) which takes around 2 hours.

The problem is: You have to get up at 2.00 am to start your summit ascent. The first part we had checked out the afternoon before so we would find our way with headlamps to a saddle at around 5600 m (18.370ft). In sheer darkness we arrived at the beginning of the snow and ice area and started a long traverse along a quite steep slope. Some days before over 20 people had tried the ascent to the summit so there should have been a well trampled track. So we thought. But after two hours the track fainted more and more and we started to doubt if we were on the right path. Temperatures were way below freezing point and Kim and me had severe problems with cold hands and feet. You start worrying if you can’t feel your fingers anymore, don’t you? As it was still dark we decided to head back and walk down in a rocky valley to check out alternative paths.

As the first sunlight hit the scene we could see that we had been totally right. The icy and snowy path was leading to the next ridge from where you start to hike up to the first and then to the real summit of Chachani. As we detected this it was too late to start a second attempt. We felt a little sorry because this time we had slept well and had nearly no signs of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) like headache or nausea. And we walked quite fast considering the high altitude and the darkness.

With mixed feelings we crawled slowly back to the first saddle where the first rays of sun warmed our frozen bones. The descent to the base camp then was easy. Warm tea and potato soup helped to get back to life. The rewarding of this try was the complete loneliness (it was only us two in the base camp) and the amazing wildlife. We saw a fox strolling through the base camp after we had hiked up a little bit on the first day, two eagles landing 50m away from our camp and a cute brown mouse near our tent making a hell of a noise the whole night through. And we detected puma prints on the path in the snow (our driver had told us that there were pumas in the Chachani area). Or was it the Andean Yeti?

And we experienced an earthquake in the middle of the night. Kim was close to jump out of the tent while the earth was shaking under us. I felt quite lucky to be outside and not in a building in the city. For Remco from our Hostal Tambo Viejo who was organizing all our trips the “terremoto”  was quite normal.

I am still thinking about coming back and give Chachani another try. Volunteers welcome. Now I can act as guide.

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