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21.9.2008 Huascaran 6768, Cordillera Blanca, Peru

Mikko on the way to camp2, 5800m
Mikko on the summit of Huascaran Sur, 6768m
In the middle is Artesonraju (6025m). Six expedition memebers have climbed Artesonraju.
After Tomi's trip to Peru in May we decided to test our gear some more in July in the same place. Mikko participated in a group of three climbers and their target was the highest mountain in Peru, Huascaran.

After arriving in Lima the group headed for the city of Huaraz which lies 7 hours bus trip from Lima. Huaraz is the main base town for trekking and climbing in the area of Cordillera Blanca. The city itself is located at the altitude of 3000m in the vicinity of the mountains.

First moments in Peru were slightly problematic due to the three day strike that was going on.

After the strike was over on Thursday, 10.7, we headed to the village of Musho. Is lies one and a half hour car ride away from Huaraz. From Musho we started the the trek to the base camp. Easy four hour trek was over in the afternoon, just perfectly for the afternoon coffee.

The first night in 4200m was nice except for the first timer who had some not so good painkillers for the strained neck. The solution was easy, stick your fingers to your throat, painkillers out, breakfast in, pick up your rucksack and head towards moraine camp.

We reached moraine camp at 4700m on 11.7 after two hours walk. There is a refugio in this camp (, where you can eat, drink and of course stay overnight for a small fee. We also enjoyed the buffet at the refugio to delay the unevitable diet of dried pasta as long as possible.

After a night in moraine camp and having slightly upset stomach we woke up on 12.7 around 7am. The program of the day was a trek to the glacier at 500m, hide some equipment there and come back to moraine camp to sleep.

On 13.7, after two nights at moraine camp it was a time to move up to camp 1 on 5300m. The trek took 5 hours. Here we started to feel the altitude in the form of slight neck pain and headache. 14.7 was spent resting, eating and drinking fluids on top of the icefield of camp 1.
15.7 was a time to move again slightly higher, i.e camp 2 at 6000m. Camp 2 is in the saddle between north and south summits of Huascaran. Because of that the campsite is very windy. Both north and south summits are climbed from this same camp. Today evening and also the whole next day (16.7) were spent on boiling water , eating and enjoying the warmth of the sleeping bags. On 16.7 five persons started for the summit and three of them eventually summited.

On 16.7 we woke up around 22:00 and started to make some food an hot chocolate.. We started for the summit at 00:30. It had snowed during previous couple nights o the progress was slow and finding the route was a bit arduous. Thighs were having tough time in the snow as deep as knee, but the steeper slopes were free of loose snow. Two other teams started after us following our tracks. Mikko and Joni suppited Huascaran South (6768m) on 17.7 at 10am. Unbelievable view  and altitude record for both of us made us feel really good.

After starting our way down we met the last team and they inquired about the remaining climb. After knowing it they decided to turn back down.When we came to the first steep part at 6400m we heard some yelling behind. The other climber of the team behind us had fallen into the crevasse an the other one was lying on a snowbridge not being able to do anything. In a few moments we were able to make an anchor and belay the climber on the snow bridge. It took a bit longer to set up a pulley system and in an hour the climber in the crevasse was pulled up from hanging 20m down in a bottomless crevasse. It was good luck we happened to be in a shouting distance. Without help it would have been a hell of a job to bring the guy up from the crevasse.. After 15 hours from the start we reached the camp 2 at 15:30, tired from the heat and all the walking.