Rejected in Cordillera Apalobamba...
Somewhere from the mysterious mist raising from wet amazonas there is an unexplored and appealing mountain range - Cordillera Appalobamba.
We arived to Pelechuco on 28.5. in a very welcomming area with wet air, lot of trees and subtropical vegetation. We apreciate this change after 2 weeks in sand and dust of Sajama ;)
Right the next day we pack the mulas with our heavy gear and follow the Macara valley up to the glaciers. Finally we set up our base camp (BC) in 4700 m on a fabulous meadow. The rareness of men in this valley prooved also the scared animals that do not get in touch with such a big group of climbers so often.
The next day we climbed up a 500 meters high glacier moraine to explore the snow conditions. We split in 2 groups. Rasto, Duri and me tried to climb Azucarani (5580 m). We got to a destroyed glacier where there was no more hope that we will need our skis this day. We crossed the glacier to get to the south-west face and climbed the icy peak. At 13:30 we already can enjoy the beautifull views from the summit and also see Martin, Miso and Herwig climbing on a mountain that we still did not know how is called as there are no relevant maps of this region. They dicided to name it Pico Pitschkin. According to our GPS device the summit is 5740 m. high. The last 200 meters are pretty steep and they are already looking for great skiing. But in that moment the mist surprised them on the summit and so the planned skiing turned to be a dangerous descent on skis. Finally we all met in the English Col from where we all together descended to the BC.
This bad weather followed then the next 3 days where we could not get anywhere because of mist, rain and snowfall. The only climbing activity was iceclimbing on the glacier where we tested our equipment and also ourselves (ice climbing in 5200 meters is a lot of fun ;))))
We expected the guy with the mulas to pick us up at 10 am on the 2.6. when we wanted to decide whether we continue and climb Chaupi Orco, the highest peak of Cordillera Appalobamba or we descend back to Pelechuco. As he did not showed up untill 1 pm we decide to descend by ourselves. Packed with 40 kilo backpacks we are getting slowly to Pelechuco in a rainy cold weather. Our feets and backs hurt. The biggest award is a warm soup, a beer after 5 days and a bed for few hours. To stay in Apalobamba with this conditions makes no sence and therefore we decided to return to La Paz.
We just spent 12 hours in a bus with tiny seats leaving Pelechuco at 2 am. But we do not plan idle now here. We are leaving La Paz tomorrow at 6 am to the BC of Illimani. During the next days we will try to climb and ski down this 6423 m. high giant connected to many legends of the Incas and Aymaras.
We will again send you some news on Friday.
Posted at: 5.6.2006
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