Day 37 – Huascaran Day 2

We woke up at 6:30am and set off at 7:30am. The big thing nagging on my mind was that my month-long Huascaran Park Pass had expired yesterday and I didn’t want to buy another full month just for this trip at S65 ($22). Luckily we passed the ranger gate at 8:30am, which didn’t open until 9am. This was right by the refugio at 4600m.

We lost the trail after this, but continued upwards over slabby terrain. With the help of the GPS we reache dmorraine camp, at 4900m. It was 11:30am by the time we were roped up, fed, and ready to start along the glacier.

It was in the ballpark of 2:30pm by the time we got to camp 1, 5400m, but we had more ambitious plans for the day. We hoped to make it all the way to camp 2 (Shield route) at 5800m.

It had been very slow going along the glacier and we were averaging around 100m/hr. This was my fault, as Brad was always eager to go faster, but I was slow and steady with my big pack. The section from camp 1 to camp 2 was especially difficult.

By 5pm we found a flat spot where I was keen on camping, but Brad wished to press on. I forecasted our arrival at camp 2 at 7:30pm, well after the 6pm sunset, based on our speed over the rest of the day. We pressed on, and by 6:30pm we were very tired. Brad thought he saw a spot that might work, just at the end of twilight, but upon examination realized that it would take ages to dig out a tent platform. Brad wanted to sleep right there without a tent, but I was quite opposed to the idea.

We headed onwards by headlight. Finally, at 7:30pm, amidst a whole pile of serac fall, we had both had enough and found a relatively flat spot to put up camp. Despite being very beat after our 12 hour day ascending the lower slopes of Huascaran, we efficiently and quickly set up camp. Our current elevation: 5,775m. Camp 2 is not in sight, despite the book saying that it’s at 5,800m.

We had a bit of trouble setting up camp, with the snow being very soft. We both sank in a number of times, soaking our feet since we hadn’t donned gaiters. After one such sink-in for me, the hole made by my foot looked like it continued down into a crevasse.

It is now 8:30pm and Brad has the stove going, melting snow and preparing dinner. We are both optimistic about summitting 2 days from now, as long as we aren’t killed by serac fall or sucked into a crevasse tonight. Though I’m so tired, I’m going to have a sound night’s sleep!

Leave a Reply