Day 38 – Huascaran Day 3

We slept in late as the sun didn’t hit us until 8:30am or so. This side of the mountain is in Huascaran’s shadow in the morning. A guide passing along the normal route started shouting at us in Spanish – probably warning us about being in the serac fall zone and that we should get going quickly. Brad later had a cautious laugh that the guide had probably warned his clients that they should move as fast as possible through this danger zone, then lo-and-behold they see us camping as if nothing’s the matter.We looked through the guidebook again and read with reference to where we were camped, move quickly… look around and you’ll see why. We got our act together and packed up, Brad being faster than me as per usual.

We had a game-plan moment as I second guessed our desire to do the Shield instead of the normal route. There were loads of people doing the normal route, all making it to the summit, while no one was doing the Shield. I figured we were risking our summit chances by doing the Shield. Brad convinced me that we should stay on plan and do the Shield.

After reading the route description again, we realized that we had gone wrong. So we hiked back to the Candeletta and straight up and slightly to the right. Eventually we found a campsite that worked, after some adzing out of a tent platform. We arrived around 2pm and while Brad worked with the adze, I got snow melting. It took infuriatingly long, at about 20 minutes/litre just to melt the snow.

We both took naps and then started melting snow again for summit day. I wanted 3L + 1L in the morning and Brad wanted 2L + 1L in the morning. We also wanted enough for the night plus for dinner. This meant many hours of stove-usage.

We went to bed after a dinner of instant mashed-potatos with cream-of-mushroom soup, fresh vegetables, cheese, sausage, and a tomato sauce, all filling a 1.5L pot. Our bellies were satisfied. Bed by 7:30pm for a midnight wake-up!

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