John and the boys
Me and the boys hangin' out on the streets of Huaraz...

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 David and Michael await the bus in Lima
(Awaiting scan)
Most travelers to the  Cordillera Blanca begin by flying to Lima and taking the 8 hour bus ride to Huaraz.  While Lima has some interesting sightseeing possibilities, if you plan on climbing and you're in Lima, you should probably focus your energies on leaving Lima.  The air pollution is positively horrendous and, with a mean altitude above sea level of,,, well,,, ZERO,  your sightseeing time will be more productively spent in higher regions. 
The ride to Huaraz is amazing.  When leaving Lima, the bus travels through one of the most desperate city-scapes one can imagine.  People in poorer neighborhoods  appear to be living in earthquake ruins with hardly a roof over their heads, let alone ammenities and sanitary services.  The river at right appears to serve as the neighborhood's sewage disposal system, laundry, garbage disposal, and bath all at the same time. 
River on the outskirts of Lima
(Awaiting scan)
Waiting for the engine to cool.
Cordillera Blanca in background.
Modern buses, some with television, will take you on an all-day ride from Lima to Huaraz for the hefty fee of about $10 to $15 US.  Most guide books recommend doing the trip by daylight for safety reasons.  A far better reason is the spectacular scenery and villages en-route.   I would  recommend bringing some bottled water  and a lunch along.  Many bus services supply lunch / dinner but their choice of meat and storage temperatures may not suit you taste.
Leaving Lima,  we follow the coast north for several hours through very arid terrain before turning east toward the mountains  passing through small villages in the foothills of the Andes en-route to Huaraz.

Amber waves of....?

Michael hitting the town on Day 1.  Huascaran in the background.
Huaraz is located in the heart of the Cordillera Blanca not far from Huascaan.  At 6768m, Huascaran Sur is the tallest peak in Peru and the third tallest in the southern hemisphere.
Our first two days in the Cordillera Blanca were spent relaxing and exploring the streets of Huaraz.  At about 10,000 ft., this is the ideal place to begin acclimatizing.  It also gave us an opportunity to begin gearing up for our first excursion.  Upon our arrival in Huaraz, we met Liberato Enrique, a Quechuan  porter who offered his services for our trip to Alpamayo.  For a very resonable sum, Liberato assisted us in purchasing our food in the markets and acted as porter for our 8 days on Alpamayo.
Edwards Inn
While in Huaraz, we stayed at Edwards Inn on                               .  While not the cheapest hotel in town,  Edwards is still extreemly reasonable ($5-$10 US) and has several advantages for climbers.  In addition to storing bags while you're on the mountain, both Eduardo and his brother Rafael speak english and are experienced climbers themselves.   They can provide assistance in travel arrangements help arrange for arrieros (burro drivers) and porters.
Where two of my backgrounds came from


Out walking the sheep???
Parades are  seemingly held  daily in Huaraz.

Hitting the markets for supplies

Michael, Liberato and David shopping for veggies.
The next page will show slides of our approach hike into Alpamayo Basecamp.  The final page contains slides of the climb and some views from the top.

Click HERE for information on how these  pictures were taken.


'98 Peru Trip II, THE APPROACH