After acclimating in and around Huaraz the past few days, our expedition to Peru's highest peak, Nevado Huascaran, has now officially begun! We drove north this morning about an hour and a half to the tiny mountain village of Musho where we packed our gear and eight days worth of food onto donkeys. We began hiking at 10,000 feet and enjoyed the fabulous views surrounding us and the imposing slopes and glaciers of Huascaran high above. We followed our skilled guide Nacho, at a leisurely pace and approximately four hours later we arrived at our current location at Base Camp at apprx. 13,700 feet. Our tents are situated near a picturesque stream, we are feeling good, and are looking forward to a nice meal being prepared by our cook Hernan.
We thought you might also enjoy learning a little background on the single most notorious event in Huascaran's history, as many people here talk about it. In 1970 a 7.9 magnitude earthquake triggered a massive avalanche causing a 3,000 foot wide section of the mountain and glacier to break off and slide 11 miles down the slopes below. The towns of Yungay and Ranrahirca were entombed in 40 million cubic meters of debris and more than 20,000 people were killed, including all 15 members of a Czech climbing team who were on the mountain at the time.
Well, that's it for now, we will do our best to send updates later as we are able. We are thrilled to have a cellular data connection, but it is painfully slow - therefore sorry no photos.