Peru 2001:

In June/ 2001 myself and Hugo Riveria went to Peru with the desire to climb three main routes, Ocshapalca (American Direct), Cayesh (German Route) and Huascaran Norte , North Face. Routes change in route, and weather and conditions go bad. The trip was a failure in terms of obtaining goalsbut a success since we followed the rule of Mark Twight:" Come back alive, come back friends, get to the top. In that order."
The 5200ft vertical face of Huascaran Norte, North Face (to the right)
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Ocshapalca (5881m) ED1

(Routes and Beta for Ocshapalca)
The day after I arrived in Hueraz we left for Ocshapalca, and I knew that I would be hurting since I would be going from sea level of the San Fransisco to 10,000ft of Huaraz to 14,000ft of L. Llaca.From L. LLaca it was a short walk to moraine camp at 16,600ft. From the moraine camp we accessed the glacier (see route beta). After 1000ft of knee deep snow we reached the base of the American Direct and Alchimia Routes. Both exhibited significant avalanche debris and the flutings were baking in the sun. It was time to head back to camp, and to town to pick up more food if we wanted to attempt a second route. We had a nice ride down on top of a cattle truck serving as a school bus for the local high schools field trip to L. Llaca for Alpine Sports Day. As I rode a 4x4 plank (for 2 hours) Hugo talked to one of the kids (the daughter of one of our good friends who owned the resturant in town "Florentines".

We spent the night at the local Thai resturent with the owner Nari-swan (who not only had his sleepingbag and ice tools stolen on the approach to Ocshaplaca the day before but broke his arm as he rode his motorcycle back down).We spent the night eating good food and drinking beer as we joked with Neri-swan and a climber from Colorado, Eric.

Back up we went to try a safer route, the Spanish '95 route (1800ft, continuous WI4, ED1). We quickly arrived  in moraine camp and settled down for a nights sleep, ok, atleast until 2am. Morning came too soon, and the all too familiar routine of dressing in the cold and dark. After a
yummy breakfast of oatmeal we were off. Immediately, we left camp going up the wrong ravine to get to the base of the glacier, and instead of a shortcut we found ourselves on snow covered slab and losing time. Reversing our tracks and regaining our composure we found where we should access the glacier and quickly roped up. Letting Hugo lead, with the agreement of he leads the glacier, which I hate and I lead the ice face. Almost immediately we found the glacier travel to be rough with a broken glacier and too many numerous crevasse crossings with full body length lunges for my taste. Often I would start the lunge with wishes of being somewhere safe, like up on the vertical ice. This was crazy. Often I had thoughts of when I was a kid, sitting 60ft down in a crevasse, with an unknown distance below me, swinging in space. We got to the bergshroud as the sun rose casing its glow on Ranrapalca. I was wishing my camera wasn't in the pack with Hugo. At the bergshroud at 17,000ft we were climbing an avalanche cone of 50degree powder which we wished would end.

Ocshaplaca (left) and Ranrapalca (right) from L.Llaca
Cayesh from  Pass
Cayesh  (ED1; 5.10a/95degree ice)

Beta for Cayesh
After returning from Ocshapalca, Hugo suffered in Hueraz with a major bronchial infection. As he recovered we would go down to Florentines to enjoy the company of the owner, Betty Castillo, and her son, Franco who worked at one of the local banks. From the kitchen there would always be laughter, often by the renditions of the Salsa that Hugo would demonstrate which would have a mix of pure salsa with outbreaks of disco and occasional insanity.After several days it was time to get back into the mountains, but to leave the hospitality of Florentines was difficult.We grabbed a ride to the gate of valley leading to Q. Cayesh. The ride to the valley up the mountain roads was easy due to the 4W drive that the owner of the Chakra guide service had. From there we rented burros. The arrerios were incredible shape and we covered the 8miles to base camp (at 14,000ft) in 2 1/2 hours. The basecamp was an amazing place with our Megamid tarp setup next to a stream. For a couple of hours we basked in the warmth of the sun. After a couple hours we packed the technical climbing gear and set out to hump a load to moraine camp. We took the moraine straight on, immediately learning our mistake. The 40-50 degree scree was loose and climbing insecure. After 1000ft we traversed right reaching the base of the cliff which we were going to traverse right and then up. We were quickly figuring out that this was not the way to do it with insecure climbing at 5.6 with heavy loads and no rope. Dropping the packs we ran back to camp to make dinner and watch the sun set with the light 
Pictures from Cayesh
Pictures from Ocshapalca
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