Monday, July 9, 2012

Welcome To Huaraz 7-2 to 7-8-2012

Welcome To Huaraz
July 2-Jul 8

July 3 Day:
After arriving in Lima and meeting Mark and his girlfriend for drinks, I was was ready to get the hell out of there quickly. Lima exemplafies almost everything that I look to avoid when traveling. Noise, polution, overpopulation and Mcdonalds - just to name a few things. I spent the night at a hostel, then packed up my stuff in the morning to Cruz Del Sur busses to take the 8 hour ride up the Death Highway to the town of Huaraz in the Peruvian Andes. Tony had hooked it up and had gotten me a front row seat on the second level of the bus. The perfect seat to watch the bus tailgait autos on blind uphill turns winding through the narrow roads towards the mountains. Thrilling to say the least.

July 3 Night:
I promptly arrived in Huaraz after 8 hours of American movies dubbed in Spanish and some buswide bingo tournaments. I met Tony and Cory outside the bus terminal. They had been there for 3 nights before. So they bought all of our food, were all packed and had ordered transportation to the trailhead and 5 burros to carry 300 pounds of gear and food to last us 12 days at base camp. All I had to do is cross my fingers and hope that I could catch up with aclimitization.

July 4th Day and Night:
We arrived at the trailhead as our Burros were loaded with the gear. We set off. Immediatly Corry started vommiting and shitting every few minutes. I beleive he had something bad to eat in town. He was really struggling. I thought I would be the one in that situation because of my lack of acclimitization, but he got hit with a stomach bug. I joked with him saying that (this may be me in a few days). That was some acurate foreshadowing.
 Cory could not make it past midway on the approach, so I hiked up to base camp and came back down with a tent, food and sleeping bags, so that we can both spend some time at a lower elevation. I was planning on doing this anyway. Although it was still at 13,200 feet. We ate and slept well.

July 5th Day and Night:
Rested at base camp 14,200 ft

July 6th Day and Night:
We spent the next day in base camp 14,200 feet - bouldering and resting. I read a book that I had started on the bus ride called Solo Faces and we acclimatized

July 6th Day:
We went on an acclimatization hike to 16,300 feet and I was feeling great. We had great views of Urus Este which was the peak we would climb the next day. I had good fitness in my legs and my body felt strong. Maybe those two months of heavy running and stairs instead of climbing had paid off. I then started to feel an upset stomach on the way down. I thought that maybe I did not eat enough sugar or had too much cheese up high, so I rested.

July 6th night:
I was eating like a horse the entire trip but I had a hard time choking down my dinner and I tried to wash it down with red gatorade. I ate maybe half. We were planning to climb Urus the next day and starting at 3am. Something just was not sitting right. I felt a churning in my stomach and before I knew it I was instinctively walking over to the corner. I vomited heavily several times in a row. First my dinner, then my lunch the my breakfast. The vomit was red from Raviole and Gatorade and my entire body hurt. I felt better momentarily and headed to my tent.
This was one of the top three most difficult nights in my life. I knew that I was in for a night of heavy vomiting. Cory and Tony had given me some plastic shopping bags to assist. I had to sleep in a reclined position with head above my chest, so if I vomited while sleeping, I would not choke on it. I didn’t sleep a second. It got dark at 8pm, winds were howling outside the tent and I would attempt to rest. I would feel pressure building up in my stomach and every two hours I would hurl. My entire body would convulse and Cory and Tony said I would moan throughout the night. I vomited in the bag and would lift it but it had holes, so it would drip all over the tent. The entire tent floor was covered in vomit and that made me even more nocuous. It was too cold outside to leave the tent. I somehow made it through the night and was stupid enough to want to climb the next day.

July 7th night and day:
I spent the day trying to drink water and Gatorade. I had half a Tiger Milk bar (it was the only thing I could eat) and half a cup of ramen. I packed up ready to climb at 3am.

July 8th day:
I woke up to climb and felt like shit. I had a headache. I now knew I had acute mountain sickness and not just a stomach bug. I packed up and headed down and told Cory and Tony I would rest in town for three to four days and then decide my plans from there.
(Insert base camp video when internet is faster)

So now I rest..


  1. That's ROOOUGH! Missing the opportunity to climb sucks, I'm sure you won't let that happen to you again.. =/

  2. So sad to hear this. Hope you feel better soon! Hang in there!

  3. Feel better pal. Also, don't let me share that tent you were in when you get back.