My final days in Huayllay were great and I finished up almost all of the things I wanted to do. I completed a few more cool lines I had cleaned off. The coolest was the pocket project I mentioned in my last post. It clocked in at about V11 and had a really cool sequence. I named it Pickpocket, not because I've had any problem here in Peru yet, but because there are a bunch of bad pockets to choose from and you have to find the sequence that works. I got some good footage. I also did the stand start to another project and called it Wolf under the Sheepskin V11. In some ways, that line was cooler than the Pickpocket. I came agonizingly close to sending this sit start to this line which was really cool and probably would have clocked in around V13. On my last try, I split two tips and fell on the very last hard move. A bit disappointing, but that's how it goes with climbing some times.
The journey from Huayllay to Huaraz was long and enduring, though much worse for Adam because he had a stomach bug the whole way! We started at 7am catching a van from Huayllay to Huaral. This took us from 14,000ft. to almost sea level in the course of 4 1/2 hours. What was amazing was that we pretty much followed a single valley down the whole way: winding dirt roads, big drop offs, cows and sheep in the road, cool old stone walls from many generations past. The river we were following just kept getting bigger and bigger and was beautiful except for the trash along the banks. It seems fairly common here for people and cities to dispose of their trash in the rivers. Bummer. About halfway along the drive, we stopped and picked up a bag from a random guy in the middle of nowhere. About 15 minutes later, we dropped off the bag at a food stand at which point I realized it was filled with fish (troucha). Once in Huaral, we had to wait for about 4 hours to catch another bus to Huaraz. Huaral was a dirty, grimy city with a constant haze of smog, fog, or smoke hanging above. Not really a pleasant stay, but soon enough we were off on the bus to Huaraz. The 6 hour bus ride to Huaraz turned into 7 because we spent an hour parked in the road next to a hairpin turn midway up a windy steep climb. I'm still not exactly sure why we stopped, perhaps we overheated or something else was wrong with the bus. I was thinking we'd just be stranded, but eventually we got going again. We finally arrived in Huaraz around 10:30pm after climbing back up to 10,000ft. Adam and I caught a taxi to the hostel and met up with Sandy and Bayes who had been in Huaraz for a week because Huayllay was too cold and the altitude was making Bayes not sleep well.
We've hooked up with our friend Omar in Huaraz (he lives here), and he's shown us some cool bouldering around here. So far, the best has been repeating a beautiful overhang called the Shining Path V10 that Jason Kehl put up about 7 years ago. To start the problem, you have to stand on bunch of stacked pads so it's a bit arbitrary. I wanted to find a sequence that goes from an obvious crack feature that is right below the problem and you can reach from the ground. Unfortunately, nothing worked out there. However, I did figure out a way to climb in from the left starting on an obvious jug you can reach from the ground. I did the problem from here and it added a few cool moves and made the start a bit less arbitrary. Still, the beauty of this line is the upper section. The full version I climbed still clocks in around V10. Fun line. We've got a few more days in Huaraz so we'll check out a few more areas and then the climbing portion of my trip will be over. I'll head down to Cusco to check out Machu Picchu for a couple days and then it's back to the states. Gonna make the most of my last few days here and will hopefully find some more amazing problems to climb.
|Adam on Black Sheep V8|
|Adam doing the FA of Jump Monkey Jump V11 (I did this one my last day, fun!)|
|Soft serve on wheels powered by generator.|
|Me and the shepherd who let us climb near his flock|
|FA of Pickpocket V11|
|FA of Counting Sheep V8|
|Alpaca passing as I get ready to try Thin Air V9|
|Will I stick the last hard move on the project sit to Wolf under the Sheepskin?|
|No I will not... Bummer|
|Rest stop between Huayllay and Huaraz|
|Gorgeous mountains above Huaraz|
|Shining Path V10|
|Omar Rodriguez doing a new problem above Huaraz|