The climb was recommended by Benjamin, a friendly guide of Akilpo, our hostel and home
for the time being. Huarapascas west face, finally a climb a bit more demanding. A short tough beginning of 70° snow, dodging a few big crevasses, and final longer parts of 60° up
to the summit.

After a really easy first day, only 500 m difference in altitude, we pitched our tent on the most exposed ledge we could find. This seemed to be an important matter to Zeke and I didn't mind. The main reason had been the spectacular view on sunrise, the one we missed, getting up long before that.

Camping over 4800 altitude had some drastic consequences. After the sun went down we cooked our usual pasta and it took ages. The cold almost emptied our one and only gas cartridge. For the night I even had to slip my gloves over my feet so the temperature was bearable. Around midnight I had to follow the damn annoying need to piss and believe me you postpone that as long as possible. When you finally give up the fight you get over with
it quickly even if the night sky is damn impressive. Shivering I crawled back in my sleeping bag, the heat came back after some time, but sleep would not.

After only 1 to 2 hours of sleep I woke Zeke at 4:30 in the morning. We didn't take any breakfast, boiled only a can of tea and started up the glacier. It was quite a while after the crux of the climb before we had something to eat in the first sun strays . The dehydration caused by frozen camelbags forced us to take it slow and easy, a break every 20 steps. It's unbelievable how much this high altitude climbing is draining your body. The climbing here
is quite different form the one in Chamonix. Whereas in the Alps the temperature is mainly the problem, in Cordillera Blanca over 5000 m you've got to cope with a couple of things like dehydration, lack of oxigen and not enough nutrition. Even the blood is flowing slower and during this climb both of us had no feelings in our toes anymore, Zeke even brought back some blisters caused by the cold.

Nevertheless, the spectacular view when you finally reach the summit makes a strenuous climb like this well worthwhile.

With not much water left, we had no other choice then to head back down to the road.
We flagged down the next bus — once again back to the noisy town.

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