Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Trekking around the Alpamayo - Part VI

We're off this morning again at 7:30 and it's straight up hill for the four hours, with occasional breaks on a series of terraces. Waterfalls surround us, falling down the center of the valley and the surrounding cliffs. On the last terraced plain before our last push up to the pass there is a herd of horses and foals.

It's hard to imagine how we're going to exit from this valley! Double click on the two pictures here. In the first one above left you can see our tent site far below near the lake and in the second the horses. Switchbacks magically appear and zigzag up the very steep slope. Geoff is in the red jacket here and if you inlarge this picture you'll see others hiking far below.

It rained and hailed off and on most of the last hour so it was a huge relief to reach the pass (4700 meters). After a brief rest stop and snack we tackled the steep descent. We slipped and slid down the loose rockslides. It was exhausting and everyone's legs are wobbley. Far below we can see Myoume setting up for lunch and after five hours hiking, we are starved!

But all is well as the sun comes out and as always the lunch is great. Some finish lunch quickly and take a quick nap! All too soon we're off again. The trail is very muddy and slippery and I take another fall. My camera falls out of my pocket and is further dented, but still works.
Two more hours and we're at a beautiful new valley shown here below - you can see the tents if you double click. We had originally planned to spend the night at our lunch spot but tomorrow is our longest day so Eli felt this would split up the two days better. Plus we all agree it's a prettier spot (below right).

This is the Paria valley with yet another hanging glacier. We wolf down a dinner of wheat soup and chicken stew over rice. The night is clear and the moon is close to full. The mountains gleam in the moonlight above us. Avalanches fall high up on the mountain. It's actually a pleasure to get up in the middle of the night to visit the toilet tent!

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