www.mariusztravel.com logo



After getting some rest in Huaraz, I went climbing with Thomas from Germany in Quebrada Ishinca. There are many interesting mountains and the valley itself is probably the most beautiful I have seen, but we chose to climb only 2 picks. It took a day to get to base camp, and I had another stomach bug to cope with.  I had to take tablets to get better quickly. We started the climb at 2am after very little sleep, with 2/3 moon it was OK even without torches.  We got to the glacier, very cold, put all our heavy equipment on and started going up the steep ice.  Very slowly, resting every few steps, not much oxygen up there.  The sun rose quickly, and we got to the top of Ishinca at 9am, 5530m.  Great views, many pictures, and down the other side.  Never in my life was I so tired, when we finally arrived at the base camp I just lied in my tent for a few hours.  Too hot to sleep.  Next day Thomas decided the next mountain, Tocllaraju 6034m is too difficult and went back to Huaraz.  I met a Spanish couple and went climbing with them.  That day we walked to the High Camp on the glacier at the bottom of Tocllaraju, 5200m.  I couldn't sleep, and we started climbing 1am.  Temp -15°C, but strong wind made it feel like -30°C.  First we walked to a ladder, and had to wait for another group to go up.  After half hour I had mild hypothermia, and was last to climb.  It was 4-5m, half steps broken, and swinging to the sides. From the top straight on to steep ice.  From there easy walk on the ridge to the bergshrund.  We waited 1 hour to see how others climb it, and I was cold again.

The altitude and cold really got me, I had a headache and needed to drink a lot, but my water froze, I had only 0.5l in my thermos.  So finally we climbed the last 150m, past the bergshrund and up 60-70 degrees ice to the top.  Cloudy, no views, v. windy, but the feeling was wonderful to climb 6034m!  Then we rappelled down, the girl first.  But after 5 min the rope was still tight.  Her boyfriend climbed down to see whats wrong.  I waited 15m, and went too, or I would have frozen to death.  She was hanging 3 m above this 70° slope, 1 rope was entangled in her belay device, she was stuck.  Her boyfriend fixed an ice screw and tied her to it and went up to cut the rope.  I fixed the other rope to another ice screw and was abseiling from it when she fell down and sliding straight into me!  He cut the rope and the ice screw failed, she fell down.  We were hanging on this steep ice from 1 screw, and it was half way out from the impact.  I fixed another screw, we were safe.  From there only small problems, I keep thinking why we made so many mistakes and believe what they say about hypothermia and altitude, how it affect people.  It got me, thats for sure.  Anyway, we had to stay the night at high camp, and walked down the next day.

I needed a change from the mountains, so I went walking in Reserva Nacional Paracas.  It protects the coast near Pisco with it's abundant sea life.  However, the land is a desert.  I camped on a beach.  At night a big wave crushed into my tent, you can imagine how quickly I got up haha.  Towards the end of my 3 months stay in Peru I went to Puno and visited the Floating Islands of the Uros on Lake Titicaca.  The are quite special, because the islands themselves, houses and boats, are all man-made of  cane, pulled away from the bottom of the lake by the movement of the waters.  Walking on the 'ground' surface was very strange, essentially walking on reeds.