Climbing is a funny activity in that there really are no rules, yet we all play these funny games while imposing our own brand of style and ethics to any given ascent. I am no exception and enjoy partaking in the games climbers play. With its moderate approaches and close travel proximities to Huaraz, the Cordillera Blanca provided the perfect playground to test how much difficult terrain I could cover in a day.
The Cordillera Blanca and the Great Barrier Reef don’t share much in common. Perhaps the exception is that both may no longer exist within a generation or two. The name Cordillera Blanca (meaning white range) could seem inappropriate for mountains without permanent snow, while the Great Barrier Reef could possess no life at all. An incredibly sad thought.
When we are free to focus on things other than survival necessities, we should be focusing on what brings us happiness and fulfillment. However, it seems somewhere along the way a lot of us have lost or way. We are being bombarded with ads and consumerist agendas which has led us to forget that we are free to pursue happiness in our own way. This is my story of how I changed my priorities, providing myself the freedom to pursue my dreams.
Tocllaraju sits in the Ishinca valley and it’s West Face is the first major feature you see entering base camp. Standing tall, proud, clean and utterly beautiful it begs to be climbed. Hence, the decision to turn around at the bottom of the face was devastating for me. The full reasoning for my decision however, would not become clear to me until I had almost descended the valley.
Confidence doesn’t come naturally for most of us. Often it is our anxiety that holds us back. By understanding the mechanisms behind how these emotions develop we can help tip the odds in favour of building confidence. The story of my friend and climbing partner Andrew Banks is a great example of this.
They say the journey is more important than the destination. If this is true, then walking the path towards something that is truly inspiring for you must be the ultimate journey. Whether its pursuing your dream drop, starting a passion project, building your dream home or indeed, climbing a beautiful mountain; it will be these journeys which weave the great tapestry of life.
For a week, Andrew, Ryan, Morag and myself headed into the Santa Cruz valley of the Cordillera Blanca with the intention of climbing Quitarraju and Alpamayo over 7 days. In this blog I play with the idea of a video diary to give an insight into the week. Please let me know if you would like to see more of these videos and what aspects you are most interested in.
In the spirit of the Vertical Year ethos of chasing dreams, my partner in life, Bec Perkins shares her story and experience. How do you talk about this dream with your partner or family if it means you are contemplating moving away? How do you know if your partner is going to support you or panic at the idea and potentially give you an ultimatum? How do you do the ‘long distance relationship thing’ or even talk about that as an option?