On the 19th of June Andrew Banks, Ryan Sciacci, Morag Stewart and myself headed into the Santa Cruz valley of the Cordillera Blanca. Our intention was to attempt climbing Quitarraju and Alpamayo over a period of 7 days. It would be Andrew's last foray in the mountains before heading back to Australia as well as the perfect opportunity to climb the peak that inspired this entire journey.
Rather than doing a written blog I thought I would play around with the idea of a video diary. Unfortunately it wasn't until day three that I realised that my microphone on my camera was switched off. Nonetheless below is a video which I hope, provides some insight into what the week was like.
I would love to hear people's thoughts on this as to whether they would like to see more video diaries like this, and if so, is there any particularly aspect they would like to see more of? Please post any questions in the comments below and I will answer them to the best of my abilities. Nothing is ever off limit here with the Vertical Year so go nuts!
To finish I would like to leave you with two key messages that hit home for me during this week.
1) As in life, climbing in the mountains rarely goes to plan. It is pointless trying to charge on with the original plan when circumstances change. You are best rewarded when you can objectively assess the new information and make a decision accordingly. Be flexible.
2) Find what inspires you and pursue it with zealous passion. The moment I overcame the final difficulties before the summit and knew we would make it, I don't know if I can put into words that feeling. Moments like these and the journey which lead you to them must no doubt provide the colour of life.