Monday, August 27, 2007

Days 349 & 350 - 30 Kilos of Trash on the Highest Mountain in the Tropics

with two park guards and the leader of the donkey drivers, we stockpile trash at base camp on Huascaran the Italian Catholic church built a nice stone refuge way up high on the mountain
at the refuge adjacent to the receding glaciers of Huascaran
intense tropical sun above the south peak of Huascaran
hard to believe mountaineers could be so selfish to dump their waste on the gorgeous mountain
Collecting and carrying trash is hard work; no wonder people choose not to take it down with them
it was a good day to be a PCV despite the yellow gloves

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Day 343: Celebrating 3 Years of Blissful Marriage!!!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Days 333 - 339: Using Community Radio as a Tool for Development

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Day 338: Earthquakes and birthdays

Hey everyone, thank you for all the email and phone calls. We are all OK here in Musho, and Peace Corps reports no injuries of staff or volunteers. Our hearts go out to all those on the coast who have lost homes. We do not know if we will be able to help in the relief effort there. I was doing my radio program and felt suddenly sick, walked outside and realized that I was experiencing an earthquake. I looked to the mountain, half expecting it to come tumbling down on top of us. Fortunately, five minutes of gelatin ripples later, the ground stopped moving, the trees stopped swaying, and I was back broadcasting the blues on my weekly radio show. Whew.

Happy birthday, Dad!!! Hope you had an excellent day of celebration.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Day 333: Hasta La Vista Peru 5

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Day 331: Mapping Musho with the Community Health Promoters

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Day 323: Days off and Mountain Summits

While Peru celebrated its anniversary as a nation, many of us PC volunteers were romping around the country with three days vacation. A few of us chose to climb the high mountains surrounding my village in the Cordillera Blanca. We were able to summit Ishinca, a peak just over 5,500m. Then Lib and I stayed on to hike several hours to 'high camp'. My guide awoke me at 11:3opm to prepare for a second summit, the much taller, Tocllaraju. I left Libby (who decided that her phobia of heights would keep her from joining me) in the warm tent. After a grueling, frigid 6 hour climb on sometimes extremely steep terrain, we reached the peak at just over 6,000m. I was nearly in tears as the sun rose over the distant Amazon in the east. Up to now the hardest thing I had ever done was working as a wilderness guide in northern Minnesota and Canada, occassionally portaging a canoe and heavy food pack simultaneously across uncertain terrain. Mountaineering at almost 20,000ft has officially become my greatest physical achievement. Here a some photos of our adventure:Arrival at base camp.
climbing Ishinca....the guide pointing out the peak....more or less there...just a few more steps
Summit of Ishinca with PCV pals Angela and Patrick.Hangin with the Apus, mountain spirit gods of the Andestent gear prep at high camp (5,ooom - note the snow in the background)
Practicing saving my guide (Lucho)'s life.At sunrise, we are just below the final steep ascent and above a nasty crevasse on Tocllaraju (unfortunately, you can't see either the steepness of the ascent above the my guide or the depth of the crevasse below the rope in this photo)Big, beautiful crevasse along the way.
Sunrise over the Amazon, east of the Cordillera Blanca.
the mountain man and the Bixby family reunion hat sitting pretty at about 20,000ftThe long path back down...looking north
holy pickax, I made it to the top!