Ascent of Alpamayo on 2014-07-17

Climber: Josh Lewis

Date:Thursday, July 17, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Elevation:19511 ft / 5946 m

Ascent Trip Report

The climb alone made going to South America worth it, albeit this might have been my most difficult climb to date. The views were world class, always exciting light on the peaks. We did this climb in 6 days, summited on day 5.

A few factors made this climb more difficult than usual. I was battling sickness, had some tainted water, my water froze (ironically a good thing) which made me very dehydrated, got caught in a white out, partner had to bail due to nearly passing out (he was so gone), and being with an aggressive partner who was not keen on me getting food when I needed it. I pushed myself a bit to make it to the corniced summit. It felt like I was literally inside Dr. Seuss's book "The places you will go" due to going through a dazzling fluting and seeing hanging bulges of snow and ice above. The place was daunting but was absolutely spectacular at the same time. Getting on top with the cold mist roaring by I said "what have I done". At the same time I was excited to make one of my dream peaks. It took so much training and effort to get up. I loved it, but was thrashed and knew I had to get out of here.

The mountain felt as if it was coming down on our descent. Snow kept rushing by. I was starting to get buried. Fear surged, it was way hotter than it was supposed to be. I felt so sick. My partner accidentally dropped his delay devise. After 8 or so rappels we finally get off the face and make our way to camp. After packing up and making a very difficult walk to the col, I pass out again at the rap station. I watched one of my partners rap into a cloud of darkness. It was so beautiful and creepy at the same time. After waking up I threw up. It felt like forever waiting for the team to make it down. Waking up again I threw up some more. "Oh man, this is getting rough" I thought to myself as I look down the bergschrund. After two more raps, the steepness finally eased up enough to down climb the rest...
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