Todd

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Salman
Salman Hi, I am looking to go to Meak Peak in 2011. But am having a hard trying to find a reliable operator and get a sense of technical difficulty. Any advice would be highly appreciated. I climbed Kilimanjaro in Spring, but I dont have any technical mountaineering skills. Are those necessary for Mera Peak. Thanks. And Safe Travels. Salman
Todd
Todd Hey Salman, have you thought of doing a Technical Mountaineering Course first? They usually combine instruction with climbing a peak or two. UYou can do these courses in most alpine areas such as NZ, France, Alaska, Patagonia, India, etc. I'm in a similar position to you: I've done Kili, but I realise it was a walk in the park compared to a real alpine peak. Was thinking of Aconcagua this season, but look like we can't spare the time. If you want to talk to a reliable and knowledgeable operator, contact www.fieldtouring.com.
4 years ago
Salman
Salman Hi Todd, Thanks for the note. I thought about doing a course with Yamnuska (www.yamnuska.com) in the Columbia Ice Fields in the fall, but it did not work due to timing / schedule. I have been looking into Aconcagua as well, but I thought I would do Mera Peak next year and then Aconcagua the following. I'll check out the fieldtouring.com website. Salman
4 years ago
Todd
Todd Hey Mike, off to Cuba hey? How's life in MTL? We've been putting your 'Bueno' tip to good use down here in Sth America :) How's everything otherwise?
mtlmike
mtlmike Not so bad on my end, though that crazy job didn't work out. I am #19 gone since May. Says a lot. Good to hear about South Am. Seems like your plans changed. Let me know if you need any info for south am ... Am looking forward to Cuba, should be good.
4 years ago
Todd
Todd Sounds like the job was creating more stress that it was worth. Must have been something in the tap water :) Yeah, plans change every week depending on opportunities that pop up. We've been in Cusco now for 6 weeks and exploring all over Peru. Heading to Bolivia on Monday (if the strikes in Puno subside), then down to Argentina. Would love to hear about Cuba when you get back.
4 years ago
mtlmike
mtlmike Go for chocolate brownies at a place called Qosqopolis Cafe, found on Carmen Alto 202 in San Blas (which is a nice neighbourhood anyway to stroll through). Tell the dude, who is terribly nice and speaks english well that Mike from Montreal Canada sent you, though it has been two years now. I did send him a lot of people. He makes a decent brownie, south am standards.
4 years ago
Todd
Todd This has become quite a popular route on Globetrooper. I think we've had 5+ groups doing London (or Cairo) to Cape Town (or similar). Sounds like the ultimate road trip.
Raymond

Raymond lol.... been and done. If you want to know what it looks like then just watch the new karate kid film. On the bit where they go up the mountain to drink some water..... thas the mountain.

I set off from the base at 7pm.... walked up till about 9.30pm..... the rain just got harder and harder..... thats when i stopped. By 11pm it wasnt going to stop so i had no choice but to carry on..... by 3.30am i got to a peak.... sat down on a rock thinking it was the east peak. As my eyes adjusted to the scenery of a cloud base (looking down) stars (looking up) then on the left hand side i can just make out a higher peak..... F**k!!! Packed all the stuff and carried on climbing...... 5am...... reach east peak. 5.30am...... see sunrise....... glorious..... speechless...... time to climb down at 6am....... then it hit me....... words can not describe how sh*t scared i was...... my knees started to tremble....... turned to jelly and i was stuck to the ground....... no way was i going to climb back down those bloody steps!!!!

Going up in the middle night with only a torch had hidden all the dangers...... come daylight...... i just realised how stupid i had been. I grabbed the iron handles bars and chain links and gritted my teeth and climbed down. All in all....... as much as i cursed and sweared and wish the earth would swallow me up........ thinking back i enjoyed every minute of it. I went to other peaks before cathcing the cable car down at 4pm........ 21 hours up a mountain..... 2 hours rest and the rest was walking up down.... up down.... up down....... how i survived all the walking i have no idea to this day........ but i want to go back and suffer more. The highlight is the sunrise on east peak....... and the plank walk....... or the chain link rock face climb. Hell even the steep 200m or so single file step up the mountain with sheer drop on either side is a eye popper. If anyone wants to see the pictures on my facebook drop me a line and i'll send you the link.

Todd
Todd Great story Raymond, thanks for sharing. Definitely want to do it some day, maybe next year since we'll be in that neck of the woods.
4 years ago
Todd
Todd We're now looking at climbing Aconcagua between mid-December and early-February in time to make the GCIRC: http://globetrooper.com/the-great-circular-indian-railway-challenge-2011. We're looking for anyone interested in joining our expedition.
Skylar Givens
Skylar Givens How are the plans coming along? I'd like to join.
4 years ago
Todd

Todd Hi Skylar, apologies for the lack of updates. I'm heading to Peru this Saturday, then to Argentina a couple of weeks later. I haven't mentioned anything yet because I've been a little unsure of timing.

We're planning to live for 2-3 months in a city called Bariloche, which is pretty mountainous but far south of Aconcagua. We need to train for a desert expedition in May 2011, which is why we tried to find somewhere where we could train *safely* outdoors.

Anyway, we only decided to move to Argentina a couple of days ago, so let me get back to you in the next couple of days. I know we're running out of time, but I have to check the schedule and discuss with Lauren.

How interested are you?

4 years ago
Skylar Givens
Skylar Givens I'm definitely interested in climbing Aconcagua. I'll either be dead or climbing Aconcagua in the beginning of 2011, haha. Let me know when you get your schedule figured out.
4 years ago
Todd
Todd Hey Skylar, sorry again for the big delay. We're actually living in Peru at 3,300m at the moment (didn't quite make it to Argentina). Have you booked Aconcagua? We've started to get much more serious about training, which at 3,300m isn't hard to do. Haven't started training with packs yet. If you haven't booked yet, have you got a guiding company in mind?
4 years ago
Skylar Givens
Skylar Givens No worries. That's awesome you made the big move to South America! I haven't booked yet but I have 2 guide companies in mind. I was originally going unguided with a group of friends but it doesn't look like they'll be able to make it this time around.
4 years ago
Todd
Todd We've been talking to a few guides and one has stood out as being really helpful and knowledgeable. Pretty cheap too compared to the others, so if you're interested, I can send the details. We contacted a few of the big guys, and apart from charging more, they seem more like mountaineering production lines. E.g. they have 6+ trips going this seasons and can't even tell you for sure who's guiding each climb.
4 years ago
Skylar Givens
Skylar Givens Hey Todd, I'm definitely interested in the details. Could you please PM them to me? Thanks a ton! How are things going in Peru?
4 years ago
Todd
Todd Hi guys. We're getting more and more spam from tour operators on here, which in one respect can be helpful, but we're worried if we allow one tour operator, then it will open the flood gates. Anyway, if there are a couple/few of you interested to climb Kili this season, let me know and maybe we can work on getting you a Globetrooper discount. Maybe in return for a couple of guest blog posts afterwards on GT they'll give you a significant discount. Just a thought. So if anyone's interested, make it know so we can get rough numbers, then if you have any operators in mind, we can contact them on behalf of GT and offer them some exposure in exchange for a discount.
Zoracle
Zoracle Hey, Todd, this sounds great. I was thinking of going through Zara Tours or Team Kilimanjaro but was leaning towards Zara Tours just because they have some good package deals. Let me know what you can come up with. I plan to book this week. Thanks!
4 years ago
Todd
Todd Looks like a big group of us will just miss you Vatsal. Hve you see the GCIRC trip around India? It starts Feb 18. Will you still be around by then? Thought it was worth letting you know :) Here's the link http://globetrooper.com/the-great-circular-indian-railway-challenge-2011
Trip | Mumbai-Goa-Gokarna
Travel Forum
4 years ago
vatsal3845
vatsal3845 hey!!..todd..thanks..i will still be around will let u know!!..u hav a safe trip!!..enjoy!!
4 years ago
Matt Hardy

Matt Hardy HI Todd,

The training is going well. If you want some advice on training im glad to help. Since the trip is about 3 months away I feel like this is the best time to start training hard. This will allow you to peak in fitness during your trip. Right now im trying to train 5 times a week. I usually bike twice a week for 40-60 miles and rock climb the remaining 3 days of training. Since it's starting to get cold here in Colorado I'm trying to hike more with a pack. It's going to be a damn slog up that mountain so the better prepared I am to carry a heavy pack the better off i'll be. If your just looking to get in good cardio shape, try wearing a pack and running with it uphill for 1 minute than try 5 minutes off just walking. This will get you in great shape in no time.....do it for one hour.

Todd

Todd Thanks for the tips Matt. We're currently living in Cusco at 3,300m. We're debating whether to stay here or go to lower altitude. It's great to be up this high beforehand, but it's difficult to give our muscles the same length of endurance workout as if we were at sea level. Headaches or chest pains set in before muscle fatigue, but that's fading away slowly. I think we'll stay another month and see how it goes.

Yeah, we'll start with the packs this week too. That's the bit that has me the most concerned about Aconcagua. It's one thing to trek to almost 7k, and another to do it hauling 15-20kg of gear (of course not all the way to the summit, but still...). I'll definitely give your running uphill strategy a go. There is no flat ground in this whole city, except a few square meters in the plaza. You see visitors bent over around ever corner from the steep hills. I wonder how many visitors have heart attacks here; it's a real slog to just buy water, which is great for our training.

Anyway, good luck with the training. We'll try to keep in touch. And if you need any coverage on this site, just let us know.

4 years ago
Todd
Todd Latest coverage of Gobi 2011 on ExplorersWeb for those interested. http://explorersweb.com/trek/news.php?id=19734
Todd
Todd Hi Matt, just read your website in more detail. What an inspiring story. How's your training going? Would love to hear the details.
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Todd

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