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International - Where to climb?

Discussion area for peaks outside of the USA.
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Re: International - Where to climb?

Postby Athos791 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:27 pm

Drex, Pm sent.

Mountainhiker, thanks for your suggestions. Was just checking out the pages for those peaks, and Parinacota is one of the most beautiful mountains I have ever seen... That just got bumped up onto the list! did you climb from the Chilean or Bolivian side? Would love some more detailed info about your trip if you are willing to type it!

Scott, I had recently read your Elbrus page, and thank you for the insight on the mountain. That picture of you guys climbing up the slope with the Caucuses in the background is beautiful. Thank you for the insight to the weather in equador/bolivia that time of year, very helpful. Also, very nice page about mount elgon.

Steve, I am seriously considering S. America.. Interested in going still, even without going through the CMC?
"We go to the mountains to satisfy our own ambitions, not because others evaluate what we are doing." -Anatoli Boukreev

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Re: International - Where to climb?

Postby gb » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:34 pm

Athos791 wrote:
gb, any ideas in Bolivia? I might consider doing part of the inca trail in Peru, as one of my friends guides down there.. Don't know much about Bolivia however.


Cheers,
Luke


I've only personally been to Peru, but I have several friends who have climbed in Bolivia and speak just as highly of it as Peru. For Peru, find a copy of Brad Johnson's Cordillera Blanca book and start drooling. Lots of choices.

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Re: International - Where to climb?

Postby Scott P » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:39 pm

I'd check the State Department comments for Kenya before going to Mount Elgon.


The Kenyan side was considered dangerous when we went as well, but the Uganda side was considered the best way in. It sounds like things are still the same in that regard.
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Re: International - Where to climb?

Postby sburke16 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:52 pm

Athos791 wrote:
Sburke, just SP'ed el misti, have you climbed it? Seems like a cool peak, says the snowcap is gone tho, any info on that?



I plan to climb Misti. From what I can tell it is one of easiest climbs with some serious altitude. You can find all sorts of blogs of people with little experience climbing it. Here is one that makes it seem pretty easy. http://crypto.stanford.edu/~eujin/pics/peru-bolivia-2006/3-elmisti/index.html.
If you want glacier travel you may want to look into coropuna?

From what I can tell, you may want to consider the more standard/populated routes. I have read about people being robbed by "bandits" on the less populated routes. This probably could happen any where in S. America. Check the U.S. state dept website for any warnings about countries in S. America.

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Re: International - Where to climb?

Postby jrbren_vt » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:54 pm

Athos791 wrote:jrbren, I have never visited the canadian rockies, so will have to take a look there. Logan seems like a very interesting mountain, but VERY intense, not to mention takes a major expedition to get there haha. It sounds like you may have climbed there before, if so, whats your favorite peak?

Luke


I do not know if Logan is part of the Canadian Rockies or the coast range. Anyway, my perception is that it is as hard or more intense then Denali and hence too rich for my blood. I think of the Canadian Rockies as the Range the straddles the Alberta/British Columbia Border from the USA border up to about Mt Robson. Here is a guide book I recommend you get your hands on if you are seriously interested in that region:
http://www.amazon.com/Selected-Alpine-C ... 0921102143
I have done 2 trips up there, both in July. Trip one 2 friends and I pooled fees to hire a private guide who guided us up Mt Athabasca and a mountain called The President in Yoho National Park. Both were glacier climbs, but no vertical ice, at least on the routes we took. Athabasca actually does have a technical north face route. Athabasca has to be in the conversion when I am asked what the most beautiful summit I have ever been on is. The weather in summer is not nearly as cold as something like Logan during its climbing season. The second trip was with the Alpine Club of Canada, I attended their annual general mountaineering camp which that year was at Icefall Brook, which was not close to anything, which was the beauty of it. I wound up climbing Mons Peak and one of the summits of Lyell Mountain, these are again glacier hikes. Mt Forbes is nearby, but was "out of condition", ie, iced over, so no one climbed that one during that trip. Friends of mine who are technical mountaineers (I am not) really like Glacier National Park in British Columbia and the Bugaboos are very popular among technical climbers. Someday I might work up the nerve to climb Mt Assiniboine, but I doubt it since it has class 5 scrambling on the easiest route to the summit, but I think it is one of the prettiest mountain to look at from afar. Mt Robson looks like an epic climb to for a technical mountaineer, I do not think there are any walk up routes for me but it is an awesome mountain to look at.

I have not been to Bolivia but that sounds like a great option too. I have researched it before and chose to go elsewhere. I bought a very entertaining DVD I would recommend about a group climbing some peaks down there:
https://www.posingproductions.com/produ ... oduct_id=7
Make sure you specify NTSC as it is from the UK, I had difficulty when I received the PAL version and had to exchange it. This book may also be of interest :
http://www.amazon.com/Bolivia-Climbing- ... 089886495X
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Re: International - Where to climb?

Postby Bullwinkle » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:19 pm

My son is on a study abroad program in Quito this semester and plans to do Cotopaxi the first weekend in Feb. Will post his TR when he gets back. It is just outside of the capital city of Quito, which will cut your surface travel costs. Bolivia has a good range of options just outside of La Paz (over 11K; altiplano over 14K). Illimani at 21,122 ft (15K snow line) might be above your target. Huayna Potosi has short elevation gain of 4,340 ft, but does have an exposed ridge and steep ice. Both summits of Huascaran in Peru are above 20K, but there are other summits nearby that would make a less challenging and safer outing. Alpamayo is just under 20K, but very challenging. The town of Huaraz (half-day+ drive from Lima) is quite nice, as is Lake Llanganuco above the town. Hotel Andino was great. The safest places to climb in South America would probably be in Chile or in Patagonia along the Chilean/Argentine southern border.

One more possibility closer to home: Assiniboine, just south of Banff. It is just under 12K, but is nonetheless an impressive and engaging mountain with beautiful views.
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Re: International - Where to climb?

Postby Steve Bonowski » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:30 pm

Athos: thanks for the hint about still going to Bolivia. I paid out about 6K last year for the CMC China trip and doing a week long extension in Australia. So, this year is a year for rebuilding finances (the Kilimanjaro trip I'm leading next month did fill, so I'm OK with that one).

Re Bullwinkle's comment about peaks just outside La Paz in Bolivia, I agree with thoughts about Illimani and H. Potosi. Potosi may actually be harder now on its standard route than Illimani; that was the impression when I was there in '06.

But check into Mururata, the 3rd of the "big 3" overlooking La Paz. Mururata isn't technically demanding, altho probably a good idea to rope up. Summit is snow covered, but gets you over 19,000'. Check out www.bolivianjourneys.org for a really good outfitter (if that link doesn't work, PM me for another). Steve

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Re: International - Where to climb?

Postby Haliku » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:37 pm

Steve Bonowski wrote:Athos: thanks for the hint about still going to Bolivia. I paid out about 6K last year for the CMC China trip and doing a week long extension in Australia. So, this year is a year for rebuilding finances (the Kilimanjaro trip I'm leading next month did fill, so I'm OK with that one).

Re Bullwinkle's comment about peaks just outside La Paz in Bolivia, I agree with thoughts about Illimani and H. Potosi. Potosi may actually be harder now on its standard route than Illimani; that was the impression when I was there in '06.

But check into Mururata, the 3rd of the "big 3" overlooking La Paz. Mururata isn't technically demanding, altho probably a good idea to rope up. Summit is snow covered, but gets you over 19,000'. Check out www.bolivianjourneys.org for a really good outfitter (if that link doesn't work, PM me for another). Steve


+1 on that. My TR to Bolivia last year is on SP. Your $1500 budget would be tough since air from Denver to La Paz is running $1000 right now. Ecuador is also a worthy destination in July (another TR on SP for my Ecuador trip). I spent $1600 for 15 days including air, lodging, food and transport. Cheers!
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Re: International - Where to climb?

Postby MountainHiker » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:31 pm

Athos791 wrote:Mountainhiker, thanks for your suggestions. Was just checking out the pages for those peaks, and Parinacota is one of the most beautiful mountains I have ever seen... That just got bumped up onto the list! did you climb from the Chilean or Bolivian side? Would love some more detailed info about your trip if you are willing to type it!

I was part of an informal group of friends who climbed from the Bolivian side. The route we took probably passed into Chile after gaining the saddle. We hired a guide from Peru who helped with the arrangements. We had 2 camps on the mountain. We were driven up to where it was a short hike from our higher camp. Some locals with mules were hired to carry our stuff up to the higher camp.

MountainHikerette & I left earlier than the others to give her a chance of making the summit. As a result we ended up taking a different route. After comparing notes it sounded like the route the others took with the guide was steeper. MountainHikerette had to turn back without summitting. Fortunately the route was straight forward enough for her to follow back. We also had a system where she left markers at various landmarks along the way. She met up with some of the others on the way down where our routes rejoined.

Higher up on the mountain I met up with the guide and one of the others. For the way down I took her with me retracing the route I knew MountainHikerette would take, while the guide took his route down to gather up the others.

The upper part of the mountain was glaciated with row after row of penetentes. The lower part had a lot of fine volcanic dirt. The stuff was finer than quartz sand. The wind blew a lot and the dirt was fine enough to come through the mesh of the tent and pile up on the floor. Fortunately the wind stopped when we went for the summit.

Prior to Parinacota we hiked a minor peak called Chacaltaya for acclimation. Chacaltaya is known as the world’s highest lift served ski area.
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Re: International - Where to climb?

Postby Athos791 » Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:03 pm

Thanks for all the replies! Considering now these peaks, in no order:
Parinocata
Elbrus
Cotopaxi/Chimborazo
Illimani or H. Potosi
maybe meet up with some friends in Canada and hike in the canadian rockies.

I am letting them stew for a while, and a big deciding factor is if I can get a climbing partner or two to go with, as if I go solo, will be guided. If anyone wants to think about any of these peaks, or even others, let me know!
-Luke
"We go to the mountains to satisfy our own ambitions, not because others evaluate what we are doing." -Anatoli Boukreev

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Re: International - Where to climb?

Postby Gabriel » Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:58 pm

The Alaska range is still in shape. I summited Denali on June 29 and the conditions were very good. The climb down the Muldrow Glacier/ Karstens Ridge was reasonable and crossing the Mckinley river was not too scary at this time of year. Not sure about flying out from the West Buttress basecamp that late.

I was also on Huascaran in Peru in July. Very good conditions. It was the "dry season."

The alps are in shape in the summer. I hiked the standard Goutier route on Mt. Blanc. It's over 15,000 and a walk up. I was by myself, but certainly not solo as it's a well traveled route. Many people rope up on it. Probalbly a good idea, but the crevasse situation seemed reasonable to me.

Summer is prime time in Bolivia-lot's to do and very accessible from what I read.

I did read your thread on Orizaba. My experience on Orizaba was less commiting, and not as difficult as any of the above suggestions.

Good luck

G

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Re: International - Where to climb?

Postby Motown Mike » Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:11 pm

Does anyone have information on climbing / hiking in Costa Rica?? I would like to do a five day trip but it seems that everything is either a 10 day combined paddle / hike / climb .... etc. I know that there are some volcanoes... etc. Any help would be appreciated.

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