First Time Over 20K'?

Discussion area for peaks outside of the USA
Forum rules
Please do not use this forum to advertise, sell photos or other products or promote a commercial website. For more details, please see the Terms of Use you agreed to when joining the forum.
User avatar
Brad2
Posts: 63
Joined: 10/22/2017
14ers: List not added

Re: First Time Over 20K'?

Post by Brad2 »

There are some great responses in this thread. I'll throw in my two cents to say you would not regret ascending Cotopaxi and Chimborazo, perhaps with a guide if you feel, as you say, that those are beyond your experience level. Or, you could also gain the necessary skills fairly quickly prior to departure. They are much shorter affairs than Aconcagua.

Ecuador is incredibly beautiful, and reasonably safe if you do your homework in advance and follow standard precautions. I'll never forget my two months there. 8)
User avatar
Scott P
Posts: 8520
Joined: 5/4/2005
14ers: 51 16
13ers: 43 13
Trip Reports (16)
Contact:

Re: First Time Over 20K'?

Post by Scott P »

The issue I have with that is Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, and Cayambe are beyond my expertise. I might be in over my head.
Legally, you are required to take a guide anyway. Conditions vary greatly on Chimborazo. It can be icy under bad conditions.

Anyway, opinions vary, but personally I would not recommend Ojos del Salado. I found it to be crowded, very dirty (especially in relation to most of Chile), uninteresting, and miserable. It's also expensive to get to whether or not you take a guide.

If you like the desert type peaks, a much better option are the peaks around the Colca Canyon and Arequipa. That area is more scenic, easier to get to, more interesting, has much more wildlife, is less crowded, and is much less expensive than Ojos.
I would love to go back and do Ixta & Orizaba, but spooked a little by the travel advisory (travel to a US city is likely more dangerous),
That part of Mexico doesn't really have any unusual problems.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.
User avatar
desertdog
Posts: 461
Joined: 7/26/2011
14ers: 58 6
13ers: 168 5
Trip Reports (1)

Re: First Time Over 20K'?

Post by desertdog »

Scott, I’ll give there are much nicer and interesting mountains than Ojos, but he wants a short beginner climb at 20 K. I found the area around Ojos in the Atacama desert to be really beautiful. Not crowded at all and well worth the trip. But yeah that dust does get to you.
The summit is a source of power. The long view gives one knowledge and time to prepare. The summit, by virtue of the dizzying exposure, leaves one vulnerable. A bit of confidence and a dash of humility is all we get for our work. Yet to share these moments with friends is to be human. C. Anker
User avatar
Brad2
Posts: 63
Joined: 10/22/2017
14ers: List not added

Re: First Time Over 20K'?

Post by Brad2 »

Your trip report definitely made me want to do it, desertdog/Richard. Good work!
User avatar
Scott P
Posts: 8520
Joined: 5/4/2005
14ers: 51 16
13ers: 43 13
Trip Reports (16)
Contact:

Re: First Time Over 20K'?

Post by Scott P »

I found the area around Ojos in the Atacama desert to be really beautiful.
The area around Colca Canyon is still much more scenic and interesting, not to mention cheaper, and with more wildlife; and the mountains are equally fit for beginners (probably even more so).

You will just have to visit both yourself and see (if you haven't already). :wink: As I said though, opinions vary.

Anyway, I'd go to the Colca region and over again (and probably will; I have already been more than once), but once was more than enough for Ojos.

Speaking of Ojos though, I have heard the Argentine side is much nicer. I kind of do wish we went to that side.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.
User avatar
timf
Posts: 715
Joined: 8/10/2007
14ers: 35 3
13ers: 27
Trip Reports (2)

Re: First Time Over 20K'?

Post by timf »

Scott P wrote:If you like the desert type peaks, a much better option are the peaks around the Colca Canyon and Arequipa. That area is more scenic, easier to get to, more interesting, has much more wildlife, is less crowded, and is much less expensive than Ojos.
Do you think the odds of finding a climbing partner for this region is better then that for Parinacota? It seems as though for me to get up that high I may have to be willing to play in a crevasse field. Otherwise I think Ampato would fit the bill.
User avatar
Scott P
Posts: 8520
Joined: 5/4/2005
14ers: 51 16
13ers: 43 13
Trip Reports (16)
Contact:

Re: First Time Over 20K'?

Post by Scott P »

Do you think the odds of finding a climbing partner for this region is better then that for Parinacota?
I don't know. I may be interested. Guides tend to be quite cheap in the region as well, especially when compared to other areas.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.
User avatar
timf
Posts: 715
Joined: 8/10/2007
14ers: 35 3
13ers: 27
Trip Reports (2)

Re: First Time Over 20K'?

Post by timf »

Scott P wrote:
Do you think the odds of finding a climbing partner for this region is better then that for Parinacota?
I don't know. I may be interested. Guides tend to be quite cheap in the region as well, especially when compared to other areas.
Guides may be cheap, but it would be more enjoyable to go with someone I know or get to know. So let me know. Hualca Hualca and Ampato look interesting!
User avatar
timf
Posts: 715
Joined: 8/10/2007
14ers: 35 3
13ers: 27
Trip Reports (2)

Re: First Time Over 20K'?

Post by timf »

Didn't pan out as a perfect trip, but I made it up Pico Austria at 17438', got up to 19402' on Acotango (stopped to not having my ice ax because my guide said I didn't need it and didn't feel good about self arresting odds with trekking poles), and made it up Huisalla at 16500'+ next to Sajama as a consolation prize because Parinacota had a really bad wind forecast that last day (55mph without gusts). So overall a successful trip. I'm confident I could have broken above 20K'.. thanks to all on their advice!
User avatar
Alpine Guy
Posts: 378
Joined: 7/9/2007
14ers: 36

Re: First Time Over 20K'?

Post by Alpine Guy »

Congratulations on those summits. Did you get a chance to use the Degres and the crampons?
Roll No Rocks
User avatar
timf
Posts: 715
Joined: 8/10/2007
14ers: 35 3
13ers: 27
Trip Reports (2)

Re: First Time Over 20K'?

Post by timf »

I did and they worked perfectly! I stashed both in my pack until after we were skirting a sub-peak on Acotango on the northern part of the ridge. Once on the ridge they fit fine and worked great!

The 2 peaks I summited were snow free so by winter boots were fine for those.
User avatar
nomad_games
Posts: 169
Joined: 7/7/2017
14ers: 21 2

Re: First Time Over 20K'?

Post by nomad_games »

I'm hoping to go above 20k by the end of the year. Would love to do Peru in Sept or Oct. My current personal record is just under 17 on Izta. Tried to do it in 2 days while living at sea level. Made it to the glacier crossing and couldn't move anymore due to piercing pain in my head and really slow/confused thinking. oh and sketchy crampons.

unfortunately I only have about 9 days max in one stretch unless I wait until December.
Post Reply