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AAC Members Head to Peru for “Inca Odyssey”

Posted on: June 12th, 2012 by Pete Takeda

Inca Odyssey Cover PhotoThis June, American Alpine Club members Paige Claassen, Abbey Smith, Mick Follari, Andy Mann, and Alex Gilbert travel to Peru. Former AAC Board Member Pete Takeda is coordinating the trip with Marmot Mountain, Ltd. as sponsor. Says Takeda, “The Cordillera Blanca is a fantastic place to climb. We hope to discover some untapped gems.”

The team is going after “full-spectrum” climbing – bouldering, cragging, and 5000-6000 meter alpine peaks. Their basecamp will be around 15,000 feet making the expedition a true high-altitude experience.

Says Smith, “This is my second trip in pursuit of bouldering at extreme altitude. I’m hoping this venue is as beautiful as the last.”

For the intrepid, Peru has more to offer than Ceviche, Machu Picchu, and coca leaves. Good weather, great food, and fantastic outdoor possibilities have drawn visitors for decades. It wasn’t until the collapse of Maoist Sendero Luminoso insurrection in the late-1990’s, that the Cordillera Blanca—crown jewel of the Peruvian Andes—became safely re-accessible to adventure tourists. It’s a big deal. The Blanca offers fun-sized Himalayan trekking and climbing, without the jet-lag, big budget, and major time commitment of the Himalayas or Alps.

Says Claassen, “While I’ll be primarily bouldering and hopefully putting up some new routes with other members of our team, I hope to get up a snowy peak too!”

That all said, one of the great benefits for a trip of this nature are the resources of the AAC. Takeda, “In researching this area, the American Alpine Journal online database was very helpful. We hope the AAC Global Rescue insurance won’t come in handy, but it’s very nice to have.”

The team has established a Facebook page that they hope to update throughout the trip.

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