Archive for August 2007

Peru picture gallery part I

I’ve uploaded the first of my pictures from Peru and created a gallery for South America. This is the first installment, mainly Huaraz and some of the hiking trips we did around the city. I’ll be adding the rest within the week.

Good glass

A while back I got myself a Nikon D40. After my trip to Peru decided that a better, longer lens was in order. The stock lens that came with the D40 is an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 which is great but noticeably not up to the task of shooting candid street shots or wide angle landscapes. I’m not a fan of carrying multiple lenses while hiking or climbing and having to change them in awkward situations so I really wanted a single lens for all occasions – a “superzoom”. Continue reading »

The game of Urban Running

So I just got back from a conference in Washington, DC. DC has lots of crosswalks with lights and lots of cops who can get upset if they see you jay walking. So unless you want your run to consist of a lot of rests then you have to figure out what at the crosswalks.

I came up with two rules for the “game” …

  1. If the crosswalk isn’t in your favor do squats until it is.
  2. If you run past a flight of steps with more than ten steps you have to run up and down it at least once.

The lights are also sort of interesting as they show the number of second remaining until they change. This means you can try and make a light before it goes red on you by running faster so you also get a sort of interval workout along with everything else. You end up doing a lot of squats. I figure in a six mile run you end up doing about a hundred and fifty to two hundred. Enough to know about it the next day.


None of this is true. It’s all fiction at best, outright lies at worst. In mountaineering, much like war, The Truth meets a prompt but messy death early in the proceedings. Fear makes terrain seem steeper, rock looser and routes longer. Ego compels the protagonists to perpetuate their version of reality even with the benefit of hindsight.


So my Peru trip is over as far as climbing is concerned. I leave for Lima tomorrow.

Not that it was a totally bad gig. Sure, bad weather, and illness marred the second half of the trip but Huaraz was entertaining and I saw some of the sites of interest even if the climbing didn´t happen as planned. Good scouting for another trip maybe?

Next time I would…

  • Come a bit earlier. The weather usually bags in mid-August but this year it seemed to deteriorate around mid-July.
  • Expect to be sick. Plan for a week of being ill. The altitude, odd food and water, pollution and other stuff will hit you really hard. Almost everyone we met in Huaraz had been ill at least once since arriving.
  • Take it easy. On a month long trip the urge is to push hard and start climbing right away is really big – bad idea.
  • Bring less ¨stuff¨. Climbing here tends to be short trips from Huaraz to a valley to climb from a basecamp below the snowline, probably only attempting one or two routes per trip. Lots of the junk you might bring for a trip involving a couple of weeks at a basecamp just isn´t needed.
  • Bring less food. Most climbing type food can be bought locally. The exceptions being good dehydrated main meals and good bars, soup and Mars bars are available but not AlpineAire meals or PowerBars etc. You can also buy a lot of common climbing items in Huaraz if you need to, so no need to bring spares. Cheap simple snowstakes can also be had very cheaply.

Loosing more weight

So I´ll spare you the details but the lack of posts over the last couple of days has been largely related to further weight loss attempts. This was largely unintentional and not my competitive streak going into overdrive (¨I can get sicker and loose more weight than you¨). Suffice to say even in Peru computers and toilets aren´t sufficiently colocated to make blogging possible.

Today is actually the first day I´ve felt even remotely well in about the last two weeks. I´m not climbing fit but at least travelling isn´t going to be a Herculian task. I´ll be in Lima tomorrow night and back home by Tuesday unless the airlines foul up or the Peruvian teachers go on strike again.