Treinish and Schlosberg march through Andean glaciers | SummitDaily.com

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Treinish and Schlosberg march through Andean glaciers

Special to the Daily/Gregg Treinish

Gregg Treinish and Deia Schlosberg are really starting to live the high life. After more than five months of hiking south through Ecuador and Peru, the Leadville adventurers recently summited Mt. Pisco, an 18,871-foot glacier in the Andes Mountains. The local travelers, who were joined for the Pisco expedition by two close friends from Leadville, are in the midst of a remarkable trek around South America. After they reach Tierra Del Fuego, the couple plans to walk up the continent’s eastern coast, across the Amazon River Basin and back to their starting point of Quito, Ecuador. The Summit Daily News has been tracking the epic journey since it began in late June, featuring periodic excerpts from the travelers’ blogs.- Adam Boffey

Nov. 24By Deia Schlosberg

Good section. We began on Nov. 3 by hiking an Incan road out of Leimebamba. Our anticipation was silently building due to the fact that our topo maps showed that in not so many kilometers, we would be crossing contour lines of blue rather than brown and green. The glaciers that give the Blanca its name were getting closer; we were approaching the big guys. …Somewhere along the way, below Lake Pelegatos, I was attacked by a dog, apparently freaked out by two huge gringos with packs, which it had never seen. The people of the town were exceptionally nice, helping me clean out the bite, and then giving me a clump of hair from the guilty dog to put on it (I graciously declined this second offer), as well as some lake trout for our troubles. I don’t have rabies. … Once in Huaraz, a small and lovely city surrounded by nevados, we met some new friends that have us feeling like Huaraz is our home away from home. We awaited anxiously for Dave and Jessie to show up, and after a wonderful reunion and a bit of celebration, we headed back to the mountains. …After procuring a guide, crampons, ice axes and ropes, the group of now four travelers crammed into a cab headed for Huascaron national park. They began hiking early the next morning, bound for a base-camp stopover at 16,000 feet, a destination they reached by midday. Schlosberg writes:

We tried to rest and eat and prepare for our 2 a.m. departure for the summit. All of us were feeling the effects of the altitude, somewhat like a bad hangover, making it difficult to sleep or eat, the two most important things to do in preparation. Two o’clock came quickly. We bundled up, geared up, put our packs on, and took off. No wind, few clouds above us, and mild temperatures for above 16,000 feet. The climb alternated between sections of steep snow-walking and more gradual portions. Making our way by headlamp, all we could see was the area of snow in front of us and our friends’ lights, spaced out in 10-meter intervals along the rope. The sounds were the crunching of crampons on the glacier and heavy breathing. Perhaps the most magical hour of my life came next. Sunrise from the glacier, with a blanketing of cloud below us, and our view was the peaks rising above the clouds all around us. All above 19,000 feet, some over 22,000 feet, all cast in pink with the gray early morning light reflecting off the glacier around us. Now we were able to see what we were walking amongst. Crevasses on both sides of us revealed hundreds of layers of ice-pack here, and twisted edges of ice walls draped with icicles seemed to emit their own blue light. The climb seemed to last for days. The peak looked far off until the very end. Until our guide, Ronald, told us that we had two minutes to go to the summit (by this time we were in a whiteout of snow flurries), I didn’t let myself believe that we had made it. It was mid-morning and we were standing at almost 19,000 feet. The most challenging single feat I have ever done was at its climax, and I was getting to share it with three of my closest friends in this world. We laughed in disbelief and some tears were shed as it sank in.Nov. 23

By Gregg TreinishAfter some celebratory Pisco Sours (the national drink of Peru), we rested up and will spend Thanksgiving today with 20 other Americans who live and love Huaraz. This marks the first year I am away from family for Thanksgiving and it isn’t easy. This is one of the many battles we must face with our hike and perhaps one of the hardest ones to get over. I promise I will be there next year, Mom.To view Treinish and Schlosberg’s latest blogs, visit http://www.roadjunky.com and http://www.steripen.com. Photos and movies can be viewed at http://southam.smugmug.com.To view Treinish and Schlosberg’s latest blogs, visit http://www.roadjunky.com and http://www.steripen.com. Photos and movies can be viewed at http://southam.smugmug.com.