We have now settled in in Huaraz and are highly motivated. Melissa, our photographer Andi and I can't wait to explore the area. Our first trip will bring us to Hatun Matchay, which means 'big cave' in Quechua. The place is often called 'Rock Forest' and if you've seen photos or have been there, you'll know why! With about 140 climbing routes Hatun Matchay is the highest sport climbing area in the world. It is located at 4,300m above sea level – the perfect place to get used to the height!
After some 6a and 6b routes we felt good with the height, although we could still feel the effects of the thinner air during the physical stress. We stayed at a stone hut at the foot of Hatun Matchay together with some fellow climbers – two Argentinians, one Spaniard, and one Austrian, as well as landlady Sophie and her volunteer Camille. Both took good care of us – we cooked and ate together, and played Spanish songs on the guitar.
This place felt magical to me and after the climbing tour I was filled with indescribable emotions and inner balance.
Back in Huaraz we tried to find a friend of the Tyrolean alpinist Stephan Keck to get some valuable information for our first five-thousander. A lot needs to be organised – we need a donkey and a donkey driver for the transport of our equipment, lightweight food supplies and the permit from the National Park.
We will be out and about for three days. Updates will follow!