Tuesday, 10 September 2013

06/09/2013 Stage 21 Huascaran bushcamp- Huallanca by malcandmarjetpatterson at Garmin Connect - Details
06/09/13 Stage Bushcamp Huascaran- Huallanca
What a day it has been! The most amazing scenery ever ! and the worse day ever! because of altitude sickness
We woke up to beautiful sunshine after a good nights sleep in the tent. It wasn't as cold as we had expected it to be and peeled off layers throughout the night. You don't have to be a contortionist to get in or out of this tent which at my age is a bonus. We enjoyed a cup of coffee and were on our way. We were slowly climbing up from 4200 meters to 4800 meters and the road and the gradient were not too bad. From about 4600 meters I gradually started to feel worse. But since we were nearly at the first peak I plodded on. We happily made it to 4820 and donned our warm clothes to start the descent.. In my head we only had to climb up to 4875 again and from there on in it would be a breezy downhill. Sadly we descended and climbed about five times before we eventually topped out at 4870. In the meantime I got worse and worse. Those of you who have suffered with altitude sickness will know what I mean. I felt nauseous, light headed and totally without any strength. I didn't want to eat or drink a sure sign I wasn't my usual self. I frequently had to get of my bike and walk I would make myself walk 50 paces before stopping and gasping for breath. Even when I was cycling my GPS cut out repeatedly because it couldn't detect any movement. If only it knew how much I was suffering! When we had descended for the umpteenth time and yet again another what seemed to me massive climb ahead I got very close to hysterical. Luckily Malc realised all was not well and after cycling to the rise he came back down again to offer me a pull up the hill. I could not even face that! So Malc cycled up the hill again at break neck speed and then ran down to take my bike up. I could barely walk up the hill. This repeated itself several more times until we had climbed the final ascent. It sounds pathetic but I so needed that helping hand and was so grateful for Malc giving it so freely.
This was definitely a day of two halves as having topped out we the spent almost two hours only exercising our brake hands whilst we descended 40kms to Huallanca where we found what we needed , yes , the usual , a bed ,a place to eat and some booze .

As you might guess after reading this it was a very tough day which is in no way reflected by the figures. However it was so incredibly beautiful, so awe inspiring, so vast in a way that can't be captured by pictures even though we tried I doubt very much if I will see anything that will impress me more! So despite all I would not have missed this day for the world!


  1. Yikes!!! Just think of the Kenyans!! Altitude training...think of how speedy you'll be in all areas when you return!