Don't get me wrong, I'm a cyclist first and foremost, but when it comes to mountains, sometimes bikepacking can only take you so far. So when fellow pan-american cyclist Bala mentioned the idea of ditching the bikes and taking to the mountains on foot to try and bag a peak I was all ears The peak Urus, in Peru's Cordillera Blanca, was a tantilizing prospect and at 5400m with a relatively non-technical climb, it sounded within the realms of possibility to for two relative novices... So a plan was hatched, and I downed tools at Alpamayo HQ, bound for 3 days in the mountains.
Hiking up the Ischinca valley to the idealic base camp at 4300ish m
I've camped with worse views...
Bala, an all round great guy with a facinating life story.
He also happens to make a mean curry...
After a day of aclimatisation, we set off for our Urus 'summit bid' at 4am the following morning
Fresh snow from the previous day makes for some stunning scenery at first light
The going gets tough once we get onto the steep ramp of the glacier
It's steeper than it looks...
Bala forges on ahead
And a has a few minutes on the summit to take in the awesome views before I rock up
Yep, not bad... Definately worth the slog!