Adventures in Peru - Arequipa Seven Summits - Nevado Mismi
By Vic Hanson
Huarancante - 17,716 feet Dec. 7th
There are also two more mountains that can be accessed from the same base camp as Ampato, the closest one is Nevado Hualca Hualca, which at 19,780 feet is also over 6,000 meters, the other one is Sabancaya, an active volcano at 19,619 feet. We were all pretty wiped out so decided not to climb either of them, but on the drive back to the highway the next day, Nathan and Smiley were talking about bagging a small peak, so as not to waste the whole day! They decided on Huarancante (17,716 feet) as it was right near the highway and looked like a quick climb. We weren't sure of the best approach, but finally found a long ridge heading in that direction, and parked along the road at 15,640 feet. I decided I better stay in the van and rest, and I was also a little concerned about it starting, as it was a cool day, so I started it every couple of hours. Smiley and Nathan took off at 11:05 and didn't get back until 6:05. It turned out they were a lot farther from the mountain than we had thought so it wasn't the quick and easy summit they were expecting.
We then drove into Chivay, the entrance to the Colca Canyon, and found out they were having a large festival. We got the only available room at the House of David and then checked with the High Mountain Rescue Police just a few doors away about the route to Mismi. They told us that there was a road that starts at the village of Tuti and goes up to the high plain, so we decided to take that route rather than to start hiking at Tuti.
Nevado Mismi - 18,465 feet Dec. 8th
Saturday morning when we were ready to leave Chivay someone said it was supposed to rain, but it was clear and sunny so we laughed and thought they must have been wrong. We drove to Tuti and found the road to Mismi, the sign said it was 26 Km. It was a decent gravel road to start with but after we got up on the high plain it got confusing. We could see the mountain but after heading towards it for a while the road took off in a straight line away from it. There hadn't been any road going towards Mismi, nor a sign saying we had arrived at a trailhead or anything. We backtracked and found a faint set of vehicle tracks going in the right direction so followed those. It kept getting rockier and we thought a number of times that we were at the end of the "road" and then we would see the tracks going around some rocks and continuing. Finally after 28 Km and at 17,050 feet and at 10:15 am, we stopped and parked as the tracks turned away from the mountain.
There was no obvious trail so we just headed in the general direction, trying to find the best route over the rocks, hills and valleys. As we got closer to the summit ridge, which has a number of peaks, we finally saw a few cairns and some faint trails. We reached the first peak at 12:45 and continued along to the summit, reaching there at 1:20. By now it was cloudy, windy and cold so we didn't stay there long. We didn't see any marker or indication that it was the summit, but it was the peak that the rescue police told us was the summit and it registered the highest on my GPS at 18,420. There is a large variation in elevations given in different sources and none on the topo map, just like for Pichu Pichu.
As we started down, there were a few snow flurries, which had become quite heavy by the time we got back to the van at 3:15, for a total time of five hours. It continued to snow for a while on the drive down but had stopped before we got back to Tuti at 4:35. We decided to return to Arequipa that evening, take the day off on Sunday, and then head towards Cotahuasi on Monday, where we would climb Nevado Coropuna.
If you want to read about another mountain we climbed at the same time, please see the Ezine article on Coropuna.
Vic Hanson is the founder of Adventure Cotahuasi Tours, which offers pre-planned and custom adventure travel tours in Cotahuasi Canyon and other areas of Peru.
If you are interested in your own adventure in Peru, check us out!
If you would like to see this article with photos, please visit my page on summitpost at http://www.summitpost.org
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Vic_Hanson