Frozen Tents and Camelbaks – Andes Expedition

Continuing in the spirit of Luke Bap (“Walking Israel” – WA Newsletter July/August 2019), Jeremy White OW (2009-15) and I thought we should share our recent expedition with you all.

While neither the route nor our beards were as long as Bap’s, altitude proved a worthy foe. With an average height of well over 4,000m, the Cordillera Huayhuash is set in the Peruvian Andes and truly packs a punch. Made famous by Joe Simpson’s ill-fated experience in Touching the Void (we’d like our English GCSE teachers to know despite all appearances we were actually paying attention), the range is one of the world’s most impressive.

The circuit took us through valleys and peaks on an unimaginable scale with scenery that no photos can ever truly do justice. From waking up to frozen tents and camelbaks in the mornings, to high altitude UV rays burning us through our generous applications of SPF 50, the climate was the harshest we had ever seen.

Whether summiting 5,000m passes or using an animal’s jawbone to smash through ice and access water, the lessons learnt from both CCF and DofE were constantly in the back of our minds.

While we fear Luke’s dream of becoming Lawrence of Arabia is equated with our reality of being closer to Tintin in Tibet, it was Whitgift that installed this sense of adventure within us, and for that we are eternally grateful.

Felix Arris OW (2009-15)

Andes 3

This picture shows Jeremy in the foreground of Touching the Void’s mountain, Siula Grande. The shadowed glacier on the mountain’s left flank contains the crevasse Simpson was forced to crawl out of and onwards for a further three miles.

This picture shows Jeremy in the foreground of Touching the Void’s mountain, Siula Grande. The shadowed glacier on the mountain’s left flank contains the crevasse Simpson was forced to crawl out of and onwards for a further three miles.

Andes 1

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