Gary and Matthew had a great climb of Mt. Barille. They have returned to Talkeetna. Stay tuned for trip report and photos once Gary returns home.
Gary and Matthew are doing excellent in the Ruth Gorge. Yesterday (4/28) they climb the West Ridge of Mt. Dickey. Today (4/29) they had a skills training day around base camp. They are potentially looking towards a climb of Mt. Barille soon. We will keep you posted as we get word. Glad they are having a wonderful time in the Alaska Range.
Andrés, Wolf and Victor had an incredible climb of Ham n’ Eggs on the Moose’s Tooth. The team flew back to Talkeetna this afternoon (4/28). Way to go guys! Time relax and celebrate! We are so happy for you. Recap of the trip to come with photos once Andrés is finished with his season in Alaska.
Both trips in the Alaska Range are doing great.
Andrés and team climbed Ham n’ Eggs on the Moose’s Tooth yesterday to the col. We received a spot message from them late last night from camp. That is wonderful news. We will report once we hear from them via sat phone. Congratulations team! Stayed tuned for a trip report once the expedition is finished.
Gary and Matthew are doing well in the Ruth Gorge. They had a skills day yesterday and will likely attempt to climb Mt. Dickey today. We will keep you posted with news from them as we hear it.
Our second expedition in Alaska kicked off today. Lead Guid Gary Falk and partner Matthew flew into the Great Gorge, the Ruth Gorge. They are settled in at camp. Tomorrow (4/27) they will recon 747 pass on Mt. Dickey in hope to climb Mt. Dickey the following day. Stay tuned for expedition updates. All the best to Gary and Matthew on their Alaskan adventure.
Our team lead by Andrés Marín arrived in Talkeetna, Alaska yesterday (4/24). They did the final pack today and flew onto the Root Canal Glacier near the Mooses’s Tooth formation. Andrés called this evening and informed us that they are settled into camp. Tomorrow (4/26) they will poke around and have a look at conditions on Ham n’ Eggs and Shaken Not Stirred. We will keep you posted as we get word from them on their climbing plan. We wish Andrés, Wolf and Victor a safe and fun adventure!
Join us this summer as we return to Alpamayo, Peru, with San Juan Mountain Guide, Andres Marin! Long considered one of the world’s most beautiful mountains, Alpamayo remains one of mountaineering’s most coveted summits. Situated in the “Himalayas of South America,” the Cordillera Blanca is much more accessible than its Asian counterpart, yet there are scores of peaks over 19,000 feet and 6000 meters. This expedition takes advantage of the rich Peruvian culture and the magnificent alpine terrain to climb the French Direct on the Southwest Face of Alpamayo.
Besides the incredible journey to summit Alpamayo, there is a cultural perspective of this trip that will give you a deeper understanding of the indigenous Inca culture in Northern Peru. The Incas are popularly known for Machu Picchu near Cuzco but on our trip, you will have the first hand experience of the Inca Culture within the Cordillera Blanca Mountain range as they survived in mountainous conditions among peak up to 18,000 feet tall and higher! Below, Andres Marin talk about the culture. Check out Andres’s other Q&A on why you should join our trip as well!
What is your favorite dish in the Alpamayo region?
That is a tough question. Up in the mountains a lot of quinoa and quinoa dishes with potatoes but my favorite would be called Cachamanta (pictured to right).
What makes the Inca people so special?
Everything about the Incas is special. The way they live their lives is so simple. They use techniques that their ancestors have developed for farming and they base a lot of their daily living of cycles- cycle of the moon, cycles of the seasons and so on. They are simple and so strong. For example, Inca children must walk very far to catch the bus to school and even up to 65+ year old guy may be able to hike for many hours without a problem.
What has the Inca culture taught you in your past trips?
The importance of genuinely living simple and off the land. They call people who are dependent on techonology and materialistic resources, the “Little Brothers” and “Little Sisters” because dependency on these things makes life more dynamic. These people simply depend on the earth to provide for them.
What is one interesting fact about Peru and the Alpamayo course that many don’t know?
How the Incas use the coca leaves, the coffee cream, for band aids, cavities, digestions, everything.
Last year, I climbed the mountain with a client and we ended up having to summit the mountain before sunrise. We took a nap at the summit and seeing the sunrise from there was amazing. I have seen many sunrises in many parts in the world and this sunrise was the best. Seeing the Andes range in first light it was pretty unique. Another best memory is seeing people succeed in their own personal objectives – a huge reason I love guiding! Seeing people be psyched about their own personal goals whether or not the mountain is summited is very special.
What is one word or phrase (in Spanish or Inca language) you should learn for the trip?
Gracias – Thank you goes along ways for the porter and the people of the region. In Quechua, thank you is pronounced paylla (Pai-ya). Another word that the porters like to use is Wayki (Wai-ki) which means friend or partner.
Andres grew up in Ibague, Colombia. His passion for guiding has allowed him to guide in all types of terrains, such as rock, alpine, skiing and high altitude. In 2011 he and his partner received the Mugs Stump Exploratory Grant to go and climb new peaks in the Southern part of Kyrgyzstan on the Kyrgy Chinese border. They were the first American expedition on the range and established two alpine-style first ascents. During the 2011/2012 ice and mixed climbing competition season, Andres stood on the podium in every competition ranking him as a world class mixed and ice climbing competitor. Andres is an AMGA certified Rock Guide as well as an AMGA certified Alpine Guide – meaning you are in good hands.
“I like to apply to my life something that a great person toll me long time ago: BE SAFE, BE HAPPY, TRY HARD AND BE KIND.” – Andres Marin-
This is the climb you’ve been training for. We climb the classic Ham and Eggs Coulouir (V, 5.6, AI4) to the summit of one of the most sought after peaks in the Alaska Range – The Moose’s Tooth. The couloir was first climbed by Jon Krakauer, Thomas Davies, and Nate Zinsser in July of 1975. It took over 20 years for the route to see another ascent, but since that time it’s status as an alpine classic has been cemented. 18 pitches and 2900 feet of climbing take you to the summit of the Moose’s Tooth and some of the best views in the range of Denali, Foraker, Hunter, and Huntington. This is a one of a kind trip in a stunning location!
This year, seasoned SJMG Andres Marin will be leading our Alaska Expedition. We have interviewed Andres with a series of questions so that you can learn more about this expedition and the guide himself, see below and feel free to learn more about our upcoming expedition!
How many years have you been guiding the AK trip?
AM: Last year was my first time on the moose-tooth route, classic Ham and Eggs Coulouir (V, 5.6, AI4) but I have been guiding in Alaska range for 8 years now.
Why is the AK region so intriguing for both clients and guides alike?
AM: The Alaska region is home to the biggest mountain range in North America – with big mountains and big terrain, Alaska is the place to be. It is the 3rd biggest mountain range in the world! It is an iconic place to be as alot of historic North American mountain climbing has happened there. The spring time is the best weather for Alaska with long days ranging up to 22+ hours! Denali is a sight to see – even if people have no interest in climbing Denali, it is an incredible peak to see in person.
AM: Rugged. Vast. Magical.
How do the mountain people of Alaska differ from those in Colorado?
AM: Some of the Mountain people from Alaska tend to say they are not part of US- as it is so different from its sister states. They are pretty tough people, in rural areas – some are as tough as it gets. In Alaska, half the year is straight up darkness and a chunk of the year is 23 hours of daylight. Those people are very self-sustained because of the remote parts of Alaska. For example, some must Dehydrator or vacuum seal their food. They hunt, fish, or harvest their own food and authentically live off the land. The people outside of the city must depend on things such as snowmobiles or airplanes to be mobile. I like to think of them as crafty people.
Are there any local or cultural traditions in that part of Alaska?
AM: There are a lot of Native Americans such as the Alaskan Athabaskan in this part of Northern Alaska. They have their own type of lifestyle, language, and traditions that they depend on.
What skill-set would a client need for the AK trip?
AM: We would recommend a higher level of fitness and some experience ice-climbing WI4/M4. Being Alaska, the terrain and the Moose Tooth in particular, require experience with this ice-climbing specific expedition.
What is particularly interesting about this route?
AM: The Moose Tooth’s Ham and Eggs is a great Introduction for alpine climbing, technical alpine terrain in the mountains. It is a huge route! It is 3,000 feet of technical terrain and the altitude isn’t overbearing as the mountain is 10,000 feet in all.
How do the conditions differ from those in Southwest Colorado?
AM: Colder temperatures, experience more like alpine ice. The snow turns into ice there, which doesn’t happen here in Colorado with our 300 days of sunshine. It is a pretty cool experience climbing in this “ice-snow” as it is more faceted. For ice-climbing, this hard pack snow climbs just like ice but it is easy to penetrate. These great couloirs are more obtainable because the snow provides more options.
What is one of your best memories in one of your past AK trips?
AM: Just getting to Alaska in itself is memorable! Instead of flying over the mountains you are flying through them. The sunrises and sunsets are different as it is so northern that it will set in the west and few hours later rise in the east. It is unlike anything else.
What is one reason you recommend the Alaska Expedition?
AM: 10 day round trip means it’s a quick trip. Some people don’t have the time off work or life so the Alaska Expedition allows them to do a big climb within a week. Alaska is the shortest expedition trip for one of the biggest climbs in one of the vastest Mountain ranges in the world.
Alaska Expedition Guide, Andres Marin
Andres grew up in Ibague, Colombia. His passion for guiding has allowed him to guide in all types of terrains, such as rock, alpine, skiing and high altitude. In 2011 he and his partner received the Mugs Stump Exploratory Grant to go and climb new peaks in the Southern part of Kyrgyzstan on the Kyrgy Chinese border. They were the first American expedition on the range and established two alpine-style first ascents. During the 2011/2012 ice and mixed climbing competition season, Andres stood on the podium in every competition ranking him as a world class mixed and ice climbing competitor. Andres is a AMGA Certified Rock and Alpine Guide with continuous experience.
Have more questions? Always feel free to reach out to our Office here.