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Friday, June 7

Part 2 - Huarez Awaits

The Team: 4 good friends (Justin, Jenna, Ethan, Nick)
The Occasion?                      ^         ^
                                         |         |
                                    Their honeymoon

The Destination: HuarezPeru

The Activity: Mountaineering
The Date: July 5th, 2013

'Viva el Peru...Carajo!' (Long live Peru...Damn it!)

The Republic of Peru (Population 30.5 million, National dish - Cuy or Guinea Pig) is located in western South America with 1,500 miles of Pacific coastline and occupying an area 5/6th the size of Alaska. The geologic force that perturbs the surface of the Earth in Argentina and Columbia, works its magic especially well in Peru

The longest chain of mountains on Earth, the Andes (4,350 miles), bisects Peru creating three distinct climatic zones. The Western region is predominantly arid (Costa or Coast), the central region is graced with a plethora of nature's skyscrapers (Sierras or Highlands), and Eastern Peru marks the most western section of the Amazon and is one of the most biologically diverse regions on Earth, boasting over 21,000 species with almost 6,000 of them being endemic (only found in Peru). 

Huarez (waˈɾas, population 120,000) is located in the central western region of Peru (approximately 6 hours north of Lima). 

From our flight to Lima we'll head north to Huarez
In 1970, 90% of Huarez was destroyed by a magnitude 7.7 earthquake.  The international support in rebuilding the city and aiding the displaced and injured was staggering.  Due to these acts of worldly generosity the city was named as the international city of friendship.

Huarez attracts many sports enthusiasts due to the geography surrounding the city.  Among these visiting athletes are climbers and mountaineers. 

Huarez and the Cordilleras
Cordillera Blancas
The mountainous region adjacent the city of Huarez is the Cordillera Blancas contained within Huascaran National Park (established in 1975).  All of the larger peaks within the park are glaciated with sixteen peaks over 6000m (19,685') and seventeen over 5500m (18,044').  
Terminus of a mountainside glacier
Glacial runoff is provides clean water for consumption and irrigation for near and distant valleys in Peru.  Scientists have estimated that 15% of the glacial mass has disappeared due to a changing global climate.
Retreating Glacier and runoff lake
Traveling in such an area requires knowledge of weather, physiological reactions of one's body due to altitude, glacial travel (traveling safely on a rope team), ice and snow climbing, alpine navigation, and mountain camping...It's time to get training...

Where the air gets thin...

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