On Saturday, we are leaving for 20 days back to Peru for another awesome stage race!
Last year we did the Cordillera Blanca stage race, 200km for 10500m of elevation gain, it was so beautiful, tough and rewarding that when Christophe told us about this year running "expedition", we thought, we have to do it! This time we are going through the Cordillera Huayhuash, a gruelling 220km for 15000m for 8 days ( click on the link for the full program)! It's going to be tough I think...and this time there is no rest day or night at the hotel for showers!
No no! 8 straight days of running and camp nights! But look at that:
|Location of our first camp night!|
Luckily we are again with Adventures Andines ( http://www.andean-adventures.com/) and its brilliant organisation. It's still scary thou! hopefully the tips from last year will help us enjoying more and suffer less?
Tip 1: invest in the right sleeping bag!
Last year, we wanted to recycle the Lifeventure down sleeping bag we got for Kenya but it has a +7 comfort...not really appropriate for the cold Peruvian nights so we added the Sea to Summit Reactor Extreme mummy sleeping bag liner ( apparently it's supposed to "add" 15C degrees to a sleeping bag...I think that was a bit exaggerated...) So this time, we have invested in the NorthFace Gold Gazoo sleeping bag. Apparently it's a very warm bag, warmer than the specs ( 2C comfort)...but I'm still bringing my sleeping liner!
|Frendo Foldable Solar Charger|
Tip 2: the solar charger
Last year we had a small solar charger which wasn't charging anything but I found out it was because it only had 1.5KW...! load of the other dudes had the decathlon usb solar charger one, it's pretty cool, you can clip it to your bag while running/walking. So this time we'll do the same!
Tip 3: Down pants!
Packing the running bag: after each run, we wait for the mules to come with the camp which is fine if there is sun as you stay warm. However as soon as the sun is down, you start to get really cold! Last year, we had a down jacket only. This year, I would like to bring a down trouser! but man there are expensive! I did find the Jack Wolfskin one! but no budget for that one either! :( so it will be long johns and my rain pants!
|Jack Wolfskin Atmosphere Pants|
Tip 4: The Bag for the porters
Our gear is taken by mules from camps to camps. Last year, we had a basics addidas bag. Superlight and sturdy but not waterproof...So this year we've invested in a duffel or duffle bag. I first picked the 65L Transporter Osprey Bag, but when it arrived it was too small and the shoulder straps were not retractable ( tricky when travelling by plane), same with the Arcteryx Carrier 75L one. So, we've decided on the Lowe Alpine 90L one! I do like the blue colour....but we took the black one. Why not the NorthFace popular duffle one? Too rigid and heavy!
Tip 5: Clothing & Food/Water
Well, we didn't sweat that much during last year race, so 5 running tshirts are good enough, while 3 shorts will do the tricks. What concerns me the most in being cold, so cold gear is on the list! I've got 2 down jackets to use as layer as last year the Northface thermoball hoodie did NOT do the trick! Lightweight it is but can't beat the down! Mick has the Arcteryx Cerium LT hoodie which is also lightweight but is packed with 850g of down and man did I envy him when I needed to have 3 layers under that Thermoball! So this time, well I'm bringing the thermoball and a down jacket!
|Cerium LT Jacket|
|Northface Thermoball Hoodie|
We had brought the water pills, used it once as it gave me tummy cramps! Normal water was fine, so hopefully we can do the same on this Cordillera! For food, I trust the cooks, they were brilliant last year, we ate like KINGS! I can't wait to drink the Sierra Andina local beer as it is awesome for acclimation ;) as well as their Causa Limena ( potato and avocado dish!)
Oh yeah! We are ready and cannot wait to go back to Perou!!! it is going to be epic!
What about you? what's your next adventure? contact http://www.andean-adventures.com/ if you want to do something similar, Marco speaks English, German, French and Spanish! I'm sure he will accommodate your need of adventure