Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A is for Alpamayo...and the A to Z Challenge!



http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

It's here--the Blogging from A to Z Challenge kicks off today! Want to know more? Click on the badge. Then enjoy rooting around in hundreds of participating blogs.

I am blogging this year on mountains and valleys. Look for book reviews (adult and children's books), photo essays, and flash fiction, all relating, however tangentially, to mountains and valleys. Or canyons. Maybe depressions and lumps. It's all good, and there will be photos wherever possible.



And now for our first mountain--Alpamayo, in the Peruvian Cordillera Blanca. We visited this area last summer, trekking for 10 days around the Cordillera. Our guide insisted, not implausibly, that Alpamayo is the most beautiful mountain in the world. Or at least Peru. Certainly, it showed us great beauty, despite the harsh conditions at altitude.
Our first glimpse of the mountain for which the trek was named. Flirting with the clouds, as is only right at over 19,500'.

Evening brought beautiful light.

And morning another kind of beautiful light--and clear skies. People do climb this, but you won't find me up there!

Clouds move back in as the day progresses, but the scenery is no less interesting. The glacial lake formed behind the moraine is turquoise with glacial silt.
The clouds--or blowing snow? whipping around the edges of the summit pyramid tell me that the wind is fierce. The cornices and fluting tell me that it is relentless, never still at that elevation. Nights are in the 20s (F) at our camp at some 14,0000'. I hate to imagine what it would be like up there. Great natural beauty is often indifferent to our rather puny human existence.
###

Like this? Want to see more? Check out my travel posts here.






26 comments:

  1. Like that some wonderful views, good start on the A to Z

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! This one is going to be fun. I'm off to look as some blogs...

      Delete
  2. Wow. Great start for A to Z with this topic. Beautiful mountains and that view. Thank you so much for sharing…and making me a little jealous ;-) all in good fun of course.
    My post: http://rachelwritesthings.blogspot.com/2015/04/a-to-z-challenge-is-for-anna-french-kiss.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to do that trip. It took a long time to be in a place financially to do it, and we are lucky we are still physically able!

      Delete
  3. Your pictures are always so amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Melanie! Wait until you see tomorrow (sneak preview: I tapped my brother-in-law, who is a professional photographer. His pictures are MUCH better than mine!)

      Delete
  4. Well, I'm impressed, even if nobody else is!

    Jemima

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :D

      Love your theme and the first post, too!

      Delete
  5. What stunning photos. I am sure the view helps make the conditions a little easier to deal with- though it looks and sounds like quite a challenging climb!
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We were there for the views--no mountain climbing for us. But the trekking takes you over 16,000', so it's no joke even staying below snow line.

      Delete
  6. Wow, those pictures are beautiful! Great choice of theme; should be really interesting! Looks like you've been to a lot of neat places. I'll definitely have to check out some more of your travel posts :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Enjoy the posts and have fun with A to Z.

      Delete
  7. Gorgeous! I'm not one for full on mountaineering, but I did pop up to visit the launching point for those climbing Mont Blanc and it was breathtaking! (Well... it *was* really really high, and super super cold, and I held my breath watching the mountaineers crawl along razor peaks of ice and snow.) ;) Sounds like an amazing trip!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I don't do mountaineering either. Haven't been on a peak that required gear since maybe 1989. And that was Mt. Adams, which is really a walk up. Got chased off Rainier by conditions before we even started. Since about 1997 haven't even considered doing anything technical. I like to hike and look at the big peaks :)

      Delete
  8. Fantastic photos! I love to look at mountains, but I'm not big on climbing them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once upon a time I might have wanted to climb. Nowadays, I'll look!

      Delete
  9. Oh these are gorgeous photos!! What fun! I bet you had a good time. I wandered through from A to Z, BTW. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome--there's a lot of great wandering on the A to Z list!

      We had a great time on that trip. Really out of the world for me.

      Delete
  10. I love your photos! Those mountains are breathtaking. It's been too long since I've climbed a real mountain. I've mostly climbed mountains in Colorado, and then smaller mountains in other places.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the mountains in Washington, too. You can climb up into the alpine (even glacier areas if you are so inclined) without being at lung-busting altitudes!

      I got my first 14er in Colorado a few years ago. Then didn't go anywhere near it until last summer, when I climbed well over 16,000' on this trek.

      Delete
  11. Thanks for sharing some tidbits about the Alpamayo mountain! Your second and third photos are my most favorite, especially where the evening gets a dash of sunlight; there are so many beautiful layers in that image because of how the sun sets on those rocky areas as well as the sky, smoky areas (or are they clouds breaking up ?) and mountain layers. Looking as nature like this does really put how "puny" as you say human existence is, into perspective. The earth is magnificent.

    ~Nicole
    A to Z Challenge CoHost
    The Madlab Post

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, clouds. The clouds flirted around the mountain all the first day (we spent two nights at the base of the moraine), which really makes for more interesting pictures!

      Delete
  12. That peak! Holy cow, as beautiful as it is frightening. I commend you on getting as high as you were. I am poorly suited for glacial mountain trekking. I'll just have to live vicariously through you!

    Alex Hurst, A Fantasy Author in Kyoto
    Out of Print, Fiction authors and their shorts

    A-Z Blogging in April Participant

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I stay off glaciers now, for the most part. No mountaineering really since I became a parent. And now I think I might get up one, but my knees would give out before I got down (as in fact they kind of did coming down from that trek). I look at those mountains and find it hard to believe people actually climb them.

      Delete
  13. Some awesome photos! I love the theme. Looking forward to your other A-to-Z posts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I have a range of posts going, but am trying to get a photo of some sort onto each! It's kind of a personal challenge :)

      Delete

We want to hear from you! Tell us your reactions, or whatever's on your mind.