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Classic Climbs of the Cordillera Blanca, Peru 2009 Paperback – 31 Dec 2009
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It also provides some information on the best way to get from local towns to various parts of the range. If you want to do your own trip either trekking or climbing in Cordillera Blanca this book is a must have.
Since I haven't yet been to Peru to climb (something that's been on my "tick list" for some time...), I can't address the accuracy of his climb descriptions. I trust that there is sufficient information to get to the climb and the general outline of what it would take to make the summit and return safely. The descriptions appear to be well thought out and well written. The descriptions of how to arrange transportation, where to buy food/equipment/fuel, hotels, burros, restaurants, etc. makes this kind of guidebook very valuable to a person like me who speaks the language.
The stories Mr. Johnson tells of his experiences are hilarious. Particularly noteworthy was the story of his saving a goat from hanging itself over the side of a renegade bus while Mr. Johnson was trying to hang on himself...bucking bronco style it seemed. The two bulls being loaded in the back of an already crammed flat-bed rings way too true. And the story of falling through the ceiling of a restaurant while attempting to retrieve wind-blown laundry is an apt description of living in a town such as Huarez...seems I had a somewhat similar experience 35 years ago in a Spanish town called Villena. Those roofs aren't near as strong as they appear...
I was a little surprised that John Ricker's 1977 "Yuraq Yanka" book wasn't referenced at all. I've had that book for some time...for many years, it was the definitive source of information on the Blanca. This book, however, is clearly superior. I think also this book could benefit with chapters covering the Cordillera Huayhuash (of "Touching the Void" fame), with Yerupaja being its tallest mountain. Since the Blanca and Huayhuash are in the same general area, that would be a great addition to Mr. Johnson's current book.
So many outstanding places to go climbing...so little time and money!! This book with its outstanding photography seems a good substitute for an "armchair climb" given those constraints.
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