Touch the void

Touch the void

26/02/2013 0 By Chris Parnell


2010 marks 25 years since Simon Yates and Joe Simpson summited Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes, the story of which led to the award winning book and film “Touching the Void”.

Joe Simpson and Simon Yates set out to climb the west face of the Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. It was 1985. The two men were young, fit and skilled climbers. The west face, remote and treacherous, had not been climbed before.

Following a successful three-and-a-half-day ascent, disaster struck. Simpson fell a short distance and broke several bones in his leg. With no hope of rescue, the men attempted the descent, with Yates lowering Simpson 300 feet at a time in a slow, painful process that could have potentially been deadly for both. How Simpson survived the fall, and made it back to base camp is a story that will astound and inspire.

In September of this year, Simon Yates will return to the area for the first time since that epic expedition. Fellow trekkers will get to experience the magnificence of the Peruvian Andes and hear first hand accounts of his tales as the trek unfolds. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity!

Trekking around the peaks and passes of the Cordillera Huayhuash, Simon will escort travellers to Siula Grande Base Camp, from where he and his climbing partner Joe Simpson undertook their famous first ascent of Siula Grande which reaches 6,344m.

The Cordillera Huayhuash, some 360km north of Peru’s capital, Lima, is one of the most spectacular ranges in the Peruvian Andes, and this full circuit trek is the best way to fully appreciate the sheer scale of the snowcapped summits including Yerupaja, the second highest mountain in Peru. The range has become noted for trekking and the area is renowned for its spectacular glacier lakes and hot springs. It is a compact range at around 30km north to south, dominated by six peaks over 6,000m and more than a dozen 5,000m summits, most located along a single ridge. It isn’t as well known as it’s sister range to the north, the Cordillera Blanca, located in the Huascaran National Park.

The trip includes ample time for acclimatisation in the Cordillera Wilcahuain and on the Llanganuco trail, before spending 13 days Blanca and in Huaraz with day walks to the pre-Inca ruins of crossing high passes. Each day will provide an ever-changing backdrop of soaring peaks such as the distinctive needle like Jirishanca and the impressive summit of Yerupaja at 6,640m. At night, trekkers will camp in tranquil locations alongside glacial lakes or alpine meadows in this unrivalled corner of the Andes. Trips along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu can also be added on. The tour departs on 25 September and runs through to 13 October.

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