the weather everywhere was crap. everyone seemed to be gravitating back towards Huaraz, out of the hills. we had heard whispers from friends about an amazing sport-climbing area called Hatun Machay. apparently Peru´s premier rock-climbing area. we went to investigate at the local office that organises transport to and from the refuge that serves the area. we were amazed at how easy everything was, with a bus leaving every day.
we packed all our gear ready for a few days in the sun. it would be nice to clip bolts and relax! we made our way down to the office and at 8am the bus left for the 1.5 hour drive. the bus had many people from all nationalities. everyone was in good spirits and ready for some laughs.
we arrived at the Refugio and were greeted by views of the amazing rock formations that make up Hatun Machay. there are currently about 120 routes established, but the potential is endless. with 10 lives you wouldnt get halfway through it. we eagerly walked the 15 minutes to the crag and set about climbing as many classics as we could! out of shape from the mountains it was a struggle but we managed to climb routes up to 6c+(23). we climbed in the warm sun all day before making our way up to the hut for some dinner.
the hut is recently built and a great theing to have. for only 20 soles per night you´re provided with a kitchen, utensils and a comfy bed! we sunk some of the beers we had brought, and settled into laughing in front of the fire. there were some great people up there, i only wish my spanish was better!
in the morning we were woken by the many cute dogs roaming around. after a hearty breakfast we made our way once more down to the crag! towards lunchtime we were joined by our friends, the pro skiers. these three girls(and guy) were here carrying skies up the big hills to ski down. all this to raise money for a local charity. it was pretty impressive what they had been up to! maybe when im in europe i can get a free lesson!! the rest of the day was spent laughing, climbing and having a ball! Rob and i decided to head back to Huaraz with the skiers to enjoy some amazing local food cooked by Zarela.
i was sad to leave such an amazing area. i looked at changing my ticket to stay and head back to Hatun Machay. theres a drill and bolts available for putting up new routes and i was keen as mustard! unfortunatly though, it would cost more money than i could justify. maybe next year!
if your in Peru or even south america i'd recommend a visit to Hatun Machay. Andres, the owner, has done a fantastic job of creating a climbers paradise. give it a few years and it will become a global destination! get in quick! you can check out all the information at www.andeankingdom.com!