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Glacial Geologic Investigations of the
Nevado Firura Glacier, Peru
This Project is supported by a generous grant from the
Dan and Betty Churchill Exploration Fund
Kurt Rademaker, Gordon Bromley and Louis Fortin
June 15, 2005 to July 14, 2005
17th 19th June - Arequipa
Gordon writes: What a fantastic place! Arequipa lies at 2400 m (7,875 ft) in the shadow of three large volcanoes and is everything Lima is not. The sky is blue, the architecture is beautiful Spanish Colonial, the views are amazing, and the pace of life relaxing. Furthermore, the hotel in which we are staying, La Casa de Melgar (photo), is like a little piece of heaven with its secluded courtyard and sunny gardens. We’re here for three days to sort our gear, make arrangements with our outfitter, and to indulge in the gastronomic paradise that is Peruvian cooking.
All our equipment is being carried into Nevado Firura by mules, so we have had to keep a very close eye on weight. We spent an afternoon in the local markets amassing basic kitchen equipment and much of the food we’d need. They have such a vibrant atmosphere, being full of small Peruvians buying and selling everything from colourful cloth to fruit, nylon bags to chicken feet and pigs’ ears. To keep us on our toes, nothing seems to have a fixed price and so it was rather novel to listen to Kurt haggling with traders in Spanish . All is ready for an early morning departure on the 20th, when we shall be driven to Capilla, a tiny highland village which will be our point of departure for the hike toward Firura.
Kurt writes: It’s great to be back in beautiful Arequipa, the “white city,” so named because much of its Spanish architecture is made from a white volcanic rock called sillar. We reunited with my friend Saul Ceron , the owner and operator of Inca Tours Peru (link to Saul’s website) , an outfitter and guide agency. Last year we rented equipment from Saul for our trip into the highlands to study the Alca obsidian source. Saul is knowledgeable about the logistical challenges of accessing remote areas of the highlands so it is good to have him on as part of our team this year. He is helping us to organize transportation into and out of our field work site, which will involve a Toyota 4x4, mules, backpacking, and buses.
For further information, see the project page.