Sunday, 18th August 2013
by Michael Kittell
My second trip into the Ishinca Valley, Peru, yielded far different results than my first. Two years ago, we came to climb in the Ishinca Valley but encountered only rain and more rain and clouds and cold. This time, our team was greeted by the brightest night skies I ever remember seeing... and great climbing. The Milky Way was so bright that I often thought it was lights reflecting off of a cloud. On our first day, we sprinted in and climbed Urus (~17,700 ft), followed by Ishinca (~18,200 ft) on the second day. We slept in and then moved up to Tocllaraju high camp, at ~16,500 ft., on the third day. I knew the sky was going to explode with stars that third night, so I positioned our tent south-facing, overlooking the Tocllaraju massif for the sole purpose of capturing this image (not an ideal spot for wind). My wife sits inside the tent, reading her kindle.
A couple hours after this image was taken, we left camp for the summit of Tocllaraju (~20,000 ft), seen in the upper left of this image. We summitted in bitterly cold and windy (but clear!) conditions early the next morning, returned to camp and packed, and descent back to the trailhead and out to the city of Huaraz. An amazing trip!
Equipment: 5D Mark II, 16-35 Canon 2.8 L
An alpine climber and photographer from Oregon, USA. For recent photography, please check out (and "like"!) MK Wild Photo on Facebook.