… and let’s see if I can stick to just one spelling of it!
The approach to Palcococha is a long trek through the Valley of the Condors – see my last post for some photos – and over a 5100 meter pass into the Cohup valley. We pitched camp and hiked up the terminal moraine to catch the last couple hours of sunlight at the lake. I was so moved by the beauty of the place, I woke our mountain guide at 11PM and asked if he’d accompany me back up to the lake so I could photograph it at night. In the process, he taught me how to speak in Spanish about the sky, the stars, the clouds, the snow, the ice – everything that was around us. I in turn taught him about nighttime photography, and then we both sat silent while the timelapse ran, drinking in the darkness and the beauty.
It’s very difficult for me to do any kind of justice to Palcococha and the Valley of the Condors in words, so I’ve put together this compilation of some of the timelapse I shot there for you, instead. Bandwidth limitations here mean I can’t put stuff up in full quality, but this should give you an idea!
Today, back amongst relative civilization, we headed out to a local Peruvian school, where The Mountain Institute has an educational program. Man were these kids camera shy. I finally got the boys into it by goading them into being “guapo” and “macho” for the camera – and letting them take pictures of each other. The girls took a lot more work, but once I strongarmed a few into posing, everybody wanted a turn. One girl in particular kept sneaking back with different friends – I didn’t even realize until I checked my pictures afterwards that she’s in about half the shots.
We also invented the game Steadicam Frisbee – which is where we play frisbee, except I’m also holding a steadicam in my left hand. Luckily my college hippie disk days served me well, and I schooled those 8-year-olds while simultaneously filming their humiliation at 60 fps.
Tomorrow we head to the polylepus forests to shoot, and after that we prep for our ascent of Pisco peak: 5735 meters high.
Oh, and I’ve decided to start a bit of a personal ritual as long as I’m working on this glacial lake project. If you followed my Nepal videos at all, you’ll understand. If not – my apologies.