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Thread: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

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    Argentina Avalon Member Hazelfern's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Not sure if you know this but the super convenient store in PA is Wawa.

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    United States Avalon Member James Newell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Looks like an exciting hike!! Always good to test the old abilities every now and then. You must have got new shoes.

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by James Newell (here)
    Looks like an exciting hike!! Always good to test the old abilities every now and then. You must have got new shoes.
    Well, not yet! Though a little birdie tells me that a new, very generously gifted pair is [urgently ] on its way.

    This was the damage after the last hike — and the epoxy I applied to three areas where the soles were totally coming apart. (That pink thing sticking out the hole is my finger. The staples were just to hold it all together while the glue set, but I'll probably leave them in there!)





    In lightweight testing so far, they've held together fine. On Thursday, I'm going for a [relatively] gentle day hike, on familiar ground and in a totally safe area, to test the shoes properly for a few miles. But I'll take the epoxy with me, plus a slice of rubber truck tire inner tube, just in case any running repairs are needed. (Barefoot in that environment isn't recommended. )

    Then a few days after that I'll go for Quitahuayco (see my post #219), which will be a major trip. I think I've found a way to do it in one long day, though, rather than sleep out. Camping up there would be fun and interesting, but it's extra weight to carry. Once I know that new terrain a little I might do an overnight trip later, just for the experience — and the good chance of seeing or encountering more.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    This was the damage after the last hike — and the epoxy I applied to three areas where the soles were totally coming apart. (That pink thing sticking out the hole is my finger. The staples were just to hold it all together while the glue set, but I'll probably leave them in there!)
    25 Awesome And Clever Uses For Duct Tape (3:55 minutes)
    • # 18 - fishermen sandals
    • # 17 - emergency flip-flops
    Last edited by RunningDeer; 17th October 2018 at 00:38.

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    United States Avalon Member Ol' Roy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    I hope you get your new shoes soon! Then you can retire your old shoes and keep them on a shelf! Maybe even a plack! Thanks for the memory's (Bob Hope quote)!

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    Sweden Avalon Retired Member
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Bill, that lake ...

    The one that sat in the direction that you felt compelled to follow OMG I wanted to go into it myself. And I wasn’t even there.

    All I can add is I am so glad that you and Mara made it back to Pandora. Beautiful, beautiful video. Thank you so much for sharing for a whole lot of other layers as well. I was gripped from beginning to end and yes, I almost fell in.

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Hello, Folks: 2 am here, wide awake, and Mara and I are heading for Quitahuayco. The weather looks perfect, we're in good shape, this will be the final swansong for my faithful old shoes (still glued and holding up ), and we should be back for Dolan vs Church this evening (which is a little like Ali vs. Frazier ). There should be a video tomorrow.




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    Avalon Member avid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Take care, enjoy the views, looking forward to the next video, and of course hoping those ghastly shoes don’t let you down!
    The love you withhold is the pain that you carry
    and er..
    "Chariots of the Globs" (apols to Fat Freddy's Cat)

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    United States Avalon Member Dennis Leahy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Bill, when you return, take off your shoes carefully, set them down, ... and back away slowly.

    There is an alien living in your shoe!



    If these shoes could talk, they'd have a lot to say.

    Actually, it makes me nervous for you, that you take these hikes alone. I love that you are filming segments/vignettes along the hike, "taking us with you", but wish you had a hiking buddy. (As I'm sure you sometimes do, as well.)

    Looking forward to seeing you type, "I'm back!"


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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by Dennis Leahy (here)
    Looking forward to seeing you type, "I'm back!"
    "I'm back!"

    (... and so is Mara )


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    Canada Avalon Member Spellbound's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    That's some heavy duty hiking, Bill. Congrats sir!!

    Dave - Toronto

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Thanks for the ‘top dog’ pic. Today, I envisaged an excited Mara in Pandora-truck woofing “Are we there yet?” on the way to the dizzy heights, and then a tired wee doggy asking the same on the way home. She’ll be having a ‘cozy-bobies’ now thank goodness. Apologies for daft dialect. Looking forward to the video of the latest man-doggy expedition, enjoy your rest
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  25. Link to Post #233
    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    There should be a video tomorrow.


    Indeed there is. Here's the YouTube text:

    ~~~
    For those of you who enjoyed our Haunted Lakes expedition earlier this month, here's the sequel. This time, we headed to Quitahuayco, just 40 ft short of 15,000 ft and the highest mountain in the area. Our goal was not only to climb that, but to traverse El Filo de Quitahuayco, the long ridge extending from the mountain to the west.

    This time there was no navigational confusion, but there WAS one unexpected moment where it would have been really easy to end up in quite the wrong valley... interestingly, back at the Haunted Lakes again. But I was able to spot what was happening straight away, and make the right decision.

    It was a shorter trip than the last one, and not quite so dangerous, but higher and just as spectacular. We saw wild llamas and alpacas, and a whole bunch more little alpine flowers. And for those of you who may be wondering: my shoes did survive all the sharp rocks… just.




    This video is proportionally shorter than the last one. (It was a shorter day! 6 hours rather than 9.) But it's still 41 mins long. For those of you who'd like to jump around a little, or just see bits of it, here are the timestamps of the various clips. Those also illustrate the sequence of the day's events.

    ~~~

    00 — Intro, and the first view of Quitahuayco.

    03:11 — Mara chases a llama

    04:54 — Large herd of llamas and alpacas high on the slopes of Quitahuayco, way in the distance

    06:40 — Rest stop, another view of the llamas and alpacas, panoramic views of El Filo ("The Edge") de Quitahuayco, spotting potential ways down for later, and looking back to where I was in my previous video

    10:31 — Half way up the long slope. panning round to more views of El Filo, and more consideration of the likely ways down

    12:31 — The summit, spectacular panoramic views, good views of El Filo and seeing that it's not really an 'edge' at all

    16:02 — Selfie summit shots

    17:45 — Controlled slide down the talus/scree slope towards El Filo

    19:27 — Looking back up the slope we slid down, and a botanical interlude (a surprise patch of little purple and yellow flowers)

    20:54 — On El Filo, all very easy, deciding to go further than I'd thought originally

    23:31 — Fox scat, way up high

    24:31 — Views ahead towards what seems like a likely way down, photogenic shots of Mara against the clouds, the ultimate photogenic dog

    26:55 — We accidentally end up on a thin edge but can easily get down again, another view of what seems like our likely way down

    28:07 — Looking back towards the edge we climbed up on accidentally, my voice is getting hoarse from the dry air

    29:21 — A new development, an echo of my strange experience at the Haunted Lakes on my previous trip when I was tempted to go the wrong way. The ridge ahead looks nearly the same as what I'd been previously viewing, but it's not... I've actually gone past my descent target, and now I can look back at it. But unlike the previous experience, I instantly see what's happening and there's no confusion at all. However, if I'd not been alert and paying attention, I could have ended up in the wrong valley, back at the Haunted Lakes... again. I take stock of the best thing to do.

    31:00 — I decide on an alternative way down, and to reach it I need to retrace my steps a short way

    32:20 — A short way down the safe descent, reflecting on how easy it is to be lured into taking a wrong turn

    33:15 — A large, scattered, alpine flower rock garden part way down the slope towards a lake, really delightful to see

    35:22 — Mara is in the lake, panning back up towards the ridge to see where we came from, and Mara is still in the lake

    36:46 — Looking back to Quitahuayco, seeing in the distance where we climbed up and slid down the talus/scree, more views back towards the ridge

    39:13 — At the next lake, and we see three probable puma scats, it's now very cloudy and misty but still dry, and we know we'll be back at the road soon. By the time we get back, it's been six and a half hours... three hours shorter than the last trip.
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 23rd October 2018 at 21:39.

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    Avalon Member avid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    A nice day out! Wondrous views, glad you got back before the mist descended. What a happy doggie
    The love you withhold is the pain that you carry
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    "Chariots of the Globs" (apols to Fat Freddy's Cat)

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    What I like best about these pictures and videos is Mara. We've all seen nature pictures in magazines and the internet. Beautiful pictures of nature and wilderness. And we see whatever local animals inhabit that area. It could be lions and elephants in Africa, or dolphins and whales in the ocean, or eagles soaring high in the sky.

    But where else do we get to see a dog gleefully romping around the mountaintops.
    I am enlightened, ............ Oh wait. That's just the police shining their spotlights on me.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Thank you for a wonderful video tour of your amazing backyard.
    Country like that can make your heart sing. A man with his dog at 14940 ft. Good Stuff!

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    United States Avalon Member Dennis Leahy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Let's start a list of what to take on the next hike:

    Shoes. (No staples, no duct tape, no "Barge" cement or epoxy, and no holes for the alien to escape from.)

    Book: Field Guide to Wildflowers of the Quitahuatco

    Book: Field Guide to Minerals of the Quitahuatco

    Book: Field Guide to Amphibians of the Quitahuatco

    Book: Field Guide to Scat of the Quitahuatco

    Book: Short Phrases to Yell in Mountainous Echo Chambers of the Quitahuatco

    Book: Skiing the Scree of the Quitahuatco in Sneakers

    New filter for your water bottle. (I'm assuming you must have a Katadyn or something like it - you didn't mention it, so some may think you drank water directly from the lake.)

    Non-nano zinc based sunscreen

    Project Avalon flags, so you can plant them on mountaintops and say, "I claim this land for Avalon!"


    A drone with camera:
    (Hey, someone else is scouting the territory, looking for places to plant their flags!)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nM-e30KfvsA

    (The blurb from the above video, translated from Spanish by google:
    "Quilico in another of his trips to the Northwest of Cajas National Park, he made an obligatory step in a very special place. On this occasion it was the Filo de Quitahuayco, a mountain range with summits that exceed 4500 m.snm., Being one of them the highest elevation in the province of Azuay with more than 4580 m.snm. In the foothills of the Filo de Quitahuayco are important lake complexes, among which we can mention Pampiadas and Enchanted Beaches, the latter being a site full of mysteries. Located in a deep glacial cirque with more than 25 permanent bodies of water, one of them being the large lagoon of Playas Encantadas, a site that keeps stories of the locals, attributing events related to UFOs, as many are the people who tell about strangers Lights that enter and leave the large lagoon. Whatever the truth, Playas Encantadas is still a place with its magic, because the echo here has several returns, which is explained by the high walls of the mountains surrounding the lagoon complex, listening in some cases up to 5 times the return of the sound emitted. Quilico shows us an overflight in the sector that has strong winds and is habitat of the Andean condor, puma, black jambato of the Boxes among other threatened species."

    Looks like the "jambato negro" is this black toad:
    Click image for larger version

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by Dennis Leahy (here)
    Let's start a list of what to take on the next hike:
    Hey, that's so great. Really made me laugh.

    A tiny note! Never seen any amphibians (frogs, newts, etc). Nor a condor, yet. (I was watching.) And I add iodine drops to my mountain water. (10 drops per liter, then wait for half an hour.)

    Moreover, the height of Quitahuayco differs in different accounts: in the one you translated, 4580 m = 15,025 ft, so maybe we did crack the 15,000 ft ceiling.

    And an Avalon flag is a wonderful idea.


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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Are there any other stories of doggy-visits to vast oxygen depleting heights? Mara may be the best canine-climber in the world.
    The love you withhold is the pain that you carry
    and er..
    "Chariots of the Globs" (apols to Fat Freddy's Cat)

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by avid (here)
    Are there any other stories of doggy-visits to vast oxygen depleting heights? Mara may be the best canine-climber in the world.
    It's a great question! I'd wondered that myself. Even at that moment on the summit (let's average it out at 15,000 ft) I'd briefly wondered if Mara was right then the highest dog in the world.

    But there are some slightly higher human settlements... though not many. One presumes there are a few dogs there. This is an interesting page:
    My pure guess: of all the dogs in the world (estimated population 50 million, see this interesting page), there were maybe a few dozen higher than Mara right then. Maybe less.

    The highest peak climbed by a dog seems to be Hanuman Tibba (5932m / 19,462 ft) in the Indian Himalayas.


    I have absolutely no doubt Mara could beat that. She's in fantastic shape. A wild thought strikes me that maybe we could go climb Chimborazo (in Ecuador, not too far away), which is 6,310m / 20,703 ft. I'd need good snow boots, though, and an insulated jacket and hat, and so might she.



    Chimborazo is an interesting mountain. Although it's lower than Everest in terms of height above sea level, because of the Earth's equatorial bulge the summit is actually the one point on that's the farthest from the Earth's center.

    So, for a dog (or a human!), that's kind of impossible to beat. The only dog that would EVER have been higher would be Laika, the dog the Russians put into orbit in 1957, 61 years ago. (Actually, rather a tragic tale. Do read here.)



    ~~~

    Here's a true story about the highest CAT that ever climbed a mountain. Rather than copy it from a web page, I'll tell it from memory as best I recall.



    Quite a while back, in 1950, some Italian mountaineers were staying in the famous Hörnli mountain hut, below the Matterhorn in Switzerland, on the Swiss side. (The Matterhorn (4478m / 14,692 ft) is right on the border between Switzerland and Italy.) It's a large hut, and in the summer there's a live-in custodian who maintains the place, provides meals, and so on.

    When the Italian mountaineers set off to climb the mountain the next morning, the custodian's cat followed them. It was just 10 months old, little more than a kitten. They tried to shoo it away, but it was insistent. The climbers couldn't do anything to stop it.

    Several hours later, the cat reached the summit — exhausted. (Understandably!) The Italian climbers picked it up, put it in a backpack, and then descended down the other side to Italy, which had always been their plan.

    Hearing what happened, the custodian demanded his cat back. But it was now in Italy, and had been totally adopted. The climbers refused to return it. It stayed there for the rest of its life, and having departed this world years later, its body is now stuffed and in a glass case where Italian mountaineers gleefully continue to tell the story to this day.



    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 24th October 2018 at 17:37.

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