There is so much to say about my time here in the Cordillera Blanca over the last six weeks. Being my third time here among the magnificent Andes, I have wasted no time in climbing a number of big alpine objectives. With other Project Cordillera staff, I also got straight to work consolidating our brilliant partnerships. Special thanks and admiration goes to our NGO partner Andean Alliance. Their work has been an inspiration and meeting so many members of the community has been a real honour. We are delighted that these partnerships are in such strong positions going into the latter half of this season and way beyond!
One of Project Cordillera’s key objectives here has been the collation of exceptional content – from film and photography through to case studies, testimonials, and monitoring and evaluation. We are excited that over the coming weeks and months much of this will appear on our website and social media, and I am certain that you’ll not be disappointed. We really hope to showcase this remarkable part of the world and to continue to promote high quality and socially progressive mountain adventures.
What we stand for an organisation is also developing rapidly. Above all we stand for exceptional, high quality mountain adventure. Furthermore, we’re confident of our integrity in the work we undertake and we remain committed to our community social impact and sustainability agenda. Over the coming months, we will expand on these key principles together with a focus on exploration and its capacity for learning, in order to offer a range of new products. Do keep an eye on developments as there is much more to follow!
My first few weeks here were largely defined by meeting a fellow climber and adventure seeker. The sort that one never forgets. Cory Hall, a mountain-mad 25 year old from St John, NB, Canada, was an experienced alpine climber who well understood the risks. Two weeks ago Cory sent me a message to say he was heading out to climb Pirámide, a highly technical 5,885m mountain in the Northern part of the Blanca. He stressed that he’d been in town for 5 days and “needed to hit the hills”. Unfortunately, Pirámide was Cory’s last climb, and his death has now defined my last few weeks here. My heart goes out to Cory’s parents, his three sisters and all that knew him. His spirit was clearly an inspiration to many and he will not be forgotten. Next week I will climb one last mountain for this season, and my thoughts will be with him and his unbridled passion for adventure.
Find out more about Cory, see Gripped’s article here. The above photo is also thanks to Gripped.
By Sam Williams, 13th July 2014