5530m | Cordillera Blanca | Peru
Length: 10 Days
When: June & July
Investment: $11,950 USD
Self Mastery and Self Development Retreat
First Light Guiding presents a unique Mountaineering and Self Development Retreat held in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru
“Self Mastery Through Mountaineering” –Mountain Adventure Retreats to Find Yourself
This self-discovery retreat is your opportunity to immerse into a life-changing course in one of the greatest natural landscapes in the world. Learn self-development strategies to strengthen the mind, body and spirit. Regain mastery over anxiety and worry rather than making fear-based decisions.
This course is designed to allow you to connect to who you are, begin a journey of self-discovery, face fears, be courageous, step into determination, grow under pressure, and learn how to communicate in language that serves your highest self.
Self awareness and personal development
This course draws on powerful principles of eastern and western modalities to inspire us to take action. Body-mind connection, psychosomatic therapy, meditation, emotional anatomy, adventure therapy and mindfulness practices (to name a few) all empower us in the greater goal of living a holistic, purposeful life.
This course will awaken dormant energy and deeper understanding or take your existing consciousness to the next level. Mixing physicality with personal development and using mountaineering challenges as the vehicle for self-discovery is a truly powerful combination that helps to unlock inner vitality and improve self-efficacy. Don’t look outward any longer to find your element, look within and give attention to self-mastery.
Learn Self-Mastery Techniques
Our environment heavily influences our behaviour, and this, in turn, dictates how we perceive life, what values we adhere to, how we view the world, and what emotions we experience on the spectrum of human feelings. ‘Immersion' is a technique that removes us from the everyday, familiar and habitual environments we are accustomed to. You are surrounded by nature and experience life-changing affirmations during this intense retreat.
This mountain adventure is a 10-day Personal Development Retreat that is much more than a basic mountaineering course. It is about acquainting yourself with the highest version of you. We remove you from your familiar environment and position you in a stripped back place with a framework that supports an experience of self-mastery. You will learn how to solidify empowering habits and attitudes.
Self Improvement Programme
Gavin Lang will facilitate this programme. This unique adventure retreat is defined not only by the vast expertise of the mountains that Gavin brings but also his ‘Personal Empowerment and Self-alignment’ techniques that accompany this epic adventure – you won’t find this type of adventure anywhere else on the planet.
Spiritual Awakening and Self Discovery
Whilst challenging yourself physically and being immersed in the majestic nature of the mountains you will explore and begin to master the following:
- Powerful manifestation techniques
- Mental Resilience Conditioning and techniques
- Fear, courage and confidence
- Stress and Growth
- The power of meditation
- Immersion into Flow state
- Self-Mastery techniques
- Personal development skills
- Personal growth
- Self-development strategies
- And so much more…
You do not need any previous mountain experience to join us. We will teach you the essentials before they are required. Examples of the Mountaineering Skills topics we will cover include, and are not limited to, the following:
- Walking on snow and ice with or without crampons
- General Movement and Pacing
- Walking with an axe
- Step cutting with an axe
- Self arrest with an ice axe (what to do if you slip or trip)
- Knots, Hitches and Bends
- Roping up for glacier travel
- Travelling through crevassed terrain
- How to recognise and cross a snow bridge
Topics will be selected depending on the group, location, conditions, teachable moments and the weather.
Learning through immersion enhances our ability to assimilate new information. It assists us in ensuring what we learn about life, ourselves and the world around us remains with us for greater lengths of time. This is because the profound realisations experienced in nature, whilst away from what we are familiar with, allow us to absorb deeply this new information. The mountains are an excellent immersive learning environment for this purpose.
Science demonstrates that we learn deeper and faster when we integrate our body into the learning experience. This is known as embodied cognition and whilst we will be learning the complex truth about the self, we are combining this with a new environment, new physical and high-level body awareness practices.
If you are relatively new to mountaineering and want an introduction to climbing relatively straightforward peaks at altitude, and also wish to gain personal insight and wisdom, then this is the trip for you. This itinerary will afford you ample time to acclimatize with two non-technical day walks to altitude, and two exciting climbing challenges above 5000m. If your tramping and bushwalking trips are no longer quite challenging enough and you shiver at the thought of sharing the Inca trail or the Everest trek with hundreds of others, then come and have a thrilling experience in relative solitude. This region is often overlooked, so it remains somewhat of an unspoiled secret.
We offer a low impact, high client satisfaction trip, with close guide to client contact. These peaks are often guided 1:4 (guide-to-client ratio), but our experience is that safety, satisfaction, personal interaction and flexibility all improve immensely when the ratios are reduced. We've found much better results with 1:2 ratio, and you will see the benefits too.
The logistics and decision making is taken care of so you can enjoy these peaks from the end of an experienced climbers rope. Experience with a walking axe and crampons is useful but not essential
Itinerary (10 Days):
Meet in Huaraz for introductions, trip briefing and gear check. Dinner and overnight in Huaraz (3090m)
Acclimatization trip to approx 3,600m. Overnight in Huaraz
Acclimatization trip to Laguna Churup at 4450m. Taking only light daypacks and a packed lunch, this will serve as a steady step towards acclimatization. We will take a shuttle to Pitec (1 hour) and enjoy the views of the SW face of Churup (5493m). Overnight in Huaraz.
Depart Huaraz for Pashpa to reach Ishinca Base Camp at 4,350m. The Ishinca valley is often regarded as the best valley to visit because of its beauty, proximity to Huaraz and quality of peaks. We will transfer to the tiny Quechua village of Pashpa and load up our burros (donkeys) and begin the trek to base camp. You can choose to travel with just a light daypack and allow your burro to carry gear.
At Ishinca Base Camp we take a physical rest and delve deeper into body mind connection. Optional acclimatization hike to Laguna Milluacocha (4800m). 2-3 hour return.
We depart Ishinca base camp for Urus Este (5350m). Granite rock slabs and the snow slopes lead to the summit. This may be your first push beyond the 5000m barrier, but even if it’s not you will now appreciate the effects of thinner air. This route is rated PD-or approximately NZ 1+. Descent is by the same route and this round trip will take 6-9 hours.
At Ishinca Base Camp we take a physical rest and delve deeper into body-mind connection. We also prepare for an early start to climb Ishinca.
Summit day on Ishinca (5530m) involves climbing and traversing on easy angled, glaciated terrain on the NW slopes to the summit. Roping up and travelling in crampons is essential, but this peak is non-technical and is rated approximately PD-or NZ 1+. The summit of Ishinca offers excellent views from the head of the Ishinca valley towards neighbouring Ranrapalca and Tocllaraju. Descent can be back the same way or a traverse down the SW ridge past the imposing north face of Ranrapalca, to return to Base Camp
Descend back down the Ishinca Valley through grass fields and native forest to Pashpa. Your burros can take the burden of your pack from here. One hour transfer from Pashpa to Huaraz.Celebratory dinner and overnight in Huaraz.
Mountain Sized Brunch, debrief and departure
- Please note that the itinerary allows for experiential learning and teachable moments. We are not rigid in our teaching style and use every opportunity to work with what the mountain, weather (external forces) and our mood, hormones and energy levels (internal forces) dictate.
Personal Development Teacher
Gavin has been developing this programme for almost 10 years. It incorporates the immense power that nature has on our health, with an immersive physical challenge and deep reflective techniques that generate self-alignment. After diverse life experiences, maturity and deepened understanding of the inner workings of the mind and life, Gavin is offering one of the world's best developmental retreats. His life purpose is to serve at a higher level with this unique programme.
Complete a booking form, then transfer payment. Full details are in the booking form.
- Guides Fees, Burro and Arriero fees (Donkey and donkey driver)
- All return private transfers from Huaraz to climbing peaks
- Accommodation in Huaraz (4nights)
- Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner throughout the course (including in Huaraz), from the evening meal on Day 1 through to the Mountain Sized Brunch on Day 10
- Group –camping, cooking equipment, ropes, anchors
- National Park fees
- First Aid Kit, Emergency Altitude Medicines, Satellite Phone, PLB (Personal Locator Beacon). Some technical equipment (crampons, axes, harnesses) can be provided free of charge, but it is important that you get as familiar as possible with your own equipment beforehand
- Complementary Embroidered Expedition Fleece and Neck Gaiter
- International Air fares
- Hotel in Lima or transfers to Huaraz
- Hotel in Huaraz pre or post scheduled itinerary.
- Additional costs associated with early departure, evacuation from the mountains or deviation from the itinerary due to illness or any other reason.
- Mountaineering/Travel insurance is compulsory and I strongly recommend you purchase it as soon as you pay your initial deposit
- Personal clothing, footwear or technical equipment
- Tips or any other expenses not specified
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any prerequisites required for the course?
No. You can participate for personal or professional reasons. A reasonable level of fitness will ensure that you gain as much from the course as possible. Rope skills or previous mountaineering skills are not required. An open heart is key to developing advanced, authentic communication to improve your interpersonal relationships.
Will I have to share a room or tent during the trip?
No. In Huaraz, you will have your own private room. Our Base Camp in the Ishinca valley is set up with your comfort in mind so you have an individual tent to sleep or rest in, with a communal mess tent.
How big will our group be?
Spaces are strictly limited to 6 participants with up to 3 guides depending on final numbers. Each guide will be responsible for 2 clients during the mountaineering elements.
Anxiety and worry are my biggest enemies. I can think of so many reasons why I will fail at this course but I’m still drawn to it. Is that a problem?
The first step to overcoming these issues is awareness of them, so you are already at an advantage. Stepping into your fears and meeting achievable challenges head on is a great way to regain confidence and settle doubt and worry. Action is a proven method for overcoming the feeling of overwhelm that is generated by dwelling on limiting concerns or worry. The course is designed to elevate your awareness, and help to liberate you of nagging anxiety.
Can I arrange a private trip?
Private or corporate courses are available on request.
Can I bring my own tent?
You may bring a suitable tent of your own. Please let us know what this tent is and that it’s in good working order.
I’ve never done any mountaineering before. Should I do a mountains skills course before the ‘Self Mastery through Mountaineering’ course?
In terms of technical climbing skills, the SMTM course is not as thorough as a dedicated technical mountaineering course. You will learn exactly what you need on the Self Mastery through Mountaineering course as it is required. Your physical fitness and willingness to work through some mental challenges is more important than pre learnt technical skills.
I’m quite a private person and would prefer not to have my image on social media and the internet. Is that a problem?
The sharing occurs simply so that others can see and benefit from the courses. We will take photographs and footage but if you indicate that you would not like us to use anything with your image in it we will respect that.
Is general travel insurance not good enough?
No. You must have mountaineering specific insurance or a travel insurance where you have declared your mountaineering intentions, and the insurer has accepted.
What’s the best way to travel from Lima to Huaraz?
There are numerous bus companies and occasional flights between these locations, and travel is straightforward. A detailed description and travel tips will be provided once you are on board. You should also check out ‘Peru -Before you GO’
June & July
OTHER DATES ON REQUEST
Check out this short video of one of our previous Self Mastery through Mountaineering courses in New Zealand….