Peruvian successes in the Himalayas; Flor Cuenca Blas conquers Cho Oyu (8,201masl)

F emale Peruvian mountaineer Flor Cuenca Blas became the first ever Peruvian female to make it to the summit of Cho Oyu, the sixth highest peak in the world in the Himalayas, on the border of Tibet and Nepal. Flor, the third of 14 children of a marriage of peasants from the town of Chuquín in the Conchucos area said he was excited to achieve the aforementioned summit.

Flower Wayta (as she is known on Facebook) recalls that she received little financial aid to practice her sport, a situation similar to many Peruvian colleagues. Flor´s professional training in mountaineering started when she met a German tourist who invited her to live in his country. Flower Wayta, a member of Mountaineering Club Wayra, has climbed mountains in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia and also the European Alps. But it is the first time she summited a mountain over eight thousand metres.

Flor Cuenca Blas is accompanied by Victor Rimac Trejo from Huaraz who, if he manages to reach the top of the Cho Oyu, he will become the third Peruvian in doing so. Huaraz-born Federico Augusto Ortega Pacheco became the first Peruvian reaching the top, and was also the first ever Peruvian in reaching the summit of the Mount Everest in 1992. Seven years later he repeated this great feat but this time without the use of supplemental oxygen. Máximo Hipólito Henostroza Zambrano from Huaraz reached the top of the Earth in 2001 and earlier this year, Silvia Vásquez-Lavado became the first ever Peruvian woman in reaching the highest point on Earth. Cho Oyu was first ascended in 1954 by two Austrians (Joseph Jöchler and Herbert Tichy) and Pasang Dawa Lama from Nepal.

Richard Hidalgo from Lima also reached the top of the Cho Oyu, in 2007 and without the use of supplemental oxygen. The Huaraz Telegraph has interviewed Richard Hidalgo for its September issue and Richard told us that mountaineering is also a matter of good luck. He said that in the end, you could have had a perfect training, having the best mountain equipment such as cloths, sleeping bag and tent, and don’t forget the alimentation part, the mountain will decide if you can make it or not. Richard Hidalgo has summited five out of the fourteen 14 eight thousanders so far but has been unlucky conquering Mount Everest as all his attempts have failed due to bad weather. Congrats to Flor Cuenta Blas, well done!

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