My first post!

Hi all! Thanks for checking my blog out. For the next 6 months I will be writing about my adventure in South America with Emil. I will do my best to update this blog, hopefully I once a week (depending on wifi access). This blog will be writing based, for more of my photos, please check out my Instagram @jack.barker. There is a link to my Instagram at the top of the home page.

Here is our itinerary for the next 6 months!

I will first start in Bolivia on August 28th with family friends, before I meet Emil in Peru. I leave Washington D.C. on the morning on August 28th. I will be traveling to Bolivia with ¬†my care-giver growing up, known to my friends and family as Mercedes or Menchi. Menchi took care of me since I was about 6 months old and helped around the house until I was 17. She has been a large part of who I am today and is truly part of my family. I am lucky to have her and her family in my life. Menchi and I will be traveling to Santa Cruz, Bolivia to stay with Menchi’s sister, Patricia, and Patricia’s family. This is an incredible opportunity for me to learn about Bolivian culture and spend time with a wonderful family. I will be in Bolivia for 12 days!

On September 9th, Emil and I will convene in Cusco, Peru. For the month of September and part of October, Emil and I will be volunteering with a program called IVHQ. We will be based in Cusco for our volunteer program. We will volunteer for 3 weeks in the city doing construction work while participating in a home stay organized through the volunteering program. (See the IVHQ link under “programs” for more info about the projects we are doing. After 3 weeks on volunteer construction work, we will drive several hours NE with IVHQ to the Amazon Rainforest for two weeks of jungle conservation!

After our volunteer work we will have about a month before we are due in Mendoza, Argentina to begin climbing. We finish with IVHQ in the middle of October, and are due in Mendoza around November 10th. In part of that time period we plan on exploring Machu Picchu and the Rainbow mountain in the Cusco region. The rest of the time we will play by ear! Adventure time!

In Mendoza, Argentina, starting in mid November, we will be participating in a 3 week technical mountaineering clinic in altitudes from 16-18,000 feet with a program called the International wilderness Leadership School. Information about this mountaineering clinic can be viewed here. After 3 weeks of our climbing clinic we will be back resting for several days in Mendoza.

A quick few days of rest, and we go back into the mountains! This time we will head out in the same general area, again with IWLS, to attempt Mount Aconcagua. This is a 20 day expedition to climb one mountain! Aconcagua has a summit of 22,841 feet! It is the highest peak outside of Asia and is far higher than Mount Rainier (14,441 feet). This expedition is the real deal and I hope that my photos from this climb are confused with North Face commercials. For information about our climb up Aconcagua with IWLS click on this link. Here is a cool Youtube video about climbing Aconcagua.

It’s possible that our summit day could be Christmas…talk about a Christmas present!

After our strenuous climbing expedition, Emil and I will bus to the Argentina city of Cordoba. We will be staying with family friends of Emil. Here, Emil’s parent and sister will meet us and spend New Years with us. It will be a great treat to spend the New Year with them.

After spending some time in Cordoba, Emil and I will bus to Buenos Aires and explore the city. At this point in time I don’t know how long we will be there!

By mid January of 2018 Emil and I will head down to Patagonia, for a crazy, raw, adventure. We will most likely fly down to Punta Arenas from Buenos Aires. We hope to spend a month or longer to backpack, climb, fly fish, and just explore. There is no way I can explain our excitement for this portion of the trip. Nothing makes me more excited to just explore, especially with my best friend. Who knows how much time we will be spending down at the edge of the world….

As of fall 2017, we are scheduled to fly back to the states on February 28th, 2018. Pending a few variables, our trip could be extended a few weeks.

Thanks for following along!


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