Mountain Costs…

Posted: April 6, 2012 by Ben Weber in English, Equipment
Tags: , , , , , ,

You might remember some time ago that we did a “shopping list” of all the equipment we need to buy. Last week we got ourselves some hiking boots here in Brazil as we looked to build a quote of all the different things we need to get for our Bolivia mountaineering expedition.

A couple of days ago, we got a some quotes back and it was all a bit of a shock really, even though we imagined in Brazil that things would be more expensive – we were thinking that we would be able to pay in installments, which is one of the advantages here. But no, not even that would be possible here… a grand total of R$17,000 (about US$ 9,500)… ouch! Locking carabiners here would cost R$70 or so (about US$ 39)- in the US, US$9.95… basically the taxes here in Brazil are already high, then the wholesaler marks up the price to the distributor; the distributor marks up to the retailer and the retailer then marks up to the customer. If we get everything in the US, we will probably end up spending about US$3,000 (about R$5,400). In a word… wow!

So yes, it looks like I will be spending some air miles to go to the US for a weekend in the next month or so. Even if we were paying for the ticket, it looks like it would be worth it. Not sure exactly where – a lot of people have recommended the Denver and mountain states; a couple of others suggested Seattle (headquarters of REI)… Any thoughts of best places/stores to go..?

  1. Forrest says:

    The North Cascades (about 100 miles drive from Seattle) are some of the most rugged and beautiful mountains there are. Our Pickett Range was a blank spot on the map until the mid 1930s. The elevations aren’t as extreme as you’ll find in Colorado, let alone the Andes, but, on the other hand, the relief, especially in bare rock, is as extreme as anywhere else. And we have more glaciers than Glacier National Park in Montana.

    • Ben Weber says:

      Thanks for your comment. Would love to go and hopefully we will be able to go soon – they look wonderful! The Andes will be great for getting used to climbing in high altitudes, though we will be doing plenty of mountaineering over the next couple of years to get as much practice as possible in different environments which will have their own challenges. Scotland for example hasn’t really got the highest mountains in the world either but still presents fantastic challenges (especially with the weather changes) to even the most experienced of us, and we are planning on going there. Further training is also planned and the North Cascades look to be a great candidate for such an expedition. Maybe get to see you there!

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