Skratch Athlete Pete Takeda talks about why he’s driven to go to untouched regions and find new climbing opportunities. He and his friends explore Quebrada Ulta in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru. Their goal is to set up a new basecamp which they can call “home” and climb never-before-climbed routes.

Here’s his story:

“So here we are at the entrance of Quebrada Matara, and behind me here is where we are going to start hiking and, like anything good in the world, there is no trail.

Our trip started in July 2018. We have been planning this for months and we were going to a pretty remote area in the Cordillera Blanca to do some exploratory climbing. One reason we went early is because we wanted to scope out a basecamp that nobody had stayed at. So, basecamp, in a weird way, is almost like going camping anywhere. People kind of re-create their home space in the wild.

The trailhead for basecamp is at 13,300 feet of elevation, so you are actually starting really high. The goal was—in a day to go up to a basecamp which we determined to be at 15,500 feet. So mentally, I think you gotta prepare for that and have, I think, a lot of faith in your experience, your base conditioning, and also your desire, your drive, your passion, and your, just belief in yourself. Because the best things in the mountains happen when people who have no chance of success find it in themselves to succeed.”