Rural life in the Conchucos Valley
Let me introduce myself and briefly explain what led me to the Andes more than 20 years ago. I was born in Paris in
Week-ends and vacations were spent practicing outdoor sports, especially mountain climbing in the nearby Alps. But my love of mountains also led me to more distant ranges in Asia and North Africa. Then one day I signed up for a climbing expedition in Peru. Little did I know that that this was to be the beginning of a long-lasting love affair with the Andes! To make a long story short, after several trips where I explored the vast expanses of the Andes from Ecuador to Tierra del Fuego, often by myself, and climbing many mountains along the way, I knew that the Cordillera Blanca in Peru was where I longed to be! I was enthralled by its glistening peaks, made lasting friendships among the local people and climbed many 6,000-meter peaks.
That’s when I decided I was ready for a change. I dropped my job in Strasbourg, went to Paris to study Andean Anthropology and Quechua (a widely-spoken native Andean language), and then settled for some time in the Cordillera Blanca. In the course of my fieldwork, which focused on traditional views on mountains and nature in this area, my knowledge of Quechua proved to be an extremely important asset. In 2002, I received my Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University in Paris, followed by the publication of a book (Editions L’Harmattan, Paris, 2003) and various articles.
To continue sharing my knowledge of the Cordillera Blanca, since 2005 I have been organizing cultural trips and treks in this area. In 2006, I also undertook a small educational project in Quitaracsa, a farming community at the northern tip of the range, which has remained in relative isolation. One of the aims of this project consisted in a book donation for the local school. A rich experience, which has allowed me to establish meaningful contacts with the people of Quitaracsa!
Besides spending the summer months in the Cordillera Blanca exploring new routes and collecting more data, I regularly give lectures in Europe and am preparing a new book. In my spare time, I have great fun painting Andean plants and animals set in their environment, and I sometimes use these paintings to illustrate my writing.
Fluently spoken languages : French, English, Spanish
Good conversational skills in German and Quechua
Since my first journey to the Cordillera Blanca 20 years ago, my passion for this magnificent region has never ceased to grow, expanding from a thirst for exploration to various fields of study. Back in those early days, I had been very lucky to meet Magno Camones, an exceptional guide who since then has led me up countless peaks.
Then Marc Masconi, my son, who was in his teens at the time, naturally chose to follow me on the trails of the Cordillera Blanca. The extraordinary experiences that the three of us shared together throughout the years, exploring nearly every inch of the Cordillera, explains how Aventures Andines was born.
For more details about Magno Camones and Marc Masconi, click on About Us
This book takes you straight into the heart of the Cordillera Blanca, its glacial beauty and those who live there. You will discover an exciting world of local myths and legends.