Peruvian mountaineer took national flag to Huascaran peak on Independence Day

01:00 | Huaraz (Ancash region), Jul. 31.

On July 28, Huaraz-born Victor Rimac climbed Huascaran —the highest mountain in Peru at 6,768 meters above sea level— to place the national flag on its peak and, thus, his native Ancash and the whole nation amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Rimac decided to give a message of brotherhood and unity on the occasion of the country's 199th Independence Day Anniversary celebrations, which were overshadowed by the pandemic of the novel coronavirus this year.

"While chatting with a group of friends, who are also local athletes, we decided to embark on this expedition in order to convey a message of brotherhood because of COVID-19. We have done this thinking of all the people who are struggling with the pandemic," the climber stated.

Rimac was joined by other mountaineers from Huaraz: Hernan Chinchay, Dickenrs Rondan and Beto Pinto. It should be noted that two cousins of the latter are infected with the said virus.

"The message for all Ancash inhabitants and the country is that we must take care of ourselves, that we are going to get out of this situation by working together, step by step, and with a dose of positive behavior, I think," he expressed.

Tourists have stopped coming to the snow-capped mountain of Huascaran —as well as other tourist attractions in Ancash region and across the country— since March this year, when social isolation was decreed to counter the COVID-19 pandemic.

July, due to Independence Day celebrations, is one of the busiest seasons because a large number of athletes take on the challenge of climbing Huascaran, but this year was an exception.

Peruvian Flag waves at 6,300 meters

The goal of the team led by Victor Rimac —remembered as one of the Peruvians who reached the summit of Mount Everest (the highest peak in the world) using no supplemental oxygen— was to reach the highest point of Huascaran mountain: 6,768 meters above sea level.

Even with their experience, the team members did not expect a large avalanche falling the same day they intended to reach such point. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

However, Victor and his team managed to place the red-and-white flag at 6,300 meters above sea level. This is the clearest example of Peruvian courage, as it represents those who currently battle this invisible and deadly enemy that has snatched our loved ones, but not our perseverance.

Invisible and deadly enemy

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) or the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). These viruses can be transmitted between animals and people.

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain that had not been previously identified in humans. It is transmitted from human to human through respiratory droplets from coughing and sneezing. COVID-19 is also transmitted by close contact with people infected by the virus.


Published: 7/31/2020
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