We climbed Pucaccacca today; it was one of my best climbs ever.. It is possible that our ascent of the peak was only the second one; the first being in 2013. By Peru standards, the mountain isn't that high (16,644 feet/5073 meters), but it is the hardest peak yet that we have done in the Andes, even though we have climbed a lot of higher peaks.Kimberly and Shaylee took a rest day at the hot springs, while Kessler, Marcelino, Diogenes, and I climbed the peak. From far below, I spied the cairn on top and wanted to give the peak a try since the girls wanted a rest day at the hot springs on day 6 of our trek. We didn't bring rock climbing gear, but used a 30 foot section of climbing rope that had been brought to tie the camping gear down to the donkeys on the trek.We checked out the 2013 (first ascent) route, but I didn't like the looks of it and suggested that we check out an exposed ledge crossing out onto the vast north face. We followed the exposed ledge and found a series of gullies and faces that allowed us to reach the summit.From a technical standpoint, the pitches weren't that difficult (5.5), but some parts of the route were really exposed, with 2000+ foot (600 meter) voids yawning below. The crux up top involved a short, but scary knife edge, where you had to grab the top of the knife edge and scoot along, but with 2600 foot/800 meter drops on either side. I was ready to turn around here, but since the other three completed the knife edge, I did as well. The summit was surprisingly roomy.The climb was a bit scary at times, but a good one and one that we won't be forgetting.
March 20, 2010Recap Box Score Photo Gallery Head Coach Kurt BudkeOpening statement:\"I've been in this a long time now and I think that's the biggest win I've ever been associated with. It's one thing to come back and get a win, but it's another thing to get your butt beat for 20 minutes and figure out a way to come back without your star. I'm so proud of these kids right here and they stepped up, not just these two but the whole team. We went from a story where people were questioning us to I think the greatest story in America right now in women's college basketball after this game. I just thought it was a great game for fans to watch. I thought there was shown unbelievable heart from this team on how to just keep fighting and never die. What we talked about at halftime was we had just watched Dayton come back from down 18 with 13 minutes to go today and we can do it too. We were down 14 to Texas with seven minutes to go and found a way to do it. The thing that was special about today was that we did it without Andrea Riley and I'm just so proud of these kids. It's a very emotional locker room right now.\"On substitution pattern in second half:\"They shot the ball extremely well and they're well coached. We didn't think we could come out in the second half and let them run their stuff again for 20 minutes. They already proved they could kick us doing that. We just talked about at halftime that we were going to go for a minute and a half at a time, two minutes tops. We were going to just rotate people in and out and change the tempo of the game and change up a couple of different defenses with pressure. We've got nothing to lose, so everything you've got let's get it and we'll get you out. Tegan had to come back around there and we knew she would. The girls just bought into it at halftime.On playing in Big 12 and the preparation it provided for the game:\"Being down and coming back prepared us. I think we were down 14 and won that game. It seems like you're always down in the Big 12 and you're always battling you're way back. There's no quit in those kids. I know it was a different story today because normally it's Andrea bringing us back, putting us on her shoulders and bringing us back. I think you maybe saw a little coming out party for Toni Young here today.\"On play of Ally Clardy:\"The first thing we told Ally was don't try to do what Andrea does. Nobody in America can do that. Just come out, get us in our offense, get the ball where it belongs and if you score, fantastic. If you don't, as long as you're getting us into our stuff, that's all we can ask. Play good defense and I'm really excited for her because she is the ultimate team player. Everybody comes to college with the dream of playing 40 minutes a night and starting and playing in the Big 12. She happened to come to college at the same time as Andrea Riley did. She hasn't got the minutes that she had dreamed about, but she's been a great teammate. She's always there cheering on Andrea. She's always there for her teammates both on and off the floor. I'm really, really happy for her.\"On life lessons learned from the game:\"This has been a two-year dark cloud hanging over our head. We all knew it was coming. We played by the rules. We were going to do it the right way, we did it the right way and the kids learned obviously tonight don't ever give up and make sure when you leave the floor you gave everything you had. They can carry that over in life in everything they do. Give your best every second of every minute of everything you do in life. We talk about that a lot. When I come out and play this game, play it as hard as you can. It's only 40 minutes up there. Give me everything you've got. I know the girls wanted to do this for Andrea tonight to give her one more chance and there were a lot of lessons to be learned tonight.\"On settling the nerves of the team:\"I could see it in their eyes, I could see it in the locker room. They were nervous and you can't blame them. They were nervous without Andrea being there. We told all of them if you score four a night, give us six. If you score eight a night, give us ten. Nobody has to do it by themselves. Everybody just give me a little bit. That didn't work because they were still really nervous tonight. They wanted to do it for Andrea, but they also wanted to prove to the world that we're a team also. We got these wins and these six Top 25 wins and it's not just the Andrea Riley show. They wanted to do it for a couple of different reasons. We just told them if they were a little bit nervous to go out there, play some defense, knock somebody over and do something to relax.\"On point of the game when he felt his team would win:\"I can't remember the score, but there was like seven minutes and forty seconds left and I looked up and it almost even shocked me we were where we were. I think we were either tied or right there within one. I could just see the confidence growing in our kids' eyes. You could just see it in that next group to go in that they were just dying to go in. They couldn't wait their turn. We got them back on their heels a little bit, but they still hit some big shots late in the game, Man they can shoot the basketball to keep them in it. I think at about the seven-minute mark we had a good chance to win this game.\"Forward Tegan CunninghamOn slow start shooting in the first half:\"Obviously I don't like to miss. It's part of the game and I like to shoot the ball. Everyone on the court just said to keep on shooting. Everyone has faith in me. I just had to keep on shooting and I knew eventually that they would start falling, whether it be with 10 minutes to go or five minutes to go. I had to believe in myself because I knew my team had faith in me. I came through for the good in the end.\"On effectiveness of full court press in second half:\"I think we're a very athletic team and we like to press. We're very fast and that's one of our strengths. Coach was saying that a lot of teams don't press. We just had to come back since we were down by 18 or 19 at that point so we had to try and make a run for it. We had the momentum with us and we really hustled. It really was the turning point in the game.\"On pre-game advice from Andrea Riley:\"We all know she believes in us. We were all just sick of talking about it and we wanted to get it done. We wanted to show this was for her. We knew she believed in every single one of us. She's always been supporting us all through this week and this was a big one for her.\"On looking at Andrea Riley after hitting first shot of second half:\"I told Andrea that I was going to do everything I could to get this win for her. I finally hit a shot and it was a bit of a relief. I kept looking at her on the way down the court and it was hard when she's not out there. I'm so used to playing with her, but she really reassured me that I needed to keep shooting the ball. She had just as much faith as anyone else on this team, so it was nice to look at her and know she believes in me.On play of Ally Clardy:\"I think Ally did a great job. It's hard filling Andrea's shoes. She's one of the best point guards in the nation and I'd hate to follow her. I think Ally held herself really well. She didn't try to overdo what she was meant to do. She really was a good role player. She had 10 assists and that's a great job for her to back up for Andrea.\"On play of Precious Robinson\"I don't think (Precious) understands what a great job she did. She didn't score as many points as she could have, but the things that she did really helped us and kept us in the game. Her intensity in the first half made us want to play harder. She was diving on the floor more than anyone.\"On magnitude of the game in her career:\"I think it was (the most amazing game) for me. Obviously being in the NCAA Tournament, it was the first time for me being here. All of the adrenaline was flowing and nobody thought we could do it and here we are with a win under our belt. It just goes to show that our team is deep and it's just a great feeling coming together, being down by so much and working hard to get the win is a great feeling right now.\"Guard Toni YoungOn effectiveness of full court press in second half:\"It is our strength and we're really, really fast. We knew that they couldn't handle the press and we had seen some film on them. We went t