Climbing Peru's Cordillera Blanca Mountains
There is nothing quite like the feeling of coming back to the simple pleasures of civilization after spending weeks in the unforgiving and impossibly beautiful world of the high mountains. In June of 2017, my bandmate David Carel, our friend Ben Wilcox, and I were wrapping up ascents of some of the most spectacular mountains in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca, including Tocllaraju (19,790’) and Chopicalqui (20,846’). After weeks of facing yawning crevasses, technical climbing pitches, tricky snowpack conditions, and the dangers of high altitude we returned to Huaraz eager for showers and beers. A new challenge awaited us: we had been offered the opportunity to perform a concert at a local venue. While this might have been a daunting prospect for a professional musician with only a travel instrument, luckily the instrument I had with me was no normal travel guitar: it was a KLOS guitar.
Mount Chopicalqui (20,846') in the background
See, here’s the thing about KLOS guitars. It will surprise no one that they are phenomenally tough. Brilliantly designed and crafted from carbon fiber and sturdy wood, the guitar has enough grit to keep up with an active lifestyle – it has accompanied me from Peruvian mountains to backcountry ski huts in the Colorado Rockies and rock walls in Wyoming, allowing that most important of civilized pleasures – music – to accompany me even when the rat race and noise has faded into distant memory. With each new adventure, my KLOS guitar has became more of a trusted companion – I knew it could take whatever I threw at it.
The surprise, however, is this – KLOS guitars sound fantastic, vastly superior to any travel instrument that I’ve encountered in many years as a voyaging musician. In recent years my musical career has centered on composing pieces with my band, The Infamous Flapjack Affair, inspired by the sweeping outdoor landscapes of the American West – in particular, the national parks of the Colorado River Basin (for more information on this project, visitwww.confluencethejourney.com). In our travels for this project, travel instruments were indispensible – but I never would have dreamed it possible to perform publicly on any of them. That was before I discovered the KLOS guitar. Its rich tone, volume, and resonance are truly unrivaled, and I have become a die-hard fan of the guitar – not to mention its attention-drawing appearance, which attracted many a comment from the streets of Huaraz to the high valleys of the Cordillera Blanca!
I have many more outdoor trips planned, at home and abroad, for the coming year – and there is no question in my mind that when I pack the absolute essentials for safe and comfortable adventures, my KLOS guitar will be at top of the packing list!
-Ben BarronAbout the Author
Ben Barron is a multi-instrumentalist and singer, playing banjo and guitar in the indie folk quartet The Infamous Flapjack Affair. Find their most recent album, composed in part for the Confluence project here.