Saturday, September 30, 2017

Huayna Potosí

Summit Day!

Man I have been lazy on here.  Oh well.... it is what it is.  This will be more a photo dump once again in order to share and remember this trip years down the road.  I really love Bolivia and this mountain range.  I hope to go back some day.

Out of the 4 of us (Tom, Carlo, Bob and myself) only Bob and I made the summit due to altitude sickness.  The other 2 turned around at about 19,000 feet which is a great accomplishment in itself!  Anyways round trip took us just a few minutes over 12 hours.  Long day but short compared to mountaineering standards on high mountains like this.

This was a trip of a life time for me and I am already looking for the next high mountain to target.  Below each photograph should lay out the day for you.  Thanks for reading!

View of Huayna Potosí on the drive to base camp.  This photo is taken at about 15,000ft which is the same elevation of base camp.

Base Camp:  Cost us $40 each for a ride here and 2 meals.  Such a different world down there.

View at sunset of Huayna Potosí from base camp

Looking down the valley from base camp

Our driver to and from base camp, he is also a guide but we choose not to use guides just to up the pucker factor for us.

Another view of Huayna Potosí from base camp dining room window.  Staring at it all through dinner knowing in 6 hours we would be starting up in the dark at midnight.

Pre-climb meal made by base camp cook.  Eaten at around midnight just before taking off.  Steak, eggs and tomatoes.  What more could one ask for?

Group shot of pre-climb meal

Sunrise looking towards La Paz, taken from about 17,500ft.

Climb baby climb...  some glacier views on the way up.  Taken around 18,000ft

More glaciers, the whole top of the mountain is covered in a glacier.

Bob being lazy and posing for the camera.  ;o)


Had to snap a selfie on the final ridge to the summit.  That is Bob behind me.  We decided to un-rope on this narrow ridge figuring all a rope would do is take the other person along with who falls.  This ridge is at about 19,800ft.

Bob on the final ridge to the summit.

SUMMIT!  Bob at 19,974ft!

My summit shot!

More summit shots with a little better background of the Andes Mountains.

More glacier shots on the way down.

70ft ice wall at 19,000ft we had to go up and down.

Tom slogging it out.

Carlo taking a quick break at Camp 1 at 17,000ft on the way down.  We skipped this camp on the way up.

Looking back up at the summit just a mile or so from returning to base camp.

Celebration time!  Back at base camp.

Carlo is not feeling to well at the finish.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Bolivia in June

So back in the beginning of the year Bob invited me along on a trip to Bolivia to attempt Huayna Potosí which is a 6000 meter peak just outside the capital city of La Paz which I accepted. 

I am going to break this trip into two different post.  This one being mostly a photo dump from the trip with the exception of summit day and then I will do another post shortly about summit day. 

I was extremely nervous about this trip due to the fact that it would be my first trip outside of the US, yes sad I know.  I mean I have been to Mexico before you needed a passport to go there but I don't count that since this is the first time I have had a passport.  Going with Bob, his brother Tom, and Carlo who have been all around the world put me at ease quite a bit.

Anyways we were there for only 7 days but packed in a lot.  Below is a photo dump of most every but summit day.  Enjoy!

Farmers Market- blocks and blocks of this.

Blew on the clutch on all the hills on day 1, Tom waiting for the car rental company to bring a new car.

Recon trip of Huayna Potosí on day 1

Approaching Huayna Potosí

Old cemetery with Huayna Potosí in the background

Government check point- yes we had to pay a fee

Start of the trail up Huayna Potosí

Bob at 17,000ft on Huayna Potosí turn around point on the recon trip

Carlo and Bob feeling good at 17,000ft, me not so much.  Going from 5000ft to 17000ft on 3 hours of sleep within 24hours was not a good call on my part.  Of course I was the only one hit hard by it.

Tom and I at a fair at the college

Suburbs of La Paz

View from the condo we rented in La Paz

Think they are fans of Trump?

We don't need no traffic lights here!
City views.

Church in the city square

The capital of Bolivia

The prettiest street in La Paz, or so they say.

Church built in the mid 1500s.

Bob taking in the views on the gondola.  They have a gondola system instead of a subway system there due to the mountain terrain.

Looking back at La Paz as we head to the suburbs on the gondola

Tom on the gondola

City views of La Paz at over 14,000ft

Night time city views at 14,000ft

La Paz at night

May be the poorest country in South America but they do have a sweet gondola system.  These are all over the city.

Goodby Huayna Potosí!  It was a blast!