Posteado por: altitud6000 | agosto 3, 2010

Huayna Potosi with James and Debbie!

The latest expedition up Huayna Potosí! Our two clients, Debbie and James from the UK, came with Altitud6000 for a three-day summit expedition from July 30 to August 1st, 2010. With us went Juancho as their guide, Cayley as a translator, Simon as chef. Joining us for the second and third day was Pau from Valencia, Spain, and Sergio as his guide.
Our clients, Debbie and James, from UK – ready to climb!

The first day, we headed up to the Old Glacier (4,800 m) to do ice climbing practices. After the 45 min hike up to the glacier, we put on our crampons and pulled out the ice axes, and Juancho led us in a 4-hour session including a few vertical climbs. Great fun!

The first few steps with crampons

Juancho helping Debbie descend with crampons

Juancho setting up a top rope for us to do some vertical climbs!

Debbie doing her first vertical climb

James reaching the top of a 90° face

Debbie with no fear!

Finishing the practice in the late afternoon, everyone feeling excited and confident!

 After a great practice session, everyone was feeling confident with their climbing gear, and excited for the summit climb! We headed back down to the Base Camp (4,750 m) where Simon was waiting for us, first with popcorn to relieve our hungry stomachs, and then with a delicious quinoa soup and then Mexican Tacos, Bolivian style with llama meat! So delicious. For dessert, bananas with yogurt. Juancho and Simon both indulged in a beer to celebrate Simon’s birthday! The rest of us crawled into our sleeping bags with full stomachs for a great sleep at 4,750 m!

Second day! We awoke at 8:30 to the smell of Simon’s delicious patented mountain pancakes with hot peaches and syrup. One hasn’t truly experienced the best part of Bolivia if they haven’t delighted in tasting Simon’s pancakes. After our filling breakfast, we packed up our gear and headed up to the High Camp (5,130 m).

Debbie and James, en-route to the High Camp

After a 2 1/2 hour climb, we reached the High Camp with energy to spare! And once again, Simon had passed us on the trail and was ready for us with hot burgers and fries, and cold Coca Cola! Couldn’t ask for anything better at 5,130 m up a mountain!

Simon cooking up trout at High Camp! What a chef!

 We enjoyed a restful afternoon playing cards and napping in the refugio. Arriving in the afternoon was Pao (from Spain) with his guide Sergio, climbing Huayna Potosí in only 2 days. After tea and snack time, Simon once again presented us with a delicious vegetable and quinoa soup, and then a luxurious “Lake Titicaca trout” with lemons, and garlic and oregano mashed potatoes. When Simon entered with his sizzling plate of trout while everyone else was eating rice with ketchup, I think I saw other climbers’ eyes salivating!  No one compares to Simon (“Tuti”)!

Simon's delicious mountain quinoa soup

After crawling into our sleeping bags at about 7 pm, we all crashed pretty quickly, wanting to put in a few hours of sleep before 1:30 am. Of course, 1:30 am always comes too quickly!

Simon entered again with a big plate of steaming hot pancakes, and we filled up on orange-cake, pancakes, oatmeal, yogurt, granola, and lots of coca tea. After packing up our gear, we headed out into the brisk cold morning, strapped on our crampons and Juancho tied into the rope. Pao and Sergio started out ahead of us, and then James, Debbie, Cayley and Juancho started up “slow and steady” up the mountain.

Starting up the glacier from rock bottom, 3:00 am

Reaching 5,900 m just as the sun was coming up

Crossing over a big crevasse in the early morning sunshine

Crawling up the rock & ice ridge at 6,050 m

Reaching our summit point! Congratulations to James and Debbie!

View of the summit on our way down... our two Oruranian (Bolivian) friends are at the summit there. They had begun to turn back at the entrance to the bowl down below, but Juancho encouraged them to keep going. And here they are at the summit!

Making our way back down over the rock section, with a 1,000 m drop to the left and a 150 m drop to the right!

Heading back down as the clouds were climbing up from the Amazon Basin

Our Oruranian (Bolivian) friends right behind us, now a welcome part of our group

Clinging to the side of the ice above a deep crevasse (5,450 m)

Can you see the shape in the ice? We saw a woman's face, with her arms reaching out of the ice...

Meeting Pao and Sergio back down at the High Camp (5,130 m) - a successful climb for all!

Back at the High Camp, Simon was once again waiting for us with a hot pot of noodle soup and a hearty handshake. After packing up all our gear, we continued back down the mountain, stopping briefly at the Park Permit Control Station for a celebratory beer.

Pao thanking Sergio for a great expedition with a Paceña

Congratulations to everyone for a successful and fun trip! Wonderful people, beautiful weather, great food, and a spectacular mountain, as always!

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