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Mountain Madness Climber

The Peaks of Bolivia Leave Lasting Impressions

The Sum­mit of Huay­na Potosi

A month ago we post­ed a short sum­ma­ry of the Bolivia trips we kicked off the sum­mer with. We’ve received some awe­some feed­back and pho­tos since then from the first cus­tom trip with Marie and Tom. Check out Marie’s pho­tos and her account of the trip:

Tom and Gas­par on the hike to Base Camp for Glac­i­er School

We signed up for the Bolivia Moun­taineer­ing School and Ascent of Huay­na Poto­si course. This was a 4 day moun­taineer­ing course with 2 sum­mits: Tar­i­ja at 5300m and Huyana Poto­si at 6088m. 

We arrived in LaPaz after 2 days of trav­el­ing and the alti­tude hit us right away, it def­i­nite­ly defined the theme of our trip. We met our super awe­some guide, Gas­par. We spent 2 days in La Paz adjust­ing to the alti­tude, then we vis­it­ed Tiwanaku ruins, Copaca­bana and Isla del Sol on Lake Tit­i­ca­ca. We had a won­der­ful cul­tur­al guide, Eldy, who taught us so much about the his­to­ry, the cul­ture and the land­scape. We ate real­ly well, had some lla­ma and alpaca, chick­en, salte­nas, humi­tas and lots of potatoes. 

Base Camp for Glac­i­er School — Condoriri

Marie with lla­mas hang­ing around Base Camp

Our moun­taineer­ing course start­ed in the Con­doriri range where we camped at the base of the glac­i­er to Tar­i­ja. Gas­par showed us so many great tips, he was patient, thor­ough and safe. He knew when to push us but also rec­og­nized our lim­its and respect­ed them. The best guide we’ve ever had!!! We prac­ticed walk­ing on a glac­i­er, ice anchors, rop­ing sys­tems, ice climb­ing (in a crevasse), assist­ed res­cue (out of a crevasse) and prusik­ing. The final day we sum­mit­ted Tarija!

Prac­tic­ing safe glac­i­er travel

Ice climb­ing

The last leg of the climb to the sum­mit of Tarija

The next part of our trip was to sum­mit Huyana Poto­si at 6,088m (19,974ft). Day 1 was climb­ing up to high camp at 5,300m and then Day 2 was up at 3am, break­fast and then our climb up the glac­i­er began at 5am. We crossed the glac­i­er in the dark and it took us a total of 7hrs to sum­mit (and, of course, only 2hrs to get down!). The alti­tude was very chal­leng­ing and this was the tough­est climb we’ve done because of that. In the end we got to the sum­mit, sat down, recov­ered a bit and took some photos. 

Cook­tent at High Camp on Huay­na Potosi

Gas­par on the sum­mit of Huay­na Potosi

We left Bolivia with a sense of accom­plish­ment, new friends and a great deal of more con­fi­dence in the moun­tains. A great success!!! 

~ MM Climber Marie Venneri