After almost a month in Peru we finally crossed the border into Bolivia. We decided to be thrown in the deep end on arriving and agreed to climb Huayna Potosi with 2 of the boys from our Salkantay group, which is 6088m high!
We arrived at the travel agent on day 1 to get kitted out with all the stuff we were going to need. As Potosi involved doing some ice climbing we needed boots, crampons, ice picks… and super warm clothes!
From there we got the bus to the first refuge camp, which was at 4700m. After some lunch, we kitted up as we were going to practice some ice climbing on a glacier! This involved walking along a pretty steep glacier, side to side, up and down etc. The next part was to do some actual climbing, by sticking the ends of the crampons into the ice wall, and the pulling yourself up with your ice pick.
Me, being not the most balanced of people, found this particularly tough, and actually slipped down the wall when I was pretty near the top – which was actually a bit scary!
Annabel on the other hand, was a right pro!
Once we were all practiced enough, we headed back to the refuge camp for some dinner and cards, before heading to bed.
The next day, we had to walk up to the second refuge camp, which was at 5200m (the highest I’ve ever been!!). The walk itself was relatively easy – however, a week at sea level had not done me any favours, and I was actually really struggling. I don’t think I’ve ever had altitude sickness before this, but I was definitely not feeling great on the walk up.
But, I made it up, and we all had to chill out before getting an early night, as the next day we had to be up at 12:30am to set off. But before we went to bed, managed to get some pretty nice shots of the sunset.
We all woke up at 12:30am and kitted up ready to go for the summit. This however, is going to be a very short day post, as pretty much straight away I was being hit by the altitude, and unfortunately knew I was not making it to the summit 😦 Very disappointing, but from what the others have said, it sounded like a really tough climb, so if you weren’t feeling great, it was a definite no-go. I did however manage to catch the sunrise, which was very beautiful.
Definitely a summit to conquer on another day – when I am slightly better acclimatised!
The group back at base camp.