La Paz is a great place for climbing. It is surrounded by mountains and is situated at 3800m, which makes it great for acclimatizing. A couple of days ago I headed off for a trip to attempt Mt. Huayna Potosi, which is about 25km from La Paz.
We headed off up the winding hills into the mountains. We arrived at our comfortable lodge with plenty of time to spare. After dinner we headed up to the nearest glacier and had some fun ice climbing. There was a tiny dog from the lodge that accompanied us the whole way.
After that we packed up, went back to the lodge and played the first of many games of cards.
The next day we packed up and headed up to the next lodge. As you can see the weather was not the greatest! We were rained on, hailed on and then snowed on. But we kept on going and eventually got to the lodge, and it was very nice to walk through the door. The lodge was well equipped, with even a kitten in residence whose job it was to keep the rat population down.
Our plan for the next day was to get up at 12am, then to set off at 1am. Usually parties get there by 6am, which allows for reaching the summit at sunrise. We packed our bags for the next day, and then settled down to the job of playing a few more hands of cards.
The weather had been pretty bad most of the day, but before settling in for the afternoon, I stepped outside, and the weather had started to clear and there were some beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. I hoped that this would continue for our summit day.
At 1am we headed off on our climb. The weather was perfect. There was only the slightest breeze and the sky was clear and full of stars. We climbed upwards, across the big glacier and past crevasses. There was one main steepish section, and then we kept winding along the glacier and up towards the summit ridge. It got colder and colder as we got higher. I had to put more layers on before the ridge. The summit ridge is quite long and thin, but we kept on up, and we got to the summit.
We had arrived a little bit fast, so it was still dark at the top, so we had to wait a little while before the pre-dawn light allowed us to take our summit photos. As the light started to grow we got some beautiful views of the spectacular Cordilliera Real, and the twinkling lights of La Paz, far below.