Huayna Potosí


April's mountain was the highest yet at 6088m. I went with a tour group and, luckily, they were a good bunch. 2 Brits, an Aussie, a French couple and a Canadian couple. One of the best aspects for me, at least initially, was all the terrific food they plied us with.
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The organisation of the trip was slick. We left the refugio, after a good lunch, and had a short but steep afternoon walk. We followed a rocky trail, with heavy packs, up to the high camp. Then we ate more and did our best to sleep at 5pm. At midnight we woke up and headed for the top. By headtorch, a string of climbers tramped upwards in the snow. Nick, the Aussie, and the two Brits, both called Sam, provided good banter and pretty soon we reached the summit snow slope. This required a good amount of puffing and panting but the reward was well worth it. Just before dawn we topped out. The lights of El Alto and La Paz looked incredible in the distance. We sat, getting cold rear ends, and watched the sunrise. Looking out over the clouds sitting in the valley, we could see Lago Titicaca and many of the other peaks in the Cordillera Blanca.
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The descent, in daylight, was along a narrow snowy ridge and then down another steep slope. We passed fantastic grottos of icicles and plodded back to the high camp where we picked up our stuff and trudged back to the refugio. The next group of eager beavers were ready to go and we slumped, semi-comatosed, to eat lunch.
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