The next few weeks

Posted: May 25, 2012 by Ben Weber in English, Training
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Illimani – one of our objectives – a tremendous backdrop to the city of La Paz

So yes, less than three days to go till we leave São Paulo! Our excitement is growing – this will be a major first for us. The first time to Bolivia; the first time on a big mountaineering expedition; the first time going over 6,000 metres… feelings of anxiety, excitement, worry… nervousness… all setting in! Have we done enough training to be able to deal with the challenges ahead? How will we cope with the climbing in the snow? Carrying the heavy rucksacks? How will we be able to cope with the altitude (La Paz is around 4,000 metres, and the body starts feeling the effects of altitude at about 2,100 metres)? The amount of oxygen in the air at 5,000 metres is about half what it is at sea-level…

Well, we believe we have done enough and are in good enough shape for this training project (training for a training expedition… sounds strange, doesn’t it..?! but we are taking this all very seriously and everything needs to be trained for!). And what we will be doing over the next few weeks will be exciting. Traversing glaciers; setting out at midnight for summit attempts; climbing some of the most beautiful mountains in the Andes… a lot to learn and a lot to look forward to!

So, here is a basic overview of our itinerary for the month – an itinerary that should allow us good time to provide updates on the site and indeed, we should have plenty of great stories from the expedition!

  • Days 1-3: Settling in to La Paz and acclimitising to the altitude
  • Days 4-6: To Salar de Uyuni and the salt flats
  • Days 7-10: Back to La Paz and hikes at Tiwinaku (one of Bolivia’s most important archaeological sites) and Isla Surique on Lake Titicaca
  • Day 11: To our first base camp near Lake Tuni Condorini (4,500 metres / 15,000 feet)
  • Day 12: Further acclimitisation hiking to 4,875 metres (16,000 feet) at the glacier terminus
  • Day 13: Reviewing skills and preparation for ascent of Ilusion
  • Day 14: Climb over a heavily crevassed glacier and steep snow ridges to the Ilusion peak
  • Day 15: Summit attempt of Pequeno Alpamayo, from where (hopefully!) we should have some fantastic views Huayna Potosi, the first major objective
  • Day 16: Hiking and return to rest at La Paz
  • Day 17: Relaxing in La Paz
  • Day 18: To our Huayna Potosi base camp at 4,785 metres (15,700 feet)
  • Day 19: Climbing all day to high camp at 5,600 metres (18,400 feet)
  • Day 20: Up at midnight for our Huayna Potosi summit attempt, over glaciers, through ice falls and around crevasses for over eight hours to the peak at 6,088 metres (19,974 feet)
  • Day 21: Resting
  • Day 22: To Illimani base camp, near Pinaya village, at 4,420 metres (14,500 feet)
  • Day 23: To Camp I at 5,090 metres (16,700 feet)
  • Day 24: Scrambling over rock to High Camp at 5,600 metres (18,372 feet)
  • Day 25: Summit day on Illimani! Going along crevassed glaciers and slopes of 30-40degrees to the summit ridge and reaching the top at 6,438 metres (21,122 feet) – the highest mountain in the Cordilleira Real and second highest peak in Bolivia! Should be quite a view!
  • Day 26: an optional summit/weather day
  • Day 27: Return to La Paz
  • Day 28: Back to Sao Paulo
  • Day 29: Back to work and back to planning!!
  1. Lesley Weber says:

    Absolutely amazing! How exciting :-D. Les xx

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