It was truly incredible how out of nowhere we were able to enjoy an adventure with our friends Olli and Sara, we had gotten in touch and Olli told me they were 2 experienced climbers who had recently been to Aconcagua in Argentina. So they wanted to do a couple of 6k here in Bolivia since they were well acclimated, and I had no doubt that was the case. We prepared a plan for them.
The goal was Huayna Potosi, the most popular mountain in the city of La Paz, Bolivia, which stands at 6,088m. Poorly referred to as the easiest mountain, I think it’s better to call it the most accessible. Having a goal, we decided to do a simple trekking without technical difficulty and chose another popular peak, Pico Austria, at 5,350m. We did it on January 29th, it was really fun, very peaceful and simple for them, we climbed and descended by different paths, something unusual and the cherry on the cake was that we saw a Condor, the king of the Andes, very close to us, it was truly amazing. After a successful ascent, they decided to attempt the Huayna Potosi the next day, but in a different way. This mountain is usually done in 2 or 3 days, they wanted to do it in one, and so it was. The next day at 3:00 am I picked them up from their hotel and we headed to the Huayna Potosi Base Camp (4,700m.). We got ready and started the ascent around 4:30 am, we decided to go very calm to conserve energy on the glacier. We arrived at the high camp around 6 am, it was already dawning, we prepared our technical equipment and started the ascent up the glacier. We thought we were the only ones but we found a couple of groups descending.
It had snowed a couple of days before and we had the route traced but with some loose snow that slowed us down a bit, however, we continued without difficulty, passing some cracks and crossing the Polish route, another less common route but in this occasion was the best option and also because it was the one everyone was using. We reached the base of the “Pala Grande,” which would be the last part before the summit. However, there we found an inconvenience, it was almost noon, the heat was terrible and the snow was getting looser. Olli and I were physically very well, just hot, however, Sara had spent a lot of energy, which was completely normal under the conditions we had. We reached 5,950m and decided to return for safety. I know Sara was not very pleased with the decision and may have been a bit angry with herself. For me, she did an excellent job, she is a very strong person, and I’m sure in better weather conditions she would have done it without problems. I give my sincerest congratulations for what she did.
Back in the city, they took a couple of days to rest before asking me if they could do something more than one day. My first option near the city was the Pequeño Alpamayo, but they wanted a 6k and it was difficult to give them an option in La Paz because of the season we are in, few mountains are safe to climb. So I mentioned the Sajama National Park and its volcanoes, they were very happy with that option, and we decided to spend 2 days in the place, which is in the department of Oruro, on the border with Chile. Our plan was the following, the first day we just relax, we left the city of La Paz towards the Sajama Park and went to the hot springs to spend the afternoon, the next day very early we went to the Parinacota as that was the chosen mountain that has a height of 6,350m. drive from town about an hour and the ascent about 5 hours. an excellent and fun ascent.
We returned to the village to have lunch and return to La Paz, I felt very happy for these days of travel, it was really incredible.
A big greeting to Olli and Sara who are really amazing and very good climbers.
This like many other trips we do are super personalized, the idea is that the trip is tailored to your needs and not you to the trip, that’s what we do!
Learm more about the peaks.