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Old July 6th 04, 09:04 PM
sandy saunders
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Default TR:Bolivian Mountains

At last ....... after 4 days without connection after being 'cut-off' by a
violent thunder/lightening storm Thursday night in the south ..... I have
been able to update my website (address below) with my recent report/photos
on my Bolivian trip.

An excellent country to visit, great people .... and fantastic mountains.
The trip first involved a couple of days at La Paz altitude (about 12,000ft)
to aid acclimatisation before venturing higher into the mountains. This
included a visit to Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world.
(Lovely fresh trout too for lunch)

We then 'drove' to the highest developed ski resort in the world - and some
hairy drive to, then walked the final 300ft or so to reach the summit at
just over 17,000ft. No skiers as it was out of season, so very quiet. Good
views though.

There then followed an ascent of Pequena Alpamayo, a snowy pyramidal summit
at just under 18,000ft, followed Point Austria, snow-free at about the same
height. Pequena Alpamayo was a tough outing, with Point Austria more like a
Lakeland day out ...... except for the lack of oxygen at 17500ft.

After resting/recovering in La Paz, we ventured out to the base camp for our
attempt on Huayna Potosi, at a couple of feet under 20,000ft. Very tiring
all night trek over steep snow and ice, but rewarded with stunning views at
sunrise from the summit. A long slog, but worth the pain and stress. It
was back to La Paz for more rest before the 'big one' Illamani, at just over
21,000ft. Sadly, I had a bad dose of food poisoning and was unable to leave
La Paz. I decided to return home early as it was the last mountain to
climb, and I wasn't feeling at all good.

So, what an adventure. Rated as a trekking holiday, but very close to
technical in places, though strenuous it was very rewarding.

Photos and a more detailed report at my website below.

--
Sandy Saunders @ www.thewalkzone.co.uk

"Mountains or Mole Hills ..... reaching the
summit still brings the same excitement"