Words and images from guide Esteban “Topo” Mena
“Yeah!” Is the best word to describe all the fun we had last week!
Our adventure started with the summit of Pico Austria (5350m), from there we enjoyed awesome views of the rest of the cordillera and started visualizing the next days. On the following day, after an early alpine start we climbed the highlight of this part of the trip: Pequeño Alpamayo, a beautiful 5450m peak that offers a little bit of everything: stunning glaciers, knife-edge ridges and breath taking views of the cordillera. Although the mountain’s conditions were drier than other years, that allowed the team to learn and practice the techniques to climb on moderate icy terrain.
A well deserved rest day allowed us to taste some local wine and do our best efforts trying to catch trout in a lake near base camp. For our last day in the valley we did an ice climbing class on a Water Ice formation near base camp… Yes! Water Ice! Our climbers got a chance to experience ice climbing on vertical terrain! None of them were expecting that, so that little surprise became their favorite part of the trip… so far.
Yesterday we drove back to La Paz and today is all about recovering for Huayna Potosí, although technically will be easier than Pequeño Alpamayo this will be the first time for our climbers on a 6000m peak.