Yes we can, and yes we have done it… But before telling you more, check out the video below…
We were not sure of what to do in La Paz, but we found out that this city is full of activities, in particular, the ascension of the Huyana Potosi at 6,088m.
For sure, La Paz altitude being 3,800m, we don’t have to climb from sea level. We did it over three days.
Below is the map (approximative) of our journey from La Paz to the top of the mountain:
The first day, after leaving La Paz at 3,800m, we reach the first refuge at 4,800m just by a beautiful lake at the feet of Huyana Potosi.
The afternoon, we climbed to the glacier at 3,900m to try all the equipment we will use for ‘D’ Day. This is the first time we do some ice climbing..
On Day 2, we have all the morning to figure out how to fit in our bag all the equipment and clothes required for the next night and day : sleeping bag, warm clothes, big boots, crampons plus a smaller backpack to carry on D day food, water and camera.
On the afternoon, we walk up to the second refuge at 5,300m from where we have an impressive view above the clouds. We have diner at 5.30pm and go to sleep at 6.30pm… And we try to sleep… Because…
On D Day, we wake up at 1.30am and leave the warm refuge around 2am to start climbing up. It is tough as my guide is going quite fast and I am not so well. But we finally made it… It will take us between 4.30 to 5.30 hours to go up.
Only one of us (out of 7) didn’t make it. The issue here, is not your physical condition (although you need to be a bit fit) but the fact that the guide just wants to go up no matter how fast you need to go. As a consequence, they sometimes burn their clients.
From up there, as you could see in the movie, the view is astonishing. It is quite cold (minus 20C) and windy. (so much that you can’t really stand up)
Caroline has been lucky to have a great guide. With a normal guide, I don’t think she would have made it as he wouldn’t have waited for her and would have try to push her. Her guide was Jesus, and is someone we recommend to anyone who wants to climb Huyana Potosi or another summit in the Cordillera Real.
To contact him :Jesus Paco, guia de Montana, La Paz,Bolivia
Email : Jespaco1@hotmail.com
Tel : (591) 71 989 277
Bog you soon,