3rd July 2011
ok, so a bit more info about my hike up to huayna potosi - the 6k mountain that i climbed last week. it was a two day trek, the first consisting of a couple of hours walk from basecamp to highcamp and the second from highcamp to the summit. we were told that one in five people don't actually make it to the summit, be that because of a reaction to the altitude or just tiredness. i was knackered from the two hour walk on day one, in fact just walking to and from the outside toilet left me out of breath, so i was fairly apprehensive for what was to come. we awoke on day two just after midnight. we were lucky that there was very little wind, although the temperatures were still unsurprisingly freezing. i wore three tshirts, two jumpers, two jackets in addition to mountaineering attire like helmet and crampons. we were then roped to the guide and a partner and set off on the long, long walk. the aim was to get to the top for sunrise, although for me the main aim was just to get to the top. i couldn't really say much for the subsequent five hours, i just concentrated on shuffling my feet forward and trying to inhale as much oxygen as the mountainscape would let me. the terrain itself wasn't particularly difficult, it was all snow which was soft enough so that the crampons would sink in but tough enough to feel like solid ground. there was one occasion where we had to use our pickaxes to climb up an ice wall, and a few narrow sections with fairly substantial falls either side. the most scary of which was the ridge at the very end, which was only about a foot in width. not only was this where we were most tired, and most lacking in oxygen, but it was also the point where my crampon decided to leap off my boot. it all eventually added to the experience, and we made it to the summit to witness the sun climb above the sea of clouds and a new day being born.
here's the original
here's the original
these are all the countries of which i've posted photos
these are all photos i've posted