Monday, June 14, 2010

American Alpine Institute Bolivia Trip: Part 2 Climbing in the Cordillera Real

We just got back from part 2 of the AAI Bolivia trip in the Cordillera Real. This was a great trip in an amazing area and we managed to tag three summits along the way.

The first day we take a boat to an island on lake Titicaca.

Later that day we head up to a base camp which we spent the week at. Here the burros bring all our gear up to camp.

Next day we did our first acclimatization hike. Here Diccon reaches the col with Huayna Potosi in the background.

From the summit we have a great view of Condoriri and izquierda (left) wing. Two days later Danny and Diccon made an attempt at the Izquierda via the huge snow face in the center. They turned around about three pitches from the top due to being short on time.

This is a close up of Cabeza (head) of the condor.

A group shot on the summit of Pico Austria. Over 16,000ft.

The next day we climbed our second summit (Piramide Blanca). Unfortunately the white pyramid no longer has any white and should be renamed the black pyramid. This peak was over 17,000ft.

On the summit of Piramide Blanca. Our campsite is located between the two lakes in the background.

From the summit we could see our next objective. If you look carefully you can see several people climbing the left ridge to the summit.

The other AAI group heading back down the glacier as seen from the summit.

The next day we did some water ice climbing near the base of the glacier. This was good technical practice.

Juans son doing some ice climbing.

Ray after getting down from climbing.

We do things right at AAI. Birthdays in the mountains are important too. A hand carried cake for Jim's birthday.

That night I spent some of the evening shooting some photos.

After a much needed rest day it was time to climb again. On our way to our main goal of the day we climb over a first summit and down the other side. Here another group of climbers head to the summit of Tarija.

Diccon on the summit of Tarija.

Our main objective for the day (Pequeno Alpamayo). The Standard route heads up the ridge split by sun and shade. Our route would be the direct route up the face to the summit. We started just to the left of the rock and after two pitches traversed right below the horizontal band of rock 3/4 of the way up the route. The last pitch followed the perfect snow ridge on the right skyline and finished directly on the summit.

From the top of the second pitch we could see our other group heading up the normal route.

Diccon near the top of pitch 2.

Looking down from the pitch 3 belay.

Diccon nearing the belay.

On the way down.

Heading out the next day

Back at the bus.

Amazing skys on the way back to La Paz.

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