The RMI Bolivia team led by RMI Guides Eric Frank and Andy Bond was unable to attempt a climb of Sajama due to several members of the climbing team catching a bug while in La Paz after the climb of Huayna Potosi. The team started out for the mountain but, unfortunately, were forced to return back to La Paz. Due to this the trip ended early.
Just a quick note that the Bolivia team is back in La Paz on a rest day. We had an amazing climb on Huayna Potosi yesterday, and look forward to leaving for Sajama tomorrow morning.
Today we are relaxing, buying souvenirs and reorganizing from the last week of constant travel.
RMI Guide Eric Frank
Hey Andrew..so glad to see you with your buddies..enjoy every minute..what a wonderful experience!!
Posted by: Linda McKinnon on 5/28/2019 at 6:17 am
Great work guys!
Beautiful views… and weather.
Posted by: Duncan McKinnon on 5/27/2019 at 2:19 pm
May 25, 2019
Hey, this is Andy with RMI we had a successful beautiful summit today on Huayna Potosi, not a cloud in the sky! 100%! Everyone is looking forward to showers and a meal tonight in La Paz. Everyone’s doing great and we’ll check in with you guys later!
RMI Guide Andy Bond calling from the summit of Huayna Potosi
Yay! I’ve been glued to the blog waiting to hear. Glad everyone made it and on a beautiful day too.
Posted by: Allison DeFilippi on 5/25/2019 at 10:29 am
May 24, 2019
We enjoyed a full night’s rest and had a leisurely morning of coffee and eggs as we packed up our gear to head to our high camp at about 5200 meters on Huayna Potosi. The strong wind abated overnight and left us with blue skies and sun for our two-hour walk to high camp. We are all resting and relaxing as we will attempt to summit Huanya Potosi tomorrow at 6088 meters. Everyone is doing great in anticipation of the big day tomorrow!
May 24, 2019
The starry skies that covered us when we went to bed gave way to a thick cloud deck and by 5am this morning it was blowing and snowing on our tents in Condoriri Basecamp. Thankfully the team all slept hard from our efforts the day before and by the time we started breakfast at 8am only a thin dusting of snow and partly cloudy skies remained.
This set us up perfectly for a relaxed day of travel. After breaking down the tents, we hiked out of the valley and met the transport vehicles.
Even though only 20 odd miles separate the Condoriri Valley from Huayna Potosi the terrain requires back tracking through the edge of La Paz, making the trip closer to three hours. We were rewarded with incredible views of the mountain, which grew larger and more stunning as we arrived at our refugio.
This evening the team is relaxing and enjoying a reset before our next big push.
May 22, 2019
Update: May 22, 2019 - 5:29 pm PT
An early alpine start at 2am had us walking under starry skies and a nearly full moon to the base of the glacier. After four hours of glacier climbing around crevasses we found ourselves at 17,400’ at a sub peak offering us amazing views of Pequeno Alpamayo and Huyana Potosi. We descended 400’ of rock, that led to steep ridges and the final 500’ of steep ice and rock to the summit. The summit did not disappoint with views of the surrounding mountains and our next mountain objective Huyana Potosi. Lucky for us, after twenty minutes of descending off the top we were engulfed in a cloud. After a twelve hour summit day we’re enjoying some relaxation before dinner.
May 22, 2019 - 6:39 am PT
Good morning this is Eric Frank calling from 17,839’ on the summit of Pequeno Alpamayo. We’re having a beautiful morning up here. The team did incredibly well. We had four out of five climbers make it to the top of Tarija peak and four out of five climbers make it to the top of Pequeno Alpamayo. It’s a gorgeous morning, light winds. We are sitting on top enjoying snacks with a view in every direction. We are going to hang out here for another 15 or 20 minutes and then head back downhill. We look forward to checking in this afternoon when we get back to camp. Thanks for following along.
RMI Guide Eric Frank checks in from the summit of Pequeno Alpamayo.
Best wishes to Geoff DeFilippi and the rest of the team. It sounds like a wonderful experience. Thanks for the great blog posts!
Posted by: George DeFilippi on 5/23/2019 at 12:16 pm
May 21, 2019
A three hour walk brought us to the toe of the glacier where we spent several hours training on snow and ice in anticipation of our first summit attempt tomorrow. We’ve made a new camp at roughly 15,400’ which sits in the beautiful Condoriri Valley, where we are surrounded by beautiful peaks. We had an early dinner, and we find ourselves trying to get some rest before an early wake up and a long day tomorrow as we look to climb Pequeno Alpamayo.
May 20, 2019
Sunday, May 19, 2019
Isla del Sol or Island of the Sun is a remote island with no cars located close to the Peruvian border on Lake Titicaca. It feels weird to be on a mountain climbing trip, yet enjoying the luxuries of home cooked meals, showers and a setting that would remind you of the Mediterranean.
At 13,500’ this is an ideal location for us to acclimatize for the higher peaks of Bolivia. Meandering through pre Incan terraced gardens allowed us to stretch the legs, breath the thin air and enjoy panoramic vistas. The day included a traditional Bolivian meal and an amazing sunset.
Tomorrow we leave the comforts of Isla del Sol and head into the mountains.
RMI Guide Andy Bond
May 19, 2019
The team let a out a collective sigh of relief today as we left the big city of La Paz for the quiet Bolivian country side. A few hours of driving, a ferry ride and five miles of scenic hiking brought us to a harbor on the Bolivian/Peruvian border. The views in all directions are incredible here. The contrast of the terraced golden field with the deep blue hue of the lake make a gorgeous contrast.
After trekking uphill we arrived at our eco lodge and settled into our rooms. A dinner of quinoa soup and trout next to a crackling fire closed out our night. We all look forward to exploring the island tomorrow.
After a long travel day and an early morning arrival, we took a leisurely morning before heading out on a tour of the city of La Paz. In the last several years Bolivia has invested nearly $800 million into a cable car system, allowing people to move around the city, high above the buildings. It gave us amazing views of the surrounding mountains, some of which we will be climbing later in the trip, as well as adjust to 13,500’ altitude. A highlight was walking through the witches market, where people would burn offerings in the hopes that the smoke would reach the gods in the sky, and there wishes would come true. The night ended with a great dinner and some packing as we head to Lake Titicaca tomorrow for some more acclimatization and sightseeing before we head into the mountains.
RMI Guide Eric Frank, Andy Bond & Team
Your team is with the best guides anyone could ask for.. wish you guys great weather and successful climbing…heading to Denali in a week.. Julie and I were just reminiscing about last year in Bolivia..
Posted by: stephen zabinski on 5/19/2019 at 8:09 am