Entries from Bolivia
June 8, 2018
Friday, June 8, 2018 - 1:00 PM PT
Hard rain overnight added to our adventure this morning as we loaded up in our land cruisers and navigated the Bolivian country side. At one point a bridge had washed out and we were forced to navigate a river bed. Much like scouting a rapid on a river, we were forced to send scouts with radios ahead to find our way. But don’t worry we’re all safely in La Paz enjoying the comforts of a shower, internet and even street side shoe cleaners to clean off our dirty shoes.
We’ll enjoy one last group dinner tonight with the whole group. This trip would not have been possible without the help our amazing Bolivian staff. They’ve become like family to us and it’ll be our honor to treat them tonight for one final celebration!
June 7, 2018
Thursday, June 7, 2018 - 2:21 PM PT
We awoke to a little bit of new snow at Illimani Base Camp, which further reinforced our decision to make our high point yesterday. We quickly packed our gear and headed out to our land cruisers in which an adventure ensued. Driving around the high country side we enjoyed splendid views as well as picking up dinner from road side vegetable farmers. Ultimately we find ourselves camping at a low elevation of 8000’ on the side of river at a retired police officers house. Surrounded by tropical fruit trees we’re looking forward to having a fire, sipping on some beers and reminiscing about the last two weeks!
Great Job and congrats to team Eric and Andy
Enjoy your beautiful night in Bolivia
Safe trip home to all
Stephen and Julie - love to you both
Hope to see you soon
Posted by: Tina and John Zabinski on 6/7/2018 at 6:33 pm
Sounds like a perfect way to end the trip! Hope you all have safe travels home.
Posted by: Dani Munzing on 6/7/2018 at 4:47 pm
June 6, 2018
Hello there. It’s Eric Frank calling in from Bolivia. It’s about 1:30 in the afternoon (BOT Time) and I’m at 17,400ft here on Illimani. Unfortunately, we decided this will be our high point for the climb. It’s a combination of recent storm snow, and the forecast, which has made us decide to head down hill. So at this point we’re going to move back to our base camp and spend our last night in the mountains. Tomorrow we will pack up, head back to La Paz, and in two short days, be back at the airport. We look forward to seeing all of you soon. Bye.
We are very proud of you guys especially our guy Chris! Amazing accomplishments this trip. We can’t wait to see your face.
Anna, Shelby and Sammie.
Posted by: Anna Baldwin on 6/6/2018 at 2:11 pm
Still a great accomplishment and a wise decision to trust the weather forcast
You know what they say “don’t mess with Mother Nature”
Be proud team Team Eric and Andy
Special shout out to Julie
Posted by: Tina and John on 6/6/2018 at 1:20 pm
June 4, 2018
Like all good mountaineers, it’s okay to be lazy. Two summits in three days, our group enjoyed a much deserved rest day in La Paz. We shopped, we ate and we slept as we get ready for our third and final peak Illimani.
The rest day also came at great time, as it was a rainy day in La Paz bringing a fresh coat of snow to the mountains. We’ll enjoy a nice dinner tonight before heading back into the mountains tomorrow!
Enjoy your day of rest
You all deserve it
I told Dad I think you get your sense of adventure from me
Thought you could use good laugh
Love you both
Mom and Dad
Posted by: Tina and John Zabinski on 6/5/2018 at 5:01 am
June 3, 2018
Sunday, June 3 - 6:18 AM PT
Hey, this is Eric and Andy checking in from Bolivia. Just letting you know that everyone made it up to the top of Huayna Potosi this morning. We are in a cloud right now and experiencing a little bit of snow, but have calm winds and we’re making our descent. Everyone is doing well and it’s a beautiful day in the mountains.
Andy Bond checking in from Bolivia.
Congratulations Stephen and Julie( Julie you are amazing)
So proud of all of the team
Way to go Team Frank and Andy
Posted by: Tina and John Zabinski on 6/3/2018 at 9:11 am
Saturday, June 2, 2018 - 2:43 PM PT
We awoke to a leisurely morning as we waited for our porters to arrive and collect some of our gear to bring to High Camp at 17,600’ on Huayna Potosi.
As with any big mountain around the world, weather plays a major role when attempting to summit a 6000 meter peak. With a deteriorating forecast in the coming days, we’ve decided to bump up our summit attempt to tonight!
Today we climbed a little over 1500’ to the Anselme Baud hut at the base of glacier. The hut feels similar to any European Chalet with a mixture of people from all over the world looking to climb. The crew did great getting to the hut allowing us ample time to enjoy tea, and food. Currently it’s cloudy, with no precipitation and winds are calm.
Our hope is to climb tonight before the weather turns with an approaching cold front. Forecasting weather in Bolivia is a challenge as clouds slowly build in the Amazon lowlands slowly building over the mountains. Some local guides use the sight of a certain beetle to tell when a storm is approaching. We remain optimistic that weather will hold off until Monday. We’ll keep our fingers crossed as we look to make our summit attempt tonight on Huayna Potosi.
June 1, 2018
Friday, June 1, 2018 - 6:21 PM PT
The sun warmed our tents before a majority of the team was up and about this morning. We decided to sleep late and take advantage of some well deserved rest after our climb of Pequeno Alpamayo the day before. Cups of tea and coffee, bread with honey and scrambled eggs with ham rounded out breakfast.
Today was a move day. After breakfast, we slowly packed up our camp and walked back out of the Condoriri Valley to the awaiting Land Cruisers. With our duffles loaded tightly in the trucks and above on metal racks, we quickly drove the 20 miles back out to the highway and headed south toward Zongo Pass, the basecamp for Huayna Potosi.
The refugio here is a nice change from the tents that we have spent the last few nights sleeping in. Heated rooms, ample storage and electrical outlets seem like a real luxury.
The plan tomorrow is to move up to a hut higher on the mountain to get in position for our climb. The trail uphill is steep, but we will have porters helping with our load and expediting our progress.
The angels are watching over of you
Good luck on your next climb
Go Team Frank
Posted by: Tina and John on 6/2/2018 at 9:41 am
May 31, 2018
RMI Guide Andy Bond and Team just called from the summit of Pequeño Alpamayo a 5370 m peak in the Condoriri Group. Andy reported great climbing conditions and beautiful weather. The team climbed strong, and will be starting their descent shorty.
Update: 5:19 pm PT
Hey just letting you know we’re back at camp safe and sound… well fed and ready for some sleep. Long day on a challenging route but everyone is doing great! We’ll update tomorrow with an actual blog post
RMI Guides Eric Frank and Andy Bond
Way to go
Posted by: John Zabinski on 6/1/2018 at 7:19 pm
Wow!!! Great Job Team! From Anna, Shelby and Sammie!!!
Posted by: Anna Baldwin on 5/31/2018 at 6:09 pm
May 30, 2018
It’s a few minutes after 8pm and the Bolivia climbing team members are already cuddled inside our respective sleeping bags, excited for tomorrow.
Today was a good day. We awoke to a quick breakfast and broke down our tents as the sun crested the ridge to our east. Thirty minutes later, our duffels were loaded on donkeys and we moved camp uphill two hours to our high camp.
This afternoon we hiked to the toe of the glacier and did some training on advanced techniques- cramponing on ice, short roping and the finer points of pitched climbing. Now we have the skill set we need to tackle our first climb, Pequeño Alpamayo, tomorrow.
The weather looks good and with any luck we should be calling from the top by mid to late morning.
Good luck on your first climb
Go Team Frank
Posted by: Mom and Dad Zabinski on 5/30/2018 at 7:51 pm
May 29, 2018
Our beach vacation on Isla del Sol came to an end today as we made our way into the Bolivian Andes to begin the mountain portion of the trip.
The first of our three peaks is called Pequeno Alpamayo, located next to Condoriri. The views were amazing as we walked to our Base Camp at 14,700’, located at the base of the valley surrounded by big glaciated peaks, including Huayna Potosi (our 2nd peak on the trip).
We are all enjoying the luxuries of amazing home cooked meals including having lunch today at Gregorio’s house (a local farmer) on the way to base camp.
Tomorrow we’ll move camp and do some training on a glacier before our first summit attempt.
RMI Guides Eric Frank & Andy Bond