Entries from Bolivia
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.
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.