Monday, May 31, 2010

Bolivia Dispatch 2: Trek, Alpine Skills Training, & High Altitude Expedition

Bolivia Trek and Climbing Program May 29 – June 19, 2010

Guides: Danny Uhlmann, Alasdair Turner, and Juan Churra

Climbers: Danny Griffith (Bellingham, WA), Alfred Kwok (Claremont, CA), Diccon Westworth (Sacramento, CA), Jim Bonadonna (Poughkeepsie, NY), Raymond Gregory (Marquette, MI), Nancy Burke (Dallas, TX), and Margen Burke-Karr (Missouri City, TX),

Danny called by Satellite phone at 4:02pm Pacific time, 7:02 pm Bolivia time with the following news:

“We are now at Camp #1 on the Trans Condoriri trek, and the sun has set. We enjoyed views of glaciers up by Condoriri but not the Condoriri peaks themselves. We’re at about 13,800 feet here, and today our high point was 15,200 feet. Everyone is adjusting well to the altitude and feeling fine.

We use llamas for most parts of this program, but on this trip we had burros carry the loads. There’s currently a herd of llamas next to camp, and my fellow guide Alasdair and his wife Susan are out visiting with them and photographing them. Speaking of local fauna, we saw a lot of different kinds of birds today. They are really varied in color and size.
We also saw lizards and tiny tiny frogs. While trekking we’ve moved past quite a number of old stone-domed homes with thatched roofs.

We haven’t seen any one else on the trail or at camp We seem to have the mountains to ourselves.

Tomorrow we’ll go up and over a should of a mountain and then descend to camp by a lake.

It was an adventure getting out of La Paz. Everytime we drive up to the town of El Alto, we seem to do it by a different route. El Alto is on the altiplano perched at the lip of the basin that La Paz fills. There must be 20 different routes with as many opinions onwhcih one is the very best.

People in our program are doing great with the altitude. We’ll check everyone with the pulse oximeter again soon.

Just so you know, I interrupted our tea hour before dinner to make this call. I didn’t want to take a chance on missing you today. We always have tea time for about an hour before dinner. It’s a good time to enjoy warm drinks, look back over the day, and discuss what’s coming next.

Well, it’s time to do the pulse oximeter readings and then move onto dinner. We’ll give you another update soon."

NOTE: For some photos from the first few days in La Paz, see Alasdair's blog at:


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