Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bolivia - Dispatch #16

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 wrote Tuesday, June 15th at 10 am Pacific time with the following dispatch:

"Hey Everyone, this is Danny and Alasdair and the rest of the team emailing from La Paz. We had a great great trip in the Condoriri group and then on Huayna Potosi. The weather (as always) was very good, very clear, and allowed for a lot of climbing. Without repeating too much from the previous dispatches, I will say that we all enjoyed great food and adventures. Lots of mediocre humor (read: bad jokes), mainly on my part, but Alasdair contributed as well. We celebrated Jim's birthday for 5 straight days, to his dismay. I think he felt a little bad about having the spotlight, but we had to eat the cake we carried in on the 5th, or else it would have gone bad. Sorry Jim, but thanks for being a good birthday boy.

Huayna Potosi went really well despite incredibly cold conditions. I haven't been that cold in a while. But the sun rose as my rope team arrived at the base of the summit pyramid at 19,300 feet. The sky was absolutely clear and blew up in a spectrum of the usual rainbow colors. Eventually we battled our way through the rock and ice (and other, slower climbing parties) to summit. The ridge we climbed for the final 200 feet dropped off 3000 feet of cold, dark snow and ice to our right, in the expanse of the West Face.

I am tired, and I think most everyone else is. Margen finished her trip with Part 2 and so is already on an airplane halfway to Miami as I write this. Ray is leaving tonight.

Everyone else is going to Illimani tomorrow. Tonight is our last night in town, and a very needed rest day (and work day for Alasdair and me).

We'll check in from Illimani base camp tomorrow."


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