Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bolivia - Dispatch #20

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)

Alasdair sent in the following a email Sunday afternoon, June 20 at 3:45pm Pacific time.

We had a great time on Illimani, the final 5-day optional part of this 3-part Bolivia program. Diccon and I summited on 21,201-foot Illimani on Friday which was a personal highest point for each of us. Jim and Juan also left high camp to attempt the summit but turned around at about 19,000 feet.

Here are some photos from the trip. I hope these photos do justice to what for me was one of my 10 best days in the mountains. This first one is of an Andean condor that greated us back at camp after our summit climb. He came with in 30 feet of us.

This second shot is of Diccon on our descent with the summit of Illimani in the distance.

This final image is of Diccon on the summit ridge, with the lower north summit of Illimani in the distance.

Sorry folks I did not shoot as many photos as I usually do. It was a long climb that required our full attention.

After the climb, we headed down to the village of Penaya where our local staff rosted a sheep for the group in celebration of our successful summit. Last night in La Paz we had a very fine group dinner and had fun looking back on the many parts of this trip. Diccon and Jim flew home this morning, while Alfred headed back to Lake Titicaca to do some personal travels. Now Danny G., Danny U., and I are the last three left in La Paz.

As I sit here in La Paz and think back on all we have done on this trip, I can say quite honestly that of the many trips AAI does throughout the world, this has to be one of the best that the Institute offers. I can't wait to come back next year. If you have ever thought about doing some high altitude climbing in a foreign country, you have to do this trip! The scenery is amazing. The people are great. And the quality and variety of the climbing is excellent. It's been a great trip.

See you next year in La Paz!

Alasdair and Danny

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