Normal route, with bad weather. Turned around at roughly 18,000. We love to try again one day..along with Illimani.
normal route, perfect conditions - way too many people on the mountain! anyway a nice climb.
After looking at a variety of companies, took the three day option with 'Refugios Huayna Potosi', recommended, good value. Second day, set off from high camp (5300 metres) at 1.15 am, arrived at the summit at 5.45 am, left at 6.00 am and back at high camp for approx. 7.35 am.
Not the recommended climbing season, but we were lucky and caught a break in the weather - beautiful clear summit day. Did a 3day/2night organised tour from La Paz with the cheapest company we could find on Calle Sagarnaga, the guides, food & equipment were all adequate & we all summited. The hike up wasn't too difficult until the final summit push when the gradient became much steeper.
I summited on the normal route in 2012 and wanted something technical this time. The French Route is a beautiful and, if conditions support, a relatively easy climb. Having acclimatized on Sajama and, as a beginner ice wall climber, climbing with a guide, and the fact that the ice was covered with well compacted snow, made it almost a leisurely walk.
We were acclimatizing and knowing we would stay in the hut saved us from carrying the tents. Pretty cozy with water, stoves and decent bunks. We rested till 4ish and set off along the normal route. Straightforward if a bit windy.
Coming down we had alot of time to rest and hydrate at the hut for the evening's push to tackle the wall of the French Route. We gave an area of potential ice fall a wide berth on our approach and started climbing just as the sun was appearing. Very fun and exihilirating for my first time on something so steep. We took our time placing screws and pickets. (Now bareley 5 climbs later I realize that we all could have easily solo'd up the wall just as safely.)
Because of the time we topped of on the wall and didn't hit the real summit that day but I still felt great about the climb!!
Good day above 6000m
Climbing the ice wall at 18K+ feet is I think the craziest thing I've done in my life. Esp. rappelling down it after the summit.
skied down on junky gear rented in La Paz, but lots of fun!
amazing climb... had to climb 25 ft ice wall and experience an avalanche triggered by ice serac during that climb.. lucky the line of fall was not in our way...
great view from top...
This is how I lost my virginity to the 6000 meter club. It's one of the cheapest and safest way to do it. AND, its the best way to acclimatize for the taller stuff like illimani.
Left at 7p.m. from La Paz, drove to the ~4700m trailhead, slept for a few hours, and then started hiking after midnight. Hiked to the high camp carrying plastic boots, ax, crampons, and took a break for hot tea in the high camp refuge.
From high camp we summitted in exactly four hours, the first ones on top. We were actually a bit too fast, and we waited some thirty minutes just below the summit ridge, hiding from the freezing wind and waiting for the sun to rise.
The Bergshrund crossing involved a ~70 degree and ~5m climb up hard ice, and the summit ridge was extremely exposed - don't underestimate this one! My liner gloves were stolen in the refuge while on the way down... keep a close eye on your gear.
The normal route (along the exposed knife edge ridge) was too dangerous to continue but luckily a route had already been opened along the large slope to the summit.
Short ride away from La Paz, comfortable refuges, beautiful white snow, 10/10 would climb again.
An easy walk if you're already acclimatized. I left La Paz at the end of the afternoon, had dinner in one of the refuge, rested there until 1 or 2 AM, reached the top before sunrise. Great views with some clouds.
A nice climb. A bit interesting on the final summit ridge, being on snow and rock, but otherwise no problem. First ones on top, despite slowing down the pace so as to not arrive too early. Nice "little" peak!
we climbed from the high refugio at 5200meters. A good bit of variety with a short, steep icy pitch and then of course the final ridge line with a little bit of exposure. Not overly crowded but definitely tough passing people high up on the ridge. Plenty hard work at that altitude. My GPS gave an altitude of 20045ft so I'm going to count it as my first 20000ft peak
Whole trip was just 24 hours, being dropped-off & picked-up by taxi at midday. We set-up a high camp on a snow shoulder about 100m vertical above the hut, lovely sunset views.
Climbed with travel tracks in 2011. One of my first climbs and still probably equal favourite (with cabeza del condor). Amazing views of titikaka the altiplano and the amazon
Mixed conditions in Bolivian Summer. First night was light rain into the morning but cleared up before the ascent to high camp started. Started walking at 0200 not too cold but a bit windy. Started snowing a bit later, but got great views from top.
Gorgeous mountain with much to offer. Jaw dropping West face as seen from the road to Condoriri is something to behold. The North on a clear day is spectacular if you are on Tarija or Pequeno Alpamayo. East face or French route is stark and elegant. The normal route is usually crowded and problems arise on the summit ridge. Late in the season there is rockfall danger from the ridge and traversing below it should be early and fast.