Huayna Potosi Trip Report (#22459)
- Signed By: Sven Bugarski
- Date submitted: January 16, 2014
- Date(s) climbed: 26.06.2002
- Number of People Encountered:0-10 people
- Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Although I climbed that mountain already a while ago, I still remember it very well. It was a fantastic tour that I did with an individualized itinerary.
As probably most climbers in the area do, I first spent a couple of days in La Paz at altitudes between 3600m and 3800m above sea level. This is usually not enough to head straight to a 6000er mountain, so I took an organized tour to Chacaltaya (which was cheap) and after climbing that 5395m high mountain I did not return to La Paz like the other tour participants, but just stayed at the hut at 5260m not far away from the summit of Chacaltaya. There I stayed for the night, which was not very comfortable and I also felt some high altitude symptoms. However, I could still sleep fairly well and felt much better the next day. Then I descended to a large valley lying between Chacaltaya and Huayna Potosi, which I crossed to the house of a mountain guide at the foot of Huayna Potosi.
For a small fee the mountain guide let me sleep in his house at around 4600m of altitude and the next morning I felt ready to go up Huayna Potosi. We ascended up to a camp at around 5300m in the glacier, where we put up tents. The night was clear and incredibly cold with temperatures reaching to below -15°C, maybe even below -20°C. It was hard to leave the warm sleeping bag at 2am or so in the morning, but I did so and went up with the guide to Huayna Potosi summit in the dark hours of the early morning.
We were a little bit too fast and reached the summit just before sunrise. It was so cold (-20°C with heavy wind) that there was no chance to stay any longer on the summit than a few minutes. Well, at least it has been a successful tour and all the time the sky was clear and views on great when going down the mountain.
The ascent is a walk-up most of the time except the very last section to the summit, which is so steep that one has to go up using hands and being secured properly.