Sunday, August 28, 2011

My Very Bolivian Weekend

Saturday morning, Plaza Avaroa:
Meeting with Club Vertigo de Escalada Deportiva for a trip to Zongo Pass:

On the bus heading up through El Alto:
At the Milluni checkpoint with the west face of Huyani Potosi in the background:

Social climbing (note the rope tangle):
More climbing:
Another congo line headed to Hyuani Potosi:
The clouds predictably blew up from the Yungas:
We had to push the bus to get it started:
Camping (before the hot wine):
Morning visitors:
Joose warming up:
I am falling in love with this mountain:
Happy campers heading back to La Paz:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lago Zongo

On Sunday, I was able to venture beyond La Paz to Lago Zongo at the base of Huayna Potosi, one of Bolivia's 6,000 meter peaks, for some granite climbing. Here is the view as we leave El Alto:
Illimani floats above the Altiplano:
Llama and Huayna Potosi. The lower left glacier looks eminently skiable:
Joose, my partner and new friend:
No one knew the name of this peak. The mixed line direct to the summit looks sublime:
Here we are at one of the climbing areas. You can see the quality of the granite is very good, particularly given the elevation of 15,500' or so which is a new record for me:
Our driver did a great job:
At the anchors of one of our first routes:
Hardy flora:
Not sure but it might be related to Jabba the Hut:
The lake:
A fine buttress with a bolted 10b/c route up the middle:
Joose at the anchors of another great crack:
Life struggles:
It does not always succeed:
Huayna Refugio, the green one:
Looking back at Zongo Pass:
The clouds are boiling from the Yungas:
Another shot toward the Yungas and the Amazon basin:
To get to the next climbing area, we had to descend these ladders. No locked gates and no warnings needed:
The area in profile:
The big ladder:
My turn:
Another profile shot:
Joose leads the way:
Oh, the mixed routes I hope to do:
Joose below as I prepare to rap. After five hours, I started to get a headache from the elevation:
Making sure "todo bien" as we prepare to leave:
Home by 4:30. There is so much unclimbed rock in this area that it boggles the mind. Or maybe it's just the elevation talking.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Little Bigger Walk Behind the House

So I picked up where I left off the other day and ran and walked up past the antennas to a ridge which I followed for a few miles to Muela del Diablo, a volcanic plug at 12,500' that is about 500' tall:

Apparently, there are some climbing routes on it which I will explore later. Another view of Valle de Las Animas. The upper grassy slopes look dreamy for mountain biking.

The other side of the ridge drops off to Mallasa. There is a trail that goes there from the Muela and I will check it out soon:

Illimani peeks between dirt rock formations:

Them that don't make it are the lucky ones:

Plenty of dirt rock around. Check out the little spire on the far left by double clicking the image:
A small cemetery:
There is actually a settlement at the base of the Muela with street lights:

Here is a school, I think:

I've got to get back to the bottom of the main road which out of site in this picture to get home:

Because it was downhill, I was able to run the whole way to make better time. Here is the road down:

It was very nice for running but a little hard on the thighs because of the grade:
A little lower on the road and here you can see the mtb trails that cut the switchbacks:

The cemetery at Pedregal:

I was pretty tired after 8 miles and 2.5 hours on the go:

Fortunately, the tienda had some cold Pacenas to help revive me.