Thursday, July 10, 2014

Guiding Course

In May, I took a ten day guiding course which was basically a filter for the real UIGAM aspirant guide course which is forty five days long.  It was an interesting experience with some first rate instructors.  I was the only non-Bolivian out of the thirteen students.

First stop was rock climbing in Penas:

Unloading the bus in Penas:

Getting ready to practice short rope technique on some easy terrain during the second day with Kamasa, the local dog.

Tons of fun scrambling:

Some of it was exposed:

Plenty of rocks for sport climbing:

The view from my bed:

Rappelling instruction:

I made a new route on this wall which we called Kamasa after the local dog.  Kamasa means valor, bravery, or strength of spirit in Aymara.  The dog got his name because he was afraid of sheep when he was little.  Likewise, this well bolted route does not require extreme bravery to enjoy but it is very fun.

Here we are on the bus returning to La Paz after the first part of the course.  Anselme Baud, a famous pioneering extreme skier from France, is on the left.  He was one of the instructors for the course and is responsible for the establishment of the UIGAM climbing school in Bolivia.  Jaime Gonzalez the dirigente of the AGMTB (Association of Bolivian Mountain and Trekking Guides) is on the right.

The next part of the course was at Zongo Pass, at nearly 16,000' for the basecamp.  Sergi Condori and Jaime Gonzales were the leaders of this course:

Eduardo Mondragon from Chile was one of the instructors.

On the summit of Pico Milluni South which we climbed via the southeast ridge starting at around noon.  The instructors wanted to put some time pressure on us.  They succeeded.

I should probably learn to adjust my helmet properly.  On the descent from Pico Milluni.

The next day was basic crampon and piolet practice on Glaciar Viejo:

Five guys trying to pull out a deadman anchor:

Practicing with snow stakes in foul weather:

Tossing the student down the hill for self arrest practice:

A one and a two and down you go:

Somewhere around 18,500':

Snow conditions were unstable and we had a little incident at 19,000':

Nobody was hurt.  Just below is a huge crevasse.

Lago Zongo from near Campo Argentina:

I see faces:

Los chicos:

Making our way back to the high camp:

Typical mist arising from the Yungas in the afternoon:

The next day was the guides' party during which the new high camp was to be dedicated to Anselme Baud.  The plan was to bring a group of people to the new high camp but the night before extremely strong winds blew the roof off so the party was relocated to Glaciar Viejo.  The band sets off:

Cholita in mountaineering boots:

The band in action:

Padre Antonio, the climbing priest, gets ready to bless the ices axes and ropes:

Padre Antonio with the assistance of Anselme Baud and Aldo Riverez blesses the axes and ropes with Huayna Potosi in the background.  The area where the avalanche occurred is in upper right corner.

Some of the fine granite in the Zongo pass area.  More about that in a later post.

Anselme and Yolanda get the dancing started at the fiesta:

No comments:

Post a Comment