Sunday, September 15, 2013

Climbing Pico Aguila (Chachacomani Zone)

We are back in La Paz. Both with colds (mine almost 2 weeks old and fighting off bronchitis with anti-biotics and Jan with a head cold), we decided to leave the mountains a few days early so we could recover in time for our attempt at Illimani, later this week. We will arrange day climbs with Eduardo nearer to La Paz so we can sleep at Casa Hermanos Manchego in the comfort of our home away from home.

Meanwhile, we summited Pico Aguila (Eagle Mountain) , about 5,500m (18,045 feet), in the Humajalanta area of the Chachacomani zone on September 11. It was a gorgeous day that featured a 5am start, enablilng us to reach  the glacier around 7:30am. We summited at about noon, leaving us plenty of time for the descent. The normal route Eduardo climbed last year no longer exists (changing glaciar conditions and unsafe crevasses having formed). We got to pioneer a new one, that featured an impressive ridge walk at the very top.

First light hits the mountain tops across the valley from Pico Aguila.

Suiting up for glacier travel. Eduardo Mamani Quispe, Bolivian Mountain Guides.

A short break on the glacier. In the background is the broken off former ¨normal route¨. We took the long way around and on top of the summit ridge.

The summit ridge. Nearly there now!

Jan and Inga on top of the very highest rock overseeing the massive  Cordillera  Real.

The view toward the Amazonas side - that is where all the clouds come from. Laguna Leche below.

From the summit, down to the moraine and high and low valleys we hiked through the get here. Way in the back is Lago Titicaca. 

This is Pico Aguila taken in the afternoon light. About 5,500m (18,045 feet). From our high camp we ascended about 700 metres.

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