Relaxing Before the Summit Attempt

June 29, 2007
Day 639
Huayna Potosi Climb Part II Day 2

This morning, Nicolas went back to La Paz with some people coming back from their summit attempts. The first few people coming down had made it to the top, but they said that many others gave up when they saw the 200-meter, 50-degree snow wall at the top. I started searching for a guide to take me to the summit tomorrow and encountered Roque. He had just come down the mountain with an exhausted American with sore knees. He said he had to go back to La Paz with his client, but he'd be happy to return tonight and be my guide. I was a little bit worried about him being too tired for another summit attempt, but he seemed incredibly fit and was my only apparent option.

I spent the rest of the day relaxing and meeting the incoming batch of climbers. Most of them were as inexperienced at mountaineering as me, including two large French groups. I also ran into Pedro and his guide Teo again. They stayed at the lower camp and practiced on the glacier yesterday after the flat tire debacle, and will make an attempt at the summit tonight. The only experienced group consisted of four Americans and Irish who were on a mountaineering-specific trip. Most of the people I met thought I was crazy for wanting to climb Illimani, and I was told many stories about those who have lost their lives there in the past. I started to reconsider my previous ambitions.

Roque returned late in the afternoon, we agreed to wake up at 1:00 AM and leave by 2:00, and I went to bed before dark to try and get some rest ahead of the big climb.

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