June 14, 2007
Laguna Glaciar Trek Day 2
We got up at dawn today, ate breakfast, and got ready to walk. We would be returning to the same campsite later tonight, so there was no need to take down camp. As an additional courtesy, Alvaro's friend came up to the campsite this morning to watch over our stuff while we were gone.
The walk was long but not very difficult. We went over a pass after about half an hour, then proceeded to walk around a valley, continuously moving up. There were several streams with ice cold glacial water, so I made sure to take a few liters with me so I wouldn't have to drink the nasty lagoon water anymore. The trail was pretty clear until near the end, where we had to do some rock scrambling. Near the top, the perfectly clear sky afforded us an incredible view of both Lake Titicaca and the Cordillera Apolobamba, another mountain range far to the north.
When we got far above the snow line, we curved behind a hill and dropped down a bit to access Laguna Glaciar, the "Glacial Lagoon," at 5038 meters (16,528 feet). A few people were camping at this level in preparation to climb Illampu and some of the other peaks in the area. I didn't envy the bitter cold night's they were bound to face. The lagoon was filled with ice coming off of Illampu's glacier. We only had about an hour to eat lunch before heading back down.
The climb down to camp was long once again, but I felt good. I had plenty of energy left to explore some of the rocky hills and ruins near our camp. The altitude didn't affect me at all, and afterward I felt ready to take on bigger challenges in the area.
We made a big dinner again and David searched the area again for wood for another campfire. I think he's a pyromaniac. The fire didn't burn too well because of the altitude, and it got really cold shortly after dark, so we all gave in and climbed into our comfy sleeping bags early.
The photo album for this entry is here.