August 8, 2011
The entire team and their luggage have now arrived in La Paz, which is a great start! Today we took care of a lot of chores.
El Alto, where we land, is over 13,000 feet and then we drop into La Paz at about 12,500. The keys to success today are to not move to fast, stay hydrated and get familiar with our teammates. This team is taking care of these things very well. We walked to the local grocery store and stocked up on a few more snacks and water.
I met with a one of our Bolivian guides and went over logistics for the climb. Last week, the mountain received a new layer of snow and the report is that all of our peaks are in great condition for climbing.
This afternoon was gear check time, it always goes a bit easier when all of the gear shows up. Everyone is checked out and making two duffels, much like Everest, a trekking duffel and a Base Camp duffel. It is pretty amazing how much Bolivia reminds me of the Himalaya. The landing is much like if you fly into Lhasa. The announcement comes on reminding you of your elevation and to not move to quickly. Acclimatization is like anywhere, patience and taking care of yourself.
We will take a walking tour around the city of La Paz tomorrow, visiting the San Francisco Cathedral, the Witches Market, Old Town La Paz and end up on a sweet little overlook higher in the city with great views of Illimani. La Paz is decorated with the brightest colors you can find. Friday was the celebration of their independence; 186 years I am told. Probably a good thing this team missed that party.
We ended the day with a great dinner a nice restaurant. Trout is one of the great foods of Bolivia, it did not let us down. Great dinner at La Comedie!