August 8, 2014
From: Greg Vernovage
Sent: Friday, August 08, 2014 7:59 AM
To: Eric Simonson
We did it! As always, the icing on the cake is Illimani. We had been looking at the mountain from the first day in LaPaz, to Copacabana and Sun Island, and from the top of Huayna Potosi. Finally, we had the opportunity to test ourselves with this Giant.
We had perfect weather and excellent snow conditions. I have climbed Illimani a number of times and of the many things that are memorable is how cold it can be on our summit push. What keeps me coming back is the fantastic climbing and breathtaking scenery. The headwall to the summit ridge looks steep, and feels even steeper once we are climbing it. Moving slow and steady and pressure breathing are the keys to success. We can handle the cold morning, especially when the sun hits us in the face on the final summit ridge.
Bolivia is a great place to climb, and a perfect test for any climber who is looking to extend themselves and reach new heights just outside their comfort zone. We had a great time and worked hard. Our reward was the summit of our third and last peak of the trip, Illimani. Now we are all back to LaPaz safe and sound, and it’s time to head for home!
International Mountain Guides