August 2, 2016
Andy just called after returning to Illimani BC. The Team was up early and gave it their best shot today. Unfortunately, the mountain got the upper hand. For those of you who have climbed Mount Rainier, I will use examples from a couple different routes to describe their day.
Out of the High Camp on Illimani, the Team took a rocky ridge, like the “Disappointment Cleaver on steroids.” After this section, the team battled through tall “penitentes” (these are ice pinnacles produced by strong sunshine at high altitude, and they make travel slow and difficult). Then, the team started up the last part of the climb but the conditions were considerably more icy than normal. Andy called it “a little steeper than the Kautz chute…oh yeah, and the Kautz chute above 6,000 meters!”
The Team made the call to turn around and leave the summit for another time. Good job making a tough call. Getting into that terrain and working through the different challenges will make everyone a better climber and everyone should feel great about getting that high during a dry year in the Cordillera Real
Tomorrow, the Team will head to the trailhead for a barbeque, before heading back to La Paz. Great effort everyone!