Cordillera Real Expedition 2007
It was the best of trips and it was the worst of trips . . . The ladies of Bolivia are still beautiful with their jet black hair, pony tails and painted on jeans . . . and . . . the Altoplano proved quite able to fortify our character with intestinal distress.
Our expedition was to include warm up climbs in the Condoriri, followed by the heights of Illimani but Montezuma's Inca cousin exacted his revenge upon us and the trip took a different turn altogether. We completed a wonderful climb to the top of Pequeno Alpamayo (~17,650 feet) and then after a few days rest in La Paz we were off to the the remote but fascinating Isla del Sol in Lake Titicaca.
Pequeno Alpamayo served us a flying blue ice dinner plate special with just enough neve thrown to entice us to leave our ice screws back at the camp far below. We almost took the bait but not quite as we have learned that a blue ice climb most surely awaits us around every cornice. And of course, the ever hungry Pachamama took a snow picket in return for the privilege of standing upon Pequeno Alpamayo's wonderful summit.
Our subsequent trip to the Isla del Sol was highlighted by our companion and guide, Martin, whose archeological narrative was insightful both as to Inca history and an ongoing Spanish language lesson. Martin covered all the bases, from history to hostel, hence I cannot over recommend him should a reader have a similar span of time to kill, either while acclimatizing or if attempting to recover from the Inca version of Montezuma's revenge.
Overall, we had a good trip, though not the trip we planned. Read on, I'll cover the details and tell all about climbing Pequeno Alpamayo and traversing Titicaca's Isla del Sol . . .