The team had a great day resting in La Paz – as much as a 64km bike ride is considered restful - and then headed out on Saturday morning to tackle Illimani. I got the SPOT on Saturday that they had hit base camp. Base camp is actually pretty nice. The tents are pitched on a bed of thin soft grass which makes for slightly more comfortable sleep.
On Sunday, the team headed up to high camp (SPOT here) where they hit the sack at about 6:30. They were up at 1:30 setting up and then started for the summit around 2:30 am. It was a long, technical and very cold climb. Illimani is so massive that it blocks the sun. They didn’t see the sun until they summited at 8:30 am local.
From there, they headed back down to high camp – and then again down to base camp – covering about 10,000 vertical feet down. It was a very very long day of hiking.
Once again, Joel Gratz (team meterologist) came through for the team. He predicted a light 20 mph wind at the summit and clear skies – and that is nearly exactly what happened. Don’t leave home without a forecast from Joel, that is the new motto.
The mules will help shoulder some of the load out of camp tomorrow back to the main village. Then a two hour ride to La Paz and the journey home begins!