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12.6.2006 - Illimani, or how to ski down the trone of gods...

12.6.2006 - Sajama - 6542m

5.6.2006 - Rejected in Cordillera Apalobamba...

28.5.2006 - Las Payachatas - the twins burning hearts

 

Sajama - 6542m

On Monday morning we are finishing our omelets when a man enteres the room and tells: "The donkeys are here, we can start!" We finish fast our coffee and load the mulas and donkeys with our equipment. It´s windy again. Eating the dust (breakfast was probably not enough) we follow the donkeys. One of them decided on the half way that he is not really in a mood to carry some load. It started to jump around like crazy. The skis are OK. But the tent got some demage.

The team changed a bit. Rasto jointed us again with still not healed bronchitis. Christian had to return to La Paz due to his stomach problems. Slowly we made it to the base camp on a nice meadow with horses and one female donkey in season. Local people told us it stayed there because it could smelled donkeys. We felt a little offended ...

On Tuesday morning Herwig is still bad. Porters help us to move to the high camp in 5400m to the snow level. From here out we will try to climb the summit of the highest peak of Bolivia. We have to prepare ground for our tents, cook the dinner and tea for the next day. We end the day with beautifull sunset and views on the Payachatas and Sajama.

On Wednesday we leave very late - at 5 a.m. It is cold, windy and still dark. One step follows the other one waiting for the first sun rays. Just one more hit in the ice with the crampons and finally we are in a small culloar with sun in our face. Now we are facing the neverending slope to the summit. We expect the summit to be after every mound, but even after hours of walking we still just find another ascend when we think this might be the summit. Finally I can hear from abowe me: "Guys, this is it, there is nothing more higher then me now!" We reach the summit one after another. We enjoy the views, make some fotos, drink tea. But we can not stay for very long on this magical place. In this air you can not stay lnger then few minutes, then you have to think about the descend. We are skiing down slowly. The snow conditions are not as good as we expected. A lot of ice and penitentes (ice sculptures made by sun and wind). Some parts we have to climb down without skis. The legs are tired. After every few curves we have to make a break. Finally we are in the high camp at about 3 p.m. Now only the 6 hours long walk to the village! Tired after the long day, descending from 6542 to 4300 withouth eating we enjoy one beer but that´s it. Rasto slept in on the chair and the rest still made it to the bed. What a day!!!

Thank you Apu Sajama!

Posted at: 12.6.2006





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