Huayna Potosi was our second acclimatization step on the road to Ancohuma. You will see the name “Huayna Potosi” on the window of every agency in La Paz offering a 3 day climb to a 6,000m mountain for novices. It is a surprisingly beautiful experience. The mountain is not technical but it is high. On our way up we saw quite a few people turning around due to altitude problems some of those people could barely walk. Some of the people did not even leave the high camp. The agencies in La Paz claim that the climb is not a big deal just to sell the trip. The altitude makes it a big deal though and if you are not acclimatized it can be an experience you will not forget for a long time, but for the very wrong reason.
The mountain towers over El Alto and it is only a short distance from the city. It has a good basecamp at 4,700m and a high camp at 5,150m. Both camps are permanent structures offering bunk beds and meal service. The climb is really just a high altitude hike with crevices being the main danger. Unfortunately for us we picked a day with high winds (65km/hr) and upon reaching the final ridge at the top, we decided to turn around. The wind was just too strong and it was almost knocking us over. It was a fun climb though and we enjoyed the experience very much.
Crazy wind near the summit part of the mountain