Only 4 hours after the alarms clock in the room went off. And funny enough, it looked that no one was ready to get up, I was the first one. Slowly the rest started to awake, with the bad news that the other Brazilians was staying in, the altitude kicking sooner than expected. I was excited and afraid.
After around an hour getting ready (clothes, food and packing our small backpacks) the climbing was starting. And it was a hell of a ride. My partner was Ariel and we have one guide for both of us, Roberto. Leaving the shelter, at 1 am, minus a few degrees and foggy, wasn't fun at all, with the plastic boots specially made for crampons we looked like robots walking. And as I luckily wouldn't see till I came back in the morning, we were walking in sketchy lands. Rocks, holding ropes, cold but sweat, this was gonna be hard.
Half an hour on the hike, we stopped to put the crampons on and tie up to our guide and partner. I was the last one in our group, a small detail that later on I wouldn't like at all. We were carrying coca tea, and thank the Inca' s gods we had it. So there we were, walking at super slow pace on the snow, avoiding or climbing crevasses, trying to breath, and enjoying an awesome view of La Paz at night. Yeah, at that point it had cleared up and we were heading to a beautiful sunrise.
I was doing pretty good, whilst Ariel was having some trouble with the stomach and breath. My stomach wasn't good at all, farting is a thing when you reach 5000 meters, but I wasn't feeling uncomfortable, probably the guide going behind me was.
At 6am, just in time for sunrise and with the majority of people climbing that night waiting in a small ice shelter, we reached the bottom of the summit. We were only 100 meters away of our goal, 15 minutes, but the worse was yet to come.
The last part of the climb is on a ridge. So you need to ice climb a small wall and suddenly you are on a 1 meter narrow surface with a few hundreds meters drops on both sides. After walking some meters, a waist-high wall rises and at least, the drop is only in one side and you can use the ice peak to secure yourself to the wall. The only bad thing about the wall rising is that the path now is around 20cm wide. Yeah, scary as fuck. Luckily it was still pretty dark, so you couldn't really notice the drops. What wouldn't happen on the way back...
We made it. 15 minutes of scary climb and we were there, freezing, but excited as we had never been before. Our first time above 6000 meter. Time for some fast photos, not many as our fingers and noses were about to fall apart.
And here is when I realised that being the last one on the rope wasn't a good idea. I had to go the first on our way back. Yeah, I had to lead the descend in the tiny path. I tripped over only thinking about it and I can tell Ariel was pretty scared about me leading the group lol. I was very scared to be honest, people overtaking me both sides, even walking on the ice wall. Those were probably the worst 20 minutes of my life. But I survived.
Altitude and exhaustion made appearance on our way down, I was literally smashed. As everyone else when we got to base camp. Headaches, stomach issues, cold...but all worth it. We had the best soup I've ever had and after packing all our staff we were soon on our way to the first base camp and, on a very much longer journey to La Paz that it seemed on our way to Huayna.