January 6, 2007 - All Around Laguna Verda

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The group takes a hike around Laguna Verde

It’s January 6th and today is Steve’s birthday.  I saw Steve for a cup of coffee early this morning and he looked great, he’s 45 years old today and what a place to spend your 45th birthday.  What we did for Steve’s birthday is my favorite walk in the world.  We did the entire walk around Laguna Verde.  The whole thing of course being above 4300m (14,110ft).  It’s a beautiful and varied walk, it’s always adventurous and different every year I do it. 

YLast year’s discovery of a dead puma still preserved by the salt off the lakeou start out along the red sandstone cliffs on this end of the lake.  A little be later we find an area where fresh water streams flow in to the lake and there is a lot of quicksand that we tread our way through.  We always have to take our shoes off and wade the small, cool stream.  On the other end of the lake we start to have these fabulous views of Ojos del Salado.  The wind of course is always blowing across the lake and there are 6000m (19,700ft) peaks in every direction.

At the far end of the lake we saw that puma we found last year.  You may remember that we found a dead puma, mysteriously right on the shores of the lake.  This year of course she is still there, preserved by the salt blowing off the lake, her flesh is still there.  An intriguing situation that the puma now preserved is lying on the other end of the lake.

Steve celebrates his 45th birthday at Laguna VerdeWe called on the radio Jorje and Lucho our drivers to come here, at least most of us did.  It’s 8.5 miles (13.7km) walking around a lake to where we hit the road.  Martin, Klaus and Oswaldo walked the full way down the road as well and they walked 11.3 miles (18.2km) today doing the full circuit. 

Great day for everybody, we enjoyed it.  Happy birthday Steve. We are all doing good back here at the hot springs, as a matter of fact Steve and Jerri are soaking in the hot springs right now with big grins on their faces.  We’ll give you a report tomorrow.

22,841 feet
6962 meters

22,637 feet
6900 meters