June 22 - Summit dreams in the Andes

Dafna Superwoman at the summitThis is Leila calling from Bolivia. Here are some photos from our climbs in the Condoriri Base Camp area and on our Alpamayo and Tarija climb. We split into two groups. Wally climbed with Deke and Charles “Doc” Martin, who worked really hard and reached the first summit, Tarija 5320M. BAI guide Dave Scott, Bernardo, Porfirio (another Bolivian guide), Alex Willis, Leila, Woodie and Dafna headed for the next summit, Pequeno Alpamayo, which is very exposed.

Dafna “the Superwoman” has proven to be one of the top climbers on this trip. When Dave started organizing the team on a rock section to go down from the first summit in order to go up to Alpamayo, he asked Dafna to go first on the rope team. Dafna looked down at the rock section, which we all wear crampons on, and said, “Absolutely first?”

We all laughed so much and thought it was really funny - she had that look of fear and surprise on her face. I know that probably at sea level that might not be very funny but here at this high and oxygen-deprived altitude, everything is a blast.

Leila, Gail and David hikingAnother funny scene was Alex Willis who only had 1 bottle of water on the summit ridge and was saving it like gold. Unfortunately, or ironically perhaps, he dropped the bottle and we all watched go down thousands of meters. Again, we all laughed and laughed, probably again due to oxygen deprivation!

(See next page for more photos from this great day of climbing.)

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