Just outside of La Paz is a wildly high mountain that you can drive up. It was once touted as the world’s highest ski resort, but there remains very little of a once immense glacier. This glacier has disappeared only within the last 20 years or so. For a little day trip we all packed ourselves into our friend’s car and drove an hour and half through the flat altiplano, through herds of llamas, and finally into the mountains. We ascended almost 2000m and came to a stop at 5300m (about 17,300ft). Being acclimatized to the altitude in La Paz, I was surprised by how I felt…tingly fingers, tingly lips, and difficulty breathing. Duane said his “ears felt tight”.
|What you can't see...Amelia on Duane's lap, and Lluis WAY in the back holding on to luggage.|
|Huana Potosi. The mountain I hope to climb in April.|
The view was breathtaking (literally). We could see the vast sprawl of El Alto falling into the valley of La Paz, an amazing mountain range beyond the city, and beside us the intimidating peak of Huana Potosi. The kids played in the snow…eating it, throwing it, and sledding! So fun!
|Lluis and Ely, our brilliant neighbours who have made living in La Paz a wonderful thing.|
After about an hour we noticed Amelia was acting kind of strange and decided it would be best to descend. She was suffering from a bit of altitude sickness, and fell asleep in my arms…when we had come down about 1000m she woke up and acted as if nothing had happened. That is the magic of altitude.