6/28/2011: Tarija 2

This was a much earlier day. We got up, had breakfast, got organized, and headed out by 7am. Again, I was the 2nd to last to be ready. The sun was up, but it hadn’t crested the nearby peaks, so we were still in the shade.
Sun Rising over Tarija Glacier

I started the day wearing my two tees and my orange fleece shirt. Halfway up the glacier, I put on sun screen, and I put on my down vest. I wore my balaclava under my helmet, and that worked well.

 We practiced cramponing and putting in ice screws and other protection. We ate lunch, then did some belaying/ice climbing, and prussicing / rappelling. This last bit was a lot of fun. I wish that I could have done it for real rather than just on a small practice slope.

Jim Practices with Prussics
Jim Practices with Prussics
Practicing Belaying
Lakes Near Camp from Tarija
Mountains Around Camp from Hike Back

We stayed there until about 2:00. It was breezy at times, and I think I was borderline hypothermic.

When I got back, I changed into hiking boots, and treated 2 liters of water. Then I had some tea while I wrote up the days events. I found it hard to chronicle this part of the trip, because I could only write when I was back in camp, and then I was usually busy and tired. I rested for about an hour before dinner.

By this time, the wind had really picked up, It ended up ripping the door of the dining tent off of its frame, turning the tent into somewhat of a wind-tunnel. I think they ended up repairing it with duct-tape.

Listening to the ills of others, I was amazed that so far I hadn’t had any real symptoms of altitude. I had a lot of gas. With the dry and cold weather, my hands were getting trashed. And I’d had only a very mild headache. Other people had had diarrhea, sever headaches, lack of sleep. Some people took that day as a rest day.

That evening clouds came in and the stars disappeared. I was still hopeful for good weather the next day.

Tomorrow would be when the first real fun begins—the first summit. We were scheduled to leave at 5am, which meant that I needed to get up at 2:30. I was going to bed shortly after 7:30, so I hoped that getting up would not be too bad (other than being very cold).

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