Huayna Potosí is a mountain in Bolivia, located about 25 km north of La Paz in the Cordillera Real.
Huayna Potosí is the closest high mountain to La Paz, a city which is surrounded by high mountains, and itself is the highest capital city in the world.
The normal ascent route is a fairly straightforward glacier climb, with some crevasses and a steep climb to the summit. However, the other side of the mountain, Huayna Potosí West Face, is the biggest face in Bolivia. Several difficult snow and ice routes goes up this 1000 meter high face.
People said it would be easy. They were wrong. Hiking to 6088m is anything but easy.
After ice climbing up a straight glaical wall on our first day, I ascended along a moraine ridge line up the mountain, taking shelter in a refuge at 5200m. In the humble shelter we waited out storms and started our summit bid at midnight.
In the darkness I climbed, hiked and clawed my way toward the top. Glacial wind, suffocating altitude, dehydration and moral kept me down. I wouldn't make it any further than 5800m.
Luckily for me, you don't always have to reach the top to enjoy the views along the journey.