MM Collection
Checking in from the Condor's Nest on Illimani, Bolivia. MM Collection
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July 28, 2011

Another Bolivia Mountaineering School Underway!

MM Northwest Guide Ian Nicholson is ecstatic to be teaming up with South American favorites Oswaldo Freire and Sebastian Carrasco on this month's Bolivia Mountaineering School and summit climbs. He will be keeping us updated with dispatches along the trip:

(Photos from previous trips)

"Buenos Tardes de Bolivia!  This is Ian Nicholson reporting in from La Paz.   I am checked in at the luxurious Ritz Apart Hotel in Plaza de Isabela Catolica,  along with fellow guides Oswaldo Freire and Sebastian Carrasco.  All of our remaining team members arrived around daybreak this morning and settled in to get acquainted over breakfast.  

La Paz with Illimani in the background. Dennis Bankowski photo

"We met up with local guide Theodoro, who is extremely knowledgeable about Bolivian culture and has accompanied many Mountain Madness trips in the past.  Theo led us out to explore the city, walking up El Prado to visit the capitol and  some 400 year old buildings in the old town plaza,  and a side trip to the Witches’ Market.  Several of our climbers are having fun with a running joke about the market, asking “Which market again?”  The Witches’ Market is filled with local wool handicrafts, classic bolo style ladies’ hats that are worn by many of the indigenous Quechuan women, coca leaves,  jars of magical talismans and totems for good luck in all aspects of life, and even petrified llama fetuses for burying under the cornerstone of new buildings to ward off evil spirits.

The Capitol building of La Paz. Dennis Bankowski photo

"After a bit more shopping and excellent lunch, the group returned to the hotel to rest and adjust to the altitude while we perform equipment checks.  We will be heading off for dinner in a few hours and making final preparations for our journey to the Tiwanaku Ruins and Lake Titicaca in the morning.  I’ll try to send photos along the way, but internet connections are a bit weak and unreliable.  More dispatches soon!"

- Ian Nicholson

Old town La Paz. Dennis Bankowski photo