Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Coin Flip of Death

Monica & I flipped a coin on weather to go to Colombia or Bolivia. Bolivia won. We were ecstatic to meet up with our Tassy friends. We thought we had good coin flipping skills. Ice picking was going to prove us wrong....

So crossing the Bolivia border was more than a notion. They saw girls that they could haggle with. I think it totaled crossing the bridge from Peru to Bolivia 5 times. (the last one being the funniest to make photocopies.) After an all day affair we made it to La Paz, Bolivia & our Tassy friends were there waiting for us. We had a great dinner & talked about our options. We decided to sleep on it. Then the next day after getting our information about several treks we flipped another coin. The coin flip of death! Ice picking it was.... 
Day 1

Monica, The Tassies, & Max (another brave soul we picked up biking the death road!) 

The first day was great. We did a little ice picking that was pretty similar to rock climbing. We had dinner, drank, & played cards.

Day 2:

We were supposed to climb to the top of this mountain. Huayna Potosi. It is a total of 6,188M (which is about 19,600FT.) Mt. Everest is a little over 8,000M (or 26,200FT.

It keep going & going & going....

Not even yoga will help with what is to come. Now you know that is bad.

We still think it is fun & games. We have no idea what we are in store for....

Snug as a bug in a rug

Day 3:

We woke up at 12AM. (I never really went to sleep & could feel fever creeping in. Yeah that makes for excellent climbing conditions right?) We got up, ate (which I could hardly do because I felt so bad) and began to put on our gear. When we left it was pitch black, & snowing pretty hard on us. We were roped together in sets of 3 & 2 with our two guides leading us. I could hardly see anything. I was out of breath from the beginning. After we would take a break, two steps later I would be panting all over again. We climbed, and climbed, and climbed. 

We made it to about 19,000FT. Before I started this adventure I remember thinking I better make it to the top or I will be upset, nope, I could care less I was in so much pain. (OH-YEAH Mt. Everest is not longer on my list of things to do with my life!)

Here was the white flag of sorts we created when we decided we were not going to reach the top. That way all the people coming down could enjoy our special new friend! 

The biggest smile ever because we get to turn around & go down the hill!!!!

Done & done!

Max & Monica: THE CHAMPIONS!!!! Seriously I have more respect for Monica than ever before. I have no idea how they finished, but I am so proud of them. There were times on that mountain where I would have relieved anything, including my first year teaching - Now that is bad! 

Yeah- I fell into something similar to that. I was so tired I barely cared (we were at least on our way down & roped together so I know their weight would hold me, if not at least I would not be in pain anymore...)

I am glad that I had this adventure. I was actually kinda pulling for the ice picking adventure because I knew in all reality I would probably never get an opportunity like it again.... I am from Texas. Will I ever do anything like that again? Not in this lifetime.

All of the people that did not survive Huayna Potosi..... R.I.P.

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