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Photographer's Note

The hillside neighborhoods of La Paz, Bolivia--as seen from El Alto, the ever-sprawling city that rests above the highest capital city in the world. Behind it sit parts of the Cordillera Real range within the greater Andes Mountains. Huayna Potosi, on the left, tops 6,088 meters (19,974 feet) and is an accessible high mountain climb for those wishing to summit a truly impressive peak. 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.

Some climbing books report this mountain as the "easiest 6000er in the world", but this claim is arguable. The easiest route entails an exposed ridge and sections of moderately steep ice, with a UIAA rating of PD. There are many 6000m mountains that are easier to climb in terms of technical difficulty. Perhaps, the main reason Huayna Potosí has been called the easiest 6000m climb is that the elevation gain from trailhead to summit is less than 1400 m; with easy access from La Paz. Since La Paz is at 3640 m, climbers have an easier time acclimatizing.

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Additional Photos by Alex Von Hagen (AVH) Silver Note Writer [C: 3 W: 0 N: 27] (120)
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