Our Lady of Peace

To wrap up my blogs about my time in La Paz, I'd like to share some general observations and impressions about the place. La Paz really stands out to me when compared to the Latin American cities I visited last year. Buenos Aires had a distinctly European feel. Quito had a generic, big sprawling Latin … Continue reading Our Lady of Peace

La Paz Day Trips

Although my main reason for going to Bolivia was to hike tall mountains, there are things to do in Bolivia besides mountaineering! Unfortunately, since the socialist (and later authoritarian) government of Evo Morales came to power in 2006, there has been a steep drop off in tourism due to a number of policies he enacted. … Continue reading La Paz Day Trips

Cordillera Occidental – The Volcano

After the Illimani near disaster, I started heavily rethinking my idea to attempt a summit of Sajama, the highest peak in Bolivia. Well, truth be told, I had started rethinking it the week before on Huayna Potosí when all the guides were talking about how miserable the conditions were. Not because of snow, but because … Continue reading Cordillera Occidental – The Volcano

Cordillera Real – The Failed Expedition

Having come just shy of 20,000 ft the previous weekend, I planned to surpass that magic number the following weekend with Illimani, the mystical guardian of La Paz, at 21,122 feet. Base camp is a mere 50 miles outside La Paz, but due to the road conditions, it takes about 3.5 hours to get there. … Continue reading Cordillera Real – The Failed Expedition

Cordillera Real – The Second Chance

At 19,974 feet, Huayna Potosí (19,974 feet) was a chance to avenge my Cotopaxi (19,347 feet) failure in Ecuador in December 2021. I put a lot of pressure on myself last year to summit that volcano, but I shouldn't have. It was 3,000 feet higher than I'd ever gone before, plus I'd never done serious … Continue reading Cordillera Real – The Second Chance

Cordillera Real – The Warm Up Peaks

If you've been following this blog this summer, you know that all the summits I bagged, all the hiking I did, and all gym time and running was aimed at one goal - Bolivian summits. And so, a mere one day after I switched from sea level in Washington DC to a city that sits … Continue reading Cordillera Real – The Warm Up Peaks

Mountain Season Arrived, and How!

My trip to Banff was planned with many stunning, wild, and booty-busting hikes in mind, but nonetheless hikes that an averagely fit person could handle, given enough time. Somehow it ended with a hike that is currently in my top three most difficult summits. I had no plans to do a big peak in Banff … Continue reading Mountain Season Arrived, and How!

A Man, A Plan, A Canal – Panama

If you're a word nerd like me, my palindromic title will be familiar to you. The man referred to is Teddy Roosevelt, who said in a 1911 speech at UC Berkeley: The Panama Canal I naturally take special interest in because I started it. ... But the Panama Canal would not have been started if … Continue reading A Man, A Plan, A Canal – Panama