Over the past week, I’ve been off the grid so to speak, in the high Andes of Bolivia. My blog has been quiet while I spent four days sleeping at 15,400 feet at the foot of Condoriri Mountain (5648 m)Β in the Cordillera Real Range of Bolivia.

It was quite an adventure to say the least. One that I will never forget and one that I am still recovering from. My dad and I managed to climb two mountains in two days, the first at 16,899 feet (5152 m) and the second at a whopping 17,698 feet (5396 m). I still am in awe at the beauty of it all.

In honor of today’s photo challenge here are some photos of where I was. Many more will be coming soon as I play catch up and sort through all my colorful photos from Bolivia. Here is a sneak peak of a few unedited ones that capture the imagination of such a remote, spectacular place.

Condoriri Mountain Bolivia

Setting out to our destination: The foot of the Condoriri

Condoriri Mountain, Bolivia

Meeting our “muleteers”, Gregorio and Francisca, who will load our supplies onto mules to carry to our base camp.

Condoriri Mountain Bolivia

Condoriri Mountain Bolivia

Setting up our camp.


Condoriri Mountain Bolivia

Me in front of my home away for home for the next three nights, at 15,400 feet!

Condoriri Mountain Bolivia

My dad and I at the start of our first hike, to Mount Jaillaico

Condoriri Mountain Bolivia

On top of Mount Jaillaico (16,899 feet/5,152 m)

Condoriri trailhead Bolivia

Stunning views abound

Condoriri trailhead Bolivia

Day 2 climb of Austria peak

Condoriri trailhead Bolivia

Stunning 360 views on top!

Condoriri trailhead Bolivia

Climbing up to top of Austria Peak (Yes it looks straight down but it wasn’t. We were safe despite the angle of this shot, we were not about to fall off the edge!).

Condoriri trailhead Bolivia

Breathing thin air

Condoriri trailhead Bolivia

Almost there!

Condoriri trailhead Bolivia

And we made it! Here we are on top of the world at 17,698 feet/ 5396 m

Condoriri Vally Bolivia

Our last day: One last gorgeous look


It was an amazing trip! Hard yet surprising what the body can do and overcome!

Stay tuned…

I have many great stories to share and loads of fantastic colorful pictures from Bolivia. I have some catching up to do and can hardly wait!

This post was inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Gone but not forgotten. To view more entries click here.Β 


  1. Nicole, this is an astonishing and stunning collection of images. Thank you so much for sharing your exhilarating and magical journey. Peace and blessings to you. Michele

      1. Yes I have been to Ladakh it is beautiful! You must visit Ladakh! You visited Delhi and didn’t go hiking? You should do that next time you are here, if not to Ladakh then other parts of Himalayas!!

      2. I visited Delhi on my way to Nepal where we did the Annapurna trek! So I have hiked in the Himalayas but not in Ladakh! How do you get there? Fly???

  2. Wowza! These photos are stunning. Did you take anything to help you get more oxygen? Or did you chew coca leaves? I’d say that this had to be the highlight of your dad’s recovery! Anxiously awaiting your beautiful posts and photos of Bolivia.

    1. Thanks Debbie! No, I’m actually amazed how well I do at altitude. I was a little nervous since I’d been this high before in Nepal but it was ten days hiking slowly up that I got to 18,000 feet. Here I was that high in only three days but I was fine. Just slow walking. I did have a hard time sleeping though. I did drink coca tea too! Yes my dad is so amazing. He truly inspires me! More coming soon once I get caught up!!! Hope you are well!

    1. Thanks! Yes it was hiking up all these slippery pieces of broken off shale. When we went down, we simply dug our heels in and skied it! There was no other way!

    1. Thanks so much Janet! Yes it was quite an adventure! It is nice to be back in my warm bed though. A few of the nights were a mere 15 degrees in that tent!!! It was freezing trying to sleep! πŸ™‚

  3. Looks like a great trip! Of course I loved seeing the scenery and hearing about the mountains you hiked, but my favorite part was the tent! I love staying in tents so much and have not done so for almost a year – I miss it! I look forward to future posts about the trip.

    1. Thanks! The tent was actually a bit brutal because it was so incredibly cold at night!!! I think the low was around 15 degrees F and I had all my clothes on and all my coats on over my sleeping bag. Worst was when I had to pee! BUt yes there is something magical about being at the foot of a 20,000 foot mountain with hardly anyone around! πŸ™‚ More coming soon!

      1. Oh yeah, the peeing is not fun! And you’re usually trying to stay extra hydrated so it’s always a problem! Cold temperatures and high altitude definitely add some obstacles to good sleep, but I still love organizing and snuggling into my tent for at least a few days a year (8 days in a row is about my max!).

  4. Jaw dropping images, Nicole πŸ™‚
    I am sure, you will never forget this place, even if you wish πŸ™‚
    It’s so hard to pick one image over the other, but 11th one with the top view of the climbers at the edge of the ridge and the lake below surrounded by mountains is my favorite.
    I can’t really take my eyes off it πŸ™‚

  5. Fantastic views, Nicole. Congratulations to you and your dad on climbing to the tops of those mountains in two days. I’m in awe. πŸ™‚ Did the altitude and lack of oxygen not bother you at all?

    1. Thanks Sylvia! I was amazed that I did fine with the altitude. I just had a rough time sleeping is all and when you walk up you have to take slow steps and big belly breaths. πŸ™‚

  6. i enjoyed this last week and am back now with internet fast enough to leave a comment! ah, bolivia! i’ve not visited, but friends have written and stated, ‘you’re going to love bolivia.’

    it’s great seeing photos of you and your father on yet another wonderful journey…

    1. Yeah! You have to go to Bolivia Lisa! You would LOVE it. It has such a strong indigenous culture. Check out La Paz and you’d love the colors. It would inspire your art!

    1. Thanks! I enjoyed it a lot too. Would love to see more of Bolivia. It is so different from Chile and Argentina. I’ve been to Peru too but liked Bolivia more. πŸ™‚

      1. Thanks me too! hope we can continue many more trips. Every three months is a scan which is nerve wracking but it beats the alternative!

      2. Terry has to contend with regular blood tests as well. But you are right, it is much better than the alternative. πŸ™‚

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