Thirdeyemom

The Descent from Cerro Austria

Author’s note: This post is a continuation of “The Grand Finale: Climbing Austria Peak“.

It took only three hours to climb up from our base camp at 15,500 to the summit of Cerro Austria at 17,698 feet (5,396 meters). Thankfully we had left early because a storm was moving in. If we didn’t get down soon we would be trapped.

Cerro Austria BoliviaI had never heard the eerie sound of thunder in the high mountains before. It is a sound you don’t want to hear. Every rumble and boom bounces off the mountains, echoing in a loud, frightening way. It wasn’t too close yet but it was moving in.

Cerro Austria Bolivia

Cerro Austria Bolivia

We headed down gingerly given the slippery slopes. The clouds grew more and more laden with rain. But at least the views were stunning.

Cerro Austria Bolivia

Cerro Austria Bolivia

Up close look at a glacial pond.

Cerro Austria Bolivia

Cerro Austria BoliviaAbout an hour into our climb down, the storm arrived first pelting us with rain and then turning into painful hail. It was getting extremely slippery and the chance of lightening was increasing.

Cerro Austria Bolivia

Javier told us that llamas are pretty intelligent and can sense when a storm is dangerous. They find shelter and wait it out alongside a hill that protects them from getting struck by lightening. When the danger passes, they leave.

Cerro Austria Bolivia

Cerro Austria Bolivia

Wet and tired, we arrived at our base camp. Unfortunately the weather only got worse and we spent the rest of the day cold inside our tents. But it was a hike I’d never forget.

Cerro Austria Bolivia

Cerro Austria Bolivia

And I knew we would have a delicious hot meal awaiting for dinner.

Cerro Austria Bolivia

Eugenia, our cook, inside the “kitchen” tent gives us a big smile.

Stay tuned……

 

15 comments

  1. Scary! It always amazes me how animals are aware of storms and earthquakes. From now on…I’ll always llamar a una llama. 🙂

  2. You are simply amazing! I have been near the top of Mt Humphrey in Flagstaff during an electrical storm so I know how scary that can be. But I have never been in a situation like the two of you.

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