On one of my last weekends living in Chile, I made a trip into the mountains, with the aim of climbing La Leonera, just under 5000m tall. After El Pintor, this was the next of the training runs before an attempt on El Plomo. 8 of us made this trip, driving up the road to Farellones that I'd cycled up a few days earlier, and heading on further up to La Parva. For El Pintor we'd driven up to the top cable car station. The cars were not running so the road up was open. This time the cars were running and a locked gate forced us to pay the money for the ride up to the highest point of the ski resorts. From there, we started our hike, over a ridge and up towards Cerro La Parva.
We'd planned to hike across the plateau to an area called Cancha de Carreras. But when we reached a small hut at the base of Cerro La Parva, I was feeling the altitude. We were at just under 4,000m, having started the day at 500m in Santiago, and though I'd done the climb to El Pintor without any problems, this time I felt extremely tired and could hardly keep my eyes open. I didn't fancy climbing another 200m and risking worse problems so I said to the group that I wanted to camp here.
We set up our tents, and I slept for a little while. I felt better by the evening, so just before sunset, we climbed La Parva, just a 15 minute climb from our campsite and 4,050m tall.