Chacaltaya Mountain could mean Bridge of Winds in the Mollo language or could be Aymara for "cold road" - either way; It's 5,421 meters high and I have been to the very top and breathed the thin, thin air of summiting a mountain
Chacaltaya is in the Cordillera Real, one of the mountain ranges of the Cordillera Oriental, itself a range of the Bolivian Andes and it's about an hour and a half from La Paz.
The snowline of the mountains of the Andes begin at 5000 metres, far higher than most other moutains, because the 5000 odd kilometres of the Andean range is close to the equator and is relatively hot and sunny.
Many of the mountains used to have glaciers that flowed a long way down their sloping sides, but in the last 70 or so years most of the ice locked water has disappeared with various odd weather phenomenon.
Chacaltaya's glacier, which is believed to be around 18,000 years old, covered much of the mountain side in the 1940s, but was completely gone by 2009. The glacier was formerly one of the highest in South America, and like Cotopaxi, which we climbed in Ecuador, it's now just a memory.
As we drive up the mountain we can see the scrapings of the glacier in the rocks, and the merrains that mark it's low movement up and down the mountain.
The drive itslef is an adventure; the dirt road is a series of switchbacks so severe that you wonder if you're just doing a series of 270 degree angle turns. When we finally stop, we are at 5,300 metres at an abandoned ski resort and the bus drivers get out to take the tyres off an check their brakes, and some to collect snow to cool their overheating engines.
It wasn't a long climb up the mountains, it's only another 120 metres from the bus stop to the summit, but it takes an hour of sucking in the thin oxygen depleted air to get there.
Along the way I see abandoned ski lift infrastructure; a memory of the days when La Paz locals used to come and enjoy long. pure ski slopes there are now rock outcrops and scientists' climate measuring equipment.
But once I reached the top it was beautiful. The light bounced off the snowy peaks; I felt like I could see forever in the cloudness clarity of the mountain peaks. Looking around me I could feel why the Aymara people, who have lived here for thousands of years, feel the need to talk with the mountains.
I think they might listen.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!