Front Range Mountain Guides of Colorado
Piramide Blanca : 17,159 ', Pequeno Alpamayo : 17,618 ', Huayna Potosi : 19,974 '
Illimani : 21,125 '
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Awesome snow climbing on Jagged peaks with wonderful views in evey direction in the Heart of Bolivia's Andes
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The Cordilla Real range of Bolivia is a world class mountain range and home to some of the world’s finest alpine climbs. Dispersed throughout the region, outstanding alpine snow climbs are still always within a fairly short drive from the City of La Paz. Among these, Huayna Potosi, Ilimani, and Pequeno Alpamayo are the ones most sought after by climbers from around the globe. The months of May and June have blessed this place with outstanding snow conditions, lots of sunshine and extremely stable weather. We will climb steep routes that, in places, will make you feel like a seasoned veteran and have you shooting pictures your friends will envy.
We begin our Bolivia climbing expeditions by flying into La Paz, which boasts the highest airport in South America at over 12,000’. This starting point introduces us to a high elevation immediately. Because of this we spend our first day in La Paz, hiking around the city and resting from our trip while taking in the local sights and purchasing needed supplies.
We then embark on an adventure that is also an unusual way to acclimate. Lake Titicaca is situated above 12,500' and it is there that we take a boat for a couple hours to an island where we spend the evening. The next day we cross the island which includes passing over its high point of around 4000 meters. A few hour hike across the beautiful island helps us acclimate, and introduces us to the closely knit local villagers. A day to remember.
We return to our hotel situated at a little over 11,400’ in La Paz late that afternoon and on the next day travel to the town of Tuni, our trail’s starting point. From there, llamas or mules will carry our packs in to our base camp while we hike about three hours to a little over 15,000' on Laguna Chiar Khota. The lake’s backdrop is breathtaking with the Condoriri mountain group directly before us. The following morning, we get up early and head up higher to the glacier below Huallomen ( 17,923’ ) for some glacier travel and rescue training practice. The next day our team sets out for our first climb. To reach the summit of Pequeno Alpamayo ( 17,618' ) takes about 5 hours from basecamp and is a real treat up a beautiful ridge. The setting is spectacular. A great way to further acclimate for the bigger mountains that lay ahead.
The day after our summit of Pequena Alpamayo, we hike out to the trail head and travel via 4wd to the base camp of Huayna Potosi for the evening. The following day we move our camp to the Argentine camp. At 16,900', this camp is higher than most have slept before, and our starting point for the following day’s summit climb. We begin very early and climb either the normal route or the Bordas Munoz route, both beautiful climbs. The summit gives us views that are among some of the finest from any summit in South America. After some photo time, we descend all the way to the vehicle and return late to La Paz for a hot shower and some well deserved rest.
Those climbing two summits will fly home early the following day, while those on the three mountain trip will head for Ilimani (21,125’) the next morning. After breakfast, we head up to the drop off point for Ilimani via Pico Sur by the normal route. We ascend to around 14,000 for the evening and climb about 6 - 7 hours to the summit the following morning. The climb is very cold as the sun is behind the other side of the mountain and it's rays are a welcome relief at around 9am after a 5 hour climb in the biting air. A few hours more and we are standing above 21,000 feet on Ilimani’s summit! After a 5 hour descent to Nido de Condores, we head back to town for warm beds, hot water, and a evening to celebrate.
Bolivia’s alpine world. Hard to beat. Come join us.