Bolivian Summits

BOL-10 / 18-day trip / Grade: AD

Peaks: Point Austria (5300 m) > Pequeño Alpamayo (5450 m) > Huayna Potosi (6094 m) > Ilimani (6462 m)

Bolivian Summits
OVERVIEW

Cordillera Real in Bolivia is known as “New World’s Himalaya.” This amazing mountain range has some of the highest and most beautiful peaks in the entire Andes mountain range. Examples are the beautiful triangular Huayna Potosi, the aesthetic Pequeño Alpamayo (named after the famous Alpamayo in Peru, due of its impressive appearance and route) and the iconic Illimani 6462 m, the highest mountain in the Cordillera Real and ultimate aim for this expedition.


Day 1 Arrival in La Paz (3600 m)
Day 2 La Paz – Walking city tour
Day 3 Copacabana (3900 m)
Day 4 The Sun’s island (4065 m)
Day 5 Condoriri massif – Tuni Campsite (4350 m)
Day 6 Condoriri base camp (4650 m)
Day 7 Climb: Punta Austria (5300 m)
Day 8 Glacier training (4800 m)
Day 9 Climb: Pequeño Alpamayo (5450 m)
Day 10 Huayna Potosi lower mountain refuge (4790 m)
Day 11 Huayna Potosi’s high camp (5180 m)
Day 12 Climb: Huayna Potosi (6094 m)
Day 13 Spare summit day for Huayna Potosi
Day 14 Ilimani’s Base camp (4460 m)
Day 15 Ilimani’s high camp (5420 m)
Day 16 Climb: Ilimani (6462 m)
Day 17 Back to La Paz
Day 18 Departure
ITINERARY
Day 1

Arrival in La Paz (3600 m)
Arrival in La Paz at El Alto’s airport (4000 m) and transfer to hotel (3600 m). La Paz is the highest capital in the world with an stimated population of 2,3 millions. Decorated with its iconic Ilimani (6462 m) snow capped mountain in the background. It is located in the La Ollada valley, built on the slope of the mountain from 4000 meters down to 3600 meters, with a notable increase in temperature at the lower section, being the most privileged social classes the ones living there.
Once at the hotel, meeting with our staff who will give you a short introduction and briefing about the next day’s activities.

Day 2

La Paz – Walking city tour
In the morning a half day city tour in La Paz, visiting some of the most iconic places in the colonial downtown like: Plaza Murillo (La Paz’s main square), Calle Jaen, Plaza de San Francisco, the exciting “witch market” in Calle Linaza, street food markets and ending the souvenir market at Calle Sagarnaga.
Free afternoon.
Night in hostel.
Included meals: Breakfast

Day 3

Copacabana (3900 m)
Pick up in the morning for a 4 hours drive from La Paz to the famous Titi-Caca Lake and the harbor town of Copacabana, located by the shores of the lake. The road trip is an experience in itself, after leaving El Alto (popular neighborhood in upper La Paz), the first mountains will be visible and the one that stands out first is Huayna Potosi (6094 m), after that the Condoriri massive and then the Cordillera Real starts to vanish in the distance. After about 3 hours drive over the “Puna” (highland desert), will reach the San Pedro de Tiquina channel, were a rustic ferry will sail the vehicle to the other side. From this point 45 minutes to Copacabana.
Upon arrival, visit to the Copacabana’s church, which houses the black Virgin Mary and then a short hike to the pilgrim’s hill of Copacabana known as Cerro Calvario (4018 m). Sunset from this spot are once in a lifetime experience, don’t miss it!
Night in hostel
Included meals: Breakfast

Day 4

The Sun’s island (4065 m)
Early morning departure from Copacabana’s harbor in a local tourist boat, sailing Northwest to the Northern end of the Sun’s Island called Challampa. Once on land, will take a trail that crosses the island from North to South passing ancient and more modern ruins along the way. During the hike, there are some great vintage points over to the Lake. About half way, there is the highest point, a hill called Palla Khasa (4065 m). Then the trail begin to descent towards the Southern end, where lunch will be held in one of the nice typical restaurants of the island. After lunch, a short hike down to the harbor called Yumani and then sail back to Copacabana, while enjoying the evening lights.
Night in hostel
Ascent: 265 m / Descent: 265 m / Highest altitude: 4065 m / Activity duration: 2-3 h / Distance: 11 Km.
Included meals: Breakfast

Day 5

Condoriri massif – Tuni Campsite (4350 m)
A 3 hour drive from Copacabana to La Cordillera Real, leaving the main road between Copacabana-La Paz, heading Eastwards to a campsite know as Tuni (4350 m), due to its closeness to the Tuni Lake. The camp lies on a high grass area, close to an abandon farm. Upon arrival the arrival the staff will setup the tents and prepared the campsite. After a good lunch, there will be an easy acclimatization (1 h) hike up to a hill (4600 m approx.) that has a formidable view of the Huayna Potosi mountain.
Night in tent.
Ascent: 250 m / Highest altitude: 4600 m / Activity duration: 1 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 6

Condoriri base camp (4650 m)
Today there is a 4-5 hour hike from Tuni to Condoriri Base Camp. The trail goes over a gravel road for approx. 1,5 hours, passing some of the local Indigenous houses and where it is possible to get a glimpse their traditional way of life. The road ends in “El Rincon” (the corner) and from there a we-ll marked trail ascent gently by the Condoriri valley. There are many great spot for photos towards the impressive massif and its steep mountain peaks. Before reaching the campsite, the path passes the Khauan Khota Lake and shortly after the final destination: Condoriri base camp, which lies at the foot of Austria Peak and on the shores of Chiar Khota Lake.
Condoriri Base Camp is located at 4650 meters and therefore it is important to take it easy on the afternoon.
Night in tent.
Ascent: 300 m / Highest altitude: 4650 m / Activity duration: 4 h / Distance: 9.8 Km
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 7

Climb: Punta Austria (5300 m)
Morning start from the camp heading Northwards across a moraine field up to a narrow valley on the Southern flank of Punta Austria. The ascent follows the valley, progressively gaining altitude until the a col. From this point, there is one of the best view over to Huayna Potosi and Condoriri. It is possible to get a glimpse of the extension of the Cordillera Real to the North. The last section of the climb, goes over a trail close to the ridge, ending on the summit. The 360 degrees view is breathtaking, on one side to the mountain range and to the other side the “”puna” and in the back ground the Titi-Caca Lake. The descent traces back the same trail back to camp.
Night in tent.
Ascent: 650 m / Descent: 650 m / Highest altitude: 5300 m / Activity duration: 5-6 h / Distance one-way: 2,9 Km
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 8

Glacier training (4800 m)
After a quiet morning with a late breakfast, the team will prepare the technical gear and hike for an hour to Tarijas’ glacier. It’s an easy walk up to the glacier, where there is an ideal place to do a thorough glacier training for the upcoming climbs. It usually takes about 3 hours to do the practices.
Return to the camp for preparation for next day’s climb.
Night in tent.
Ascent: 150 m / Descent: 150 m / Highest altitude: 4800 m / Activity duration: 3 h / Distance one-way: 1.9 Km
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 9

Climb: Pequeño Alpamayo (5450 m)
Pequeño Alpamayo (Little Alpamayo), is one of the 13 summits in the Condoriri group and definitely one of the most aesthetic mountains and interesting climbs. The mountain has a pyramid shape and a clear ridge where the route goes. Most of the ascent is done over gentle slopes, but the last ridge can reach up to 55º, making it really fun!
Leave the camp before sunrise, hiking back to Tarijas’ glacier, where team will gear up for the glacier crossing. The fist part of the ascent is gentle, negotiating some crevasse along the way, until the last section which turns a bit steep just before Tarija’s summit (5362 m). From the top of Tarija, there is a breathtaking view of Pequeño Alpamayo, which is known to be one of the most beautiful mountains in Bolivia.
After this first summit a 60-meter descent by rocky terrain to Pequeño Alpamayo’s seddle. A ridge starts there, becoming narrower and steeper towards the summit. This is the most technical part of the climb, but also the most existing. It is a great experience, a climb for life!. From the 5450 meter top, there are impressive views of the La Cordillera Real and to the East the drop towards the Amazon basin!
Descent back to Tarija is slow, but is much easier than the ascent. The rest is quite easy.
Night in tent.
Ascent: 800 m / Descent: 800 m / Highest altitude: 5450 m / Activity duration: 8-10 h / Distance one-way: 3,9 Km
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 10

Huayna Potosi lower mountain refuge (4790 m)
After a well-deserved night’s sleep and a good breakfast, the staff will pack down the camp and the lama shepherds (often used llamas instead of horses / mules), will carry the luggage down to “El Rincon” (4500 m), where the transports will be waiting for a drive back to El Alto near La Paz.
Along the way, there will be a short stop to buy snacks. From El Alto, head north and after 1.5 hours drive, arrival at Huyana Potosi’s lowest hut. Rest of the afternoon for recovery and packing for moving next day to high camp.
Night in dormitory at basic mountain hut.
Descent: 150 m / Highest altitude: 4650 m / Activity duration: 2 h / Distance: 2.9 Km
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11

Huayna Potosi’s high camp (5180 m)
After preparing all the need equipment for the next day’s climb, the porters divide the loads and begin the ascent to high camp. The group will follow shortly, hiking (4 h) by a good trail that swing through the moraine. Most of the way is quite easy with short section of steep terrain. High camp is located at a platform beside a hut with a real high mountain atmosphere. Upon arrival the group will get their tents and cargo, to settle in their tents and rest before the summit bid. The guide will do a throughly briefing and check all the gear for the climb. Early dinner and rest.
Night in tent.
Ascent: 390 m / Highest altitude: 5180 m / Activity duration: 4 h / Distance: 2.3 Km
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 12

Climb: Huayna Potosi (6094 m)
Wake up call will be around 1:00 AM. The staff will provide a light breakfast while the team gears up for the climb. The team will be divided, according to the physical shape and acclimatisation level. Once on the way, the first part follows a relative steep moraine until reaching along traverse, which leads to another steep step. Once on top, the climb follows a series of ascending snow fields that leads to the huge Pyramid below the summit. By this time dawn has begun and it would be possible to get a good overview of the section ahead leading to the summit. The final Huayna Potosi’s ridge is one of the most spectacular climbs in Bolivian and an experience of a life time. The trail follows the narrow ridge, offering an incredible view to the neighboring mountains, the great Titi-Caca Lake, the Ilimani mountain, La Paz City and, if cloud clear, it is possible to see the Parinacota and Sajama volcanoes in the distance. A summit not to be missed!
The descent will be done by the same route, once at high camp, a short break to pack down and recover the strength for the last section down to the lower hut. The vehicles will be waiting for a 2 hours transfer back to La Paz and a well deserved rest.
Night in hostel.
Ascent: 914 m / Descent: 1304 m / Highest altitude: 6094 m / Activity duration: 10-12 h / Distance to the summit: 2.2 Km / Distance to the lower hut from the summit: 4,5 Km.
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic

Day 13

Spare summit day for Huayna Potosi
This day is a spare day in case of bad weather. Otherwise a free day in La Paz for rest and recovery.
NOTE: in case of using the day for a summit attempt, the dinner of the day before and picnic of this day are included.
Night in hostel.
Included meals: Breakfast

Day 14

Ilimani’s Base camp (4460 m)
Today’s road trip is one of the most beautiful mountain routes throughout the country. Drive out of La Paz from the south and further up to a mountain pass that separates La Paz from the Panaca Valley. The Panaca Valley is a beautiful sandstone valley, with incredible tower formations in the midst of a desert. The road goes all the way to the bottom of the valley (the lowest point on our trip approx. 2800 m) and along the river with perfect panoramic images of Ilimani in the background. From there, the road begins to climb again through a greener landscapes, agriculture fields and, in stark contrast to the dry landscape, passed through earlier. After a couple of hours, the town of Pinaya (3870 m), which is the last village before Ilimani and where trail starts.
After a good break, the staff will pack the animals and begin to hike towards base camp. This is a enjoyable hike. It takes about 1.5 hours to reach BC, which is superbly located with a good view of Ilimani’s main peak. Sunsets are incredible!
Night in tent.
Ascent: 590 m / Highest altitude: 4460 m / Activity duration: 1,5 h / Distance: 3,1 Km
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 15

Ilimani’s high camp (5420 m)
As soon as the morning sun hits the tents, the team will get a nice breakfast and start packing for the day’s march. The hike goes to “Nido de Condores”, this is how Ilimanis’ high camp is known. It is a beautiful and varied hike through a high mountain valley that stretches up to a series of colorful ridges that lead up to high camp. This campsite is simply spectacular, located on a ledge right at the glacier’s edge, has a panoramic view overlooking to the lower valleys and the mountains and the southern part of Bolivia: Parinacota and Sajama.
Afternoon preparations for the climb and rest.
Night in tent.
Ascent: 960 m / Highest altitude: 5420 m / Activity duration: 4-5 h / Distance: 3,4 Km
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 16

Climb: Ilimani (6462 m)
Very early wake up call and a light breakfast before departure. Gear up for the glacier crossing and the adventure begins! The ascents follows an almost direct line over some steep ridges that lead to a small rounded peak. Then the terrain becomes easier and follows some glacier ramps leading to the famous “Rompe Corazones” (Heart Breaker) slope, which is the steepest and most exiting section of the entire climb. This part is about 150 meters and will get progressively steeper to its end and then ease off as it reaches a huge plateau at about 6200 meters. By this time, the sun has already risen and hits the climbers. The view from the plateau towards the other side of the mountain, where the Amazon is located, is great and in the distance other 6000 peaks will be visible. If the weather is clear, it is possible to spot the highest mountain in Bolivia: the Sajama volcano, to the south.
From the plateau, the climb follows a well-marked ridge which takes between 45 minutes to an hour before standing on Ilimani’s summit!. The view from the top is grandiose 360º, Huayna Potosi clearly appears, La Paz down in the valley and a panoramic view of almost all of La Cordillera Real.
The descent to high camp takes about 4 hours and, after a short break, continues all the way to basecamp to celebrate this gorgeous climb.
Night in tent.
Ascent: 1042 m / Descent: 2002 m / Highest altitude: 6462 m / Activity duration: 12-14 h / Distance to the summit: 2.1 Km / Distance to base camp: 5,5 Km.
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 17

Back to La Paz
After a long sleep, the group will pack the camp and hike for a short hour down to Pinaya town. There the transport will be waiting for the trip back to La Paz (5 h), arriving in the afternoon.
Night in hostel.
Note: This day is quite light, as it is meant to be use as a buffer day in case of bad weather on the scheduled summit day.
Descent: 590 m / Highest altitude: 4460 m / Activity duration: 1,5 h / Distance: 3,1 Km
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic

Day 18

Departure
Pick up at hotel and transfer out to La Paz’s Airport (1 h) for international flight.
End of services.
Included meals: Breakfast

PRICING
BOL-10 – To request prices, please click on the BOOK TRIP bottom on the right sidebar and fill the information.

INCLUDED

  • Local English speaking culture guide from day 1 to 5
  • Local English speaking main UIAGM mountain guide from day 5 to 17
  • Assistant guide from 3 people during the mountain itinerary from day 5 to 18
  • Local assistant mountain guides for summits days Ratio: 1:2 for Pequeño Alpamayo, Huayna Potosi and Ilimani
  • Private transportation throughout the entire program
  • Half-day walking city tour in La Paz
  • Boat to the Sun Island
  • 5 nights in shared double rooms in the city of La Paz
  • 2 nights in shared double rooms in the town of Copacabana
  • 1 night in share dormitory in the lower hut in Huayna Potosi
  • Entry & climbing fees to the National parks and natural reserves
  • Quality mountain tents – 2 people per tent during the trek/climb
  • Group common campsite equipment
  • Porters and mule/horses for group campsite equipment and personal equipment
  • Cook during the trek and climb
  • Meals as specified in the day to day itinerary

NOT INCLUDED

  • Domestic and international flights
  • Separate airport transfers in case of multiple arrival/departures
  • Meals not mentioned in the program
  • Personal camping & climbing gear
  • Personal expenses
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Everything not mentioned in the “Included” list
HOTEL LIST

LA PAZHostel Naira or similar

COPACABANAHostel Onkel Inn or similar

HUAYNA POTOSI: Lower hut: No website

MAP

Overview:


Condoriri range and Huayna Potosi Peak:


Ilimani Peak:

Tags: Climbing, Bolivia, Copacabana, Cordillera Real, Ilimani, Potosi, Alpamayo, AD, Condoriri, AD grade, Pequeño Alpamayo, Huayna Potosi, Austria peak, Tequila