Traditional Summits of Cordillera Real (MEROYAL)

Code: MEROYAL Duration: 8 days
Price: US$ 1074 (4 pax minimum)
Single Room Supplement: US$ 50
Technical Difficulty:
Accommodation Type:
Camping
Hostel
Trek Type:
Location:
Bolivia / Cordillera Real
Duration Days: 8
Duration Nights: 6 nights camping, 1 night in mountain hut
Suggested Seasons: Autumn - Winter - Spring

It is said that the Andes is a paradise for climbers looking for peaks of about 6.000m and that is certainly true in Bolivia.

Comparing the Andes with the Alps or the Himalayas we can say that: weather is far more stable and predictable, approaches - thanks to a large web of mining and agricultural roads - are much shorter, the climbing season in much longer (8 to 12 months depending of the region), and - during the dry season (April to September) - there is less danger of avalanches. You will have the chance to confirm all these favorable conditions with our expedition.

The Bolivian Andes are divided in two main areas: the western volcanic range and the eastern tectonic mountain range; this last one sub divided in three main mountain ranges: Apolobamba, Cordillera Real and Quimsa Cruz. Cordillera Real contains 7 of the 15 peaks over 6,000m and hundreds more over 5,000m being Huayna Potosi the most popular destination for climbers in Bolivia.

Please note that to take this trip alone, you must already be acclimatized to the highlands. This means that you must have spent at least 3-5 days at the highlands doing light physical activity. For more information about this subject, please refer to the page acclimatization at our website.

We strongly suggest you to extent your trip and adding a set date extension to climb Illimani Mountain MEILLIMA or a privately organized trip to MESAJAMA.

Short Itinerary

Day 1. Transport to Condoriri trailhead. Trek to Chiar Kota. Camp.
Day 2. Mountaineering techniques Practice. Camp
Day 3. Climb of Austria peak. Camp
Day 4. Climb of Pequeño Alpamayo. Camp.
Day 5. Rest day. Camp.
Day 6. Trek to Condoriri trailhead. Transport to Huayna Potosi base camp.
Day 7. Climb to Campo de las Rocas. Mountain hut
Day 8. Climb of Huayna Potosi. Transport to La Paz. Hotel.

Highlights

  • Ascents to two of the most popular mountains in Cordillera Real: Pequeño Alpamayo 5,370m (17,614ft) and Huayna Potosi 6,088m (19,969ft).
  • Extraordinary views of the highlands, Condoriri valley and Zongo valley.

 

Services Included

  • Meals mentioned in the itinerary.
  • 1 night accommodation in mountain huts
  • Full land transportation during the trip.
  • Common camping equipment: 3 season tents, dinning and kitchen tents & tableware.
  • Common climbing equipment: ropes, carabiners, slings, snow stakes, ice screws.
  • Professional bilingual UIAGM / IFMGA / IVBV certified mountain guide.
  • Luggage transportation with porters and/or animals (15 kg/33 lb per person max weight).
  • Cook when camping.
  • National Park entrance fees.

 

Services Not Included

  • International & local flight tickets & fees.
  • Transfers IN/OUT to airports.
  • Meals & hotels while in La Paz.
  • Personal camping equipment: sleeping bag, headlamps, and clothing.
  • Personal climbing equipment: plastic boots, crampons, harnesses, ice axe.
  • Insurance of any kind.
  • Any expense due to a rescue operation (rescuers fee, transportation, or medical cost).

 

Day to day details

Day 1. Transp.to Condoriri trailhead. Trek to Chiar Kota. Camp.

Early in the morning we take the high road towards the majestic Andes Mountains that overlook Lake Titicaca. After a short car transfer we will reach the trailhead in Condoriri, there the muleteers and their animals will be waiting to transport our gear to the campsite located at the shores of a lovely lake called “Chiar Kota” (dark Lake). We can help and have a look at them while they prepare the animals and gear for the trek. Immediately after departure, we will get incredible views of Mt. Condoriri and Mt. Huayna Potosi. Lunch will be on a spot with magnificent views over the Condoriri Massif. While we approach we will be all surrounded by beautiful peaks of all levels of technical difficulty, Condoriri resembling a condor with its wide open wings projecting from the rest. For those bursting with energy it is possible to take a short walk around the area.

Overnight: Camping

Day Elevations: 

La Paz: 3,650m (11,972ft)
El Alto: 4,100 m (13,450ft)
Condoriri trailhead: 4,400m (14,432ft)
Chiar Kota: 4,650m (15,252ft)

Timing: 

Driving: 3-4Hrs (65km)
Walking: 2-3Hrs (9km)

Meals: 

L,D

Day 2. Mountaineering techniques Practice. Camp

In order to start our acclimatization process and to standardize the climbing techniques to be used during our expedition, today we will spend most of the day practicing on a glacier. Some subjects to be reviewed are: rope handle and knots, crampon and ice axe techniques, and - if there is some time left -, some crevasse rescue techniques. At mid afternoon we will get back to our camp.

Overnight: Camping

Day Elevations: 

Glacier: 4,800m (15,744ft)
Chiar Khota: 4,650m (15,257ft)

Timing: 

Walking: 3-4Hrs (3.5km)

Meals: 

B,L,D

Day 3. Climb of Austria peak. Camp.

Cerro Austria(F) also known as “Cerro Negro” is an easy trekking peak that can be reached via moraines and rock slopes with no technical difficulty. Sometimes there may be some snow on the slopes and gaiters may be required. No climbing equipment is required. The views form this summit tops the views of yesterday’s peak.

Overnight: Camping

Day Elevations: 

Austria: 5,396m (17,698ft)
Chiar Khota: 4,650m (15,257ft)

Timing: 

Walking: 6-7Hrs (8km)

Meals: 

B,L,D

Day 4. Climb of Pequeño Alpamayo. Camp.

This peak was named after Alpamayo mountain in Peru because its similarity, Pequeño (small) Almapayo is one of the most aesthetic peaks of the region. Although as high as Austria, this route is much more technical and will represent a fire-test for the group.

After a long and tiring walk to traverse along of the valley through moraines and loose rocks, we will step-on our crampons and roped-up to traverse the whole length of a glacier to climb Tarija peak first. From that point, we will have the best view of the elegant pyramid of Pequeño.

The round trip to ascend Pequeño Alpamayo requires at least 3-4 hours from Tarija peak, so the guide will evaluate the weather and climbers condition before continuing.  

The route descends over loose rock to reach the steep ridge leading to the summit. Although most of the way downhill, the return by no means will be much easier than the ascent.

Overnight: Camping

Day Elevations: 

Tarija Peak: 5,290m (17,351ft)
Col: 5,190m (17,023ft)
Pequeño Almapayo: 5,370m (19,613ft)
Chiar Khota: 4,650m (15,257ft)

Timing: 

Walking: 8-10Hrs (9.5km)

Meals: 

B,L,D

Day 5. Rest day. Camp

A well-deserved resting day before our main goal.

Overnight: Camping

Day Elevations: 

Chiar Khota: 4,650m (15,257ft)

Timing: 

Walking: None

Meals: 

B,L,D

Day 6. Trek to Condoriri trailhead. Transport to Huayna Potosi base camp.

Once we warm up with the sun and breakfast, we will begin our hike back to the trailhead in Condoriri. There our vehicle will be waiting to take to Huayna Potosi base camp located at the foot of the mountain.

Overnight: Mountain hut

Day Elevations: 

Head trail: 4,400m (14,432ft)
Zongo pass: 4,750m (15,580ft)

Timing: 

Walking: 2-3Hrs (9km)
Driving: 2-3Hrs (38km)

Meals: 

B,L,D

Day 7. Climb to Campo de las Rocas. Mountain hut

After organizing our loads with the high-altitude porters, we will start the ascent following a very marked trail between rocks and moraines on the east face of the mountain. There we will stay in a mountain hut at the edge of the glacier (lower high camp).

Overnight: None

Day Elevations: 

High camp: 5,100m (16,728ft)

Timing: 

Walking: 3-4Hrs (2.5km)

Meals: 

B,L,D

Day 8. Climb of Huayna Potosi. Transport to La Paz. Hotel.

Today we will leave the hut very early but later than the rest of the climbers. The reason is to avoid the crowds and reduce the danger of climbing with so many inexperienced people and "pseudo-guides" around us. After a light breakfast we will get ready to start our hike traversing glaciers, across crevices and steep, frozen slopes to arrive at the foot of the final pyramid. There we follow either the north crest or the east wall to the summit (GPS’s have given 6,111m). Later we drop down to Zongo pass and return to La Paz.

Overnight: None

Day Elevations: 

Huayna Potosi: 6,088m (19,968ft)
Zongo pass: 4,750m (15,580ft)
La Paz: 3,650m (11,972ft)

Timing: 

Walking: 8-10Hrs (7km)
Driving: 1-2Hrs (45km)

Meals: 

B,L