Wanting to get into mountain climbing? Receive some basic training and exceed 6000 meters about sea level for the experience of a lifetime.
We'll pick you up from your hotel or hostel in La Paz between 8:00-8:30am and head to go try on the equipment you will need during the climb: climbing boots, mountain jacket, and pants. Once you have the suitable supplies, we'll depart en route towards the pristine Cordillera Real mountain range. It will take us about two hours to arrive at Huayna Potosí 15 miles north of La Paz and the Zongo Pass, to the refuge that will serve as our base camp.
After lunch, it'll be practice time as we embark on the lower glacier so that the guide can give you an introductory lesson on general mountain safety and how to use the equipment, such as techniques for climbing with crampons and how to fall with an ice axe. The afternoon will be dedicated to climbing lessons, which will also allow for some time for acclimatization.
After an invigorating breakfast we'll set off on the day's route. It will take us between two and three hours to make it to the high camp, another mountain refuge, this one located at 5200 meters on the snowline, where the perennial snow field begins. This day's trek is short, but you'll still feel the altitude and cold work against us as we ascend. After a dinner around 6:00pm we'll sleep early, as we will awaken around 1:00am the following day to take on the peak.
We'll rise at 1:00am on this day. Initially the progress will be slow due to the darkness, but your efforts will be well-rewarded as you look out over the night lights of El Alto and the sprawling city of La Paz and test your newly learned skill while tackling a 30m wall of ice and jumping over crevasses. The route is generally clearly visible, crossing the crevice between the glacier and the rocky wall and following the main glacier up directly. The final approach is fairly exposed, as you'll need to conquer a 45 degree slope of compressed snow that continues for 200 meters. Finally, we'll arrive at the coveted Huayna Potosí peak, from where we'll have panoramic views from the highest peak in the area, allowing us to look over the rest of the Cordillera Real range, Lake Titicaca, La Paz, and part of the high Andean plains known as the altiplano. The climb from high camp will have taken around 10 hours. We'll rest at the summit and drink in the glorious views before quickly descending back to base camp, where our vehicle will be waiting to take us back to La Paz.
*Can be rented in La Paz