Mountaineering in the Cordillera Real of Bolivia - Climbers Paradise
The Cordillera Real shelters most of the higher summits in Bolivia from which 6 are over 6000m altitude. It is located on the eastern side of the Altiplano, between Lake Titicaca and the Amazon basin, close to the Bolivian capital of La Paz. The Cordillera Real is densely glaciated due to its proximity to the Amazon lowlands with its associated humidity. From May to end of September the climate above 4000m altitude is very stable, offering an ongoing perfect blue sky.
Possibilities for mountaineering are almost infinite. Some glaciers are really huge, inviting for adventurous mountain climbs while ski touring. Some parts of the mountain chain see clean granite cliffs emerge from it, which are great for multi pitch rock climbing. Depending on the faces there are Ice cascades to be found at several periods of the year. The trans cordillera trekking following the whole cordillera, is seldom transited, and you will most probably visit part of it to reach the base of the mountains.
But most importantly the mountain chain offers both easy accessible climbs like Huayna Potosi, being probably the easiest accessed 6000m summit in the world, and remote and empty climbs where opportunities for first ascents are still numerous.
Crossing the bergschrund of Illimani at approx 6300m altitude. Depending on the conditions it can be among the technical parts of the climb. Usually one gets into the direct sunlight at this moment !
Steep climb to reach the final ridge of Condoriri. "La cabeza del Condor" (means Condor head) is among the most beautiful climbs one can make in the cordillera real of Bolivia.
The high camp of Illimani "nido de condores" at 5450m is probably the most spectacular camp in Bolivia with its view on falling seracs
Not enough ? Then choose among the following list !
We know which mountain guide has experience on the routes / summits you desire to climb
Last step to reach the top of pico Tarija which has to be climbed when one is going for the summit of Pequeño Alpamayo - Condoriri massif
In the Hampaturi region there are hidden granite towers which still offer many option for multi pitch trad climbing first ascents. Click here for a report of our first ascent
Bolivia is not particularly famous for ski touring and snowboarding. This does not mean that it is not an option. Here a snowboarder takes a rest on the Argentino glacier from Huayna Potosi
Climbers reaching the summit ridge of Illimani mountain early in the morning
Whereas Illimani, Huayna Potosi and the Condoriri region belong to the great classics of the Cordillera real, there is much more to climb. The image on the left depicts 3 mountaineers going for the summit of Chachacomani with Chearoco 6173m in the background. Both are seldomly climbed !