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Bolivia & Huyana Potosi

Bolivia's Cordillera Real contains six of the countries thirteen 6,000m peaks, and is located close to the chaotic capitol city of La Paz. It is a spectacular and undiscovered mountaineers dream.

You're pretty much guaranteed a great trip out here because the weather in the Cordillera Real is very stable so you're unlikely to get rained off.

Whatsmore, access is very easy because La Paz is only a couple of hours away from the trail head at Tuni and a network of mining have been constructed that take you into the heart of the Cordillera Real.

All of this means that you can squeeze far more into your trip than would be possible at most other mountain destinations and you won't be threatened by the kind of inclement weather that leaves you confined to the refugio, mournfully gazing out of the window at the falling snow!

Make no mistake about it, Bolivia is a veritable feast of mountain adventure! After the main course, served at 6088m on Huayna Potosi, numerous other mountain ascents and epic downhill mountain bike rides can easily be served-up for pudding.

Pre-expedition acclimatisation

This expedition starts and finish in La Paz (3650m), one of the worlds highest cities. Before heading off to the mountains, it is important that you spend enough time getting used to the thin air.

There are a number of acclimatisation options available. You could spend the first couple of days above 4000m at Lake Titicaca. Or, undertake some of Bolivia's world famous, high altitude, mountain bike rides.  Alternatively, head out to Uyni for a jeep safari on the astonishing Salt Flats.

We then undertake the classic Condoriri trek, which traverses the striking Condoriri mountain group and is considered to be one of the worlds great mountain journeys. This short trek never falls below 4500m in altitude and crosses two 5000m passes before arriving at the Refugio Huyana Potosi, it is the perfect way to acclimatise before climbing Huayna Potosi.

The programme includes a half-day basic crampon and ice axe skills course, and can be customised on a bespoke basis to include different mountains, routes and acclimatisation.

The expedition is aimed at people who already have some experience of roped glacier travel using crampones and an ice axe.

Programme

Day 1. Arrive at La Paz airport. Transfer to the hotel (3700m).

Day 2. Acclimatisation, Lake Titicaca/ mountain bikes.

Day 3. Acclimatisation, Lake Titicaca/ mountain bikes. Return to La Paz.

Day 4. Transfer to the village of Tuni (4450m) at the start of the Condoriri Trek. Camp or lodge.

Day 5. Begin Condoriri trek. The first day is short and gentle, to make sure you have got used to the high altitude. We camp at Condoriri basecamp, near to Largo Khara Khota (4650m), possibly one of the worlds most beautiful campsites. 4hrs walking. Mules are used to transport tents, supplies and equipment.

Day 6. A longer and more strenuous walk. Today we cross the Apachete Pass (5200m) and camp in the shadow of Huayna Potosi (4750m). 7 hrs walking.

Day 7. Today we cross the 5100m Huayna Potosi pass from where we get great views of the eastern Cordillera Real and the Condoriri group. We then swoop down into the Zongo valley and arrive at the Refugio Huayna Potosi (4750m) after about 4hrs. Here we meet our mountaineering guides and collect our equipment.

Day 8. Skills training (4900m).

Day 9. Rest/ bad weather day.

Day 10. Climb to high hut (5300m), 3 - 4hrs walking with some sections of easy scrambling. The final hour is spent on a 30deg snow slope. It will be necessary sll of your equipment do a 60L rucksack will therefore be required (10 - 12KG). Porters are available at extra expense.

Day 11. Depart the high hut at about 2AM, from here it's a 5hr glacier climb to he summit. The terrain is steep and narrow in places. After the summit, we return to the high hut to collect our equipment and grab a bite to eat, then we head back down to the Refugio Huayna Potosi where a 4 x 4 vehicle will take us back to La Paz. 11hrs climbing/ trekking. 1 hr drive. Hotel transfer.

Day 12. Trip ends, or rest day prior to more adventure!