Potosi, Illimani & Sajama
- All the high peaks of Bolivia in a row, including mountain climbing in Cordillera Real and Cordillera Occidental.
- Many "lower" summits in the Condoriri area during the acclimatisation phase.
- Good acclimatisation due to the time spent at Lake Titicaca.
- Given the multifaceted programme, we will gain a broad impression of Bolivia.
- This expedition is an ideal journey to get into high altitude mountain climbing.
- We are very experienced in travelling Bolivia.
Bolivia is a country like no other on this planet. It does not border on the sea, but it offers Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake on earth. Embedded between Lake Titicaca, the Cordillera Occidental and the Cordillera Central lies the Altiplano, a high plateau similar to Tibet.
Nowhere else in South America are the indigenous roots as deep as here – especially in La Paz, the vibrant city at almost 4000m. It's not the capital but the seat of government and the centre of commerce.
The Cordillera Real – in English "the King's Cordillera" – rises majestically above Lake Titicaca and the Altiplano. Though here in Europe, this mountain range is less known than the Peruvian Cordillera Blanca, it is just as fascinating. Hardly a mountain region on earth is as wild and remote as this one, and the view from the summits onto the Altiplano is once again similar to Tibet.
The Cordillera Occidental is that part of the Andes which stretches up to Tierra del Fuego. Here, the highest mountain of Bolivia, the 6542m volcano Sajama, stands.
On this expedition, we will summit all major summits of Bolivia. After an acclimatisation phase at Lake Titicaca and a few entrance tours in the Condoriri area, we will tackle "the big ones" of Bolivia. One by one we will summit Huayna Potosi (6088m), Illimani (6462m) and finally Bolivia's highest peak, the 6542m high Sajama.
Day 1–2: Flight to La Paz
Charter flight via Lima to La Paz, where we will meet Jeff who will bring us straight to our hotel.
Day 3: La Paz
After a long day of travelling yesterday, we will use this day to arrive properly, relax and settle in. In order to get used to the considerable height of 3660m, we will walk through the lively city, enjoying some nice, fresh fruit juice.
Day 4: La Paz–Copacabana
Still in the acclimatisation phase, we will take things slow. We will drive across the Altiplano to the picturesque pilgrimage site Copacabana, where we'll settle into a nice hotel by the lake. In the afternoon, we'll stroll along the nice bank or through the beautiful village centre, visiting the pilgrimage church. In the evening, we will hike up the nearby city hill, which offers a gorgeous panoramic view and a spectacular sun set.
Day 5: Isla del Sol (Lake Titicaca)
After a hearty breakfast on our sunny terrace we will board the ship which will bring us to the Isla del Sol. We will spend an entire day on this small paradise island. Legend says that this is the birthplace of the first Incan king. We will go on an extended hike and observe the locals in their traditional daily work. All the time, we'll have a splendid view of the nearby Cordillera Real, which we can look forward to exploring.
Day 6: Copacabana–Condoriri base camp
We will pack our entire baggage onto our vehicles and drive to the foot of the Cordillera Real. After a three hour drive and another three hours of walking, we will reach the Condoriri base camp, which lies, embedded in gorgeous peaks, at about 4650m.
Day 7–9: Mountaineering in the Condoriri group
In the following three days we will complete our acclimatisation. For this, we will summit two to three peaks of the Condoriri group. The group consists of 8 independent summits, which can all be climbed from the same base camp. The ascent of Alpamayo Pequeno is surely a must here.
Day 10–11: Huayna Potosi (6080m)
The first of our "great three:" Huayna Potosi is considered a fairly easy 6000er. Nevertheless, the ascent is interesting and varied. Leaving Condoriri base camp early, we will drive to the Zongo pass, where we meet with our porters. With their help, we can bring our baggage to the next camp site, the Plaza Argentina at 5450m.
On the next morning, we will start early towards the summit. To reach the main summit, we will have to master a 150m high, 50° steep summit wall. After a moment of bliss on top, we will descend on the same route. We will take a long rest in the high camp and then descend to the Zongo pass, from where on a two hour transfer will bring us to La Paz.
Day 12: La Paz (rest day)
Today, we will rest and recover from the previous exertions. After sleeping in, we will immerse into the hustle and bustle of the city. Nowhere else is the vibrant live of the natives more present than here when they haggle on the local markets.
Day 13–16: Illimani (6462m)
We'll visit the Bolivian metropolis only later, following the credo "business before pleasure." Given its size, the area around the Illimani could almost be considered an individual mountain range. A summit ascent here is a challenging tour. The ridge which we aim to summit is steep, and the orientation on the high plateau between the two peaks difficult. In addition to that, the current ice conditions will be determinant of the degree of difficulty of the ascent. The high camp "Nido de Condores" is situated beautifully, with an amazing view onto the night lights of La Paz. The view from the summit across the almost 1000km long and 250km wide Altiplano is surely unique! On day 16, we will transfer back to La Paz, where we will sure be happy to enjoy a warm shower.
Day 17: La Paz
Before setting off to the "Grande Finale" in the Cordillera Occidental, we will once again enjoy the advantages of staying at a hotel. Today is another rest day, which we can use to relax and recover from the exertions. We will go on a short excursion with a nice hike to "Diablo Mudo."
Day 18: La Paz–Sajama
A nice transfer across the Altiplano will bring us to the village Sajama. Since both Sajama as well as the Parinacota are in a national park, we will have to register at the local park authorities. After the procedures, we will explore the idyllic village with all its postcard worthy spots.
Day 19–22: Sajama (6542m)
We kept Bolivia's highest mountain until the end. A short transfer will bring us to the end of the road, were we'll once again pack our baggage onto our faithful pack animals, the mulas. The path to basecamp leads through volcanic pumice sand. Already the subsequent ascent to the 5650m high camp has passages which may need to be secured with fixed ropes, depending on the conditions. The camp itself lies in a beautiful spot. On our summit day, we will start with a steep stretch – thankfully, there are fixed ropes which we've installed the day before, so we'll reach the summit safely. Afterwards, we'll descend to base camp on the same route. On the next day, we'll hike back to the road, and after a short drive reach the hot springs of Pujarama. This beautiful place is ideal for recalling the past few days. What better way to relive all the amazing moments we've had than in a 38°C bath in the open air?
We'll then drive back to La Paz and enjoy our last evening with a nice dinner.
Day 23: Flight back
Today, our travel back to Europe starts. The beginning of the journey offers some last highlights, as we will travel past the Huayna Potosi and across Lake Titicaca.
Day 24: Arrival home
On this travel, we will get a very broad, diverse picture of Bolivia. Again and again we will be in touch with the local people. Respect towards them and their culture is something that we expect.
During the ascents, you will only have to carry a day pack!
The tours themselves are like challenging, difficult alpine tours. The difficulty level would be ZS.
- Organisation of the entire expedition
- International flights incl. taxes
- Baggage (for allowance see equipment list in the K&P handbook)
- Information meeting at Bächli Bergsport in Bern
- Summit fees and entrance fees for national park
- All transfers, trips by bus and jeep according to programme
- Tips on behalf of Kobler & Partner (for individual tips see K&P handbook)
- Full-board during trekking and ascents
- Half-board during journey-in and in villages/towns
- All non-alcoholic beverages during shared meals
- Hotel accommodation in twin rooms (see travel programme)
- 1 tent per 2 participants on the walk-in and in the high camps
- Group tent, toilet tent
- High mountain stoves (gas) and cooking utensils
- Fixed ropes, mountain ropes, ice screws, etc.
- Pack animals during trekking
- 1 local high porter per 4 participants, well-equipped by Kobler & Partner
- Extensive pharmacy with a pulse oximeter
- Satellite phone, call charges excluded
- 1 walkie-talkie per rope party (9 volt)
- Kitchen: 1 cook and 1 assistant in base camp and during time at the mountain
- Bolivian guide or aspirant, if possible
- Mountain guide with experience in leading expeditions
- During expedition, we recommend individual snacks and provision
- Individual beverages during journey-in an back
- Performance related individual tips for our local helpers (see K&P handbook)
- Insurance (see "insurance")
- Additional costs arising due to changes in the programme
Between the individual ascents we will return to La Paz.
The additional costs which this implies are absolutely justified. Our experience shows that it leads to better rest and recovery, which in return rises chances of summit success massively.
On the Kobler scale, the seriousness of a travel can reach from A (high) to D (low).C