Illimani is an iconic mountain that can been seen from La Paz. This mountain is often used as the symbol of La Paz and is the second highest peak in Bolivia standing at 6438 meters (21,122 ft) and the highest in the Cordillera Real. It has three prominent peaks visable from La Paz (it actually has several peaks over 6000 meters) and the most commonly climbed route is on the west face.
To climb this mountain you should have some experience and be very well acclimitised. We recommend that you have spent at least 7 days above 3000 meters and have done some high altitude trekking or climbed another 5500 meter plus peak.
We leave La Paz in the morning to start out journey to Pinaya which will take around 3 to 4 hours. From here we will load up the pack mules and walk to Puente Roto. This wil take a further 2 to 3 hours and here we will set up camp for the night and have a wonderful view of La Paz and El Alto at night. (4500 meters – 14763 feet).
After breakfast we will leave Puente Roto and the trek up to the high camp of Nido de Cóndores (Condors Nest). The terraine will be scree and rock. This will take around 6 to 8 hours and when we arrive we will set up camp for the night. For this section we will have porters to help carry the equipment (5500 meters – 18044 feet).
We awake early around 1/2am to start our ascent to the summit. It will be very cold at this time and we will try to warm ourselves with coca tea before putting on the crampons and roping up. The ascent is heavily crevassed, a mixture of ice and snowy ridges and has a number of 50 degree sections, so combined with the altitude this can make for tough going. Also, due to the face the sun rises on the other side of the mountain it will be cold for the whole climb. Normal ascent time is around 6 to 9 hours. After reaching the peak and resting to enjoy the spectacular views for a while we start our descent back to the high camp where we will meet with the porters before descending back to Punte Roto to stay the night.
On this final day we have a short walk back down to Pinaua to meet up with our vehicle for the return drive to La Paz, arriving in the city around midday.
Included / Not Included
Private transportation to and from the climb
Qualified Mountain Guide , Spanish speaking
Camping equipment – tent, mattress, cooking equipment
Equipment – Climbing Boots, Crampons, Ice Axe, Mountain jacket and Trousers, harness, ropes, gloves etc
Meals including drinks at camp meals
Pack animals and Porters where indicated
Sleeping Bag (required to at least -10) – you can rent a sleeping bag -18 from us if required (deposit required)
Head torch – if you dont have your own we can supply this – you supply batteries
Thermal under trousers , fleece jacket and thermal upper body wear, fleece hat, perosnal gloves for inside mountain gloves
Backpack 50 to 60 liters for carrying personal equipment
Water (2 liters bottle required – refills available)
Chocolate or high calorie sweets /snacks
Warm gloves for wearing inside Mountain Gloves, Warm Hat
Sunglasses, Sun cream and Lip balm – essential.
Travel Insurance – recommended
This climb is available only from May to October due to weather conditions. The is a minimum requirement of 2 people for this climb. If you are just one person and wish to climb you can pay double and the climb will be confirmed – price is per person.
There is one guide for 2 people, 2 guides for 3/4 people, 3 guides for 5/6 people. Larger group sizes are better as they provide more flexibility. For example if there are just 2 people and one guide and one person cannot continue the climb then both climbers must return with the guide and no refunds will be given. If there is a larger group one guide can bring 1 or 2 people down whilst others continue.
You must be well acclimatised to climb this mountain and have some basic mountain climbing experience.