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Which Mountains to Climb in Peru/Bolivia

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Which Mountains to Climb in Peru/Bolivia

Postby Garon Coriz » Wed May 26, 2010 5:28 pm

I'm going to be in the Cuzco area for a medical expedition from August 6 to August 21. I'll then have two weeks to kill before I leave for Mexico City on September 7. I'm torn between the mountains of Bolivia and the mountains of northern Peru. :? One idea was using a guide for Pisco, Alpamayo, and neighboring peaks, which, I think, would require a flight to Lima and a subsequent bus ride to the interior. Another idea was soloing a couple of the volcanoes of the Cordillera Occidental in Bolivia like Parinacota and Sajama (tentative due to crevasse danger). Yet another option I could think of was using a guide to tackle Illimani and/or Illampu.

Anyways, what do you think would be the best course of action during that time of year with that amount of time and a limited amount of funds?

Thanks a lot! :D
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Postby Woodie Hopper » Thu May 27, 2010 9:32 pm

In late summer penitentes are more of a problem on Sajama, Parinacota and Illimani (May is best for these peaks). Illampu and the high Altiplano peaks (i.e. Sajama and Parinacota) are more expensive if you take a guide. Also, Illampu is more difficult and takes more time than the other peaks above to climb (although it is a very worthy goal in and of itself).

If I had two weeks in August in Peru, I'd stay in Peru for climbing (and go straight to Huaraz!).

Woodie
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Postby Damien Gildea » Fri May 28, 2010 12:16 am

Yes, if you only have two weeks, stay in Peru, but not the Blanca. Maybe some of the high, easy peaks in the Arequipa area, though by Sept they may be very dry.

I have climbed Sajama and Parinacota (both solo) and Illampu (to 50m from the top) and I doubt either would be good in early September. You need to do Illampu in June before the headwall melts out too much.
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Postby Bruno » Sat May 29, 2010 6:18 pm

Woodie Hopper wrote:In late summer penitentes are more of a problem on Sajama, Parinacota and Illimani

I guess you were meaning late winter and not late summer regarding the penitentes (southern hemisphere).

Although it's true that penitentes become more of a problem at the end of the dry season, I have climbed Sajama and Parinacota as late as the last week of October, and the conditions were still excellent. During another climb, I found perfect conditions on Sajama in late September.

The whole Cordillera Occidental is very suitable for solo climbs, with limited crevasse danger. Weather in the Cordillera Occidental is also much more stable than in the Cordillera Real during the off season.
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Postby Woodie Hopper » Sat May 29, 2010 10:40 pm

Bruno_Tibet wrote:
Woodie Hopper wrote:In late summer penitentes are more of a problem on Sajama, Parinacota and Illimani

I guess you were meaning late winter and not late summer regarding the penitentes (southern hemisphere).

Yes- thanks for pointing that out.

Cheers!

Woodie
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