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Bolivia? Boots?

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Bolivia? Boots?

Postby triyoda » Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:55 am

Looking for recommendations for local guides and/or gear rental (tent/stoves) out of La Paz. Thinking about a 2-3 week trip to try for 2 or 3 summits. Also looking for potential partner(s).

What kind of mountaineering boots would you use at for a 6K peak in Bolivia/Peru. I have La Sportiva EVO Nepal GTX boots, which I use for winter in the northeast, not sure if this is enough boot for high altitude. Longer term looking at Denali, so I don't mind buying a higher quality pair of boots if I need to.
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Re: Bolivia? Boots?

Postby Woodie Hopper » Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:47 am

Any guide from Bolivianmountainguides.com would be first rate. They are also used by Bolivianmountains. I'm going back with Eduardo Mamani this May. Most of the guides above are his family members. I also climbed with Pedro, his nephew together on Condoriri. It's good you are doing your due diligence, because there are a lot of poor guides and flaky tour operators in La Paz.

I use LS Baturas, and they were fine, no cold toes on Illimani, although I'm going to spend some of my time on Sajama and Parinacota which may be a little colder. I think your boots should be warm enough. As you know, boots on Denali will need to be warmer, but I wouldn't want a bulkier boot for Bolivia.

Woodie
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Re: Bolivia? Boots?

Postby Woodie Hopper » Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:51 am

Also, there are plenty of places on or near Sagarnaga in La Paz where you can find gear to rent. If you go with Eduardo or his buddies, they will supply gear (including technical gear: axes, ice screws), tents, etc at no extra cost. A cook and porters (when necessary) are also included.

Woodie
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Re: Bolivia? Boots?

Postby eferesen » Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:19 am

I agree with Woodie. I went with Eduardo and Pedro last year and their service was superb. Pedro speaks English which was a plus for me as my Spanish skills are abysmal. Every detail was meticulously tended to and they are very flexible with plan changes. They can fulfill any equipment need. There was a guy in our group who had to rent everything and I mean everything.

Eduardo is into technology and takes pictures and videos on the climbs. As a going away gift he gave me a blown up pictures of me walking down the glacier on Pico Tarija. It thought that was really generous of them. They are really fun people.
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Re: Bolivia? Boots?

Postby rgg » Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:14 pm

For Huayna Potosi, I climbed in Millet Rock&Ice boots, which I regularly use for summer mountaineering in the European Alps. I've dabbled a bit with ice climbing in the winter with them as well. They were fine for both jobs, never had cold feet. Since winter in the mountains in the northeast of the US is colder than summer in the Alps, your boots should be fine too.

On the higher peaks, including Illimani, I climbed with Scarpa Omega plastic boots. Overall, they were fine, but especially on Parinacota I had cold feet during the night. Nothing dangerous, but a little bit more warmth would have been nice. Mind you, I only wore one pair of socks in them - the fit is too snug to wear two pairs. Perhaps I should have bought them one size bigger.
Last year I climbed a bunch of 6000-ers in Peru with my Scarpas, and on several occasions I had cold feet again in the early hours before sunrise. I wasn't surprised, but I can handle the minor discomfort, because as soon as the sun comes out, it's fine again, and these boots have a lot going for them: they are light, relatively comfortable to walk in, and excellent for climbing something steep.
Based on all this, I would say that these are good for South America (especially if I had them slightly larger), but I would never take them to Denali. And in case you find yourself spending the night in an unplanned snow cave high on, say, a 6000-er in the Cordillera Blanca, without anything but your boots to keep your feet warm, you might get frostbite.

Good luck,
Rob
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Re: Bolivia? Boots?

Postby cabouckaert1 » Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:07 pm

I can also strongly recommend eduardo, pedro & co, great guides, very competent, responsible, well-organized and fun!
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