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Climbing guides in Peru and Bolivia

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Re: Climbing guides in Peru and Bolivia

Postby whatdoIknow » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:14 pm

Both countries are fantastic, but as far as the mountains go I would say you cannot top the Blanca.

I'd add one more vote for skyline in Huaraz.
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Re: Climbing guides in Peru and Bolivia

Postby Luciano136 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:59 pm

With Peruvian Andes, we indeed had 3 people on the rope. One guide and two clients. In my case, it was my wife and I on the rope, so I felt pretty comfortable with that.
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Re: Climbing guides in Peru and Bolivia

Postby Scott » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:32 am

I've seen some guides in the Alps and on Rainier put 6-7 people on one rope, with just a few feet between people, and pretty much drag them up and down the mountain caterpillar-style... Do they do the same in the Andes?


It depends on the guide service/mountain, but on Cotopaxi I seriously saw about a dozen people on one rope!
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Re: Climbing guides in Peru and Bolivia

Postby Damien Gildea » Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:06 am

Scott wrote:... on Cotopaxi I seriously saw about a dozen people on one rope!


And this, in a country that has just made it compulsory to use a guide when going over 5000m. Terrifying.
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Re: Climbing guides in Peru and Bolivia

Postby mtvalley » Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:37 am

Given a choice between Huayna Potosi + Illimani, or Vallunaraju + Huascaran, which would the South American veterans here choose?

I like the idea of expedition climbing on Huascaran but the normal route is apparently in dangerous condition the last year or so? Then again I've heard about a sometimes impassable bergschrund on Illimani. Which is the better option for moderate but interesting climbs with a reasonable chance of success?
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Re: Climbing guides in Peru and Bolivia

Postby Damien Gildea » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:12 am

extra day in LaPaz + Huayna Potosi + Sajama
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Re: Climbing guides in Peru and Bolivia

Postby Woodie Hopper » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:58 am

Damien Gildea wrote:extra day in LaPaz + Huayna Potosi + Sajama


Nice way to see two very different areas with high peaks that don't have much (or any) technical difficulty on their standard routes.

I'm not sure I understand what is meant about the "sometimes impassable bergschrund" on Illimani. Standard route seemed pretty straightforward to me.

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Re: Climbing guides in Peru and Bolivia

Postby Andes6000 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:13 pm

Buyer beware. Many if not most of the climbing accidents in this country stem from "guides" who are not certified and companies that will say anything to make a quick buck. These companies will take anyone virtually anywhere, as often happens to backpackers searching for adventure. So always ask for proof of certification, and in my opinion if it's not a UIAGM trained guide it's not worth it and only a handful exist. I would recommend testing the guide on Huayna Potosi or some other acclimation climb before paying in advance for other mountains. Having said all that, this is an amazing country and most climbers with international experience know these things apply almost everywhere.
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Re: Climbing guides in Peru and Bolivia

Postby Andes6000 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:43 pm

Here you will find a list of all Bolivian guides and certifications, under Guias y Aspirantes. I can recommend Gonzalo Jaimes Rodriguez who is very competent on rock and ice and is director of the mountain school.

www.agmtb.org
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Re: Climbing guides in Peru and Bolivia

Postby rgg » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:50 pm

mtvalley wrote:Given a choice between Huayna Potosi + Illimani, or Vallunaraju + Huascaran, which would the South American veterans here choose?

I like the idea of expedition climbing on Huascaran but the normal route is apparently in dangerous condition the last year or so? Then again I've heard about a sometimes impassable bergschrund on Illimani. Which is the better option for moderate but interesting climbs with a reasonable chance of success?


Huayna Potosi and Vallunaraju are both peaks that can be climbed without experience. Success rates are high on both. Which one you'll enjoy most I find hard to say; I enjoyed both climbs, didn't have a view on Huayna Potosi though.

I found Illimani a lot easier than Huascarán, and I would be very surprised if the success rate for Illimani wasn't a lot higher too. Many people don't reach the summit of Huascarán Sur on their first try. I needed two attempts myself, but then I enjoyed climbing Huascarán a whole lot more.

Bolivia was in September 2009. We had no problems with a bergschrund anywhere. I found it a very fine climb, and overall pretty easy, actually.
Huascarán Sur was in August 2011. The route in the icefall is always dangerous; there are many crevasses and you have to pass two dangerous avalanche zones. But it wasn't technically difficult. The crux was higher up: a steep section just below 6300m. Another potential problem: if there is no route above Garganta, finding a way up in darkness can be difficult, unless you have someone with you who has been up there earlier in the season.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
Cheers, Rob
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Re: Climbing guides in Peru and Bolivia

Postby Fintft » Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:07 pm

Hi,

I've emailed http://www.bolivianmountainguides.com for a trekking (i.e. Cordillera Real Fast) and a bit of a climbing trip (Parinacota), no reply yet though...I guess I'll also call today, is this usual for them not to answer?

I'm just a hiker with very little if any climbing experience so if they need to secure us with a rope up a small 30% climb Parinacota, they better know what they are doing...I got my own plastic and regular leather boots, but maybe they got better and I don't plan bringging a tent etc.

Also, what about some speficif requests, is it worth asking for services such as :
a) Would the guide to Parinacota help carry extra water/tea (2-3 more liters), even a second pair of boots? For a gratuity of course

b) Would the "arrieros" (muleteers) that look after mules during trekking trips such as Coridellera Real object to carrying bottled drinking water for two persons? Worse comes to worst we'd pay for an extra mule etc.

I've asked Marco Soria from http://www.bolivianjourneys.org/ these questions, but he didn't answer them, instead he replied about porters being available to carry gear, just to clarify that of course I won't have a porter on Parinacota, just the guide.

Also he mentioned new prices if I don't pay now, without answering what those prices would be for May/June etc.

Basically communications with them can be a tad frustrating at times (even over the phone).

Any other ideas tips?

Got some books as well, including the "Andes" by Biggar

http://www.amazon.ca/The-High-Andes-Gui ... 1871890381

And was wondering if you guys know about any GPS maps? The National Geographic Adventure printed map for Bolivia was probably wasted money (too high level).

Thanks and season's greetings!
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Re: Climbing guides in Peru and Bolivia

Postby Fintft » Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:44 pm

Thank you to everyone who replied via pms!

I've consolidated some thoughts here, if you guys don't mind giving more advice:

Thanks I’ll most probably use the some of the reccomended guides, especially if they are also UIAGM trained.

I.e from a trip report:
http://www.summitpost.org/an-expedition ... des/547342

“Eduardo Mamani Quispe of Bolivian Mountain Guides. Eduardo was an excellent guide, hilarious person, and great trip leader. He rented us good, quality gear including a new north face 4-season tent, good plastic boots, and good climbing pro. Additionally, he went out of his way to make sure we had the food we wanted. Eduardo speaks a bit of English, but if you need to write emails in English, speak to his secretary: Miriam Centellas. Here is his contact information.

His telephone numbers: Mobile: +591 75263820, Office: +591 77580433

Email: eduardo@bolivianmountainguides.com http://www.bolivianmountainguides.com/

Address in La Paz: Av.Circunvalación #327, Alto Villa Victoria”


I’d appreciate suggestions about the hikes/climbs, so far the overall plan looks like:

a) A couple of days in Las Paz –talking to guides etc
b) Cordillera Real Fast with a trekking/hiking company together with the wife (who’s used to decent hiking in Adirondacks and Alps).
c) Parinacota for me, unless you have other suggestions? I hear this one is the easiest etc. Easier then
“Huayna Potosi and Vallunaraju are both peaks that can be climbed without experience. Success rates are high on both. Which one you'll enjoy most I find hard to say; I enjoyed both climbs, didn't have a view on Huayna Potosi though.”

Or maybe we could replace b) Cordillera Real with something among the lines of:

1 day acclimatization drive and hike up Chacaltaya Mountain (5,400 meters)
3 days acclimatization and hiking from Q'ara Quta Lake to Condoriri base camp (3,800 - 5,200 meters)
1 day acclimatization hike up Pico Austria from Condoriri base camp (5,300 meters)
1 day climb up Pequeño Alpamayo from Condoriri base camp (5,370 meters)

As per the same trip report linked above.




I'll try to get points/coordinates out of Google Earth into my Garmin, if I can get a map for the GPS and also buy local maps there:

“1:50,000 scale maps are available at the Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN) in La Paz. There are two IGN offices in the city: one in the Miraflores district on Av. Saavedra 2303, Estado Mayor General Casilla 7641. The other is located in Oficina 5, Juan XXIII 100. Both IGN locations are shown on the map in the Lonely Planet, Bolivia



As for boots, don't have mountaineering per say just, but I have:
a) Good leather hiking boots (Garmont).
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Gar ... tedIndex=6
b) New winter Salomon goretex hiking boots rated to -20 C, but those are not double plastic boots...

For a one day ascent at max 30% to Parinacota it might not be worth buying extra ones such as Salewa Pro Guide Boots, what do you think?
I’d probably see what they have for renting in Las Paz instead (and I hope I can leave mine in storage at the hotel or somewhere at the guides office).


I've heard that since Steripen is not reliable in cold weather etc one should have a backup, i.e. my gravity filter, but then again, that one might get clogged in glacial run-off, which is very silty, like people indicated...

I’ve also heard that people don't charge the Steripen with the solar battery if they go out of 3-4 days? I plan to use the solar panel, just in case(well buy one with a solar panel and maybe a prefilter).

I'd take iodine and some crystals to change its taste with me on top of the above two...

Merry Xmas!
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Re: Climbing guides in Peru and Bolivia

Postby boisedoc » Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:31 am

I climbed Parinacota (along with some other peaks) with Bolivian Journeys back in August and can probably answer a fair number of your questions. We used Bolivian Journeys and I found Marco to be pretty helpful. Our lead guide, Eulogio, was quite competent. In general, Marco was pretty good about organizing things but there were a few things lacking (for instance, the second "guide" was actually a cook), so I think I would give them a cautious recommendation. Certainly, you could wait until you arrive in La Paz and organize a trip once you get there- that is certainly cheaper than using Bolivian Journeys for instance but with a little more uncertainty about guides etc.

As far as your plans, the main things to know are that Parinacota is really just a hike but at high altitude and very cold. You would not want to wear leather boots for it. I would just rent plastics in La Paz (bolivian journeys had boot to rent). I doubt your guide would carry gear for you. As far as water purification, we always just bought bottled water in town and then the cook would boil water when we were camping. We never used water purifiers. Keep in mind that most people climbing Parinacota just stay in a small hotel in Sajama and climb it in a day (you can buy bottled water in Sajama). If you use donkeys in the Cordillera Real, I'm just you could bring bottled water as they probably just charge by weight or per donkey.

Feel free to ask if you have more questions. If you go to splattski.com and hunt around you can see the trip report

I don't know anything about maps. We didn't use them.

The hotels in La Paz will let you store you excess gear while you are out in the mountains.

We did a trek in the Cordillera as you described to help acclimate. Pico Austria looked nice but we did not climb it. Pequeno Alpamayo is a spectacular climb but keep in mind that it is more a climb than a hike.

We also did a day trip up to Chacaltaya which was nice.

I think you probably want to acclimate for at least a week before trying Parinacota. Maybe spend a day or two visiting Lake Titicaca.
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Re: Climbing guides in Peru and Bolivia

Postby splattski » Fri Dec 26, 2014 2:38 pm

Here's a TR for the trip discussed by BoiseDoc.
http://www.splattski.com/2014/bolivia/index.html

And BoiseDoc on the summit of Parinacota
Image
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