Ala Izquierda means "Left Wing" in spanish. This peak forms the left wings of the Condoriri massif, named for its resemblance to a condor. The head, Cabeza, is 5,648m, and the right wing is 5,482m. Most groups only climb the Cabeza because its the highest and most prominent. Ala Izquierda, although overshadowed by its slightly higher neighbor, is worthy and aesthetic peak in its own right. Plus it has the benefit of fewer climbers , so you may have the whole mountain to yourselves, as we did. There are 3 major routes on this peak, the east and west ridges, both AD+ and the South Face Direct, D. The South face is a superb ice line and highly recommended on my opinion. The downside to this peak, however, is the descent which requires descending an AD+ route with very loose rock. This area is called the COndoriri group and contains 13 excellent peaks over 5000m, all with technical routes to the summit.
From La Paz hire a taxi or use an agency (they found all over Sagarnaga street) to take you to Tuni village, about 2 hours from La Paz. For this trip we paid 30SD each way for 2 people, which in my opinion, is too much. If you are willing to shop around a bit you should be able to do it for 20USD. I was in a hurry and didnt have this luxury. From Tuni village its a 2.5-3.5hr hike to basecamp. Its quite flat and the scenery is stunning. Mules can be rented in this village but are not necessary. To get to bascamp; head up the road past a gate to Laguna Tuni. Pass the lake on the left hand side by continuing up the road. You will soon pass some aqueducts, then further up is small dam system. The road ends at the damn and you will need to head upthe right side hill on a narrowing trail. Pass a few housed and small lakes as continue up the trail for 2 more hours, arriving at Laguna Chiar Khota. Pass the lake on the right, basecamp is at the far end at 4600m.
No permits are required to enter the area or to camp in 2005.
The season to climb, as in other parts of Bolivia and Peru is the dry season spanning from May to October. The driest most stable months of this period is June to August. *We climbed at the end of August. I would recommend going earlier as the lack of snow makes the approach and descent nightmarish.*
There is a guard at the basecamp who will charge you about 10BOL ( 1USD) per night per person in exchange for protecting your tent and up keep of the camp. A small price to pay.
For weather conditions check: www.bolivia.com/clima/ www.wunderground.com/global/BO.html
Maps: Scale 1:50.000 Try Instituto Geografico Militar (IGM) cover the whole massif: 5945 I (Zongo), 5945II (Milluni), 5945 III (Peñas), and the 5945 VI (Khara Khota) Also try the guide/tour agencies in La Paz. There are many of these agencies on Sagarnaga street. You can find other items such as fuel, cordelette, etc on this street as well. Guidebooks: Bolivia, a Climbing Guide, from Yossi Brain (The Mountaineers) La Cordillera Real de los Andes-Bolivia, by Alain Mesili ,www.andes-mesili.com