Walked solo from Sajama to the camp below the col. Needed two days because I walked the direct line from Sajama to the col and crossed a lot of old, dusty lava streams. Enough snow for cooking close to the camp on the Pomerape side of the valley. In 7 hrs from camp to summit in a clear, sunny and warm day ( -2°C). The surprising appearance of the huge summit crater was one of the most exciting moments in my mountaineering life. Had a great view up to the Cordillera Real ~200km away. No one else at the mountain at this time.
Lots of snow made this one a real marathon. I often fell to my knees and a few times to my waist in the deep powder. I wish I had my board and I could have ripped a nice 1200m line down!!!
Technically very easy, but I recommend sticking to the rock rib, it will be a lot faster, and the only choice when there isn't much snow. It also appeared that an approach from Chile and Lago Chungara would be much shorter and the routes similar, just a a longer but easy traverse along the crater to the summit.
Went there with PO and Eric, also from France. We took a guide at Putre (the owner of agency Aymaruta in Putre) and went at a BC at approx. 5000m. to spend the night. Next morning, we began to climb at 4 O'clock. We had 2 hours of climb on big rocks, sometimes a bit steep, before arriving at snow (at around 5700m). The snow was very icy and with little grietas everywhere. As the slope was becoming quite steep for these snow conditions, I told the guide that we should use a rope... He went a bit embarassed to tell us that he had forgot the rope at BC... I decided to go back.
I am returning there in October 2005 on the bolivian side.
My message is clear : unless they changed radicaly, don't attempt Parinacota with this company (Aymaruta) ! They were expensive, they provided poor equipment, they had very poor skills in mountainering and no experience of guiding people.
we decided to climb from the west side of the mountain. its a perfect cone so you can basically ascend from where ever you want. our route went up a steep gully full of penitentes. i don´t recommend this route due to the bad snow conditions and a super long approach. go from the south or from bolivia.