6k peaks in Bolivia

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6k peaks in Bolivia

by ajaysomani » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:20 am

Hey guys,

I'm interested in Climbing the Sajama and Huayna Potosi peaks in Bolivia in the next climbing season (June 2013). I have some basic experience of using crampons and ice-axe but do not have any really technical skills to handle steep slopes. I'm planning to hire my own guide to hike up these mountains. I summitted Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador last month which is a walk-up and I'm looking to go up a level in altitude by attempting these mountains. Do you think this is a reasonable plan? Do I need additional training before attempting these peaks with a guide? I live in California so it would be great if you can suggest me some place nearby to train with the technical skills if I need any.

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Woodie Hopper

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Re: 6k peaks in Bolivia

by Woodie Hopper » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:59 am

If you didn't have any problems with Cotopaxi I think you should be fine on HP and Sajama with a good guide. You should keep in mind that Sajama may be colder (and likely windier) than HP and Cotopaxi. If you have the time Pequeno Alpamayo would be a nice tune-up.


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Damien Gildea

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Re: 6k peaks in Bolivia

by Damien Gildea » Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:18 pm

I've climbed HP, Sajama and Pequeno Alpamayo and would concur with Woodie - you should be fine.

Just keep in mind that the Sajama area is already high so you need to be acclimatised before you get there to do it safely and enjoyably, so HP beforehand might be a good start. The very top of HP is a bit steep but nothing getting worried about. I think June is a good time to go as these peaks now melt out quite a lot by late July, into August. HP can become more crevassed low down and Sajama can get bad penitentes.

That last slog up the summit dome of Sajama is hard work, but worth it. In poor visibility it might be hard to find the exact highest point - a week after I was there some Bolivian park rangers played football up there! There is one short section above High Camp, where you go up a ridge then traverse right across a narrow thing before moving up onto the summit slopes. I found this fine, but there have been accidents here. If you have time and the will, Parinacota is a very easy climb too, easier than Sajama.

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