The Devils Molar - Bolivia

The Main Face of the Molar as seen from the trailhead

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Andinistaloco

Andinistaloco - May 19, 2006 2:51 am - Voted 10/10

Crazy...

I climbed this damn thing when I was down there - funny to see it while I was checking out some of the Bolivia shots. I remember one funky 5.2 or so move on shit rock with good exposure - and then the summit. Great spot....

iceclimb

iceclimb - May 19, 2006 3:06 am - Hasn't voted

Multiple peaks

Yup, It's a crazy 'crumbly place.' We slept on the summit to acclimitize for Illimani & Sajama; great views all night long... The lights from La Paz twinkled like fireworks while the sounds of Andean flutes wafted up the valley!

Andinistaloco

Andinistaloco - May 21, 2006 2:51 am - Voted 10/10

Re: Multiple peaks

Slept there, eh? Hmm, I didn't think of that. Then again, the part of La Paz I was living in was way up north and probably around the same altitude as the muela! So yeah, I was only down for an afternoon trip and so didn't get to experiment with a lot of lines on the thing... I just remember the rock being heinous, and your wife is defintely hardcore for climbing 5.7 on that crap! Cheers....

iceclimb

iceclimb - May 22, 2006 11:07 am - Hasn't voted

The Matterhorn & such places

I guess we used to specialize in climbing crap! I heard that climbing the Devils Molar, and other such places, is not so different than climbing many of the less than classic routes in the Alps of Europe, even today! I guess good climbing is in one's perspective: Regarding Bolivia, we have been there several times now and think we have a clever plan to help acclimate... The Altiplano is at 12,500, about the same as the airport, and Lake Titicaca is at most 13,000 feet 'in certain areas', and I don't think one could get higher without going to some of the higher basecamps; I forget how high the summit of the Molar is, but I think it is a tad higher than the Altiplano or the lake; not by much though. So we sleep low in the valley for the first night, then the altiplano, then the lake, kayak around a bit for exercise, then we drive to Mount Chacaltaya and end up sleeping at the hut; the road ends at over 14,000 feet, maybe higher, and this approach to climbing in Bolivia has worked well for us... In three days we all started feeling much stronger. You can summit Chacaltaya by a quick route, and get to almost 18,000 feet in under an hour with no technical climbing. (It's been a while since I have been to Bolivia so these altitude quotes are just from memory; correct me if I am a little off, but the essence of the plan is sound.) The time spent on Chacaltaya, (which is a primitive ski resort,)really helps; we usually sleep at the base of the glacier under the hut on the scree for a day, before climbing up to the hut with a jeep carrying our gear. It makes those first few days in Bolivia more enjoyable, as flying into an airport at 12,500 feet doesn't leave a climber with too many options.

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