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Huayna Potosi Climb

Climbing South America - 3 days

  • Huayna Potosi Climb
  • 3 days / 2 nights
  • Difficulty: Medium
Overview
Route
What's Included?
Accommodation
FAQ
Packing List
Meals
Safety
Climbing South America
How to Book

Overview

> Spend 2 nights at Refugios
> Get a technical briefing before the climb
> Walk over the glacier

Bolivia´s Most Popular climb Huayna Potosi (6088m) is northeast of La Paz in the Cordillera Real and is known as one of the easiest 6000m plus mountains to climb in the world. During this trek, you will spend your first day at Base Camp, where you will walk to the lower glacier to learn and practice some ice walking and climbing techniques. On day 2 you will head to High Camp, where you will rest before your final push to the summit on the last day of the trek.

Huayna Potosi can be climbed by complete beginners and provides amazing views of the Cordillera Real, Lake Titicaca (3810m) and the Altiplano (4000m). If hoping to climb higher mountains in the area, Huayna Potosi is a good starter!

Route

What's the Plan?

Day 1: La Paz (3600m) – Paso Zongo (4700m)

We drive from La Paz to Paso Zongo (4700m). Once at Paso Zongo we drop our gear off in the hut and have some lunch. After lunch, we walk to the lower glacier, at the lower glacier the guides will explain and show some basic techniques for ice climbing and mountaineering. We will have the chance to practice these techniques with the guides and our climbing equipment. Later in the day, we will practices ice climbing techniques on small ice walls with safety ropes in place. After we walk back to the base camp where we sleep in a Refugio.

Drive: 1 ½ hour drive
Walking time:  2 hours trekking
Meals: L, D
Accommodation: Refugio

Day 2: Paso Zongo – High camp (5150m)

Today we have a relatively easy day up to high camp. High camp is on a rock buttress at an altitude of 5200m and at the base of the glacier. The walk up in on a well used path on rock. Once at high camp, we need to get our gear ready for the next day, as we have an early start in the morning. We also have time to rest and rehydrate. It’s an early night tonight where we sleep in the Refugio.

Walking time:  2 - 4 hours trekking 
Meals: B, L, D
Accommodation: Refugio

Day 3: High camp – Summit (6088m) – High camp - La Paz (3600m)

We have an early start in the morning. We will leave around 1 am in the morning. It will be cold so we want to dress well. The climb starts on the glacier, so will start with our crampons on, and the rest of our climbing gear. The climb mostly follows a trail on the glacier. We have 2 steep sections, one at around 5600m, called the Pala Chica. The trail goes through a snow and ice wall. Once through this part, we keep following the trail on the glacier up to 6000m. From this point, we can see the summit above as. The last section to the summit is great climbing on an exposed ridge. From the summit, we can see from Illimani (6439m) to Illampu (6368m). After we take our photo shot on top, we head back down the same way to high camp. Once back at high camp we have a short rest and pack our gear. We then head back down to base camp to meet our transport back to La Paz.

Walking time: 9 - 13 hours climbing
Drive: 1-hour drive
Meals: B, L

What's Included?

Included:

√ Transport
All private transport required during the trek is included. On the first day, we will drive you from La Paz to Paso Zongo. On the last day, we will drive you back to La Paz.

√ Professional guide
You will be accompanied at all times by a professional English speaking mountain guide. There will be 1 guide every 2 trekkers. A cook will be in charge of preparing the meals during the trek.

√ Meals
All meals mentioned in the itinerary, including drinks at camp, are included in the price of the trek. The guide will be in charge of preparing your food. If the group has more than 4 trekkers, a cook will join you on the trek.

√ Accommodation
You will spend 2 nights at the refuges. The Refuges are simple in nature, but strong enough to keep you safe and warm during the night.

√ Mountain equipment
All mountain equipment necessary such as double boots, ice axe, crampons, harness, extra jackets and pants for the cold are included in the price of the trek. So are thick gloves, balaclava, gaiters, helmet, a headlamp if needed (batteries not included)

√ Climbing equipment
Equipment for the mountain such as ropes, harness, crampons, and protection are included in this trek.

√ First Aid kit
A first aid kit will be available during the trek in case it is needed. An oxygen bottle will also be available for those who need it.

Excluded:

× Airfare
You have to make your way to La Paz. The total amount is exclusive of flights to and from Bolivia. 

× Accommodation before and after the trek
Before and after the trek you have to take care of your own accommodation.

× Travel Insurance
Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. It is important that your travel insurance also covers adventures at a high altitude. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before your trek.

× Personal Clothing
 Personal clothing such as thermal underwear (top and bottom), thin liner gloves and socks are not included in the price of the trek.

× Backpack and Sleeping bag
You must bring your own backpack and sleeping bag with you. These won't be provided by your trekking company. You can rent a sleeping bag from Climbing South America for USD 4,- per night.

× Porter
Porters to carry personal equipment are not included. You can rent one for USD 30,- /EUR 28,- one way.

× Tipping
Tipps for the guide are not included in the price of the trek. You decide how much to tip, but if you got a good service from your guide, be generous.

Accommodation

Accommodation

During the climb, you will spend your night at the Huayna Potosi refuges: Base Camp and High Camp, at 5200 meters. From the High Camp refuge, you can see the summit and other peaks of the Cordillera Real. The Refuges are simple in nature but strong enough to keep you safe and warm during the night.

You will spend the night in dormitory rooms with bunk beds. There can sleep 10 or more people in each room. Bear in mind that you will have to bring your own sleeping bag.

FAQ

Where is Huayna Potosí
Huayna Potosí, 6088 m, is an emblematic mountain that is part of a bigger mountain range, the Cordillera Real. This huge and impressive massif is located in the western side of the country, close to the Peruvian border, and is one of the icons of the city of La Paz.

La Paz is one of Bolivia’s main cities, together with Sucre. Which of the two is the capital of the country has been a heated debate for years. According to the Bolivian Constitution, Sucre is the Capital City of Bolivia. However, the president an administration of the country reside in La Paz.

Best season
If you are planning your Huayna Potosí ascent, you must choose your dates carefully, especially if this is the first time you will be climbing at high altitude. The best months for trekking in the Cordillera Real mountain range are from April to November. During these months it rains the least and the skies are clearer. However, you must know that during these months, days are shorter, and temperatures can get as low as -20°C. During the rest of the year, temperatures are warmer, that is true, but rainfall is quite abundant, and winds tend to blow stronger.

Tipping
Tipping your guide and porters after the trek is not customary in Bolivia, however, it is always appreciated. There is no rule as to how much you should tip your crew, but USD 10-15 for each, per trekker, is what the trekking companies recommend.

Training
Although Huayna Potosí is usually deemed as the easiest climb over 6000 meters, it should not be taken lightly. Huayna Potosi can be climbed by complete beginners, that is true. It is also true that it is a great way to get ready for higher mountains, but you need to be ready for it.

If Huayna Potosí is in your plans, then start training a few months in advance. Trek a few hours a day, climb stairs, train with a backpack, and if you can trek in the mountains, that is even better. Get to your trek as fit as you can. That will rise your chances of making it to the top, as well as making the whole journey more enjoyable.

Packing List

Packing List

We find that the majority of the people climbing Huayna Potosi have very little or no experience in the mountains. We find that people’s expectations and experience on the trip don’t always coincide e.g., the route was harder than expected, weather was colder than they were thinking, didn’t know how to dress properly, got sick in high camp, etc. 

Here we have written a few tips to help you pack the right clothes for your trek:

Boots: Every brand of boot fits differently, even if they are the same size. The only way to get the proper fit is to try on the boots. When trying on a pair of double boots, it’s better if they go a little bigger rather than smaller. You can always put on another pair of socks if the boot feels slightly too big. However, if the boot is too tight and it starts to hurt during the climb, this can make the difference between making the summit or not! 

Thermal underwear: Your base layer. You are going to need a good pair of thermal underwear or base layer. It needs to be tight or fit close to the skin to take the moisture away from your body and help keep you warm. Cotton is not recommended as it does not wick moisture, keeps you cold, and takes a long time to dry. 

Pants: For summit day three layers are recommended; thermal underwear, a pair of trekking pants, and a wind shell. If you get cold easily, then another pair of thermal pants are needed. 

Tops: For summit day the following combination is recommended; a thermal top as your base layer, one or two polar jumpers/pullovers, a fleece/softshell jacket, and a windproof shell. Carry one warmer down jacket or something similar in your summit pack as an additional layer. A balaclava will help seal the top of your jacket to stop the wind from coming in. 

How to dress: As it’s probably your first time, it may be hard to judge how cool it’s going to be or how warm you are going to feel. There is a very fine line between underdressing and overdressing. By overdressing, you tend to sweat too much and by underdressing, you will get too cold. If you are overdressed and start to feel hot, use the zippers to open the jacket and get more ventilation. During summit night, you can experience a variety of temperatures. Instead of taking layers of jackets on and off, just use the zippers on your jacket and jumpers to control your temperature. 

Important: remember that Climbing South America includes many of the gear that you will need during the climb. The fitting of this gear usually takes place the day before the climb. Bear this in mind when choosing your dates.

Gear included by Climbing in South America:

Meals

Meals during the trek

All meals mentioned in the itinerary, including drinks at camp, are included in the price of the trek. The guide will be in charge of preparing your food. If the group has more than 4 trekkers, a cook will join you on the trek.

During the trek you can expect dishes like the following: 

Breakfast: cereal, fruits, bread, eggs, yogurt, coffee tea, milk, etc.
Lunch: cooked lunches, rice with chicken and vegetables, pasta with sauce, drinks, tea, coffee, etc.
Dinner: soup, main meal, meat with pasta, rice with sauce and meat, dessert, tea, coffee, etc.
Snacks: chocolates, fruit.

There are vegetarian and vegan options available. Please let the operator know of your dietary requirements in advance.

Safety

Safety

Safety is of the utmost importance to us. That is why this is an area in which we simply do not compromise when it comes to keeping the cost of our trekkings low. Our guides have been selected on the basis of their technical competence, proven safety performance, impeccable judgment, friendly attitude and ability to provide useful and expert instructions. They are also very professional and well trained in first aid and personal protection equipment. First aid kits are available on all treks.

Climbing South America

Climbing South America

Climbing South America was born of Jeff Sandifort’s passion for climbing and adventure. Jeff arrived in South America almost 20 years ago as a backpacker and fell in love with the wild places of this exotic continent and especially the vast Andes mountain range. Later having left South America to climb peaks all over the world, Jeff couldn’t resist the temptation to return.

Initially settling in Sorata, a town and base camp for expeditions in the north of Bolivia, he worked as a guide for some years both in Bolivia and neighboring countries. Jeff quickly saw the potential for an agency that offered unique climbing expeditions to and other off the beaten track adventures. Using his contacts in the industry Jeff has assembled a team of highly skilled and professional individuals, some of whom are internationally certified mountain guides.

Drawing on his team’s and his own in-depth knowledge of the continent, Climbing South America has developed a range of once in a lifetime climbs (Huayna Potosi climb), treks, 4x4 tours and much more throughout South America. Currently covering 6 countries we aim to expand even further over the coming years.

How to Book

How does it work?

On Bookatrekking.com you can find and compare the adventures of your dreams. Is this trekking adventure your match? In that case you can proceed to booking. At Bookatrekking.com you make a deposit of 15% of the total amount. You pay the remaining amount on location prior to the trek directly to the trekking company.

Bookatrekking.com uses only the safest payment methods. Once your booking has been received, your place is reserved, your place is safe and you can look forward to your chosen trekking.

After you have made your booking, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with all necessary information and the contact details of the trekking company. If you have any questions or if you want to clarify something, you can obtain information directly from the right person. Of course, you can also always ask us your question. Send us an e-mail on support@bookatrekking.com

The trekking company will also receive your details and can therefore always contact you and provide you with extra information.

Cancellation Policy

You wish you didn’t have to, but there is no other way: You find yourself having to cancel your plans. In this case, you lose your deposit, but since you haven’t paid the large sum yet, you at least save that. Please do let us know if you cannot make it. A no-show can be a small disaster for your trekking provider, who did its best to block your dates. View our complete cancellation policy here.

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