Climb Pequeño Alpamayo, Huayna Potosi & Illimani

16 Days in Bolivia / (Skill level: Intermediate)

Price per person

$6250.00 - Extension available for $1,350
  • Next Available: Jul 22, 2023 - Aug 06, 2023
    Optional Extension Through Aug 11, 2023
  • Upcoming: Jul 20, 2024 - Aug 04, 2024
    Optional Extension Through Aug 09, 2024

About this trip

Spend two days exploring the vast Andean highlands and the bustling city of La Paz, then an additional two days on gorgeous Lake Titicaca. Build your mountaineering skills on Pequeño Alpamayo before heading to climb Huayna Potosi. There’s also the option to add a 5 day extension and climb the 21,122' Illimani, the tallest mountain in the Cordillera Real for just $1,350


  • skill level


  • Duration

    16 Days

Of all the Andean countries, Bolivia remains the least touristy and most adventurous. It offers all the attractions of its more popular neighbors, but remains a well-kept secret from the masses. This provides a unique opportunity for adventurous climbers.

A Climber’s Dream

Bolivia is a climber’s dream. Even its capital city of La Paz is made for mountaineers, situated in a valley at 11,900 feet (3627 meters). The urban sprawl is backdropped by impressive glaciated peaks and vast rolling hillsides. The city contains the highest international airport in the world situated at 13,200 feet (4,023 meters). This means our acclimatization begins as soon as we land in Bolivia. We will take full advantage of this acclimatization time and spend two days exploring the Andean highlands and seeing the sights of La Paz. During this time, our bodies will begin to adapt to living and sleeping at the same elevation as most of Colorado’s summits! We will also spend two days on Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, where we will visit the famous Reed Islands.

Pequeño Alpamayo

From Lake Titicaca, we will attempt our first peak, Pequeño Alpamayo, which rises up to 17,482 feet (5,329 meters). Like its taller Peruvian neighbor, Pequeño’s face is beautiful and offers a technical yet reasonable climb. It is also the ideal place to hone your mountaineering skills. We will spend five days practicing glacier and climbing skills, acclimatizing, climbing sub-peaks, and finally making our summit bid. The summit day consists of traversing a moderate glacier, climbing two pitches of fourth class rock, and then navigating steep ice or neve on a knife-edged ridge. After our team makes its summit bid, we will return to La Paz for a hot shower and a much deserved night in a comfortable bed!

Huayna Potosi

At 19,975 feet (6,088 meters), Huayna Potosi is taller than all but a handful of peaks in the Americas. After a short drive from La Paz to base camp, we will spend a day practicing steep ice climbing skills on the glacier’s edge. Our summit day route is comprised of steep glacier travel, huge crevasses, and a final airy ridge to the top. A summit of Huayna is a proud day, and serves as excellent preparation for bigger routes. The views from this summit encompass the countless peaks of the Cordillera Real, the city of La Paz, and on a clear day the distant Sajama — Bolivia’s rarely climbed tallest peak. After our team makes its summit bid, we will descend back down to La Paz for some much needed rest and relaxation.


While you have the option to head home after the summit of Huayna Potosi, we encourage those that have the time to stay for an attempt of Illimani (21,125′ / 6439m). Illimani looms over La Paz, and no climber has ever arrived in Bolivia without gawking at its steep flanks and sheer size. With the acclimatization and skills we have gained on Pequeño Alpamayo and Huayna Potosi, we will be ready to tackle this challenging peak — the tallest in the Cordillera Real. After a beautiful drive through Bolivian farmland and small indigenous towns, we will arrive at our base camp. From there, and with the assistance of local high altitude porters, we will move up to the Nido de Condores, or “Nest of the Condors” — our very aptly named high camp situated at 18,372 feet (5,600 meters). Summit day takes us across an exposed ridge and then onto broad snow slopes, around crevasse fields, and eventually onto the final, classic, knife-edged summit ridge.

One of Alpenglow’s AMGA certified lead guides will lead our Bolivia expedition. AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association) certification is the most prestigious in the world, attained only by the most experienced and dedicated guides. Our lead guides have also traveled and climbed extensively in South America and intimately know the Bolivian Andes. Their knowledge of Andean culture as well as the mountains, combined with their passion for teaching others to become competent mountaineers, guarantees that your experience will be one to remember! We combine our guides’ experience with the local expertise of one of Bolivia’s original logistics operators, a great cook, and our small team size (maximum ratio of three climbers to one guide) to ensure that you stay healthy, strong, and are able to enjoy each component of your experience.

Bolivia Elevation Profile Per Day


Bolivia Altitude Chart


  • Fitness

    Climbers must be in excellent physical shape to join this expedition. We cannot stress this enough -- fitness is the most important aspect of high altitude climbing. To develop the necessary level of fitness needed to climb big mountains, you must adapt a challenging, consistent exercise regime months in advance. We recommend a structured training program at a gym or with a personal trainer. Please contact us for more information on physical training.

  • Technical Experience

    Prior roped climbing, cramponing, and ice axe skills are required.

  • Altitude Experience

    It is required that climbers have prior experience at altitudes up to 14,000' and it is strongly recommended that climbers have prior experience at altitudes over 15,000'.

    • Day 1 — Arrive in Bolivia

      Arrive in La Paz International Airport (13,200 feet/4,023 meters). Spend the day acclimatizing, followed by a team welcome dinner (Saturday).

    • Day 2 — Explore and Acclimatize

      Visit the ruins of Tiahuanaco. Close to La Paz, the largest archaeological site in Bolivia lends insight into this country’s past, and its Amyara civilization. The ruins date back to 1600 BCE. Exploring these high altitude ruins will also aid our acclimatization. In the afternoon we will continue driving to Lake Titicaca.

    • Day 3 — Explore Lake Titicaca

      The world’s largest navigable lake, Titicaca sits at over 12,400 feet (3,780 meters). We spend the day on the water, visiting Sun Island and the indigenous people who live there. We spend a second evening in the lakeside town of Copacabana.

    • Day 4 — Drive to Tuni + Acclimatization Hike

      By now, we are ready to climb! Today we drive to Tuni, a collection of alpaca herder’s huts at 14,000 feet (4,267 meters). We set camp here and take an acclimatization hike.

    • Day 5 — Hike to Basecamp

      Hike (with lamas to carry our gear) to Condoriri base camp. Perched on the edge of a lake below 6 peaks over 17,000 feet (5,182 meters) in height, it is a stunning place. We set up our base camp at 15,000 feet (4,572 meters).

    • Day 6 — Climb to Pico Austria

      Climb Pico Austria, a non-technical 17,000 foot (5,182 meter) peak with fantastic views of all the surrounding peaks. It is a 3-4 hour hike up sand and scree to the summit, and is ideal for acclimatization.

    • Day 7 — Skills Day on the Glacier

      After a big pancake breakfast we head onto the glacier below Pequeño Alpamayo for a full day of skills – we practice crampon and ice axe use, self arrest techniques, roped travel, and crevasse rescue.

    • Day 8 — Rest Day

      Rest day in base camp. This is an opportunity to let our bodies recover, as well as to practice any skills that needed more work from the day before.

    • Day 9 — Summit Day

      By now, we are ready to climb! A 2am start means we will cross most of the low angled glacier by headlamp. By dawn we should be moving up the steeper rock and ice slopes, a perfect introduction to more technical big mountain routes. The final steep knife-edge ridge to the summit is one that will never be forgotten! We return to base camp for the night.

    • Day 10 — Head back to La Paz

      Return to La Paz, where we take much-needed showers, eat a big meal, and sleep.

    • Day 11 — Rest Day

      Rest in La Paz, exploring the local markets and neighborhoods. No trip to La Paz is complete without a visit to the Witch’s Market!

    • Day 12 — Head to Base Camp on Huayna Potosi

      Today we drive to base camp on Huayna Potosi, near Laguna Zongo (15,700 feet/ 4,785 meters). After establishing camp, we head to the nearby glacier, where perfect ice serac walls up to 100 feet tall allow for some technical ice climbing practice.

    • Day 13 — Move to High Camp

      With the assistance of high altitude porters, move to a high camp at 18,000 feet (5,486 meters).

    • Day 14 — Summit Day

      Summit Day! 7-9 hours of climbing takes us through crevasse fields and moderate to steep slopes, before finishing on an exposed ridge looking over the 3000 foot (915 meter) West Face. After some hero photos, we descend all the way to base camp and drive back to our hotel in La Paz.

    • Day 15 — Weather Day

      Extra contingency day for summiting if necessary. If not, we enjoy a day of pampering ourselves in La Paz.

    • Day 16 — Depart La Paz

      Leave La Paz early morning. (Sunday)

    • Illimani Extension Below

    • Day 16 — Rest Day

      For those staying for Illimani, this is another day of necessary rest. We enjoy more of the history and great food La Paz has to offer, and possibly do some rock climbing at the local sport crag.

    • Day 17 — Drive to Illimani Trailhead

      Drive east to the trailhead of Illimani. With the help of burros, we make the easy walk into our base camp at 15,000 feet (4,572 meters).

    • Day 18 — Move to High Camp

      Move to high camp, the Nest of the Condors, 18,372 feet (5,600 meters). Again, porters help to make this move more manageable and allow us to enjoy the stunning surroundings.

    • Day 19 — Illimani Summit Day

      A pre-dawn start takes us across Illimani’s glaciers. As the sun rises, we will be nearing the steeper upper slopes, which will test all of the skills we have learned through our two weeks in Bolivia. Reaching Illimani’s summit will be a moment for each of us to savor, before descending all the way back to base camp.

    • Day 20 — Return to La Paz - Or extra Summit Day

      Return to La Paz. This day can also be used as an additional summit day if weather necessitates it.

    • Day 21 — Depart for Home

      Leave La Paz early morning.

      • Headwear and Eyewear

      • Hat

        Bring your favorite baseball hat for shelter from the sun. No white under the brim - the reflection off of it from the sun is blinding. Recommended: Alpenglow 5-Panel

      • Beanie

        A comfortable, warm well-fitting hat that covers your ears. Make sure that one of your hats fits under a helmet. Recommended: Eddie Bauer First Slouch Beanie

      • Neck Gaiter (Buff)

        A multi purpose neck gator that can also be worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible and yet is still comfy. Recommended: Alpenglow Expeditions Buff

      • Balaclava

        We recommend a tight-fitting balaclava that is worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible, but is comfortable enough to wear for hours. Recommended: Patagonia Balaclava

      • Sunglasses

        Must have dark lenses. Minimal light should come in below, above, or around the sides of the lenses.“Wrap” style is best. Ventilation is important and a retainer strap is very useful (Chums or Croakies). Recommended: Julbo Shield

      • Goggles

        These will be worn on stormy or windy days. Make sure you are getting a snug fit with lenses for bright sun. Ventilation and anti-fog features are desired. Recommended: Smith I/O MAG

      • Hands and Feet

      • Lightweight Gloves

        All-around gloves for mountaineering, backcountry skiing, and hiking. These gloves (and similar options) are warm, wind-resistant, durable and have a sure grip. You will rarely take these gloves off. They should be snug-fitting, and have some sort of reinforced palm. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Mountain Glove

      • Midweight Gloves

        These gloves should be full GORE-TEX®, and insulated. These will be your main glove for the trip until summit days, or when it gets especially cold. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Guide Glove

      • Heavyweight Gloves

        These gloves should be full GORE-TEX®, with a removable fleece liner (so you can take the liner out and dry it at night). These gloves are used at higher altitude and are need to keep your hands dry, and warm. Over the cuff style is desired. Recommended: Black Diamond Guide Glove

      • Liner Socks (optional)

        A super-thin wicking sock that repels moisture. Liner socks help to reduce the likelihood of blisters. The socks should be thin wool, nylon, or Capilene®. NO COTTON. Recommended: Ice Breaker Hike Liner Crew

      • Hiking Socks

        Your everyday sock, good for day hikes, trekking, and in- town. NO COTTON. Recommended: Patagonia Lightweight Merino Performance Crew Socks

      • Warm Socks

        A wool synthetic blend. Pure rag wool socks are not nearly as effective in wicking moisture or retaining their shape and reducing blisters. NO COTTON. Recommended: Smartwool Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew Socks

      • Bolivia Mountaineering Boots (5,000m-6,000m)

        Should be warm single or double boots that have a stiff sole and accept a step-in crampon. The boots should be comfortable, have adequate wiggle room for your toes, and your heel should not lift more than 1/8th of an inch when walking. (If your feet run cold, we would recommend a double boot like the La Sportiva G2 Evo. If you're on the Illimani Extension climb, a double boot is required.) Recommended: La Sportiva G5 Evo or La Sportiva G2 Evo (Illimani Climb)

      • Hiking Shoes

        These light to mid-weight shoes are for every day use. The ideal shoe is comfortable to wear for multiple days and scrambles decently on rock. A Gore-tex lined shoe stays drier when hiking in rain or snow. Recommended: La Sportiva TX Guide

      • Waterproof Gaiters

        GORE-TEX® or Schoeller® calf- high gaiters, insulated supergaiters recommended. *Gaiters not needed if your pants and/or boots have built-in gaiters. Recommended: Outdoor Research Expedition Crocodile Gaiters (required if your boots do not have integrated gaiters)

      • Upper Body Apparel

      • Lightweight Top

        Ultra-light base layer that effectively wicks moisture away from your body and is breathable. Quick-dry is important as well. One light colored shirt is recommended for extremely sunny days. The new wool blends are also an option. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Resolution Short-Sleeve T-Shirt

      • Long Sleeve Base Layer

        A poly-pro mid-layer that you will never take off. Fitted, light- weight and quick drying. Make sure it is long enough to tuck-in and we recommend zipper collars for more ventilation. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Midweight FreeDry® Merino Hybrid Baselayer 1/4-Zip

      • Warm Layer

        A polarguard or fleece jacket. This is your mid layer that will be worn over your baselayer most of the trip. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Cloud Layer Pro 1/4 Zip or Patagonia R1 Jacket

      • Synthetic Top

        A simple, lightweight synthetic jacket. This item is good for layering systems and the Primaloft keeps you warm when wet. Recommended: Eddie Bauer IgniteLite Stretch Reversible

      • Hard Shell Jacket

        A lightweight, waterproof and breathable jacket WITH A HOOD that can withstand extreme weather conditions. Make sure you have pit-zips and if you are using an old jacket, re-waterproof it. Recommended: Eddie Bauer BC Freshline Jacket

      • Soft Shell Jacket

        While this item isn’t required, we know that those who don’t have one wish they did! More breathable than Gore-tex, these jackets block wind and light precipitation. A windshirt is an option for this layer. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Sandstone

      • Bolivia Down Parka (5-6,000 Meter Peaks)

        A puffy jacket with a hood that will keep you warm during the coldest of conditions. The higher the quality down, the better (800-fill is best). However, be sure the jacket is still lightweight. If you're on the Illimani Extension climb, we recommend a heavier parka (see below). Recommended: Eddie Bauer Downlight Jacket or Eddie Bauer Downclime Alpine Parka (Illimani Climb)

      • Lower Body Apparel

      • Base Layer Bottoms

        Fitted and quick drying. This piece will be a base-layer that will get you through a wide range of temperatures. Recommended: SmartwoolMen's Intraknit™ Merino 250 Thermal Bottom

      • Soft Shell Pants

        You will spend most of your days in these pants. Choose Schoeller® or a soft-shell equivalent. Breathable + water-resistant. These pants should have an ankle zip so they will accommodate your mountain boot. Recommended:Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Alpine Pants

      • Hard Shell Pants

        Your waterproof bottom layer for extreme weather days. Make sure you have water-resistant zippers, crampon patches + good pockets. Recommended:Eddie Bauer BC Duraweave Alpine Pants

      • Insulated Pants (optional)

        Full-length side zippers are recommended, for throwing on top of all of your layers. This layer is optional for those who are prone to the cold! Recommended: Black Diamond Stance Belay Pants

      • Expedition Equipment

      • Duffle Bags

        2 Duffle Bags - At least one bag should be extremely durable, waterproof, and big - between 90L and 120L. You should feel comfortable leaving it in a puddle for several hours. Remember dry clothes are hot commodities in the mountains! Large enough to fit everything you own, plus what you anticipate buying. Two duffel bags are necessary to fit all your equipment for travel (we don't recommend checking your backpack, best is to put all gear and backpack into your duffle). Once in country, you can consolidate your gear into one duffel and your backpack. It's common to leave the second duffel with city clothes and other non-necessary items behind in a locked and secure location that your guide will arrange for you. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Maximus Duffel

      • Sleeping Bag (-20°)

        Rated to -20º F. Choose an 800+ Fill Premium Goose Down bag. Make certain that the sleeping bag is the right length. DON’T FORGET A COMPRESSION SACK FOR THE SLEEPING BAG. Granite Gear Compression Sack is desired. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Kara Koram with Compression Sack

      • Inflatable Sleeping Pad

        72 inch long inflatable pad required. Make sure you also purchase and bring a repair kit + bag for the sleeping pad. Recommended: NeoAir Xtherm

      • Day Pack

        Mid-size pack for city days and trekking. Streamlined, neat and lightweight (10-20 liters). Recommended: Eddie Bauer Bacon 2.0 Pack

      • Climbing Pack: 50-60L

        Internal frame pack that is between 50 and 60 liters. Either purchase a matching pack cover, or use garbage bags as liners. Make sure the pack is fitted to YOUR body. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Alpine Sisu 50L Pack or Black Diamond Mission 50 Pack

      • Hydration System (optional)

        Should carry 70-100 ounces. Must be durable and have a reliable closure system. Recommended: MSR Dromlite 2L with Hydration Tube

      • Headlamp

        L.E.D. headlamps are required. Make sure they have 3+ bulbs. Bring extra batteries. We highly recommend a tilting lamp. Recommended:Black Diamond Revolt 350

      • Trekking Pole(s)

        Make sure that they are durable, lightweight + easily adjustable. Recommended:Black Diamond Trailback Trekking Poles

      • Two 1L Nalgene Bottles

        Two 1 Liter Wide Mouth Nalgene bottles. Recommended: Nalgene 1 L wide mouth

      • Compressible 1-1.5L Bottle

        Wide mouth compressible 1-1.5 liter bottle. Recommended: Nalgene Flexible Cantene

      • Coffee

        While Alpenglow provides hot drink options every morning, it can be nice to have your own on hand any time you need a boost. With hot water always readily available, having instant coffee packets can give you the energy you need after a long day in the mountains! Recommended: Alpine Start Original Blend Instant Coffee

      • Technical Equipment

      • General Mountaineering Axe

        One non-technical climbing axe. The tool should be approx. 55cm- 65cm long and comfortable to hold. *Ice axes are also available to rent (for our introductory climbing courses) at no charge from Alpenglow expeditions on a first come, first serve basis. Recommended: Petzl Summit

      • Mountaineering Crampons

        Steel crampons with anti-balling plates are required (so that snow does not build-up in the base of your foot). Make sure that crampons have a heel bail. Crampons are available to rent (for our introductory climbing courses) at no charge from Alpenglow Expeditions on a first come, first serve basis. Recommended: Black Diamond Sabretooth Crampons

      • Helmet

        Easily adjustable lightweight helmet that fits with hat and Balaclava. Make sure this is a climbing-specific helmet. *Climbing helmets are also available to rent (for our introductory climbing courses) at no charge from Alpenglow Expeditions on a first come, first serve basis. Recommended: Petzl Meteor Helmet

      • Harness

        Must have belay loop, gear loops and adjustable leg loops so that you can layer up underneath it. Easy to pack, lightweight + comfortable. *Harnesses are also available to rent (for our introductory climbing courses) at no charge from Alpenglow expeditions on a first come, first serve basis. Recommended: Petzl Altitude

      • Locking Carabiner (2)

        Lightweight small carabiners are best. Recommended: Petzl Attache

      • Non-Locking Carabiner (2)

        Lightweight small carabiners are best, wire-gates are fine. Recommended: Petzl Spirit

      • Accessory Cord

        25’ of 6mm nylon accessory cord. This will be used to make prusiks and cordalettes. Recommended: Sterling Ropes

      • Belay Device

        Light, easy to use + simple. Should have teeth/grooves for skinny ropes. Recommended: Petzl Reverso

      • Miscellaneous Items

      • Miscellaneous Items

        • Passport (with visa, if necessary)
        • 2 luggage locks (TSA compliant)
        • Non-cotton underwear
        • Wag bags, 1 per night camping as to leave no trace
        • Heavy duty garbage bags (at least 4)
        • Stuffsacks: assorted sizes, for organizing your clothes and gear
        • Sunscreen: SPF 30 (or higher)
        • Lip balm with SPF 15 (or higher)
        • Personal first-aid kit (Band-aids, Ibuprofen, Cough Drops, Moleskin, Pepto-bismol, Imodium, Personal Medications)
        • Toiletries
        • 3-4lbs of Snack food (a variety of snack food, some whole food, some bars, some gels)
        • Hand Warmers
        • Face Mask
        • Hand Sanitizer
        • Knife
        • Steripen

      • Optional Items

        • External Battery Packs for phones, and other electronics. Recommended: Anker PowerCore Speed 10000.
        • Travel wallet pouch (waist or neck)
        • Leatherman/ Swiss Army Knife (Recommended: Leatherman Juice C2)
        • Zip lock bags (large size, for organizing small items and waterproofing)
        • Pee Funnel (optional for women) One popular model is the Freshette.
        • Ear Plugs
        • Journal/Cards/Games for personal entertainment
        • Language Phrase Book
        • Camera - Full size DSLRs not recommended as your summit camera.  Sony RX100 is a guide’s favorite. Remember extra SD cards and batteries.
        • Compact Binoculars
        • Sandals (Flip-Flops, Chacos or Tevas)

      • Packing Note

        For your international flights we recommend that you pack all of your equipment in your two duffle bags. Do not simply pack your backpack (since its straps can be damaged by baggage handling machines). It is important to lock these bags for their trip. Depending on airport, you may be able to put your travel locks on after they have been searched. If not, lock the bag with zip ties. If the TSA cuts off the zip tie to search your bag, they will replace it. You will still need travel locks to lock your bags in the hotel and in Basecamp. Generally, you will take one duffle to Basecamp, and leave one in the hotel with your belongings for town.

    • What is your cancellation policy?

    • What's the longest day I can expect?

      Depending on fitness levels and weather, the longest day can be anywhere from 12-16 hours.

    • Do I need to purchase Rescue Insurance and Travel Insurance?

      We require Rescue Insurance on all of our international expeditions. Rescue insurance will help cover costs in the event that you need to be rescued off the mountain (Ex: Helicopter/medical evacuation). Travel Insurance (which we strongly recommend) can cover issues that would cause you to cancel your trip in advance, like illness. We recommend Global Rescue for both types of insurance.

      If you do choose Global Rescue, be sure to select the High Altitude Evacuation Add-On that is needed for insurance coverage above 15,000 ft.

    • Are Covid vaccinations required?

      Our leadership has made the decision to require all participants to be vaccinated for international travel. This is a safety measure that we have made to not only protect our clients, but also to protect our guide team and the local people in which we interact with during our expeditions. We want to do our utmost to mitigate the risk of Covid disrupting our expeditions, and having our teams vaccinated has become an important part of our risk management system with international travel. Please reach out to us if you have any questions or issues regarding this decision, we’d be happy to hop on a call and discuss this further.

    • What all is included and excluded?

      The cost of your trip includes your land costs (excluding in-town meals). This includes:

      • Double occupancy lodging while in town, according to itinerary.
      • Meals on the mountain.
      • Group camping and climbing equipment.
      • Base camp and mountain infrastructure.
      • Scheduled transportation while in the countries we are visiting.
      • Certified guides.
      • Covid testing arrangements for re-entry into home country (does not include cost of test).

      The cost of your trip does not include:

      • Flights to/from the city where the expedition begins.
      • Additional nights in hotel outside of the itinerary, this includes but is not limited to extra hotel nights due to early summit bids and early departure from the mountains.
      • Airport taxes.
      • Visas.
      • In-town meals.
      • Immunizations.
      • Tips for guides or local staff.
      • Travel, rescue, or any other type of insurance.
      • Hospitalization or evacuation costs.
      • Single supplement room charges.
      • Excess baggage charges.
      • Alcohol.
      • Antigen/PCR Covid test cost.
      • Other personal expenses.
      • Airport transportation for early arrival/late departures outside of scheduled itinerary.
      • The costs of delays or changes to itinerary that are beyond the control of Alpenglow Expeditions or its agents are not included.

Jaime Avila

Jaime is Alpenglow Expeditions’ senior lead guide. A native Ecuadorian, Jaime has been guiding and climbing throughout South America and the world for twenty years. He has successfully led groups on challenging routes like the Southwest Ridge of Ama Dablam (Nepal), the Shield Route of Huascaran (Peru), the Polish Direct on Aconcagua (Argentina), and El Altar (Ecuador). We have been guiding, climbing, and traveling with Jaime since 1998 and the feedback from members is always the same: there is no better teammate. Whether climbing a tough ice route, humping a huge pack, or stuck in a storm, Jaime will keep you laughing, learning, and glad to be in the mountains. He is an ASEGUIM / IFMGA certified mountain guide.


Guide Certifications
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Esteban “Topo” Mena

Topo’s formal name is Esteban Mena, but he goes by his nickname. Esteban Topo Mena is 28 years old and began his guiding career at 19, when he climbed Aconcagua’s South Face and became the youngest person to accomplish this difficult climb. Topo began guiding in Ecuador and Peru. In 2012, Topo summited Manaslu and in 2013, he summited Everest – both without using supplementary oxygen. Topo again summited Everest in 2016 while supporting his wonderful partner Carla as she successfully summited without supplemental oxygen. In 2018 Topo summited both Cho Oyu and Everest with clients in under 30 days. An incredible achievement that only the best guides in the word could attempt. He also has climbed challenging new routes in Kyrgyzstan and China and one of his climbs (Kyzyl Asker) has been nominated for the Piolet d’Or (as part of an Ecuadorian team).

Guide Certifications
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Gaspar Navarrete

Gaspar hails from Ecuador, and has been guiding for over 18 years, and climbing since he was 12. He has extensive experience in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Patagonia, Aconcagua, the Himalaya, the Cascades, the Alps and the Pyrenees. Gaspar has established new routes in both Ecuador and Bolivia. As an active instructor with the Ecuadorian School for Mountain Guides, he has trained in Ecuador, Bolivia and France. He is a Wilderness First Responder, and has spent a great deal of time working at high altitude.

Gaspar joined one of Quito’s oldest climbing clubs at a young age, which gave him the opportunity to mentor under very experienced climbers. He considers the Andes, including Patagonia, his home, and he love to share his enthusiasm for the mountains, the Andean traditions, food and culture with his guests.

Gaspar is an ASEGUIM/IFMGA mountain guide

Guide Certifications
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Carla Perez

Carla has been on the pursuit of her climbing dreams for most of her life, she started climbing as a teenager and her love to the mountains took her to the french Alps, where she studied geology and got a masters degree on geochemistry. In 2007 she decided to become a full time climber, which also put her the path of becoming a mountain guide. Carla has trained with and is pursuing UIAGM/IFMGA certification with the ASEGUIM (the Ecuadorian mountain guides association).

Carla has made multiple successful summits of Everest, including an ascent without the use of supplemental oxygen in 2016. She was the sixth women in history to accomplish this feat and the first Latin American woman to do so. She was also the first woman from the Americas to summit K2 without supplemental oxygen in 2019, and was the first woman to summit Everest and K2 in the same year..

In 2008 she did a biking trip from Ecuador to Argentina and had the opportunity to understand and learn more about her home: the Andes.

Today she splits her time between speaking about her climbing experiences all around the world, chasing new missions with her parter “Topo” and guiding big mountains.

Guide Certifications

Roberto “Tico” Moralez

Roberto “Tico” Moralez is a Rock climber, mountaineer and adventurer based in Quito, Ecuador. He developed a passion for the outdoors from an early age, making his first ascent of Cotopaxi at the age of 14 and has has sought vertical adventures on big walls and mountains around the world ever since. Tico is a IFMGA certified Rock and Alpine guide and has been guiding professionally since 2006.

Tico has notable ascents of around the globe, including a Piolets D’or mention for his teams first ascent of Directa Ecuatoiana on Larkya Peak in Nepal. His climbing has taken him to Yosemite Valley and a free ascent of “The Free Rider”, to the Trango Towers of Pakistan and the remote walls of Kyrgyzstan.

Tico has a deep love for sharing the outdoors with others, and is stoked to climb, educate, and go on powerful mountain adventures with Alpenglow Team Members.

Ignacio “Nacho” Espinosa Andrade

Nacho was born in Ecuador and started to climb at the age of 12. After that Nacho climbed continuously in Ecuador leading expeditions and people to the summit of the Ecuadorian Andes for the last 15 years. He is a very active guide in the Cordillera Blanca range of the Peruvian Andes where he has been an active guide for the past 10 years.

He started his formal mountain guide training with the Ecuadorian Mountain Guide Association where he received the ASEGUIM certification. After that he continued his process in Bolivia where, with the support of the alpinism French school ENSA,  he received the UIAGM/IFMGA certification. He is also a WFR certified guide and for 5 years has been an instructor for the ESGUIM, the local mountain guide school.

Among his long list of climbs the biggest highlights are ascents in Peru like the South Face of Piramide de Garcilazo, South Face of Caraz I, West Face of Cayesh, and the South Face of Chacraraju Este. He also has notable climbs in  Bolivia like the West Face of Huayna Potosi in 4 hours and 30 minutes and the British Route of Hallomen in the Condoriri Masiff.

Guide Certifications
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Santiago Espinosa

Living in Quito Ecuador, Santiago is a certified hard man with many high quality and difficult alpine and rock ascents under his belt. He has climbed on 5 different continents and is currently a part of the Ecuador Escala team pursuing the 7 continents and 14 walls project.

Taking many guide courses in Canada, Santiago is fluent in English and  is an IFMGA aspirant guide currently working on his certification to become a full IFMGA guide through Ecuador’s certifying body, ASEGUIM.

Not only is Santiago quickly becoming a master of all disciplines in the mountains, but he is also a published photographer with his photos appearing in Rock and Ice Magazine, Climbing Magazine, and National Geographic Español. Check out his portfolio here.

Guide Certifications

Isaac Laredo

Isaac found his appreciation for the outdoors growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Isaac attended Sierra Nevada College in Lake Tahoe where his appreciation  evolved into a lifelong passion. The scenery, accessibility, and culture of the surrounding mountains captivated Isaac to major in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Environmental Science and Outdoor Adventure Leadership at Sierra Nevada College. Here he was inspired by his teachers and peers to facilitate the creation of special moments in the outdoors. As one of his mentors say “special moments happen, we just have to show up for them”. These special moments have been responsible for lots of personal growth for himself and those around him. He has experienced the power of the outdoors first hand and looks forward to life long learning in the mountains through climbing and skiing.
Isaac is an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, AMGA Apprentice Ski and Rock Guide, Wilderness First Responder, and Leave No Trace Master Educator.
Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor

Mike Pond

Mike is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide. He became a mountain guide immediately upon completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Expeditionary Studies in 2008. Since then, Mike has led expeditions in Alaska (including 6 successful Denali summits), South America, and throughout the American West, and is always looking for the next place to travel. He has completed several first ascents in Alaska, Canada, Washington and California. Mike also completed a Masters Degree in Outdoor Education with a Masters thesis titled “Investigating Climbing as a Spiritual Experience.”

After spending the last decade traveling while based out of Washington, Mike and his wife moved to Reno in winter 2020. While Mike feels generally at home on glaciers, snow, rock, and ice, he enjoys rock climbing on big, sunny granite the most. Hello, California! He loves sharing his passion for mountain adventure with others, and teaching aspiring climbers to reach their goals. While not on the rock, Mike also enjoys gardening, fostering rescue dogs, mountain biking, yoga, and swimming in as many brisk alpine lakes as his metabolism will allow.


Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Rock Guide

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    Climb Pequeño Alpamayo, Huayna Potosi & Illimani

Climb Pequeño Alpamayo, Huayna Potosi & Illimani

Spend two days exploring the vast Andean highlands and the bustling city of La Paz, then an additional two days on gorgeous Lake Titicaca. Build your mountaineering skills on Pequeño Alpamayo before heading to climb Huayna Potosi. There’s also the option to add a 5 day extension and climb the 21,122' Illimani, the tallest mountain in the Cordillera Real for just $1,350