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Climb Pequeño Alpamayo, Huayna Potosi & Illimani

16 Days in Bolivia / (Skill level: Intermediate)

Price per person

$6250.00
  • Next Available: Jul 25, 2020 - Aug 09, 2020

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.

Overview

  • skill level

    Intermediate

  • 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.

Illimani

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 two 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

Preparation

  • 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

    Alpenglow requires that climbers have prior experience at altitudes up to 14,000’ and strongly recommends prior experience at altitudes up to 15,000’.

  • 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

        $25.00 Add to cart
      • Beanie

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

        Read more
      • 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

        $20.00 Add to cart
      • 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

        Read more
      • 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: Revoi Guide II

        Read more
      • 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

        Read more
      • 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

        Read more
      • 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

        Read more
      • 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

        Read more
      • 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

        Read more
      • Hiking Socks

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

        Read more
      • 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

        Read more
      • 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 Bushido Hiking Shoes

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      • 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. Recommended: La Sportiva G5 Boots

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      • 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)

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      • 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

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      • 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 Resolution IR 1/4 Zip

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      • 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

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      • 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

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      • 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

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      • 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

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      • Down Parka (5-6k 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. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Downlight Hooded Jacket

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      • 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

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      • 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

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      • 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

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      • Day Pack

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

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      • Climbing Pack

        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

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      • Hydration System (optional)

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

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      • 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 Spot Headlamp

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      • Trekking Pole(s)

        Make sure that they are durable, lightweight + easily adjustable. Recommended: Black Diamond Trail Explorer 3 Trekking Poles

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      • 1L Nalgene (2)

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

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      • Compressible 1-1.5L Bottle

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

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      • Plastic Bowl, Mug and Spoon

        A lightweight and compact cookware setup. You'll want a plastic bowl, mug and spoon. Recommended Kit: MSR 2 Person Mess Kit

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      • Technical Equipment

      • General Mountaineering Axe

        One non-technical climbing axe. The tool should be approx. 55cm- 65cm long and comfortable to hold. Recommended: Petzl Summit

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      • 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 also available to rent at no charge from Alpenglow Expeditions on a first come, first serve basis. Recommended: Black Diamond Sabretooth Crampons

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      • 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 at no charge from Alpenglow Expeditions on a first come, first serve basis. Recommended: Petzl Meteor Helmet

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      • Harness

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

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      • Locking Carabiner (2)

        Lightweight small carabiners are best. Recommended: Petzl Attache

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      • Non-Locking Carabiner (2)

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

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      • Prusik Cord

        20’ of 6mm. This will be used to make prusiks. This cord should be uncut and not kevlar. Recommended: Sterling Ropes

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      • Belay Device

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

        Read more
      • 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

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      • 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)

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      • 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.

        Read more
    • 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 really need to purchase trip and rescue insurance?

      We strongly recommend purchasing trip insurance, and we require rescue insurance on all expeditions. Trip insurance covers issues that would cause you to cancel your trip in advance. Rescue insurance can help cover costs in the event that you decide to end your expedition early. We recommend Global Rescue for both types of insurance .

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
  • ASEGUIM
  • 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
  • ASEGUIM
  • 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
  • ASEGUIM
  • 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).

In 2016 she became the sixth women in history to climb Everest without oxygen (first latin american), she also climbed Cho Oyu and Manaslu without oxygen, her resumee includes the South Face of Aconcagua and various 7000m peaks in central Asia among many other climb in south america.
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
  • ASEGUIM

What others are saying about this trip

Expedition Inquiry Form

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    Climb Pequeño Alpamayo, Huayna Potosi & Illimani

  • Accredited American Mountain Guide Association - AMGA
  • IFMGA Mountain Guide
  • Forest Service
ALL PROGRAMS DIRECTED BY ADRIAN BALLINGER AND LOGAN TALBOTT, AMGA/IFMGA MOUNTAIN GUIDES
© 2020 Alpenglow Expeditions. All rights reserved.

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.

    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: Patagonia Beanie Hat

  • 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: Revoi Guide II

  • 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

    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

  • 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 Bushido Hiking Shoes

  • 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. Recommended: La Sportiva G5 Boots

  • 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 Resolution IR 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

  • Down Parka (5-6k 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. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Downlight Hooded Jacket

    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: Eddie Bauer Midweight FreeDry Merino Hybrid Baselayer Pants

  • 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

  • Hard Shell Pants

    Your waterproof bottom layer for extreme weather days. Make sure you have water-resistant zippers, crampon patches + good pockets. Recommended: Black Diamond Sharp End Pants

  • Insulated Pants (optional)

    Full-length side zippers are recommended, for throwing on top of all of your layers. This layer is required. 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

    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 Spot Headlamp

  • Trekking Pole(s)

    Make sure that they are durable, lightweight + easily adjustable. Recommended: Black Diamond Trail Explorer 3 Trekking Poles

  • 1L Nalgene (2)

    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

  • Plastic Bowl, Mug and Spoon

    A lightweight and compact cookware setup. You'll want a plastic bowl, mug and spoon. Recommended Kit: MSR 2 Person Mess Kit

    Technical Equipment

  • General Mountaineering Axe

    One non-technical climbing axe. The tool should be approx. 55cm- 65cm long and comfortable to hold. 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 also available to rent 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 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. Recommended: Petzl Altitude *Harnesses are also available to rent at no charge from Alpenglow expeditions on a first come, first serve basis.

  • 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

  • Prusik Cord

    20’ of 6mm. This will be used to make prusiks. This cord should be uncut and not kevlar. 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

  • 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.