More than 5000 km traveled by car (visiting the north of Argentina, Bolivia and returning through Chile).
8 mountains climbed, including the roof of Bolivia, the Sajama.
Descent by bike on the road of death.
Lots of mate and plenty of toasts!
Copious amounts of local food!
I shared this trip with Diego Arcos, Maxi Garay and Leo Muñoz, we set sail back in July 2017 on a rainy and cold morning from Mendoza; we headed north and, on our way to Bolivia, we passed through Tucumán just in time for the 9th of July so we enjoyed Argentina’s patriotic celebrations.
In the province of Jujuy, we stopped in Tilcara and visited the spectacular mountain valley Quebrada de Humahuaca.
Entering Bolivia, we spent two nights in Potosi (a shocking testimony of colonial plundering). We already experienced the colorful Quechua and Aymara cultures.
With the altitude experienced in Potosi and with the days of preparations in La Paz we were ready to venture into the first ascents, so we got back on the “fancito” (I clarify: the ship, Suzuki Fun car model that responded very well to all the kilometers especially when we tried to 4 x 4 in the approaches to the hills – color note at the bottom the orange grill that topped the roof of the car and in which we loaded all the bags with equipment) and set sail for the Cordillera Real.
It is worth mentioning that in La Paz we were lucky enough to experience the festivities of the city with the avenues crowded with people and decorations, music and delicious food including the famous anticucho.
Our first objective was to acclimatize well with the Pico Austria (5230 masl) and then enjoy the more technical ascent of the C° Pirámide Blanca (5260 masl) and C° Pequeño Almapayo (5730 masl), beautiful mountains that we climbed from the base at the Laguna Chiar Khota, an incredible place.
Without wasting time or acclimatization we went to make a classic of Bolivia, the C° Huayna Potosi (6088 masl), mountaineering “five stars” from the shelters.
We took advantage of the descent of these mountains to take a break from the ascents and visited Copacabana and the Isla del Sol, an amazing place, not to be missed!
From La Paz we were already “manijas”, very enthusiastic and we started to organize the next “pegue” and we left in the direction of the C° Illimani (6462 masl) one of the giants that can be seen from the capital city. The final part “the stairway to heaven” was very long, but beautiful sunrise at the summit!
After that “cerrazo”, we decided to rest again from the mountain, but not from our release of adrenaline and endorphins, so we embarked on a bike descent called “the road of death”, we got on the bikes at about 4000 masl and went down to 1300 masl and in the jungle to enjoy the pool and buffet lunch, but not before falling a couple of times from the bikes and spend some scares hehe.
The next objectives were in the Western Cordillera, so we got back on the ship, “the little fan”, and traveled to the village of Sajama near the border with Chile, a village at over 4000 meters above sea level very picturesque, we made friends with several families and again we coincided with the local celebration at the school so we toasted long and hard and witnessed all the dances and music performances of the school and village bands. From here we climbed the Acotango Volcano (6052 masl) and the Muru Payachata (Parinacota) Volcano (6330 masl) and of course the “roof of Bolivia” the Sajama Volcano (6542 masl). We shared these pegues with Nico Cairone and Neri Chalar, who had already paved the way by organizing the logistics of the hills and generated good friendships in town.
In conclusion a trip as they would say in chronicle “with everything” hehe, 2 months of local festivals everywhere, downhill biking, beautiful landscapes and cities, delicious and hearty meals. The mountain of Bolivia opened its doors wide and gave us permission to step on all the summits that we had proposed. The Plurinational State of Bolivia is an incredible country with a rich culture to return and climb much more!