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Home > THE GIANTS
Alpinism: ascent of giants Ancohuma and Illampu

THE GIANTS
Alpinism: ascent of giants Ancohuma and Illampu

Two of the most impressive summits of the Cordillera Real: Ancohuma and Illampu, located at its Northwest extremity, shape a complex mountain range made of over thirty peaks reaching over 5000 meters in height.
We begin the necessary acclimatization at Lake Titicaca, from where we enjoy the most beautiful view over the Cordillera, before heading to the relaxing village of Sorata, departure point of numerous expeditions.
Ancohuma, our first objective, was believed to reach 7000 meters above sea level, which made it the highest mountain in the Andes. It has since then been downgraded to 6427 meters, still making it one of the highest summits in Bolivia. As for the second “Giant”, Illampu and its 6380 meters, it is nothing less than the most difficult summit in Bolivia.

Warning: Excellent physical condition necessary. Difficult technical level, only for confirmed and trained climbers.

Map

Itinerary

  • Day 1: La Paz
  • Day 2: La Paz
  • Day 3: La Paz - Palca Canyon - La Paz - Palca Canyon
  • Day 4: La Paz - Copacabana - Challa - Copacabana - Challa
  • Day 5: Challa - Yumani
  • Day 6: Yumani - Kalaki - Sorata
  • Day 7: Sorata - Lacatiya
  • Day 8: Lacatiya - Laguna Chilata
  • Day 9: Laguna Chilata - Laguna Glaciar
  • Day 10: Laguna Glaciar - Ancohuma
  • Day 11: Ancohuma - Laguna Glaciar
  • Day 12: Laguna Glaciar - Sorata
  • Day 13: Sorata
  • Day 14: Utjaña Pampa - Aguas calientes
  • Day 15: Aguas calientes - Illampu
  • Day 16: Illampu - Aguas calientes
  • Day 17: Aguas calientes - Sorata - La Paz
  • Day 18: La Paz
  • Day 19: La Paz - El Alto Airport

TRAVEL BOOK

Day 1: La Paz

A private driver will pick you up at the airport and drive you to your hotel.

Night at the Naira hotel***.
Included : transfer arrival, breakfast buffet , room

Day 2: La Paz

Our private driver will pick us up in the hotel lobby at 09:00 am for a full-day tour around the best points of view over the city and into the Moon Valley. La Paz, world’s highest capital elected in 2014 as one of the New 7 Wonders Cities, is surrounded by the high picks of the Andes. From many parts of the city we can admire the white summits of the Cordillera Real and the imposing Illimani, protector of the city. From the K’Illi K’Illi mirador and the Laykakota Park we will enjoy a panoramic view over the capital. The Montículo, in the bohemian Sopocachi is the classical meeting point of lovers and newlyweds for romantic pictures. Since 2014 La Paz is proud of its new gondolas. From the sky the panorama over the city and the mountains is unique and we can get an impression of the social gaps while flying over different neighborhood. We will then drive to the south, cross the rich "Zona Sur" and get out of the city to enter the Moon Valley. Here we can enjoy the quietness and walk among the lunar rock formations during an hour. In the afternoon we will go back to the historical center and wander along its colorful markets.


NOTE: The K’Illi K’Illi mirador and the Laykakota Park are closed on Mondays.



Night at the Naira hotel***.
Included : lunch (no drinks), entrance fees, private transport, local spanish-speaking guide, breakfast buffet , room

Day 3: La Paz - Palca Canyon - La Paz - Palca Canyon

Transport La Paz - Palca.

Departure from the hotel at 9am in private vehicle heading to the Obejuyo col and the Valle de las Animas. We discover the incredible Illimani mountain range. We keep on going through the Palca Canyon, natural show made of stones, creating a kind of amphitheater because of the erosion. We come back to La Paz during the afternoon through the small village of Ventilla. The way offers beautiful scenic view over the Royal Cordillera.
Lunch included. Diner open.
Included : private transport, local guide, box lunch

Day 4: La Paz - Copacabana - Challa

Departure from the hotel at 9 a.m. with a private transport. We will follow the Lake Titicaca and the Cordillera Real until Copacabana (3 ½ hours).
A motorboat will take us to the Lourdes Virgin on the Yampupata peninsula. We will start the trel from there to the village of Yampupata (3 to 4 hours walk). When arrived at the village we will take a boat to the Sun island (1 hour crossing), and enjoy the sunset over the Cordillera Real from the village of Challa.
Note: A private boat will be available for 2 days for the transport of the groups and of the luggage during the treks.
Walking time: 3 to 4 hours; +250m/-250m elevation gain/lost

Night at the hostel Qhumpuri (basic comfort).
Included : private transport, box lunch, local spanish-speaking guide, room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

Day 5: Challa - Yumani

In the morning, we climb to the ruins of Chincana (“the labyrinth” in Aymara) and the sacred rock of the Puma, from where God Viracocha created his son Manco Capac, the first Inca. A very nice hike following the crest takes us to the village of Yumani at the Southern point of the island.
Hiking time 3-4h ; Elevation gain: +450m / -300m


Night at the Puerta del Sol hotel*.
Included : entrance fees, box lunch, local spanish-speaking guide, private transport, room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

Day 6: Yumani - Kalaki - Sorata

In the morning, a short hop by motorboat first takes us to Pilkokaina temple, south of the island. This palace was built by Inca Tupac Yupanqui for its pilgrimages on the island. We then head to Isla de la Luna where we visit the temple of the Ñustas, The Inca virgins. We then cross the whole Lake to Kalaki, on the Eastern shore (3 to 4-hour traverse depending on the weather conditions). There a vehicle awaits us to take us to the village of Sorata, at the foot of the majestic Illampu (el. 6430 m.a.s.l.). 2 to 3-hour journey between Kalaki and Sorata.



There a vehicle awaits us to take us to the village of Sorata, at the foot of the majestic Illampu (el. 6430 m.a.s.l.). 2 to 3-hour journey between Kalaki and Sorata.

Night at the Las Piedras hotel**.
Included : box lunch, local spanish-speaking guide, private transport

Day 7: Sorata - Lacatiya

Difficulty: trek in altitude. 5 to 7-hour walking daily. Good fitness required.
In the morning we will meet our team of muleteers on the outskirt of the village. The trek will start by a long climb up to the village of Lacatiya (el. 3900 m.a.s.l.), for our first bivy. Above us the Illampu dominates from its 6430 meters elevation.
Bivouac in the community.

Walking time: 6hrs.




Included : porters, climbing guide, catering

Day 8: Lacatiya - Laguna Chilata

From Lacatiya, we will first climb to the laguna Illampu (el. 4300 m.a.s.l.), then we will follow the slopes of the Illampu mountain range all the way to the laguna Chilata, where we will set up the camp.
Bivouac.

Walking time: 6h.

Included : porters, climbing guide, catering

Day 9: Laguna Chilata - Laguna Glaciar

In the morning we will start the ascent to the Laguna Glaciar which name is from the glacier plunging into its West bank. Views over the Titicaca lake, the Sorata’s Valley and the Andes... The scenery is well worth the effort!
In the afternoon, short walk around the Laguna Glaciar.
Bivouac.

Walking time: 5hrs.
Included : porters, climbing guide, catering

Day 10: Laguna Glaciar - Ancohuma

Grade II/AD, Max 50º - with a mountain guide.
We will quickly reach the glacier, on which we will progress until arriving to the high camp.
Cold lunch. All included. Bivouac.
Note: team of carriers for the 2 days of the ascent.

Walking time: 6hrs.
Included : porters, climbing guide, catering

Day 11: Ancohuma - Laguna Glaciar

Grade II/AD, Max 50º - with a mountain guide
Very early morning start from the high camp. Attempt the climb to the summit. Way down to the Laguna Glaciar.
Bivouac.

Walking time: 10h.


Included : porters, climbing guide, catering

Day 12: Laguna Glaciar - Sorata

Walk down to Sorata. Free time in the afternoon.
Cold lunch (included). Dinner (not included)

Walking time: 6hrs.


Night at the Las Piedras hotel**.
Included : porters, climbing guide, catering

Day 13: Sorata

Rest day. Option to visit the cave of San Pedro (4-5 hours return trip)
Lunch and dinner not included.

Night at the Las Piedras hotel**.
Included : climbing guide

Day 14: Utjaña Pampa - Aguas calientes

We ascend to the Illampu base camp, called “Aguas Calientes” (4h – el. 4200 m.a.s.l.). But don’t let this name fool you: there is no hot spring in the area
Cold lunch. All included. Bivouac (camp II of the Illampu ascent by the normal route).
Included : all inclusive, porters, climbing guide

Day 15: Aguas calientes - Illampu

Grade III+ /D, Max 65º - with mountain guide.
We hike towards the glacier and cross it on the right; 7 to 8-hour hike before reaching the high camp, at 5600 meters of altitude, just under peak Schulze and from where we can see the Northwest face of Illampu.
Note: Porter team for the 2 days of the ascent.
Cold lunch. All included. Bivouac.
Included : all inclusive, porters, climbing guide

Day 16: Illampu - Aguas calientes

Early start for the summit attempt. From the high camp, the normal route follows the West arête. To access it, climb over the 300-meter wall of snow and ice. Before reaching the apex, climb over a steep ice face (65 º) and summit after 4 to 6 hours of climbing. Descent in the afternoon all the way to Aguas Calientes.
Cold lunch. All included. Bivouac.
Included : all inclusive, porters, climbing guide

Day 17: Aguas calientes - Sorata - La Paz

We walk down to Ancoma where a vehicle awaits us to bring us back to Sorata and then to La Paz (6 to 7-hour trip). Evening open.
Cold lunch included. Dinner open.
From Lorena, we join Millipaya, where we meet our vehicle to take us back to La Paz (3 hours).

Night at the Naira hotel***.
Included : all inclusive, porters, climbing guide, private transport, breakfast buffet , room

Day 18: La Paz

Free time to enjoy the world’s highest capital. Maybe you can have a nice walk in the historical center, go handicraft shopping in the numerous stands of the Sagárnaga street, discover which artifacts are used for the offering ceremonies to Mother Earth ("Pachamama") in the Witches Market or even visit one of the various museums of the city… Or maybe you will prefer see the city from the air taking one of the three gondola lines of the capital?

Night at the Naira hotel***.
Included : breakfast buffet , room

Day 19: La Paz - El Alto Airport

A private driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the airport.
Included : transfer departure

Night hotel Naira   La Paz

Level : 3*
Included : breakfast buffet , room

Beautiful Naira Hotel is located in the heart of downtown of La Paz. With 22 warm, confortable and big rooms, private bathroom, hot water 24 hours, TV, Phone and room service. The aditional services included, laundry Service, Safety Box, travel agency and restaurant. It also has a cafeteria and Internet. Few steps from San Francisco Church.

Hotel Qhumpuri   Challa

Level : 1*
Included : room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

The small hotel of Qhumphuri, is located in Challa, little village at the northern part of the Sun Island, on the Titicaca Lake. The welcoming is excellent and the food delicious. The hotel overhang the bay. Its rooms, equiped with private bathroom and toilets, offer stunning view over the lake.

Hotel Puerta del Sol   Yumani

Level : 1*
Included : room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

Hostal Puerta del Sol offers unmatched views of both sides of the lake from its top position. The hostel itself is nothing spectacular, but cheap rooms. It's a quite place with great access to walks around the island.

Hotel Las Piedras   Sorata

Level : 2*

Las Piedras is situated near the major place in Sorata. The Hostel has been created by Petra Huber, who is very friendly and she can speak spanish, english and german. This hostel is clean, spacious and welcoming and there is a wonderful view of the valley.

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