On Day 1 you will be picked up in La Paz and transferred to Base Camp. Have lunch and begin your mountaineering training on the glacier. Day 2 begins with a 2 or 3 hour hike to reach 2nd camp at 5,200m. Go to bed early for a big day ahead! Day 3 begins at 1:00 am with a 5-hour trekking ascent to the Huayna Potosi summit at 6,088m! Hike back down to base camp and then return to La Paz where your trip comes to an end.
Get ready for an exciting Andean adventure to reach the summit of Huayna Potosi at 6,000 metres above sea level! Lying at the head of the Zongo Valley, located about 25 km north of La Paz in the Cordillera Real, you will find the beautiful Huayna Potosi, the "Young Roarer". This mountain is probably the easiest 6,000-metre peak in the world. Only two hours from La Paz with an easy approach and straightforward route, this trek is the perfect warmup for the higher and more technical 6,000-metre peaks in Bolivia. The ‘normal’ route climbs some easy moraines and follows gradual glaciers with a few short steep sections until reaching the summit which has a solid cornice and one of the best views in the Cordillera Real.
Day by Day Itinerary:
Day 1: La Paz - Huayna Potosi Base Camp (L/D)
After being picked-up in La Paz, you will be transferred to Base Camp. After lunch, you will begin your training on the old glacier, where you will learn basic mountaineering and cramponing techniques, how to walk on ice and snow, and the use of the ice axe and ropes. Overnight at Base Camp.
Day 2: Huayna Potosi Base Camp - High Camp (B/L/D)
After a nice breakfast and lunch you will hike for 2 or 3 hours along a rocky trail until reaching the 2nd camp, located on a large plateau at 5,200 metres. Here, after setting up the equipment, enjoy a delicious dinner and go to sleep early so you can get a good night’s rest to be prepared for the summit attempt. Overnight at High Camp.
Day 3: High Camp - Summit - High Camp - Base Camp - La Paz (B/L)
Wake up at 01:00 am in the very early morning. This super-alpine start is necessary in order to have enough time to climb to the summit and back down to base camp the same day. After re-checking all the equipment you will depart and head up to the steep section of the glacier that will take you to the ramp heading to the summit pyramid. After approximately 5 hours of trekking, you should be at the summit of Huayna Potosi at an impressive 6,088 meters. Enjoy one of the most breathtaking views in the Andes! From north to south across the Cordillera Real, admire the impressive collection of peaks (more than twenty 5,000-metre peaks are in this range and six are 6,000 meters or higher). Towards the east you will be looking into the Upper Amazon Basin, and towards the west is the sapphire-colored and mythical Lake Titicaca. After taking pictures on the summit, it is time to head back down, reaching the high camp after a three or four-hour hike, before continuing down to base camp. You will be arriving approximately at midday. After having lunch and time to take a nice shower, you will be transferred back to La Paz.
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: This is a challenging but rewarding trek, with a 4-hour ascent on Day 2, and on Day 3 a sunrise hike starting at 1am, summiting around 6am, and finishing back at base camp at 10 or 11am. The ascents are done at high altitude, and the entire trek requires physical fitness and stamina for long uphill climbs.
SUGGESTED PACKING LIST: Backpack, mountain trousers, thermal underwear, two polar sweaters, sun block, sun glasses, head lamp, water bottles, mountain sleeping bag (-10°C), extra personal daypack, wool gloves, scarf, thermal hat, thermal socks, chocolates, camera, extra batteries and memory card (there is limited to no electricity available during the trek), waterproof bags for your camera, hand sanitizer, personal first aid kit.