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CLIMBING

The Real Mountain Range

Climbing in IceIt is the most famous and visited mountain range in the Bolivian Andes. Its peaks average a height of 6000 meters, making the range one of the highest in the planet. It starts in the Southeast with the majestic Mount Illimani, closely La Paz, and ends in the Northwest with Mount Illampu, very near Lake Titicaca and the Peruvian frontier.

Starting point The city of La Paz, capital of Bolivia, is the natural access point to reach any of the Real´s peaks. This provides the opportunity of getting to know the city's streets and people, markets and fairs, churches and a great production of arts and crafts. After resting there for a night or two, it becomes time to carry on, into the mountains.

The adventure The distance form La Paz to most peaks in the Real mountain range is not greater than 50 km. To approach the range, there is a dirt road that stretches out form La Paz. The access to each individual peak is different. Only 35 km away, is mount Illimani, something like the "Guardian" of the city, for it almost stands over it. With its height of 6460 meters, it is the highest mountain in the region. Its normal ascent route is moderately difficult, but it also has alternative routes for ice climbing experts. In any case, a 1 or 2 day trekking in this mountain is recommended.

Difficulty Level The Real mountain range presents different levels of difficulty. The easiest activity is trekking to lakes at the base of these mountains. There are medium difficulty activities like ascending Huayna Potosí or Condoriri through the Normal Route. The most complicated activities are the normal Route of Illampu and some technical routes in Huayna Potosí, Illimani and Condoriri, with some surfaces in a 60º slope.

Equipment Depends on the activity. Be sure to take warm clothes, trekking boots and a good tent. For ice climbing in peaks like illimani, Condoriri, Huayna Potosí or Illampu, you need plastic climbing boots, piolets, canes and other ice climbing equipment.

 

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