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Bolivia - Cordillera Real

Discussion area for peaks outside of the USA.
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Bolivia - Cordillera Real

Postby jsdratm » Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:10 pm

I'm looking into going on the CMC's trip to Bolivia in June since it looks really cool. It is a trek along part of the Cordillera Real, with the highest pass at 16,700' or so. I was wondering if anyone has any tips on going to this elevation and how it compares to being on a 14er. It looks like several nights will be spent at around 15,000'. The highest I've gone so far is Mt. Whitney, so this would be about another 2,000' higher.

Also, has anyone else done this trek or gone to the same area?

Here are the details if anyone is interested in joining. It is mule pack supported and sounds like class I/II.

http://cmc.org/AdventureTravel/AdventureTravelDetails.aspx?EventID=2965

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Re: Bolivia - Cordillera Real

Postby planet54 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:53 am

Trekking in the Cordillera Real is something that I might do in the future. I went on a trek in Peru several years ago that seems to be akin to yours. We crossed several 15-16,500 ft. passes and stayed above 13,000 feet for the entire 10 day trek and did some warm-up hikes before to 15,000 feet. One of the advantages of a pack animal supported trek is that people can often take more scenic routes while the packstring has to stay on the main routes. Plus I didn't hear any of the burros complaining about carrying my stuff and we ate well. :-D
I wouldn't worry about the altitude too much. You're not going to an extreme elevation,but it would be good to have some Diamox if you need it. So , you need to visit your doctor to get that and you might as well make sure that you are up to date with the tetanus,hepatitis and typhoid vaccinations. Also some cipro or similar meds.I caught a cold on the plane down there and of course it didn't hit me until we were well away from civilization and I couldn't buy anything for it,so bring whatever cold medicine that works for you.
I wish that I had brought a down parka with me. Don't skimp on the warm clothes, it gets dark early in that part of the world.
I hope that you have a BLAST \:D/
"The world is a great book,of which they that never stir from home read only a page." St. Augustine
"Climbing K2 or floating the Grand Canyon in an innertube;there are some things one would rather have done than do." Edward Abbey

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Re: Bolivia - Cordillera Real

Postby kushrocks » Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:25 am

The Cordillera Real is an amazing mountain range and one of the most beauitful places I have ever seen. Sounds like an amazing opportunity I wouldn't pass up. In my opinion if you were fine on Whitney then going up to 16.7 you would be fine with water, asprin, gatorade but it wouldn't hurt to have diomax and cipro on hand just in case. Just take it slow and enjoy yourself

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Re: Bolivia - Cordillera Real

Postby schrund » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:36 pm

I've been there, loved it. We acclimatized on a pair of 17ers, and then to 20 and 21 on two other peaks. If you are arriving in La Paz, you'll be well on your way to acclimatizing already. Grab some coca leaves in the Mercada Negro in La Paz, it's near the Mission San Francisco, you'll find it. Just leave the Llama fetuses be :-) You can make tea or just chew on them - the coca leaves anyway. Cheers~
We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and winding streams... as "wild". Only to the white man was nature a "wilderness".
-Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Chief

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Re: Bolivia - Cordillera Real

Postby jsdratm » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:54 am

Thanks for the tips everyone! I did partake in the coca tea when I was in Peru and it seemed to help with the elevation. I'm not much of a technical climber, but it does look like a good place to get started with serious elevations. Huayna Potosi is right next to La Paz and stands at just over 6,000 meters. If you are into history, Bolivia also has some nice pre-Colombian ruins to check out. If I do well on this trip I am hoping to go to Nepal, maybe on the REI trek to Everest Base Camp.

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Re: Bolivia - Cordillera Real

Postby nyker » Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:59 am

Sounds cool!

Pay attention to acclimatizing - when we were in the area (Altiplano) a few years back we stayed at ~15,000 and I didn't sleep a wink and although we did a 16,000 peak and got to 17k before turning around due to conditions, we moved like sloths though were fine on most 14ers. It was the lack of sleep that high that really impacted me.

Also make sure you're aware of the VISA requirements from Chile into Bolivia and back. We had some issues there...

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