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Cordillera Real Climbing - Climbing Cordillera Real - Bolivia

As one of the most diverse and pristine mountain ranges in the world, the Cordillera Real offers a wealth of climbing opportunities for mountaineers of all abilities – from complete novices to experienced ice climbers. Here you’ll find some of the world’s most accessible mountains over 6,000 meters, good climbing conditions for nine months of the year, mountains of spectacular beauty and those that are both easy and extremely challenging to climb.


European explorers began attempting to climb the mountains of the Cordillera Real towards the end of the 19th century. A group, led by Frenchman Charles Wiener, reached the south-eastern peak of Illimani in 1877, which at 6,130 meters was the highest mountain to have been scaled in the world at that time. Before colonial times, the range had long been worshipped by the Aymara villagers who lived in its foothills, but there is no record that they attempted to climb the glacier peaks.


Today, some of the mountains are extremely popular, from people attempting their first 6,000 plus mountain, to those with dozens of high climbs under their belts. In high season, over a hundred climbers a week can be found on some of the more popular mountains. There are plenty of peaks that are still relatively undiscovered however, and many more technical routes that are only advisable for seasoned climbers.


The most popular group of mountains is the Condoriri and Huayna PotosĂ­ group, situated northeast of La Paz and the most accessible from the administrative capital. It contains a variety of mountains over 5,000 meters covering different terrain, and the extremely popular Mount Huayna PotosĂ­. Mount Illimani, the highest peak in the range and technically challenging, is situated southeast if La Paz and is a massif surrounded by valleys.


The Illampu Ancohuma massif contains the Cordillera Real’s most technical normal route, on Mount Illimani, and has beautiful views over Lake Titicaca. It is reached from Sorata in the Yungas. One of the least visited areas of the Cordillera Real is theChachacomani Chearoco massif, which offers uncharted territory for experienced climbers.



With all of its unique attributes, the Cordillera Real also comes with its own challenges. Because of the high altitudes involved it’s recommended that you have at least five to seven days to acclimatize and consider doing an easier climb before attempting some of the more challenging mountains. With the increased popularity of the range, rouge climbing agencies have also appeared, offering guided ascents without proper safety procedures or accredited guides. Before signing up make sure the agency uses professional mountain guides accredited by the International Mountain Guide Association (IMGA, UIAGM, IVBV).

Climbing, Climbing Info.

Here are other activities in and around Cordillera Real that may be of interest: Condoriri Massif Climb, Ancohuma Climb, Illimani and Huayna PotosĂ­ Climb.

View Cordillera Real Map

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