Day 1 – Arrival to Bolivia – La Paz 3800m
La Paz’s airport is the world’s highest international airport (4100m). For people coming from lower altitudes, we usually recommend them a minimum of 3 nights in La Paz (3800m) before moving any higher. Today we’ll pick you up at the airport with a private driver or a van depending upon the number of passengers in the same flight. You’ll meet the rest of the students and guides at dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 2 – Acclimatisation at La Paz 3800m
Today we don’t recommend you to move too much and to keep the exercise very limited. In the morning you can start buying everything you need. In the afternoon we’ll have the first part of the theoretical classes: Basics about acclimatisation and high altitude physiology.
Day 3 – Acclimatisation at La Paz 3800m
Today the class is about acclimatisation strategies, basics about high altitude climatology and glaciology. After lunch we’ll try all the rental equipment that we include in this course.
Day 4 – Trek up and down to Chacaltaya 5400m
After a 2 hour drive on a bus to an old ski resort 5200 metres high, we’ll start a 1 hour short trek to the summit of Chacaltaya 5400m. This will really improve your acclimatisation. The whole tour might take 7 hours.
Day 5 – La Paz – Zongo – 4700m
Although we drive for about 2 hours today, we’ll also consider today as an acclimatisation day. We recommend very low or no exercises today. Our ‘basecamp’ will be in a mountain hut at the edge of a water dam named Zongo. Its a very beautiful spot. In that very same night we’ll learn the theory on: snow walking, ice climbing, mixed terrain and common knots.
Day 6 – 1st day of glacier training – 4700m
Today we’ll practise all the theory we learnt yesterday. Activities will be in a nearby glacier, about 2.5km away from our hut. Classes will be about: walking on snow on normal boots, walking rhythm, basics about plastic boots, self arrest, roping up. After dinner we’ll continue with classes. This time will be about expedition planning and logistics.
Day 7 – 2nd day of glacier training – 4700m
Coming back to the same glacier we were yesterday, we’ll practise everything we learnt yesterday and add the following: snow and ice anchors, descent on ropes, using technical ice axes. We’ll also learn how to set tents and how to choose the best tent spots.
Day 8 – 3rd day of glacier training – 4700m
The 3rd part of the course will be about: altitude climatology, navigation, basics about rescue and altitude emergencies. This will be combined with practical classes.
Day 9 – Trek to high camp – 5300m
We’ll have a 3 to 5 hour walk to high camp at 5300 metres. This is also a hut but with basic features. Don’t worry, we won’t have classes tonight!
Day 10 – Acclimatisation and glacier training – 5200m
If weather is good, we’ll spend our day acclimatising and doing light walks. If weather isn’t ideal, we’ll go to the summit.
Day 11 – Summit day – 6088m
Leaving the hut very early morning/night (about 1am) we’ll move for about 8 hours to the summit and for another 2 or 3 descending back. After a short break at high camp, we’ll keep going to Zongo. There will be a bus waiting for us to take us to La Paz
Day 12 – Flight out
We’ll take to the airport 2 or 3 hours before your flight.
Day 13 – Acclimatisation and glacier training – 5200m
This is a spare weather day.
** The above itinerary is subject to change due weather conditions, performance of the group, political / administrative problems and any other events not described.