From the Cacaltaya to the Zongopass

The Chacaltaya shelters with its 5300 meters, the highest ski region worldwide. Nowadays, however a large part of the glacier melted and the solely small ski lift laments. Nevertheless the crossing of the Chacaltaya chain offers a fantastic panorama over almost the entire Cordillera Real, including a terrific deep view above La Paz. After driving up to a height of 5100 meters by mini bus, we first of all have to pay 10 Bolivianos for the Club Boliviano for passing its hut. Then the ascend trail follows, directly behind the rear exit.

Time to walk:
5 to 6 hours

Starting pointy:
Ski hut at the Chacaltaya

Ending point:
Farming house at the Zongo pass street (4550m)

Altitude difference: approx.
500m (ascend) and 900m (descend)

Requirements:
Partly the area is without trails, underneath the summit climbing is necessary (1. degree). This small part is a bit exposed. Otherwise the trails are well arranged and easy to find.

Dates:
anytime, on request

Price:
1 person 100 Euro, from 2 persons on: 50 Euros

The Chacaltaya shelters with its 5300 meters, the highest ski region worldwide. Nowadays, however a large part of the glacier melted and the solely small ski lift laments. Nevertheless the crossing of the Chacaltaya chain offers a fantastic panorama over almost the entire Cordillera Real, including a terrific deep view above La Paz. After driving up to a height of 5100 meters by mini bus, we first of all have to pay 10 Bolivianos for the Club Boliviano for passing its hut. Then the ascend trail follows, directly behind the rear exit.

Description:

Almost straight ahead we climb towards the first of the numerous Cacaltaya massives This is done quite easily, after 15 minutes we have already reached the summit. A short contra descend is following, before hiking around the highest point of the Cacaltaya chain, this time we have to cross a harmless icy bit of grout. Here the view is absolutely free on an endless seeming ocean of summits: Now we cross the left, view full grout back until the trails lead us further down to a debris area. Over a boulders area we reach the saddle of the next summit. Further accompanied by marvelous views, especially over the gigantic Illimani, we overcome another harmless grout until reaching a small steep wall. But it looks worse than it really is. Who looks to the right will immediately see the helpful climbing leads. At the next ascend we overcome a broad debris grout towards a colorful rock formation until reaching the summit after 15 minutes. This is the second highest point of the whole chain. The unusual silence, combined with the superb view puts us into a totally different world. From here on we climb up a broad valley underneath glaciered areas of the Cerro Charkini. Now only not more than half an hour is missing until reaching the Zongo pass, where our vehicle should be waiting for us.

Additional information