|The mountains of the Cordillera Real stretch out endlessly. Chad Cochran.|
This peak is imposing, gorgeous, and a deservingly popular climb. Only the top portion of the mountain is visible from base camp, but it's full grandeur is displayed as one approaches from Tarija, the next peak South. The climbing here looks significantly more challenging than it generally is; in fact, the descent often proves to be the most trying part of the day.
|Pequeño Alpamayo from Tarija. AAI Collection.|
The Southeast Face is approached similarly; when the Southwest ridge begins to rise, climbers traverse across the bottom of the face until they are directly below the summit. Climbers who tackle the ascent this way are then treated to nearly 1000 feet of uniformly steep, snow climbing directly up the fall line to the summit; when conditions are right, the entirety of the climb is perfect névé. Regardless of how one summits Pequeño Alpamayo, the descent is via the Southwest Ridge; on the hike back to back to base camp, there is plenty of time to think about what the next days climbing will bring. There are, after all, 12 more equally breathtaking peaks within a day's reach...
|Spectacular bolivian alpine climbing spans the vista. Chad Cochran.|
--Casey O'Brien, Program Coordinator