Mountaineering in Bolivia

If you have been thinking about climbing a mountain higher than 6,000 meters, but you still need some push towards getting your ass off the couch, this might motivate you.

These eleven ladies, aged between 20 and 50, climbed Huayna Potosí (6,088 m) in December 2015.

They are the wives of mountain guides and have been working as carriers for food and climbing equipment up to the base camp at 5,130 m altitude and as cooks. When more and more mountaineers asked the ladies what it’s like at the top, they thought “well, guess we finally have to check that out,” convinced their husbands to take take them, and went in their regular dresses. I particularly love the simple, colorful backpacks which consist of a piece of cloth which is folded on one’s back and gets tied at a knot in front of the chest. This is how cholitas go shopping in the markets, how they carry the merchandise they sell and how they carry children. And what’s good enough for carrying a child is good enough to climb a snowy peak. No reason to buy any fancy equipment. Too bad they had to take off their traditional hats at the summit because of the strong wind.

cholitas mountain 1cholitas mountain 2cholitas mountain 3cholitas mountain 4

(Photos by Juan Karita.)

And even if you don’t want to climb a mountain yourself, you can use this story as a response when some of your friends are showing off about having climbed the Matterhorn (4,478 m) or Kilimanjaro (5,895 m): “Yeah, I saw some chubby, old Bolivian women, they climbed much higher. They didn’t try to make a big deal out of it.”

(Zur deutschen Fassung dieses Artikels.)

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in Bolivia, Travel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Mountaineering in Bolivia

  1. Wow great Post :) i want to do this one day.

  2. Miriam says:

    What an awesome post and what incredibly amazing women.

  3. jenfabian says:

    you did one of my bucket list! nice!

    • Well, I personally didn’t do it. I just posted the videos and photos. But I might…

      Why do you have a bucket list? Isn’t that for people who are about to die?

  4. Pingback: Bergsteigen in Bolivien | Der reisende Reporter

  5. jessica says:

    lo vuelvo a decir… simple pero hermoso…excelente publicacion…gracias Andreas!

    • Oh yes, that really proves that Bolivian women are the toughest women in the world.

      I am looking forward to going to one of these fights in La Paz.

    • Stefan MD says:

      Hahaaa, and I look forward to THAT post

  6. Pingback: The Bolivian Ladies keep Climbing | The Happy Hermit

  7. Pingback: Climate Change is Real (my TEDx video) | The Happy Hermit

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