Although rock climbing has been practiced in South America for decades, sportive rock climbing is a relatively new activity. In Bolivia, this activity just started a few years ago and is growing really fast, especially among enthusiast youngsters.
Known as the “Bolivian Yosemite”, the Northern region of Quimsa Cruz (three crosses) range is a true rock climber’s paradise. Because of its remoteness and the lack of information, there are very few visitors who “risk” a trip to that hidden “microcosm” of the Andean world. Several reasons make this your best option for rock climbing in Bolivia: the beauty of the landscape, the abundance of old abandoned mining roads making approaches relatively easy, the variety of climbing possibilities on granite spires and the real possibility of making lots of “first ascents”. Please consider that rock climbing in this region has to be made using natural protection since there is only a couple of bolted routes there.
The best sportive rock climbing near La Paz is located in Amor de Dios neighborhood with almost 100 routes properly “bolted” and ranging from 4 French (4 UIAA) to 8a+ French (10- UIAA)
Other rock climbing areas near La Paz city are:
- Plataforma Zongo at the base of Huayna Potosi Mountain has several bolted routes at the bottom of the dam; most of them are grade 6a French (VI UIAA) or more.
- Peñas (literally meaning large rocks) is located 60km (37mi) west from La Paz city. This small range composes mainly by sedimentary rocks mostly covered with stromatolites.
- Oruro city, 240jm (150mi) south from La Paz city, has a rock climbing area called "Rumi Campana" (ringing bell) located near the stadium in the northern neighborhood.
- Curahuara de Carangas is a small village located 160km (100mi) on the way to Sajama National Park. There is a Mountain Military division is this town and they have equipped some routes; mostly for descending.
- Calkupunku, located on the road towards Sajama National park, this volcanic valley (17º57´04"S and 68º37´40") is a small part of a huge area ideal for bouldering. There is a annual bouldering event called "Bloqueando" organized in this place.
La Paz is the only city that has indoor climbing walls. The American Cooperative School (Calvert) located in the south neighborhood has the largest one, unfortunately access is restricted to some days of the week and only for subscribed members (as Andean Summits, we are proud to have helped with its design and construction). There is a climbing wall located in the "Colegio Militar", but special permit is required to use it. Daniel Aramayo and Gonzalo Jaimes - two of the most active members among the rock climbers community in La Paz -, own small climbing rooms they call "La Cueva" (the cave), access can be arranged with the owners.
Please have a look to the following Expeditions or Short trips we are offering for rock climbing and don't hesitate to contact us to help you organize a rock climbing activity. For beginners we offer basic and advance instruction led by professional IFMGA/UIAGM/IVBV instructors trained either by the German Alpine Club (Deutschen Alpenvereins, DAV) or the Chamonix climbing and ski school (ENSA). For experienced rock climbers, we can organize your rock climbing expedition and provide services such us transportation, base camp and route finding coaching.
Quimsa Cruz mountain range is also known as the "Yosemite" of the Andes, a true paradise for rock climbers.