International Mountain Guides Climbing and Mountaineering Expeditions

Bolivia Climbs

Illimani • Pequeño Alpamayo • Huayna Potosi

Bolivia with International Mountain Guides

IMG Bolivia Gear List

This equipment list is meant to help you compile your personal gear for a mountaineering expedition. Most items are required. Please consider each item carefully and be sure you understand the function of each piece of equipment before you substitute or delete items. Keep in mind that this list has been carefully compiled by Eric Simonson, the expedition organizer. Don't cut corners on the quality of your gear.

Climbing Gear
[  ]Ice Axe: A 60 cm length is probably the most useful length. Bring a light weight axe with a pick that will stick easily in hard glacier ice. Attach a light weight wrist leash that is usable for climbing steeper terrain.
[  ]12 point Crampons: These must be sharp and must fit your boot perfectly.
[  ]Climbing Harness: Make sure the buckle is easy for you to thread in cold conditions! Gear loops will be useful for this trip as well as adjustable leg loops.
[  ]Climbing Helmet: Required. Be sure you can comfortably fit a warm hat underneath.
[  ]Hardware: Bring 3 locking and 4 lightweight regular carabiners. It is helpful if at least one of the locking carabiners has a "key gate", like the Petzl Attache. Bring one handled ascender, and one Petzl Tibloc for ascending the fixed rope. You will need rigging material — two sewn 48" nylon slings and 20' of 7 mm perlon should be sufficient. Also include one small 5 mm prussik loop (about 4 feet of cord tied with a double fisherman's knot) for a rappel backup. For rappelling the Black Diamond ATC Guide is good since it can handle ropes from 7.7mm to 11mm. A Figure 8 is an old standby and works on a variety of ropes and also icy ropes. While it twists the ropes more, it is quite foolproof. You might consider both, in case you drop one of them and lose it.
[  ]Trekking Poles: Poles come in handy for balance and easing impact to your knees. Get collapsible poles that can attach to your backpack and fit into your duffel.

Backpack & Sleeping Bag
[  ]Climbing Backpack: Medium size internal frame pack (60 liter capacity). Look for a pack which is comfortable to carry, very durable, as light as is reasonable and one which has a minimum number of bells and whistles.
[  ]You may choose to bring a smaller "daypack" for your airline travel carry on.
[  ]Sleeping Bag: Bring a sleeping bag comfortable to 0°F. Down is lighter and much more compressible. Be sure to bring a compression stuff sack.
[  ]Sleeping Pads: one RidgeRest and/or Thermarest pad. A stuff sack helps prevent punctures.

Camp Accessories
[  ]Utensils: Bring an insulated mug with a lid, a decent sized bowl, spoon, pocket knife and lighter. It is nice to have a small stuff sack to keep them clean.
[  ]Headlamp: With several sets of extra batteries. Many climbers like to also bring a “back up”.
[  ]Water Bottles: 2 water bottles with foam insulation shells. Bring a Pee bottle too.
[  ]Water Treatment: Iodine tablets (Potable Aqua or similar) or iodine crystals (Polar Pure).
[  ]Camera: With spare batteries, and memory cards. Bring a thumbdrive for photo swapping.
[  ]Pocket Knife.

Footwear
[  ]Double Climbing Boots with expedition liners. Make sure your crampons can be adjusted to fit them! Consider overboots if you are unsure whether your boots are warm enough.
[  ]Gaiters.
[  ]Camp Shoes (Like a Croc or sandal that can be worn with warm socks).
[  ]Comfortable hiking shoes/boots for the approach to the camps (rocky trail)
[  ]Socks: Four sets of climbing socks.

Clothing
[  ]Insulated Parka: Heavyweight insulated expedition parka with hood.
[  ]Shell Jacket: Lightweight waterproof-breathable construction with a hood.
[  ]Shell Pants: Lightweight waterproof-breathable shell pants or bibs with full-length leg zippers. ALSO very useful are synthetic insulation full-zip pants, for example, Mountain Hardwear Compressor Pants — for evenings and cold summit days.
[  ]Mid Layers: Fleece or Soft Shell layering pieces that work well with the rest of your clothing. A Soft Shell jacket and an expedition weight longjohn top will work well.
[  ]Climbing Pants: Look for construction that provides freedom of movement and/or stretch materials. Fabric should be a breathable synthetic that preferably holds up to abrasion. I'd recommend a Schoeller fabric climbing pant for general use that can be worn over longjohns.
[  ]Base Layers: 2 synthetic tops and 1 bottom. Zip neck tops are the way to go.

Outerwear Accessories
[  ]Mittens: Fleece mittens with an over mitten. Nothing competes with a mitten for warmth when the going get tough.
[  ]Ski Gloves: A warm insulated glove with leather palm will be worn a lot of the time.
[  ]Light Gloves: Polypropylene or fleece. Leather palms handle the fixed line better.
[  ]Leather gloves or good abrasion resistant climbing glove for the rock sections.
[  ]Stocking Hat: Wool or fleece stocking hat with ear protection.
[  ]Neck Gaiter and/or a Buff (highly recommended).
[  ]Baseball hat and Bandana.

Personal Accessories
[  ]Eyewear: Bring good sunglasses with side protection. For contact lens wearers, ski goggles with light color lenses (for use at night) might be useful in windy conditions. The ski goggles are essential for all climbers in really stormy conditions and can serve as an emergency back up for broken or lost sunglasses.
[  ]Vision correction: Bring extra prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses if you wear them. You favorite lens solutions may not be available in Bolivia, bring enough for the duration.
[  ]Wrist Watch: With alarm and night light. An altimeter watch is useful.
[  ]Basic First Aid: Hand sanitizer, moleskin or Compede, athletic tape, aspirin (some climbers take a baby aspirin every day up high) and/or ibuprofen / acetaminophen, Imodium, Band-Aids, antacid, ear plugs, and two rolls of toilet paper in quart Ziploc bags, small towel, soap/shampoo.
[  ]Prescription Medications:
  1. Antibiotic for upper respiratory problems (azithromycin)
  2. Antibiotic for GI problems (Cipro or azithromycin)
  3. Diamox (acetazolamide) for acclimatization (125 mg tabs recommended; enough for a week)
  4. Sleeping pills for jet lag
  5. Tylenol 3 or similar for severe headaches
  6. Malaria Chemophrophylaxis, if needed based on travel plans
  7. Asthma medication, if any history (many climbers use Advair inhalers at high altitude to prevent Khumbu cough).
  8. For serious illness on high altitude expeditions, standard treatment protocol is immediate descent and if necessary:
    • Nifedipine for Pulmonary Edema (we suggest 30mg time release tablets — bring a couple tablets)
    • Dexamethasome for cerebral edema (bring a few 4mg tablets)
[  ]Cold medicine: (Sudafed, etc), Chloroseptic or Tessalon Perles throat lozenges.
[  ]Skin Care: Sunblock lotion (at least #30 protection factor — have at least one smaller tube, 1 oz, that can fit in your pocket) and lip salve. Put your lip protection on a string and hang it from your neck. That way you'll use it. It also works great for your nose.
[  ]Personal Snack Food: The food is great on the trek but you might enjoy a few snacks (not more than 5 pounds) from home and some drink mixes if you like these to add to your water bottle.
[  ]Books / music. Plan on doing some trading!
[  ]Hand and Foot warmers (a few, if you are prone to cold issues)

Travel Items
[  ]Duffel Bags: We normally pack all our equipment in two large duffel bags. Make sure they are well labeled with indelible ink as well as a travel tag. The duffels go on the trek/climb with you and will be carried by porters. Expect for them to get wet and muddy, so rugged, waterproof duffels are good. Bags with wheels are nice for the airport, but the porters don't like to carry them, so don't bring wheeled bags (or at least not two of them). You will also store some travel clothes at the hotel in La Paz while trekking, so a small additional bag with a lock might be handy. You'll want padlocks, but for flying out of the USA, it might be better to use plastic zip ties which can be cut by TSA staff if necessary (bring extra zip ties). Tip: Bring 5 large plastic garbage bags to pack gear inside duffels to protect gear from rain.
[  ]Travel Wallet: Some type of secure travel wallet is a must. Remember a pen for travel documents.
[  ]Passport (valid for at least 6 months after the trip ends with sufficient extra pages for visa stamps and in same name as airline ticket (or with endorsement-for women who changed name w/ marriage). It is easy to get your Bolivia visa on arrival in La Paz at the airport…bring a passport photo and $135. Make sure you have a couple photocopies of your passport and a couple of extra passport photographs, and carry these in a separate location. You'll be glad you did if you ever lose a passport.
[  ]Casual Clothes: Light hiking pants and / or hiking shorts for warm weather down low — NOT cotton. You'll want a shirt or two with a collar to wear on flights and for restaurants. A sweatshirt or light jacket might be nice in the evening. Tip: Keep your travel clothing modest, please do not wear short shorts and skimpy tops, the locals take offense.
[  ]Bathing Suit: Some of the hotels may have pools.
Bolivian climbs with International Mountain Guides
Recommended Gear

Confused by what exactly we mean on some of the listed gear, or wondering which brands might be better? See the IMG Recommended Gear Page »

Then browse the IMG Online Gear Store for our favorite climbing and trekking gear, as well as used rental gear, logo t-shirts, and more.

If you can't find what you need in our store, IMG is proud to feature our partnership with Mountain Gear, and we recommend them for your equipment requirements. IMG climbers get 5% off when they click through here to access Mountain Gear's Online Store or call 800-829-2009 and use code: 0IMG (zeroIMG)

Gotta say — and I have been on a lot of trips with you and different guiding companies — this rates as the best ever. The flawless planning and detail that went into this trip was remarkable. Everything, including the steak and sausage barbecue that awaited us as we came down from Illimani base camp, was superb. I cannot thank you and your staff and guides enough for this truly wonderful experience here in Bolivia... The climbing here is not for the feint of heart, and those two summit ridges were absolutely spectacular. So thanks again from a very happy guy and very satisfied client.
~Bill H.
So... the headline is that trip #8 for me with IMG was pretty freakin' awesome... As a climber, I LOVED the fact that there was so much climbing packed into the trip... It is abundantly obvious you love what you are doing and genuinely [care] that people have fun, achieve their climbing goals and stay safe. That piece just makes for a really great atmosphere... which, in my opinion, is a big part of what keeps people coming back.
~Viki T.
I'm just not sure how to express how great it all was!... I don't think it all could have gone much more smoothly! As I've come to appreciate from past IMG expeditions, the logistics, staff, and team members on this IMG trip were as good as ever before, and you guys delivered another once-in-a-lifetime experience. I was able to see another country, meet some great new climbing partners, and also accomplish some cool things for myself. I climbed higher and camped higher than I have before and did some really challenging climbing along the way. Thanks for setting up the experiences in Bolivia. I look forward to more excellent adventures with IMG!
~Mary H.
Thanks again for the most amazing trip!!! I am still riding high from it... I am so excited to keep climbing with IMG and moving to the next level...
~Deborah R.
I left the mountain without a doubt that we chose and were with the best organization and people on the hill...
~Jeff
I was very impressed with how smoothly the logistics unfolded in all steps of the trip. I know how many details go into trip planning and there wasn't a missed step... I'd like to give a big thumb's up to you, and I'll be sure to look at another trip with IMG, with Greg as leader. Thank you for all you did to ensure such a wonderful experience.
~Grace P.
 
top of pageRequest more infoRead client comments