Huayna Potosí Approach

A short but scenic positioning day

Hiking Difficult

Distance
2.5 km
Ascent
496 m
Descent
9 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
4.8 km
High Point
5.2 km
Gradient
20˚
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Huayna Potosí Approach Map

Description

This is an easy day compared to what is to come (and what has already been if you climbed Pequeno Alpamayo to acclimatise) but it’s a vital day to get you in position for summiting Huayna Potosí.

The drive up to where you start walking is stunning and takes you through some wild and barren terrain and past some beautiful blue lakes. Once you do park up, take some time to savour the desolate surroundings before you start walking.

To get underway, hike due north up a mellow but unrelenting path above the Represa Zongo lake to reach a small glacial lake at the foot of the Huayna Potosí’s glacier. Carry on hiking north and then head west-northwest up a steeper section of path which traverses through a rock band. At the top of the rock band there are a couple of steep zig zags and then you emerge at “Campo Alto Roca”, where there are a number of mountain refuges for you to stay at. However, if at all possible it is better to carry on to the Refuge Anselme Baud, 15 minutes further up the track. It is only marginally higher but given that the summit day is a long slog, you’ll be glad of every bit of effort you can save yourself tomorrow by getting slightly closer to the top.

There is not a lot to do at the various refuges and they tend to be quite cramped, but with such a big day tomorrow, try to just relax, hydrate and calorie load.

Difficulty

Difficult

Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

May, June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Alpine
  • Picturesque

Guidebooks in this area