Please take the time to read the entire Logistics section in full. If you have questions, feel free to call the Alpine Ascents office or email us.
Make sure you have submitted the following paperwork to Alpine Ascents.
⎕ Flight itinerary
As there are many unforeseen circumstances that may occur during or leading up to the trip, we strongly recommend trip insurance for your expedition.
A variety of trip insurance options are available through different providers. We recommend Comprehensive Trip Insurance for your protection.
There are two basic policies: ‘standard trip insurance’ which can cover injuries or illness, or a ‘cancel for any reason’ addon which covers a wider variety of situations. Note – this addon is considerably more expensive, and if paid out only covers 75% of the trip fee. Please note this is just a summation of the policies available.
Please see complete specific policy information for our recommended policies..
Note that trip dates include travel time from your home country. A day-to-day itinerary can be found with your confirmation letter.
Flight reservations for your expedition should be made as soon as possible. Please forward a copy of your flight itinerary before final purchase so we can review departure and arrival dates.
Alpine Ascents can make pick-up, hotel, and transport arrangements to meet individual itineraries.
Flying to La Paz, Bolivia
Arrival: Fly to La Paz, Bolivia. Those arriving on the scheduled date will be met at the airport by an Alpine Ascents guide or representative and taken to the hotel. Please look for an Alpine Ascents sign upon leaving customs.
Early Arrival/Late Departure: For acclimatization purposes and in case of lost luggage, arriving a
day early is highly suggested. We are happy to arrange an airport pick up for you if arriving early. For those arriving early or departing after the scheduled itinerary, we can make hotel arrangements at an additional cost. Please contact our office in advance if you would like us to make additional reservations.
Missed Flights: If you miss your flight or if your flight is significantly delayed, please contact Gordon Janow by calling our Seattle office (206) 378-1927 and follow the prompt for 24-hour contact.
Visas & Passports
To enter Bolivia you must have a valid passport that does not expire for at least 6 months past the end date of your journey. You will also need to obtain a visa from the Bolivian Embassy or Consulate. Alpine Ascents will provide the necessary “hotel confirmation letter” and provide details on how to obtain a visa approximately 3 months before departure date.
We usually lodge at the Hotel Europa while in La Paz. On occasion we may switch hotels; we will inform you if we make this change.
For climbers who prefer single room accommodations, these arrangements can be made for an additional fee. Be aware that private rooms are available at hotels during our trip, but not on the mountain.
For climbers choosing double room accommodations every effort will be made to pair you with another climber. A Single Room Supplement Fee will apply if a match cannot be made or there is a last minute cancellation. This will help keep our overall program pricing down since unlike other companies we do not charge more for smaller groups.
In La Paz
Calle Tiahuanacu No. 64
Phone: (591-2) 2315656
During the expedition, we will stay at a hotel while in Copacabana; an ecolodge on the Isla del Sol; and expedition quality tents while in the mountains, with a large dining tent at the base camp level.
Please refer to your Gear List:
You are required to bring every item on this list as described, so be as precise as possible when packing. We are happy to work closely with you on finding the proper gear.
If you plan to rent gear, your rental form must be submitted at least a month prior to expedition start date. Please call our office or e-mail [email protected] with any questions.
If you’re confused by items and/or language on the Gear List, we encourage you to refer to our Gear Guide for explanations on layering systems, differences between boots, etc.
Below are articles written by veteran Alpine Ascents guides that you may find helpful in preparing and packing for your expedition.
People generally take too much “stuff” rather than too little. Study each item before you pack it. Eliminate redundant items, extra changes of clothing, and excessive“nice to have” luxuries. You will benefit from traveling light because of the costs of excess baggage and because of the frequent loading and unloading of bags. Remember to review your airline’s weight limits and pack accordingly. Traveling light may be your key to summit success. Take everything on the required equipment list and little else.
We recommend using a combination of cash and credit cards for purchases and extra expenses in Bolivia. You will need to change US Dollars to Bolivianos, which you can do in country at exchange kiosks, banks, or at our hotel in La Paz. When exchanging money, request the change in small denominations as change for larger notes is scarce outside big cities.
Meals in La Paz are not included in the trip cost, aside from the hotel buffet breakfast. Expect to spend about $150-$200 US for these meals. The last day of the trip in La Paz will also include time for souvenir/Bolivian handicrafts shopping, if you wish to budget extra.
If you need to leave the expedition early, you are responsible for all incurred expenses (evacuation fees, transport, extra hotel nights, etc). A comprehensive trip insurance plan is recommended, which can cover these costs in the event that they occur.
Our guides make every effort to ensure your climb is safe, successful, and as enjoyable as possible. If you have a positive experience, gratuities are an excellent way to show your appreciation. It’s difficult to recommend a specific amount as we believe tips should be based on level and quality of services, as well as an amount that meets your budget. Please consider the information below to be a general recommendation.
8-12% of the total trip cost is a standard guideline for the whole guide team. Any contribution to the guides’ tip pool can be given directly to your lead guide and will be appreciated by the entire team.
On the Mountain
Physiology Of Mountaineering
Dehydration, hypothermia, frostbite, and altitude illness are all important health conditions to be aware of while climbing. Please read our overview of these physical factors:
Food & Water
We are aware of the potential monotony of expedition food and Alpine Ascents makes every effort to make meals a positive part of the climb. We take great care in our meal preparation, understanding the importance staying healthy, fueling effectively, and enjoying your food. Whenever possible, we use fresh ingredients from local markets in our pre-planned meals.
Alpine Ascents guides will sterilize all water and climbers will fill water bottles at breakfast and dinner.
You may want to consult your physician for advice on treatments for gastrointestinal upsets that you may encounter on your trip. In the past, climbers have relied on antibiotics such as Ciprofloxacin. Your doctor may recommend medications such as Lomotil or Imodium to stop diarrhea, and Compazine to prevent nausea.
Leave No Trace
Alpine Ascents International practices Leave No Trace principles on all expeditions. We believe that given the proper information most people will do all they can to help protect and maintain the environment. Before your climb, please become familiar with Leave No Trace:
As guides, we spend time teaching the environmentally appropriate Leave No Trace principles and practices. There is nothing more rewarding than working hard to get high into the mountains, reaching a pristine campsite, witnessing incredible views, and having the feeling that no one has been there before.
Conversely, there is nothing more disheartening than working hard to climb a mountain, reaching a site and encountering trash, food waste, and toilet paper. Please read the seven LNT principles, and call the office if you have any questions about what you can do to plan ahead.