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South America, Bolivia, Useful Information

Useful information: To oversimplify, the biggest climbs in the Cordillera Real, as well as the best new material, will be found on the eastern side. This is inconvenient because most approaches are from the west; too, east-side weather is not as good, although still not very violent. Bolivian rock is underrated; there is an enormous amount of unexplored rock and mixed climbing. Campesinos attacked at least three parties, robbing one of everything, including boots and outer clothing, and attacking the other two with stones, resulting in one head injury. Although this is not common behavior in Bolivia, climbers should be alert, especially in the areas below Chearoco and Chacha-comani and near the town of Achacachi, where civil strife is frequent. Campsite thefts have increased sharply, a result of desperate poverty and social problems. The very low prices current in Bolivia probably are temporary, the result of exchange-rate imbalances.

Stanley S. Shepard