For our first climb in Bolivia, Dale and I agreed Pequeño Alpamayo in the Condoriri Group would be a good objective. After 2 days and 3 nights in La Paz, we took a taxi at 9am up to Laguna Tuni. It took a little over 2 hours to get there and it turned out the road went a bit farther than I'd expected in my planning, so it only took an hour to reach Laguna Chiar Khota where we dropped our camping gear and set up our tent.
We'd planned to approach the first day, climb the second, and descend the third, but we both felt great at our camp at 15,300 feet and decided the route would not be dangerous in the afternoon, so we went for it starting at 1:15pm.
We quickly hiked up the valley, put our boots, crampons, and harnesses on at the toe of the glacier, and started walking up the snow at 2:15pm The crevasses were obvious, so we didn't rope up. There was a well-worn track in the snow that switched back up the glacier to the saddle. From there, we followed the tracks up and right to the top of the sub peak where we got our first full view of the route. It was magical. Mornings in Bolivia had been clear while afternoons were cloudy and we had been worried the summit would be socked in, but it turned out to be clear with wispy clouds adding to the ambiance.
We descended on 4th class rock to the saddle below the peak and then soloed our way up the 45-50 degree snow with perfect sticks. The route has a great, exposed feeling to it with the face dropping off to the right, but the climbing being at a very reasonable angle. One exposed step past some rock near the top brought us to the final slope and then the summit at 5pm. What a beautiful spot!
We down-climbed the ridge, scrambled back up the 4th class, and then sauntered down the glacier, which was soft enough to take plunge steps pretty well. We were back at our trail runners a little after 6pm and hiked to our tent as the dark crept in by 7pm. Perfect first climb in the mountains here!