"Take it easy - just 5395 meters" Chacaltaya by Assenczo

Chacaltaya Travel Guide: 1 reviews and 4 photos

The highest ski lift in the world
Cheating? No, it is legal

Chacaltaya is something else. With its altitude of 5395m(5345m by Google GPS) it towers above the highest peak in Western Europe, Mont Blanc (4808m) and almost reaches the heights of Elbrus, Europe’s absolute power (5642). Moreover, one does not need even boots to conquer it (at least in the dry season this is the case). The road leads up to 5300m elevation where the welcome chalet and altitude sickness center are located. From there on there is a little hill to be climbed – a challenge in the thin air environment but nothing compared to miles of trekking with alpine equipment, Sherpas and years of experience. So there is nothing to loose and much to gain.

360 degrees of superb landscape

The vistas are magnificent. On one side is the omni powerful Illimani; opposite is the Huayna Potosi, La Paz’s water supplier; kitty cornier are the stormy clouds of the Amazonas in general and the Yungas in particular; across is the silvery lake Titicaca in the barren haze of the Altiplano.
There is a catch. The mount seen initially from the chalet is not the highest peak. It is actually the highest point of the highest ski lift in the world. What a title! Once there one realizes that the job is only half done. At this height the decision to go on and finish the task properly with ascending to Chacaltaya itself could be a difficult process. Even the most stubborn heads must feel a bit mushy.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:One does not need boots
  • Cons:Altitude sickness
  • In a nutshell:The easiest way to reach 5395m altitude
  • Last visit to Chacaltaya: Aug 2006
  • Intro Updated Dec 1, 2010
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