Ascent of Cerro Wila Chanca on 2010-12-28

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Petter Bjørstad
Adam Helman
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Cerro Wila Chanca
    Elevation:15423 ft / 4700 m

Ascent Trip Report

Travelling S on Route 1, turn off L (E) at S18.38556, W66.97833, bypassing the village of Poopo then take a roughish dirt road which follows the bed of a small river, initially heading E then gradually bending S (or possibly take the dirt road which takes a higher line S of the river). In a few km take a (rougher) farm track off R (W) at S18.41286, W66.90160. This forks R in 700m just before the first buildings and it is possible to park above the houses at S18.42101, W66.91083, 3973m. This was our trailhead. The farmer came up and spoke to us. He seemed a bit bemused about our plans but had no problems with what we were doing.

From here the summit is up to the R but it is best to head straight uphill initially until the obvious ravine system can be more easily crossed near its top. From here we followed a GPS beeline for the S summit, finally scrambling (easy) up to the L to gain the (quite narrow) rocky ridge which led to the summit cairn. To our surprise (see below) this turned out to be the highest of the various summits along the ridge. It´s a nice multi-topped ridge. Views are fine, of the Altiplano and surounding summits.

We descended N (rough, rocky) to the saddle (4613m GPSr) and ascended the N summit (rocky ridge, cairn, S18.41566, W66.94122) which the map made out to be higher.

My GPSr recorded 4688-4694m at the S summit, P Bjorstad´s a steady 4701m over 10 minutes for this S summit. Bolivian 1:50,000 map has a 4640m contour for S summit and a 4659 spot height at N summit. Our GPSs agreed on 4691m for N summit which was clearly (visually) lower. Big discrepancy! (see Cerro Rico for a similar but opposite example). For the record, both summits have a tirnagulation station (or bench mark) so the mapping authority should have accurate elevations!

We descended to the saddle then made our way down. I fell a little way behind Petter and Adam and decided to take a slightly higher line to rejoin our upward route. Petter and Adam got back to the car an hour later, having taken a slightly lower line. However the reason for their delay was that they had spent an hour looking for me!! Very sorry guys :-(

An impressive thunderstorm had been building up and we abandoned our original camping plan, ending up in a very basic but nice and clean and rather "native" hostel at the town of Challapata (S18.90128, W66.77434) further S along Route 1.

NOTE: the GPX track extends to the main highway near Poopo.

Basic timings: TH 1107, Summit 1245, N summit 1331, TH 1525. We moved fairly steadily, resting at both summits and elsewhere - in acclimatisation mode.

This was climbed 2 days after Cerro Anacasi. We drove S to Potosi and climbed Cerro Rico the following day.

Cerro Wila Chanca photos
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2627 ft / 799 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2627 ft / 800 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5 mi / 8 km
    Grade/Class:YDS 2+
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2365 ft / 720 m
    Distance:2.5 mi / 4.1 km
    Route:From SE
    Start Trailhead:S18.42101, W66.91083  13058 ft / 3980 m
    Time:1 Hours 40 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2627 ft / 800 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 2365 ft / 720 m; Extra: 262 ft / 79m
    Gain on way out:262 ft / 79 m
    Distance:2.4 mi / 3.9 km
    End Trailhead:S18.42101, W66.91083  13058 ft / 3980 m
    Time:1 Hours 30 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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