Illimani (Aymara) is the highest mountain in the Cordillera Real (part of the Cordillera Oriental, a subrange of the Andes) of western Bolivia. It lies near the cities of El Alto and La Paz at the eastern edge of the Altiplano. It is the second highest peak in Bolivia, after Nevado Sajama, and the eighteenth highest peak in South America.
The snow line lies at about 4,570 metres (15,000 ft) above sea level, and glaciers are found on the northern face at 4,983 m (16,350 ft). The mountain has four main peaks; the highest is the south summit, Nevado Illimani, which is a popular ascent for mountain climbers.
Illimani is quite visible from the cities of El Alto and La Paz, and is their major landmark. The mountain has been the subject of many local songs, most importantly “Illimani”, with the following refrain: “¡Illimani, Illimani, centinela tú eres de La Paz! ¡Illimani, Illimani, perla andina eres de Bolivia!” (“Illimani, Illimani, you are the sentinel of La Paz! Illimani, Illimani, you are Bolivia’s andean pearl!”)
The current standard route on the mountain climbs the west ridge of the main summit. It was first climbed in 1940, by the Germans R. Boetcher, F. Fritz, and W. Kühn, and is graded French PD+/AD-. This route usually requires four days, the summit being reached in the morning of the third day.
4 to 5 Days: Trek and climb over a period of 4 to 5 days to summit this impressive peak.