Ascent of Cerro Chorolque on 2010-12-31

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Petter Bjørstad

Duane Gilliland
Adam Walker -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Greg Slayden -- Trip Report or GPS Track
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, December 31, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Cerro Chorolque
    Elevation:18363 ft / 5597 m

Ascent Trip Report

We climbed this peak the day following our Cerro Cunurana ascent.

Access is via the mining village of Santa Barbara, W of the summit, reached via a 15km dirt road (high clearance recommended - we were in Toyota Landcruisers). Turn off the (unpaved) Route 14 at S20.95527, W66.15932. It´s a fairly spectacular drive, with the big steep peak looming ahead. We came to a security gate: a guy came out, our drivers explained we wanted to climb the peak. He took our names and said we´d have to ask at the office in the village. We drove up past a fairly large village to a scruffy "street" with a few stalls (S20.92345, 66.04953, 4788m). Speaking with locals we understood that the office was closed so no permission was possible. However, after Adam Helman´s persistence we got the OK. (It seems likely that if the office had been open the answer would have been No). Unfortunately Adam didn´t climb the peak himself as he felt unwell - big thanks for his help with setting up this and the other ascents of this trip.

We drove up the quarry road directly above the village, stopping at a junction at about 500m below the summit (S20.92353, W66.04249, 5034m): a suitable location to park and turn the vehicles.

From our trailhead we hiked a short way W along the mining road then took a miners´ foot trail which climbed the steep W face - a few variations but generally OK to follow, mostly reasonable underfoot but with some loose ground requiring care to avoid knocking rocks down. In time we emerged onto the S ridge and followed this to the summit: some sections blocky with easy scrambling; a trail of sorts for most of the way. The summit has 2 cairns although the highest point is a rock outcrop (S20.91838, W66.03548, 5571m GPSr) overlooking the spectacularly vertical N face. Our GPSs gave elevations around 5570m, in comparison with the expected 5520m and a Lonely Planet Guide figure of 5604m.

I spent a while exploring the very nice short E ridge which leads to a subsidiary ridge. This has some engaging scrambling (hardish exposed YDS 3) but the 1.5m downclimb to the notch was a fair bit too hard for me (crack on S face looked like about HVS UK grade).

After an hour at the summit making the most of the acclimatisation, we headed back down the same way. We then drove back to the main highway (Route 14) and headed N to Uyuni (2 hrs) to find a hotel for the night, before travelling west to Cerros de Cañapa, one of a group of three Bolivian Ultras near Ollague on the Chilean border.

Timings: leave TH 0930, summit 1130-1225, TH 1350

NOTE: thye GPX track extends to the main (dirt) highway.

Cerro Chorolque photos.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1847 ft / 562 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.2 mi / 3.6 km
    Route:South ridge
    Trailhead:Mine road above Satna Barbara  16516 ft / 5034 m
    Grade/Class:YDS 2+
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 25 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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