Parinacota should only be climbed by alpinists with skis or board in tow (until later in the season when penitentes take over the slopes) as it is a rather monotonous peak otherwise. The rib that drops down to the North East provides a bit of scrambling but otherwise you can walk up from any direction, although the lower ash laden slopes can be hard work.
The first ascent was made from the col between Parinacota and Pomerata by J Prem and C Teran in 1928.
Access: From Sajama village it takes about 1 1/2 hours in 4×4 to make it to the road end, which is where basecamp is located. The road is not too bad but deep sand/ash make it too difficult for non 4 wheel drive vehicles. 4×4’s can be hired at Sajama village. Hostal Sajama is very reliable for this. They charge around 1000bs for drop off and pick up. Many teams leave at around 2am from Sajama village, climb and return the same day. Others have walked from Sajama village, needing 1 or 2 extra days.
There is a new refugio at high camp (approx 5300m) run by the local community. There is currently no system in place for booking it but hopefully something will be sorted out soon.
From Base camp follow an obvious road to high camp. The road is no longer passable by vehicles but makes for an easy walk up.
Note: there is no water from well before basecamp. Take plenty if camping. The new refugio was trying to get some via a pipe from snow slopes on Pomerape but by mid 2014 had not succeeded.
In 2013 the most common route was to the right of the obvious NE rib and accessed from below the col between Parinacota and Pomerata. There is a fairly good track from high camp almost to the snow line.
Parinacota Weather Forecast
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