Chaupi Orco


Discovery of the Chaupi Orco

The massive Chaupi Orco (Quechua: Chwapi Urqu, “Central Mountain”) is situated on the border of Peru and Bolivia, in the Cordillera Apolobamba. It is shared by Peru for 25% and the 75% remaining for Bolivia. The entire ice massif Chaupi Orco form indeed one of the largest glaciers in the world with its 102 km2.


The Chaupi Orco, the highest peak in the Cordillera Apolobamba, culminating at 6044 m with its its South Peak, we must continue further north. We cross the road to Paso Pelechuco to join the Great Palomani… but this one we keep it for a next time! From there, we will cross a paradise valley (once again you tell me, and yes paradise!), where a pretty stream run along a turquoise lagoon waters. A little earlier, we have to climb a rocky bar above another lake just as beautiful, but bigger, the lagoon Chucuyo Grande.

The view of the enormous glacier massif facing us will remain forever etched in our memories.

This forms a gigantic ice bar with multiple peaks (those we had during the ascent bordered by its eastern side). The largest on the left is the South Peak, our goal, hiding his northern neighbor peak. We set up our camp in the meadow at the foot of the massif. The approach walk is quite long because we slept a little low instead of an high camp at a lagoon located 5135m. After a pass at 5300m, we pass dangerous serac before arriving at the foot of the glacier. The climb is gradual on a large platter. We decide to join the peak edges to the left of the plate, which leads us on steeper walls (55º) to get on the ridges to the summit. The simplest would be to go through the right of the board then quietly went back to the left until the edges … what we did on the way down. Once on the ridge, we were at the foot of two magnificent domes … . The second, the highest being the South Peak Chaupi Orco. The view of the North Peak from up there is really breathtaking. Link the two peaks by these tortuous and meringue bones would have been a great adventure, which would certainly have earned us a night in camp … but tired of those 12 days expedition made us give up. It will be for another time.