BLOQUEando 2016: Tenth Anniversary of the Bolivian Climbing Festival!
BLOQUEando is a climbing event, originally in the bouldering modality, which gathers since 10 years ago, climbers, nature and open air sport lovers, in the region of La Paz, Bolivia. This tenth version will take place from October 28 through October 30 at the Challkupunku Valley, Department of Oruro, on the road to Chile, approximately 180 kms from the city of La Paz and 200 kms from the Chilean border.
October 7 2016
BLOQUEando started in the year 2007, when the Vertigo Club (at that time a group of climber friends) organized the first encounter at Curahuara de Carangas with the purpose of having a good time with friends, get the climbing community together and promote bouldering and rock climbing.
For the BLOQUEando 2016, and thank to the support of sponsors it has been managed to keep this event accessible to a wide range of enthusiastic climbers, both domestic and foreign, beginners and experienced. In each of the last three versions of BLOQUEando they have had more than 160 participants. The success of this event which keeps growing every year, peaked with the presence of Philippe Ribière, professional climber of the PETZL TEAM and promoter of climbing for the handicapped. The participants had the chance to share boulder solutions as well as discussions and life experiences with the French climber.
One of the most attractive characteristics of the BLOQUEando for each of the climbers participating in the event is the comfort and quality of their reception and stay, which allows them to climb and relax in one of Bolivia´s more beautiful environments for climbing. The organization offers transport and food for the three days, as well as projection of films in open nature, party with life band and a DJ, the traditional giant barbecue, as well as other extra activities, namely a Slackline course, Volleyball court, Yoga classes, etc. All this in a remote place, surrounded by nature at over 4000 meters above sea level.
This year, for the 10th anniversary and thank to the close cooperation and confidence of PETLZ, its biggest and most important sponsor, BLOQUEando is redefined, integrating rock climbing by offering 30 fully equipped routes. Also the BLOQUEando organization is preparing introduction to climbing courses, to be given by UIAGM guides and instructors, who will also teach safety techniques for climbing, with the highest quality materials available to participants.
At the ends of October the Challkupunku valley will once again be full of multicolor tents and also with a friendly, freedom and fun ambience.
More information on the event website (www.bloqueando.com) and its Facebook page (BLOQUEando) and if you need any complementary information, do not hesitate to contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sponsors 2016: Petzl, Tigo Sport, Nikkei World Tour, Suntal, Kairos, Adventure Planet, Go Bolivia, Salazar & Asociados, IGA, Moblar, La Boliviana CIACRUZ, La Republica, Blueberries Café, El Muro, SAR Bolivia, Delegación de la Unión Europea, Novo Boliviano, Red Bull, Huari, Antartica.
COMPLEMENTARY INFORMATION about CHALKUPUNKU
This is a small canyon in the midst of the Bolivian Altiplano, 17º57´04” S-68º37´40”, 4000 meters above sea level, midway between La Paz and the Sajama Volcano, highest mountain in Bolivia at 6542 masl. There are Inca tombs in the area, known as Chulpas. It is without any doubt one of the best places for bouldering considering the amount and quality of the rocks and the peaceful environment which make the place ideal for rock climbing and outdoor activities.
Lots of camelids can be seen in the area, such as Vicuña (Vicugna vicugna), qwuirquincho (Chaetophractus nationi), the andean cat or titi (Felis jacobita), puma (Felis concolor), suri (Pterocnemia pennata ), cóndor (Vultur gryphus), chocka (Fulica gigantea), parihuano (Phoenicopterus chilensis) and small birds as Asthenes arequipae, Oreomanes fraseri and Phrygilus erythronotus
Vegetation and flora
The vegetation of the high Andes presents hard silified grains as the Festuca dolychophylla, Stipa ichu, Calamagrostis and other plants like Hypochoeris, Lachemilla, Pycnophyllum, Azorella y Aciachne pulvinata. Among the trees and bushes we can name the queñua (Polylepis tarapacana), tholares (Parastrephia lepidophylla, P. lucida, Baccharis incarum) and yareta (Azorella compacta).
The weather ranges from cold to freezing with summer rains and freeze all year long. The area is arid and rain levels range from 270 to 400 mm.
Goes from 3900 to 4100 masl within the Occidental or volcanic range, with vast plains and conic mountains.
The best time to visit the area is from ends of April to ends of October which is the dry season.
Type of rock
Volcanic porous type of the smith rocks (usa), very soft.
The open blocks are not more than 50 for the time being however the morphology of the rock, quantity and quality turns this into a great destination and the potential to become one of the best boulder places in Bolivia.
Dressing and Equipment
Clothing for extreme weather. The days are very hot, the afternoons windy and the nights are cold, regularly below 0ºC. for this reason you will need dawn jackets, gloves, hat, beanies and a good warm sleeping bag. It is important to have a good cooking device and enough water containers to last the stay. There are no water flows nearby. The Tomarapi river is a good option, but it is 20 kms away. This area does not count with equipped ways, you will need CrashPads for block climbing and climbing shoes and chalk should not be forgotten.
The best way is to secure transportation from the city of origin, as the Valley starts in 2kms the blocks being 5 kms away.