The Illimani in the Andes in Bolivia with 6,439 meters, the second highest mountain in Bolivia and the highest in the Cordillera Real. The mountain has four peaks is over 6,000 meters, the highest of the Pico Sur. 1898 succeeded the British William Martin Conway the first ascent. Under the German Expedition Bolivia 1950 Hans Ertl ascended the Illimani - North summit alone. Hans Ertl and the geologist Gert Schroeder then succeeded in the first ascent of Illimani South Summit. In 1972 by Ernesto Sanchez and Alain Mesili in six days the first exceedance of the Illimani massif.

For residents of La Paz, Illimani is a landmark. The Aymara call him " Illemana ", " where the sun was born " or " Jilir Mamani ", " the eldest son ". The left peak is also known as " Khunu Urucuncu " Schneebär. The Indian legend, the mountain ( Apu ) Mururata should have tried to outdo the Illimani in size, after which the Illimani incensed this struck off the snow-covered head. The severed head should be since 200 km further west are in the form of the extinct volcano Sajama.

The Chilean group Inti - Illimani music is named after this mountain.


The Illimani has four peaks that are over 6,000 meters high. The Pico del Indio or Pico Sur has a height of 6,462 m and is the highest peak of Illimani massif. It is located in the south of the massif. The Pico La Paz or Pico Central is 6,362 m high, the Pico Norte Kuhm or 6,380 m and the 6,043 m Pico París. From La Paz from the Pico del Indio ( right) and the Pico Kuhm (left) can be seen.

Starting point for the ascent of all four peaks is the village Pinaya. From here can be ascended with donkeys in about two hours to the base camp. The way on to high camp Nido de los Condores leads through rocky terrain and takes about five hours.

Illimani south wall

With its own micro-climate on the south wall, the weather can be very specific and change quickly. Because of its exposed position in the direction of the Amazon, has the Illimani south face their own weather: On the west side, the sun may appear while a blizzard rages on the south side. In 1952, listed the French alpinist Lionel Terray, overwhelmed by the sight of Illimani south face: "He who rises through the fearsome and formidable south face of Illimani, which has yet to be born." Probably the south wall had never seen a white man to face in front of him. In the years after groundbreaking innovations have been invented in the field of alpine equipment. Yet it took 20 years until the Frenchman Alain Mesili along with Xavier Jaquier 1972 brought the first ascent of the south face. To date, the Illimani south wall for Andisten sharper direction has remained a superlative. From 24 to July 30, 2010 succeeded the German - Austrian alpinists Florian Hill and Robert Rauch, a completely new route on the south wall to open Illimani and other parts to exceed the massif.

Plane crash on Illimani

1 Jan 1985, the machine 980 Eastern Air Lines Boeing 727-200 crashed on the flight from Asuncion to La Paz Illimani. The crew probably tried to fly around a bad weather front and came up off course.

There were no survivors and to this day neither the bodies of 29 passengers or the flight recorders were found, only some parts of the plane were found and documented photographically.