26 May 2016

Photograph: David Mercado/Reuters 

Watch me climb. I am getting there.

Seriously, this is such an amazing picture, and the most wonderful story

For years, Lydia Huayllas, 48, has worked as a cook at base camps and mountain-climbing refuges on the steep, glacial slopes of Huayna Potosi, a 19,974ft (6,088-meter) Andean peak outside of the Bolivian administrative capital, La Paz.
But two years ago, she and 10 other Aymara indigenous women, ages 42 to 50, who also worked as porters and cooks for mountaineers, put on crampons – spikes fixed to a boot for climbing – under their wide traditional skirts and started to do their own climbing.
These women have now scaled five peaks – Acotango, Parinacota, Pomarapi and Huayna PotosĂ­ as well as Illimani, the highest of all – in Bolivia’s Cordillera Real range. All are higher than 19,500ft (6,000 meters) above sea level.


  1. I love the pictures! It's so nice to see a place where people still wear traditional dress, instead of cast-off Levi's and t-shirts.

  2. I wish I could do that. They are truly inspiring and stunningly colorful.

  3. Beautiful in every way.

  4. Anonymous29 May, 2016

    I take my (nothing like as cool as theirs) hat off to them. I used to go rock climbing years ago but lost my mojo i'm afraid! Don't even like ladders much these days.

  5. That is so Effing wonderful. You go, you skirt-wearing women.