Aymara women rise above

A group of Aymara women who support intrepid travellers embark on their own adventure

Two years ago, a group of eleven Aymara indigenous women working as porters and cooks at base camps and climbing centres in Bolivia, decided it was time for their own adventure.

The women, all aged 42-50, switched their traditional bowler-style hats for safety helmets, attached crampons under their colourful skirts and started mountain climbing.

Here, some of the women practice descending a glacial slope at the Huayna Potosi mountain – a 19,974ft (6,088m) Andean peak near La Paz – where they work their day jobs.

The group has now scaled five peaks, all more than 19,500ft (6,000m) above sea level: Acotango, Parinacota, Pomarapi, Huayna Potosi and Illimani. They one day hope to scale the 22,841ft (6,961m) summit of Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside of Asia.

The Wider Image: Bolivia's cholita climbers

Photo: David Mercado/Reuters

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