Skip to main site content.
(L-R) Domitila Alana, 42, Bertha Vedia, 48, Lidia Huayllas, 48, and Dora Magueno, 50, at the Huayna Potosi mountain in Bolivia. (REUTERS/David Mercado)

No impediment

Stunning footage shows Bolivian women scaling mountaintops in traditional dress

By WITW Staff on April 26, 2016

A team of about 15 indigenous Aymara women from Bolivia have been testing themselves by climbing some of South America’s highest mountains — all while wearing their traditional cholita paceñas dress. The women, between 42 and 50 years old, are the wives of mountain guides but had no formal experience in climbing outside of cooking and cleaning for mountaineers at local base camps. Determined to see the views from above for themselves, the women decided to set out in their layered colorful dresses, Andean “aguayo” shawls and knitted cardigans, and have now successfully scaled the mountains of Parinacota (20,826 feet), Pomarape (20,610 feet), Huayna Potosi (19,973 feet) and Illimani (21,122 feet).

In one particularly difficult trek in January, the women walked six hours through treacherous snowstorms in order to reach the peak of Mount Acotango, the highest of a group of a stratovolcanoes along the border of Bolivia and Chile. The women plan to attempt Argentina’s 22,841 foot Aconcagua, the highest mountain on the continent, in May.

Read the full story at RT.


Morocco’s indigenous Amazigh women unite against Islamists and Arab elites

Book chronicles meaning behind mountain women’s face tattoos

Historian Amanda Foreman upends the story of civilization to give women their due