Bolivian women walk on the wild side

BOLIVIA (Reuters) - They are colourfully dressed - but these women are on an extreme mission.

Known as "Cholitas", 15 women from Bolivia's El Alto region have taken on the challenge of climbing eight mountain peaks in the country.

The women topped their third mountain in mid-April - climbing more than 21,000 feet - or 6500 metres - above sea level.

Ms Cecilia Ilusko Alani, Cholita mountain climber, said in Spanish, "It was like we had arrived in heaven when we reached the top of Illimani. The clouds were below us and emerged as if from a volcano. We could see everything from above, it is gorgeous. The walls of Illimani are very difficult to climb, but we managed it. I am very happy to have climbed Illimani."

Ms Lidia Huayllas, Cholita mountain climbers' coordinator, said in Spanish, "It is difficult but not impossible."

Up next, the women will take on a mountain range on the border of Chile.

That trek is planned for May.