'Ojos Del Salado'-Chile. Summit of the highest active volcano in the world!!!
December 5, 2014
Our expedition to Chile took us to the Atacama desert, to attempt climbing the highest active volcano in the world and the second highest peak outside of Asia-'Ojos Del Salado' @ 22,572ft! A giant amongst giants, Ojos is located in the Chilean Altiplano comparable only with Tibet. Our acclimatisation process got us hiking the peaks in the beautiful Atacama desert, where we camped alongside natural salt water lakes with flamingos and were treated to views of snow-capped volcanoes and red desert slopes. After packing up our Laguna Verde camp at 14,765ft, we established our high camp at 17,000ft and prepared for our summit attempt. Our summit night began in the early hours, ascending up to Refugio Tejos at 19,350ft (the highest hut in the world!) and then continuing up the volcanoes steep scree slopes. As we approached the summit, we circumnavigated around the huge extinct crater, taking in the smell of old sulphur and then on towards the final rock section, up to the summit. The sun appeared just as we reached the top and we enjoyed stunning views across the Atacama, marvelling at all the surrounding 20,000ft volcanoes! We completed this part of the expedition by descending down and packing up our camp and then drove all the way down to the Pacific ocean, where we celebrated with fresh seafood and cocktails!!!
As we were super acclimatised at this point from climbing Ojos, we decided to extend our trip and return back into the Atacama to climb three more super volcanoes! After replenishing supplies, we made our base camp back at Laguna Verde at 14,765ft and then started our next challenge to speed climb San Fransisco @ 19,744ft, Pena Blanca @ 19,783ft and Vicunas @ 19,904ft! It was tough on our bodies as they were already tired from Ojos, but a super fun challenge as we were acclimatised and could move really fast. After our fourth volcano in eight days, we realized we were starting to look like desert lizards and decided to call it a day-it was time to say goodbye to the Atacama!!!