AACH03  Ojos del Salado Volcano (6893m/22609ft)   16D/15N 


The great Ojos del Salado Volcano is located at 260 kms to the east of Copiapo (3th Region of Chile, 800kms North of Santiago de Chile). It is considered as one of the highest active Volcanoes in the world, and surrounded by a deserted, windy area where we find plenty of an interesting fauna: birds, guanacos, vicuñas, and flamencos. Without doubt Ojos del Salado is a great challenge but cold and windy mountain requiring very good acclimatization and equipment.

Day 1: Arrival in Santiago de Chile.

Welcome reception at the airport, and transfer to the hotel in Santiago. Briefing about next days activities.

Day 2: Santiago – Copiapo.

Morning transfer to the airport in Santiago for your flight to Copiapo, a traditional mining city located at about 800kms north of Santiago de Chile and at an average altitude of 38m/1250ft. In recent years, the river has dried up due to mining and agricultural activity in the region. The town is surrounded by the Atacama Desert and receives little rain (12 mm per year). Free afternoon. B, D.

Day 3: Copiapo – Vallecito.

After lunch in Copiapo, we start our 120 kms drive to Vallecito (or Valle Chico) at 3200m/10500ft. This is a little Oasis with green landscape, ideal for acclimatization. Set up the camp, and then we make a short trekking on soft terrain. B, L, D.

Day 4: Vallecito – Laguna Santa Rosa

After breakfast we travel towards the Salar de Maricunga (3600m/11810ft) where we can observe Andean flamingoes (known as "Parinas" in the North of Chile). We continue our drive to the Tres Cruces National Park and to our camp at Laguna Santa Rosa. Here we make an acclimatization hike around the lake. B, L, D.

Day 5: Climb Cerro "8 Patos"

Breakfast at 08:00 and afterwards we start a hike up to the summit of Cerro "8 Patos" (8 Ducks Hill) of 4890m/16040ft. This hike takes about 4 hours up to the summit and we should expect a sunny and windy weather. Camp. B, LB, D.

Day 6: Laguna Santa Rosa Camp – Laguna Verde

After breakfast we will drive towards our next camp at Laguna Verde at 4350m/14268ft where we set up our camp next to a hot water spring. In the afternoon enjoy the surroundings and the hot water springs. B, L, D.

Day 7: Resting day and acclimatization.

Hike on the surroundings. B, L, D.

Day 8: Laguna Verde – Cerro Mulas Muertas (Dead Donkies Hill)

Breakfast and then we start our climb to the summit of the Cerro Mulas Muertas. The summit has an altitude of 5300m/17384ft. We should expect a very windy climb. Camp. B, LB, D.

Day 9: Laguna Verde – Atacama Shelter

Breakfast and then we start our drive towards the Atacama shelter (5300m/17384ft), our base camp for the next days. From 5000m/16400ft of altitude we will hike for about 2 hours to the shelter in order to get a proper acclimatization. B, L, D.

Day 10: Atacama Shelter – Tejos Refuge – Atacama Shelter

Breakfast. Today we carry food and equipment to Tejos refuge at 5837m/19145ft. This hike takes about 4-5 hours and each expedition member should help carrying some of the communal equipment. Hike back to Atacama refuge. B, L, D.

Day 11: Atacama Refuge – Tejos Refuge

This day we take it easy in the morning and then we start our hike with all our equipment up to the Tejos Refuge where we will overnight. B, L, D.

Day 12: Tejos Refuge – Summit – Atacama Refuge

Today at about 04:00 a.m. we will wake up for an early breakfast, and then we start our summit attempt to reach the summit of Ojos del Salado Volcano (8 hours). This day we can expect cold weather with temperatures of -25ºC to -30º C) and strong winds above 80 Km/h, so you will need very good climbing equipment. The climb also crosses a small, 100 meters long glacier. After a 6 hours walk we will get to the crater of the volcano from where we will scramble above big rocks up to the rim of the crater. From there up to the summit we will climb the last few meters at 6893m/22609ft on loose rock (5.6 difficulty grade on the American Scale). After enjoying the magnificent view we get from the summit, we will go down to the Tejos Refuge from where we trek back to Refugio Atacama for a celebratory dinner, and a good rest. B, LB, D.

Day 13: Extra day

If due to bad weather or other circumstances we did not reach the summit in the previous day, we can use this day for another summit attempt. B, LB, D.

Day 14: Refugio Atacama – Copiapo – Bahía Inglesa

After breakfast and a relaxing morning, we start our drive back to Copiapo from where we continue to English Bay city where we stay at the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Hotel accommodations. Farewell dinner with few celebration drinks. B, LB, D.

Day 15: Bahía Inglesa - Copiapo – Santiago de Chile

Breakfast in your hotel, and we transfer you to the airport in Copiapo for the flight back to Santiago. Hotel and free afternoon in Santiago. B.

Day 16: Santiago out

Transfer to the airport and flight back home. End of our services. B.

 Gross Rates per Person in US$:

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Included: Transfers, hotel accommodations in Santiago (3 nights), and in Bahia Inglesa (1 night) (in double or twin bed room with private facilities), complete camping equipment, private transport, English-speaking guide (or for groups in requested language at extra cost), noted meals.

Not Included: international and domestic flights, airport taxes, park entrance fee (estimated us$ 250 - 300. - pp), extras, personal expenses, personal climbing gear, tips, and extras, personal travel insurance.

 Category: Easy to very hard

Recommended Months: November to March.





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