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Published: April 5th 2013
It's been quite a few days since the last entry, me and Carmen have made our way to Santiago already but a combination of no time and no access to my dear Camera for the pictures means I have not yet updated you all on our ascension to Volcano Villarica.
The Volcano had been luring us for few days, we booked our day trip to the top of Volcano Villarica on our very first day in Pucon for our return from park Huerquehue; having checked the weather it looked like Sunday 31st would be ideal; the climb can only be attempted on clear days not to put hikers into danger but also to maximize the chance of having a clear view from the top.
It took us 3 attempts... day 1 (sunday), the wind started to wake up during the night and we were pretty sure that we would be told to go back home at our 6.30am meeting, we woke up at 5.30 - still had a filling breakfast but indeed just over an hour later we were back in bed... the wind was too strong and had blown clouds over the volcano.
2 was a repeat of day 1 with a slight variation that we actually left the office all the way to the bottom of the Volcano - our guide decided after seeing the Volcano that the clouds were again not going to move from the top and had to make our way back... Carmen and I decided to spend the afternoon in the hot-springs outside Pucon.
Third time lucky we walk up to an amazing day and we were all set for attempting the ascension - having booked our ticket to Santiago for the evening this was our last chance anyway...
Preparation at the office included packing all the gear that we would require, ice axes, crampons and extra protection clothes. We left and headed off to the bottom of the Volcano in Villarica National park - having not run for few days it was fairly packed with other hikers (probably not far from a 100). There are two options for the very first part of the climb, you either take the lift which saves you about 45mins/1hour of very steep climb and a sandy path, or like me and two other you decide that if you are
On day 2 back from the hot-springs... would it be tomorrow?
going to do a climb you are going to do it properly... so here I headed off to first base with another German and a Dutch guy greeted by Carmen and one of the guys above our heads on the way.
Having made it to first base - one the guide was waiting for me and quickly caught up with the rest of the group. After about 2 hours of steady pace we all reached the fun part of the ascent - the glacier - we put on our crampons and were taught very basic skills on how to walk on ice and what to do in case of a fall. That part of the climb was amazing and we made our way slowly but surely in a queue with the rest of our group. Soon after leaving the glacier we split in 2 groups as the pace was too slow for some of us. After about 4/5 hours of hiking we started seeing and smelling the gas from the Volcano - shortly after we reached the crater and were rewarded with some amazing view far and beyond Pucon and it's region, lakes, other Volcano and obviously view of
On day 2, the clouds on the top preventing the climb.
the crater itself - the second most active Volcano in Chile.
The way down was another fun part, as soon as we reached the glacier, we put on our look-like nappies and slided down the slopes of the Volcano, it not only made for a fun time but also saved us precious time. After 7 hours we were back down the bottom of Volcano Villarica and looked back at the beast with respect.
Tot: 1.322s; Tpl: 0.052s; cc: 15; qc: 66; dbt: 0.0343s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb