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Ojos del Salado – 8 to 15 Days

Ojos del Salado – 8 to 15 Days

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Nevado Ojos del Salado is an active stratovolcano in the Andes on the Argentina–Chile border and the highest active volcano in the world at 6,893m (22,615 ft). It is also the second highest mountain in both the Western Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere behind Aconcagua at 6,960.8 meters (22,837 ft) and it is the highest in Chile.

Due to its location near the Atacama Desert, the mountain has very dry conditions, with snow usually remaining on the peak only during winter, though heavy storms can cover the surrounding area with a few feet of snow even in summer. Despite the generally dry conditions, there is a permanent crater lake about 100 m (330 ft) in diameter at an elevation of 6,390 m (20,960 ft) on the eastern side of the mountain. This is most likely the highest lake of any kind in the world.

The ascent of Ojos del Salado is mostly a hike until the final section to the summit, which is a difficult scramble that may require ropes. The first ascent was made in 1937 by Jan Alfred Szczepański and Justyn Wojsznis, members of a Polish expedition in the Andes.

With an altitude of 6,893 m, it’s the highest point in Chile, and second highest outside Asia. Sitting at the Argentinian border, the mountain has a second, almost exactly as high summit on the Argentinian side. Some 500 m below the summit you can see a lake, which is believed to be the highest lake in the world. Ojos del Salado has remarkably gradual slopes and the surrounding dry Atcama desert means that there’s usually very little snow and ice. This has made the mountain a popular place for setting world altitude records for cars, indeed cars and even a truck have been driven up to altitudes above 6,000 m.

Maybe more importantly, it’s possibly the highest place in the world you can reach by just hiking (30 km from the nearby road, plus 2,400 m ascend; only the very last part to the summit is a somewhat challenging scramble). This high, altitude sickness is most certainly a risk — don’t ascend too fast! Because of the general extremeness of the high-altitude-low-humidity environment, it’s quite problematic to undertake the 8-15 days long adventure solo.

Highlights

  • Summit a non-technical +6,000m peak in Chile, Atacama desert, the second highest outside of Asia.
  • Discover the worlds highest crater lake.

Duration

8 – 15 Days: Undertake an expedition to the Nevado Ojos del Salado ranging from 1 to 2 weeks and summit the second highest peak outside of Asia.

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