|Ojo’s Del Salado (6893m) With Aconcagua (6962m)|
The Chilean desert high plateau east of Copiapo, above Chañaral, is well known by the world mountaineers as it concentrates the highest number of six thousand meter peaks, between mountains and volcanoes. During this trip, we propose that you climb these two giants, first Vn. Copiapo as part of your acclimatization and then Vn. Ojos del Salado, the highest volcano in the world. During the trip we will come across places of amazingly beautiful and diverse nature, and from the summits the 360 degree view is beyond description. After our attempt on Ojo's del Salado we drive through Argentina heading south towards Mendoza. From Mendoza we head out to Aconcagua. The highest mountain in the America's, our attempt will be a quick ascent as we will have a acclimatized on Ojo’s del Salado. On this trip we will see very different regions and cultural differences.
Please check the gear list to see what you will need to bring for the trip.
Copiapo is the starting point of our trip from were Ojos Del Salado lies 260kms to the east and 800kms north of Santiago the Chile and is at the most southern part of the Atacama Desert in the 3rd region.
Aconcagua is 185km North West of Mendoza (Argentina) The entire mountain is in Argentina, but lays very close to the border of Chile
Climbing to Summit
Day 1: Copiapo Airport - Copiapo (200m)
ransfer to hotel meeting with guide and question time. Later we have a welcome dinner 45 mins (D) Hotel.
Day 2: Copiapo - Laguna Santa Rosa (3500m)
We start our drive east and up, following narrow and dry river valleys that are the link between the desert and the high plateau. To reach our camp site we need to cross our highest point, Portezuelo Maricunga, which is a mountain pass 4125m above sea level. From there we go down to Santa Rosa Lagoon and Maricunga Salt Flat, where our first camp is, at 3500m. Now we are in the middle of the Chilean high plateau, which is the most southern part of the Atacama Desert and the home of a very diverse wildlife, such as flamingos and foxes. In the evening we take a short walk to the nearby lagoon where we may see local flora and fauna and a large variety of birds. 4 – 6 hours (BLD) camping
Day 3: Laguna Santa Rosa – Siete Hermanos (4950m)
After breakfast we begin our acclimatization process by climbing the easy summit of Cerro La Guanaca, after which we return to our camp. We will probably meet some guanaco's families (Lama Guanicoe) during the climb.
5 - 7 hours (BLD) camping
Day 4: Laguna Santa Rosa –Mina Marte – Laguna Negro Francisco (4200m)
We drive through an incredible landscape that leads us to Laguna Del Negro Francisco (4200m) during the drive we go through Mina Marte, an abandoned gold mine in the middle of the Chilean high plateau. We stay at the CONAF ranger station.
6 – 7 hours driving (BLD) Hostel
Day 5: Laguna Negro Francisco
Laguna Del Negro Francisco is a big salt lake, very rich in fauna and surrounded by big mountains. The area is protected by the CONAF (Chilean National Parks Administration) we have a rest day at 4200m, and in the morning we can go for an easy trekking in the area around the lake. (BLD) Hostel
Day 6: Laguna Negro Francisco – Volcano Copiapo (6050m)
We We start very early in the morning, with a transfer to the start of the climb. The summit is at 6050m with views of all the surrounding mountains. Back in the afternoon to Laguna Negro .
9 – 10 hours (BLD) Hostel
Day 7: Laguna Negro Francisco – Laguna Verde (4350m)
We leave Vn. Copiapó area driving back on the same road and then heading north, taking the international route to Argentina, gaining altitude very quickly. We can see Ojo’s in the distance from the road. Later in the day we arrive at Laguna Verde. We have the use of a base camp tent and can sit in the hot springs in the afternoon.
3 – 4 hours driving (BLD) camping
Day 8: Laguna Verde - Atacama Refuge (5500m)
We Today we drive up to base camp. It’s a twisting south to follow a 17km long back route, which tests our ability as drivers as we cross sand flats and steep rocky, sometimes snow-covered slopes, and arrive finally at the Atacama refuge, at 5500m.
1 – 2 hours driving (BLD) camping
Day 9: Atacama Refugio (BC) -Tejos Refugio (5850m) - BC
Today we carry some food and fuel to Camp I following the sandy and rocky slopes; we drop our weights inside the metallic hut, take a look around to then go back to the BC. This carrying will improve our acclimatization as a way to be able to reach the summit during the next days.
5 – 7 hours (BLD) camping
Day 10: Rest day at Tejos Refugio
We use this day to rest and recover, before we go up to camp I and give the final push to the summit, which will be physically demanding. We also prepare the gear, the food and all the other stuff we will need for the summit day. If we feel fit enough this day could be a reserve day in case we get bad weather.
Day 11: Atacama Refugio - Tejos Refugio (CI) (6000m)
Today we move up, following the mountain slopes, and carrying all the rest of the gear we will need for the summit day. It's a short day: we arrive early to get hydrated, rest to be ready for tomorrow's effort.
3 – 4 hours (BLD) camping
Day 12: Tejos Refuge - Summit (6893m) - Tejos Refuge – Atacama Refugio
Starting very early in the morning, we climb 8 to 9 hours up to the summit, once again on land that may be snowy or dry. From this amazing summit we will see all the major summits of the area, including Tres Cruces, Pissis, and the highest volcano in the world. Depending on our time we can walk back down to Refugio Tejos
10 – 12 hours (BLD) camping
Day 13: Tejos Refuge - Chilocito (1080m)
We dismantle the tents, organize the gear, pack the equipment and load the cars. Then we drive to Argentina and onto Chilecito where we will spend the night.
Day 14: Chilecito – Mendoza (740m)
Today we drive through dry deserts and spectacular scenery. It’s a long way so we want to leave early. We will stop along the way for lunch and photos shoots. Later in the day we arrive in Mendoza and check in to our hotel.
Day 15: Mendoza – Puente Del Inca (2600m) – Confluencia (3300m)
In the morning we pay for our climbing permits before heading out to Puente del Inca. A little further from Puente del Inca we arrive at Horocones, the park entrance. Here we need to show our climbing permits. We then have an easy walk up the valley up to the Confluenica.
Day 16: Confluencia – Plaza de Mules (4230m)
Today we have a long day walking up to Plaza de mules. Crossing the Playa ancha (the wide beach) A long the way we get a views of the south face, amazing colours and formations of the rock in valleys around us we see the gauchos passing with their mules.
Day 17: Plaza de Mules
Today will be a rest day in base camp. We also get our gear and food ready for our first trip up to camp one. There are a few things to see around base, visiting the hotel where phone calls can be made. There is bouldering near base camp, for those with lots of energy. We will be obliged to make a medical check up with the doctors in base camp (BLD) camping, base camp services
Day 18: Plaza de Mules – Camp 1, Nidos de Cóndores (5400m)
oday we make a carry up to camp 1. We can most of the food, tents and some climbing equipment. After a rest we will head back down to PDM.
Day 19: Plaza de Mules – Nidos de Cóndores
Today we will move up to our camp one. We take the same zig zag trail up. Once in camp, we set up our tents and start making hot water and food.
Day 20: Nidos de Condores – Summit (6962m) – Nidos de Condores
Today is the day to try for our summit! We leave around 6 am. It will be cold is some parts of the mountain and so we want to dress well. The trail zig zags its way up the mountain. At last we arrive at the bottom of the Canaleta. From here the summit looks close, but it’s still 2 more hours. Summit, we made it! We have views all around us, we stop for a rest and take photos before heading down.
The trip down is quick, once at back at Nidos de Condores we pack up camp and head back down to PDM.
Note. This might seem quick compared to many other programs, but as we have acclimatized on Ojos del Salado it will make a big difference. A program like this is not as hard as it looks
Day 21: Reserve day
We have an extra reserve day in case of bad weather (BLD) camping, base camp services
Day 22: Plaza de Mules – Horocones - Penitentes
Today we will walk out, following the same route as we came up. Once at the park entrance we make a short drive to Penitents. Once in the hotel it’s time for a beer and a hot shower
Day 23: Penitents - Mendoza
After breakfast we pack up and head back to Mendoza.
Later in the evening we have a farewell dinner.
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