We practiced with the piolets and the crampons attached to our boots for a few minutes and we could feel the adrenaline rush as we made the final adjustments to our backpacks. After applying sunscreen to our faces and making sure we were all ready, off we went!
Mountaineering techniques began at an altitude of 1,900 meters MSL as we zig- zagged in Indian file. The height tested our fitness and resistance and naturally, some of us had more difficulty than others. We walked on, using the strength of our legs but especially thanks to our will power which always determines our behavior. A few stops enabled us to take a break, adjust our gear and above all bond with the other members of the group.
We walked on for two hours, almost in complete silence, gauging every step to minimize effort. When we reached a height of 2,200 meters MSL, it was time to have lunch. Clouds covered the area but we hoped it would be clear at the summit. We caught sight of LLaima and Lonquimay Volcanoes as we neared the last and most difficult stretch of the climb; a real test to our strength and pride. Our guides constantly supported and encouraged us.
A Challenging Ending
Overcoming steep, rugged terrain covered in volcanic rocks and the increasingly strong stench of sulfur, we reached the crater. We were overwhelmed by mixed feelings: exhaustion, the crater and its ever present fumaroles but above all the realization that we were standing on such an enormous mass of magma.
We had met the challenge and that was the greatest pleasure for each and every one of us. Before descending, we walked around the crater to marvel at the panoramic view. Lanin, Tronador and Osorno Volcanoes as well as Lakes Calafquen, Panguipulli and Pellaifa lay before our eyes. Unfortunately, the wind and the sulfurous gas sped up our descent but not before we had a chance to celebrate our achievement: the summit of Villarrica Volcano.
Sol y Nieve
9 hours average in all.Difficulty
Medium - high.Tour type
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Useful DataHow to get there
Bordering Lake Villarrica, 25km are traveled along a paved road up to Pucón. One kilometer before reaching the city, take the detour to the left and travel 9 km along the rubble road that accesses the national park. Inside this area and passing by the forest ranger office, take the trail on the right towards the Villarrica winter resort.
Timetable: excursions leave at 7:30am.
Excursions leave at 7:30am.Bear in mind
It is essential to carry enough water or juice for hydration during the trip, good sun protection (above 15), lunch, chocolate and fruit.