Some people say that where the Alps stop the Andes start. The medium altitude in the Andes is 4,500 m, sometimes even more. The infrastructure in Chile's highlands is well developed. Using a 4x4 vehicle can get you fairly close to the high area of the mountain and quite high, so that the time needed to climb peaks is much shorter. This makes the supply with water for base camps possible without having to use expensive transports. The best months for mountain climbing are from May to September. During this time the wheather is most stable. Since some of the mountains are located in the border area, official climbing permits from the Chilean authorities might be required.


GUANEGUANE 5,105 M

The location of the Guaneguane is special because from the top you experience a unique mountain panorama of six volcanoes each higher than 6,000 m. You can climb the peak in one day (provided that you are already aclimatized for high altitudes). 1 hour's drive from Putre.

Duration: 1 day

Severity: normal to difficult

Hiking area: Chile / Putre

Read more ...

PARINACOTA VOLCANO (6,350 M)

Duration:2 days
Level of difficulty:schwer
Region:Chile / Putre
Starting point:La Chakana
Download:GPS-Data

ARRIVAL

Southbound:

From Putre take the tarmac road up to the ranger station in Lauca National Park at Lake Chungará (69 km). Ask here the park ranger for the hiking path leading to the feet of Parinacota. The first 1.5 km lead you back on the tarmac road up to the pump house at the lake. At the junction turn right. The path leads now for 9 km towards the volcano taking you through many confusing junctions. During high season the easiest way to stay on the right track is to follow the path with the highest number of car tracks. We have easily recognized even the starting point for the ascent by the signs of a beaten trail.

Northbound:

In Putre there are various tour operators which can organize your transport to Caquena and then further up to the base camp of the northern route. The local military forces can also help you reach the base camp (the mountain regiment Huamachuco), however the necessary arrangements must be organized a long time in advance. In order to reach Caquena you take the international pass road starting in Putre and follow it up to Parinacota. From here you drive another hour on a dirt road up to Cauquena, located at 4,401 m altitude. It is advisable to spend here a couple of days in order get used to the high altitude. 500 meters before Cauquena an offroad track splits up and leads towards the volcano drive passing Bofedales (wet grasslands). After having crossed a sandy section of the road you reach an intersection where you turn left. The base camp is located behind the hill ahead at 4,823 m.

DESCRIPTION

Southbound:

From here - at 4,600 m altitude - it is a very long ascent to the summit. It helps to walk another 2-3 hours on the first day already. However, just below the snow line there are very few flat areas suitable for setting up a camp. Depending on the snow situation the entire ration of drinking water might have to be carried along (5 liters per person per day). The road is strongly frequented in the high season and marked by rock cairns. It leads first towards East for a long time up to a drawn-out ridge. At the upper end of the ridge, at 5,100 m, you find the last camping place. The next day you continue the ascent using crampons and ice pick following the route. For the way up to the peak and back to the camp used the day before you need up to 12 hours.

Northbound:

Ascent from the base camp to the camp "Huisquitistay" (591 m, 3-4 hours with heavy equipment). A sandy path leads on the rocky hillside up to a large plateau. From there you see to the left a rubble slope and to the right a small rift. Cross the rift and walk further up to 5,272 m. Once you reach this point continues up to the small plateau "Huisquitistay" at 5,414 m where you set up the camp. It is advisable to spend here one full day in order to get acclimatized to the altitude and to study the ascent in front of you. If the climb takes place at a point in time with no snow around you must bring along all drinking water needed for the entire tour. Should you find melting water collect it from as closed as possible to snow fields. Due to the volcanic origin of the rocks it often creates stomach diseases. Campo Alto Huisquitistay - Cumbre - Campo Alto, (941 m 6-9 hours and 3-4 hrs).

IMPORTANT NOTES

The summit day mainly depends on the snow conditions. Penitent snow can easily be up to one meter deep. Walking through this kind of penitent snow is not only very strenuous, it can also become very time consuming. We recommend to climb the summit early in the morning. Climb first the peak in front of the main peak, from here the final destination can already be seen. During the ascent you should keep to the left since on the right side there are several dangerous crevices. For the climb ice pick and crampons are necessary.

We offer transport, transfer to the surroundings of Putre, Arica, and the Andean Plateau with driver/local guide, van, 4WD pick-up.


Transfer, Putre - Crossroads of Putre or vice versa (Bus conection to La Paz, Bolivia)

Many buses drive on a daily basis from Putre (approx. 2.7 km up the mountain) to La Paz. AS there is no connection to the bus stop on the international road we offer the transfer to it and also when you are coming from La Paz. Therefore, please call us from the phone box at the Chilean border in order to make your transfer reservation.

PRICE: $ 10.000 Chilean pesos (CLP) / (15 USD)

GUALLATIRE 6,061 M

Duration:2 days
Level of difficulty:Heavy
Region:Chile / Putre
Starting point:Putre
Download:GPS-Data

ARRIVAL

From Putre there are 63 km on the international road up to the border point on Lake Chungará. Shortly after this point a dirt road opens to the right which passes the hot springs of Chirigualla and leads to a small settlement with a small chapel (15 km). At the first junction after the spa you must turn left. The settlement is located at 4,450 meters and, due to a small stream passing through, it is well suited as a starting point for further trips meant to help your body acclimatize to the high altitude and to climb the Guallatiri peak. Alternatively, you can access the settlement using the road leading to Guallatiri. The down-side of this alternative road is the longer distance on dirt roads. If you whish to go higher in order get acclimatized you have various options along the track leading up but without water supply.

DESCRIPTION

We drive about half an hour uphill (14 km) whereby after just a few hundred meters we turn left. The car track is from approximately 5,200 m on no longer drivable and disappears covered by rubble in different directions. We now follow on foot the lowest trail which leads to the east up to its end. Then we walk cross-country up the slope. In the main season the orientation is facilitated by rock cairns and by well-worn trails. We cross another two trails, the second one at app. 5,380 m. We follow the broad, easy to recognize groove up to a saddle at about 5,850 m. From here it continues up the steep slope in serpentines until we reach a flat dome-like summit at around 6,050 m. Before us lies the fumarole producing loads of roaring steam. Over the flank to the left of the fumarole you continue to the hump-like summit which reaches 6,061 m.

IMPORTANT NOTES

Extreme altitude
Under certain conditions there may be strong sulfur vapors
No water in the base camp
Drivable access up to app. 5,000 m possible
Border mountain – permit required for foreigners