Volcan Lanin - Day 2
Junin de los Andes Travel Blog› entry 39 of 424 › view all entries
To say we had a good nights´sleep would be a lie. The wind rattled against the tin walls and it was very very cold, despite sleeping in thermal layers, 3 fleeces, hat, gloves, scarf etc etc. At 5am, nature called (typical) and so we scrambled out of sleeping bags and braved the cold. The sun was just rising and the view was the most beautiful vista of orange skies and mountains that stretched into Chile. The Volcano summit was clearly looming over our hut and once again, the skies were clear of any horrible weather.
After brekkie, more snow-melting for our water supplies and kitting up in our ice-climbing gear, we began the incredibly gruelling final ascent. It was seriously tough-going at a 45 degrees incline and we were soon gasping for breathe, resting our screaming legs every few minutes.
The descent was rather scary as it was so steep. It was one of those situations where you can´t slow down - if you do, you bugger over. We made it back to the hut in one piece and had a hot drink and some chocolate before making for the descent down the mountain. Now came the really fun, really dangerous bit!! The quickest way down the mountain is....arse sliding!! Pretty much does what it says on the tin - sit on your bum, lift your cramponned feet off the ground and zoom down the mountain at lightening speed!! It was absolutely terrifying as that mountain was damn steep and the only thing we had to stop us from flying off the side to a gravity-induced death is an ice-pick. Was such a laugh and we soon whizzed down the mountain. What took us 7 hours to climb took less than 2 hours to get down. Thankfully, Simon started to feel a bit better as we reached the bottom of the mountain.
After informing the guardaria of our safe return, we flagged down the next bus coming from Chile back to Junin and rested our aching limbs with the comfort of a shower, food and a warm bed.