Lonquimay Volcano

Lonquimay Travel Blog

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Coming out of the longest tunnel in South America

We got up early and drove a little bit out of the way to get some food for the assent. We drove up into the mountains and got some great views of the Volcano that we were about to climb. We also past a ski resort that was closed for the year but 3 American kids stood drooling over the section of chutes and drops. Not a huge resort, but access to some amazing terrain. I think we would have all been willing to stop there and hike that if we didn’t have our minds set on a massive volcano.

 

On the way up the road to Lonquimay we stopped at the little ski rental shop for some low down info about the best way to approach it. We we’re all entertained by the rear entry boots and skinny skis in the shop. He told us that we should back track and tell the Forest rangers that we were planning on making the assent so that if we didn’t return they would come look for us.

Instead we decided to just go up and look at the volcano to make sure it was going to be possible. We got to a point where there was a gate and our friends in the Gaucho truck happened to be there talking to the guy that sits in a near by house and unlocks the gate for the people the want to climb the mountain. We got in with them, but were super concerned that if we got in, we wouldn’t be able to get out at the end of the day. The little man assured us that we would be able to leave, so we followed the Gaucho truck through the gate and right up to the snow line. Amazingly we didn’t have to hike at all to approach the mountain. Between the passing clouds we caught glimpses of the summit and made out plans for the best assent. We flowed the chair lift line  to the top of the resort than then a rock line up a ridge all the way to the top. Pretty simple. About the time we got to the top of the lift line I felt blisters starting and taped my feet.  Part way up we met another group of Germans who were on their way down.

 

The snow was perfect condition, nice and sticky for our skins. We were able to hike steright up the mountain. The clouds cleared and we were making good progress.

A near by resort with some chutes that had us all drooling.
Shortly after we stopped to eat the snow conditions changed and my skins were not sticking to the snow at all. I slipped and slid about 100 years down the mountain. Every step was tricky. We were getting close to the top; to close to turn back. We had one pair of crampons for the 3 of us. I used them and hiked up. I had never used crampons before and I was amazed at how stable they made me feel. Pretty soon Adrienne started slipping and had to take her skis off. I walked right be hind her to stabilize her and catch her if she started slipping. Some how Eamon was having no troubles until almost the top, where he was slipping a little on the turns. With our teamwork and crampons we got to the top. The view was incredible. We could see Villarica that we had climbed 2 days before as well and Llaima which we were planning to climb the next day. We Could also see Crater Navidad and a slew of other mountains. The Crater at the top of Lonquimay was amazing and we all wanted to ski it, but decided not to because it was making a decent on the other side of the volcano. We checked the snow on the steepest face we could find. This happened to be the face above the cliff band that we had all been eyeing. After a little rest and before we all froze to death we started the decent.

 

My legs were so tired and burned so much that I could hardly ski.

Beauty
My feet hurt so bad where I had developed blisters over the course of the climb that the vibrations made it painful to ski. But the thrill of feeling the snow slide under my feet and knowing that I wasn’t going to be able to have this experience for a year after this trip was over made me enjoy it. The view was incredible more than words can speak. By the bottom we actually got some good corn and sailed easily back to the car. One more volcano CONQUERED!

 

Start time: 11:30AM

End time 4:45 PM

Total time 5 hrs 15 mins

 

Base elevation: 1600-1700m  (5250-5500 ft)

Summit elevation: 2890m  (9475ft)

Total Elevation: 1190-1290m  (3900-4200ft)

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Coming out of the longest tunnel i…
Coming out of the longest tunnel …
This is our point of decent and ou…
This is our point of decent and o…
A near by resort with some chutes …
A near by resort with some chutes…
Beauty
Beauty
Planning the decent
Planning the decent
Crampones
Crampones
At the top
At the top
Picking our decent.
Picking our decent.
Conquered!
Conquered!
Lonquimay
photo by: wendermilliken