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Climbing Ojos del Salado

Soar to the stratovolcano summit perched on the Southern Cone border

The giant stratovolcano of Ojos del Salado rises along the South American border between Argentina and Chile. It comprises the east of Chilean Copiapó and the west of Argentinian Fiambalá. At 6,893 meters, Ojos del Salado is the highest active volcano in the world, and second highest peak in the Southern and Western Hemispheres. Its ascent is technically gentle except for the final meters, which require ropes and harnesses. There are two routes to reach Ojos del Salado: the San Francisco International Pass from the Argentinian side, and the more accessible and shorter route from the Chilean side. Visit during the milder months between October and March for ideal climbing conditions.
 
 
 
 
 

Top mountain climbing trips | Ojos del Salado:

 
 
 

What people are saying about these trips

Karl Trellinger

3.00

January, 2022

Expedition to Ojos del Salado Volcano

It has been difficult for me as the one group member who did not speak Spanish fluently to be and feel included, as most group conversations happened - understandably - in Spanish. Very fortunately, two fellow climbers spoke English very well, which was very important to exchange information and have good conversations in general. I recommend to non-Spanish speaking climbers to either join a trip like that with a friend or learn to speak Spanish very well. I can get through while traveling in South America with my rudimentary Spanish, but it is insufficient for me to follow or participate in Spanish spoken conversations.

Tomcik Christopher

5.00

February, 2021

Ojos del Salado, 9-day Ascent in the Atacama Desert, Chile

Hey, So I had a great time on this journey in the Atacama desert and up the the Ojos del Salado. Looking forward for other adventures of this kind :)

Biff Palmer

2.00

January, 2020

Expedition to Ojos del Salado Volcano

We loved Gaston - he was very nice - BUT - one of the team members was not prepared - at all - for this type of climb which significantly hampered the performance of the other team members. I would STRONGLY encourage a stronger process of weeding out those who have no business signing up for such a climb - I will admit, my entire experience was 'ruined' because of the weak climber - we had to take long, long, long breaks in order for her to catch up making the rest of us extremely cold - it was so unfortunate - additionally, I would suggest a higher hiker to guide ratio - since we were required to carry our own gear to the high camp - and one of the members was not strong enough to pull their own weight - this added additional burden to the other climbers! I am so frustrated that due to the lack of training, responsibility, and knowledge of one climber it ruined the entire experience for the rest of us!

Deborah Liao

5.00

December, 2019

Ojos del Salado (6893m) 15-day mountaineering program, Catamarca

This review was for a guide (Gaston Lopez) sent by Hernan. This was the worst guiding I've experienced on any trip taken over the last 8 years on over a dozen trips around the world. Numerous issues that you would not expect from a guide who's been certified for 12+ years. The most significant being: suggested I could wear normal hiking boots on a 6016 meter mountain (Nevado San Francisco) when I've always worn doubles on 6000 and even on cold 5000 meter mountains. An inexperienced person could have had foot issues/frost bite as it was cold the day we summited. Not knowing the route on Ojos - he suggested we try for the summit at 13:30 after moving from Arenal to the higher camp, but couldn't provide an answer when I asked what the average time was for people to summit when leaving from the high camp. We eventually had to turn around from this summit attempt because he seriously misjudged the timing and lost the route during our ascent. After this failed attempt, he said we'd make another attempt the following morning and that it would take maybe 7 hours up and 5 hours down, meaning we'd need to leave by 8:00 at the absolute latest to make it back before dark. The next morning he was still sleeping at 7:00, and hadn't mentioned anything about departure time the night before, so I left before him and led myself up to the plateau before he caught up and we went the rest of the way together. By this point I had lost all confidence in his guiding ability, advice, and planning, so I made the decision to leave on my own for the summit because I knew he wasn't leaving me enough time by sleeping in. Other issues: every time this guide verbalized the itinerary, it was different (he was clearly very disorganized and lacked basic planning skills); this was the worst and cheapest food I've experienced on any trip. Example: after an 11-hour summit day, we had canned lentils, canned vegetables, rice, tuna, and tomatoes mixed together for dinner vs. other teams that ate grilled meat, stir fry, hamburgers, tacos, etc. There was also inadequate/low quality breakfast of cookies and cereal only, as opposed to other teams eating eggs, toast with jam & peanut butter, bread/chapati, etc.; of all the guided teams at Las Grutas, we didn't have paperwork for the car to get past the gendarmie post so we had to get a ride from someone else to Nevado (shows poor planning and logistics); pacing was not great and he was so far ahead of me most of the time that he had no idea what my pace was, not to mention this is a dangerous practice in terms of keeping an eye on your client; guide had no hand sanitizer and didn't wash hands when preparing food; guide incorrectly told me I was developing HAPE because of a cough I tend to get at altitude but my oxsat was 83% and resting heart rate was ~95 bpm at 5500 meters.

Jerry Bierbower

5.00

February, 2019

14-Day Ojos del Salado (6898m) ascent with acclimatization

You People there at Explore have really put a great trip together. I don,t know how you could improve on this. Thanks forgiving me the chance to experience Chile!

Nels Pederson

5.00

January, 2019

Expedition to Ojos del Salado Volcano

We had an incredible time on our trip! Gaston was amazing, and we were very fortunate to have him as our guide. He has spent a lifetime hiking in Chile, and it reflected in his planning and preparation for the trip. With his help we were able to push to the top, and make awesome memories along the way!

Vambola Sipelgas

5.00

March, 2018

Ojos del Salado volcano ascent

Many thanks to You again for excellent organization our trip to Ojos with Martin Torres! Martin very good man and I`m very glad to have this new real friend!

Malcolm

5.00

February, 2017

Expedition to Ojos del Salado Volcano

I recommend Gaston as an example of a first rate mountain guide. Very attentive to his clients and an excellent chef. I have never been so well looked after on an expedition. Thank you all very much.


 

There are many reasons for choosing Mountain Climbing in Ojos del Salado

Standing in the southern section of the Central Volcanic Zone in the Andes, the high rising Ojos del Salado even towers above a neighbouring collection of 6,000-meter peaks. At 6,893 meters, the stratovolcano is the world’s highest active volcano, as well as being the second highest mountain in both the Western and Southern Hemisphere, peaked only slightly by Aconcagua (6,961 meters).

 

Good to know:

Language

Spanish

Country code

+54 in Argentina and +56 in Chile

Currency

Argentinian peso (ARS) and Chilean peso (CLP)

Best time to visit

Visit during the milder months between October and March for ideal climbing conditions

What's the weather like?

The region of the Ojos del Salado receive a dry climate during the summer months, which is due to its location in the Atacama dessert and the Andes

More info about Mountain Climbing in Ojos del Salado:

The stratovolcano of Ojos del Salado hangs extremely high on the South American border between Argentina and Chile. At 6,893 meters above sea level, it is the highest active volcano on Earth, as well as being the second highest mountain in both the Western and Southern Hemisphere. The Andean giant of Aconcagua (6,961m), the highest mountain, stands just 370 miles away. The translation of the stratovolcano is The Eyes of the Salty One, due to its large deposits of salt in lagoons and glaciers

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