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

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

Eduardo, an IFMGA certified guide, will take you on an adventure to summit Ojos del Salado. You'll also climb Siete Hermanos, Mulas Muertas and Nevado San Francisco for acclimatization.

Andes

14 Days

Jan - May, Sep - Dec

High

Intermediate


Description

Ojos del Salado, standing at an impressive 6898 meters, is the highest active volcano in the world, nestled along the Chilean-Argentine border near the Atacama Desert. It is also the second-highest peak in the Andes, just 64 meters shy of the towering Aconcagua.

This majestic volcano offers a unique and thrilling mountaineering experience, combining extreme altitudes with breathtaking scenery. The journey to its summit is not just about climbing; it’s about immersing oneself in one of the most remote and stunning high-altitude landscapes on Earth, where the red of the rocks contrasts vividly with the white of the salt flats and the deep blue sky.

Embarking on this incredible expedition, you will push your climbing limits in extreme altitudes, but rest assured, there will be ample time for rest and recovery before each new challenge. Our carefully designed itinerary ensures you have the necessary acclimatization, gradually preparing your body for the higher altitudes of Ojos del Salado.

You will climb other significant peaks such as Siete Hermanos (4780m), Mulas Muertas (5200m), and Nevado San Francisco (6023m) before tackling the ultimate ascent. This approach not only enhances your physical readiness but also allows you to enjoy the diverse and awe-inspiring landscapes along the way.

This challenging expedition requires good physical condition and prior climbing experience, as you will face demanding conditions and extreme altitudes. Our 4WD vehicles will transport us to the starting points of our climbs, ensuring we conserve energy for the ascents.

Throughout the journey, you will have the support and guidance of experienced mountaineers, with the option to exit the expedition if you feel the need. The reward for your efforts will be the unforgettable moments and magnificent views that accompany every step of this adventure.

Ready for the challenge? Check out the detailed day-by-day itinerary below and let the adventure begin!

Price includes

- Accommodation included

- Guiding fee

- Breakfast

- Lunch

- Dinner

- Transport during the trip

- Transportation start and back

- Permit and entrance fees

- Porters

- Mountain guide expenses

- Luggage transfer

- Mules and horses

- Tents

- Rope

- Cooking utensils

- Belay and rappel devices

- Quickdraws

- Avalanche equipment

- Snacks

- Clean drinkable water

Price details

PRICE PER PERSON VARIES DEPENDING ON THE NUMBER OF PERSONS

Please no the prices are ONLY FOR TRIPS WITH SET DATES. We can organise trips to any other dates, however the cost might change

INCLUDED:

- Andes-Specialists team leader

- Average of 2.5 clients per guide to the summit of Ojos del Salado

- Entry fees to the National Park

- 2 nights in a hotel in Copiapó (3 or 4 stars Hotel Cumbres de Atacama with breakfast)

- Airport to hotel transportation and vice versa

- Drinking water at all camps

- Transportation and setup of tents

- All 4x4 transportation adapted for high altitude

- Climbing permits

- Transportation of 20 kg throughout the itinerary

- Tents at all camps (2 per tent)

- 2-night stay at Laguna Santa Rosa Hut (Maricunga Hut)

- Dining tent at base camp

- All meals outside of Copiapó

- Stoves, gas, and all kitchen equipment

- Snow melting and water treatment at all camps

- Medical kit, oxygen for medical use, and daily medical check-ups

NOT INCLUDED:

- Personal mountain equipment

- Refunds in case you quit

- Travel insurance

- Lunches and dinners in Copiapó

- Airfare to/from Copiapo

- Extra days in Copiapó (more than the 2 nights included)

- Hotel cost if you prefer not to share a room (you have to pay hotel nights in full)

- Costs of descent due to personal or medical reasons

HOW MUCH WILL I SPEND IN THIS TRIP?

- Our package (USD 3280 to USD 3650)

- Flight to/from Copiapó (average cost): $1300 to $3000 (depending where you are)

- Expenditure on meals at Copiapó (average): $200

- Travel insurance (average): $100 (avg World Nomads)

- Rental of technical equipment (average): $0 to $450 (depending what you need to rent)

- Cost for descent due to personal reasons: $400 (bring it in case you drop due to non-medical reasons)

Average total expenses in dollars: $5280 to $78000, depending on flights, number of people and rentals.


Itinerary

Day 1: WELCOME! Arrival to Copiapo (800m)

We’ll meet you at the airport, which is 50km away from Copiapo. This day is for checking your personal equipment to ensure you have everything needed for the trip. If you need any supplies, we will have time to shop for them. You will also meet all the members of the team and have dinner together. Included: Hotel with breakfast and transportation.

Day 2: Copiapo – Laguna Santa Rosa Hut (3700m)

On this day, we’ll drive 210km to a small mountain hut at the edge of a beautiful salty lagoon called Santa Rosa. The drive will take approximately 4 hours. Included: Transportation, breakfast at the hotel, snack, dinner, and overnight in a mountain hut with bunks.

Day 3: Climbing Siete Hermanos (4780m)

The plan for the 3rd day is to summit Siete Hermanos if conditions are favorable; otherwise, we’ll go as high as possible. This is one of the lower altitudes we’ll be exposed to, with the peak near Laguna Santa Rosa at 4780m. Included: Breakfast, snack, dinner, and overnight in a mountain hut with bunks.

Day 4: Laguna Santa Rosa Hut – Laguna Verde Hut (4300m)

We’ll drive 120km to Laguna Verde, after a delicious and generous breakfast. Here, there is a natural hot spring with water at 40 degrees Celsius for us to enjoy. Included: Breakfast, transportation, snack, dinner, and overnight in tents.

Day 5: Day 5 – Climb to Mulas Muertas (5200m)

Time to climb Mulas Muertas (5200m), just a few kilometers away from our hut. We’ll take it easy and go as high as we can depending on the team’s overall condition. This hike normally takes 4 hours round trip. Included: Breakfast, snack, dinner, and overnight in tents.

Day 6: Rest day at Laguna Verde (4300m)

We’ll spend this day resting and enjoying the hot springs at Laguna Verde. Included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and overnight in tents.

Day 7: Climbing Nevado San Francisco (6023m)

We’ll wake up very early and drive to the base of Nevado San Francisco. The drive takes about 1 hour, followed by a 7-hour climb to the summit and descent back to Laguna Verde. Included: Transportation, breakfast, snack, dinner, and overnight in tents.

Day 8: Rest day at Laguna Verde (4300m)

Another day to rest and enjoy the hot springs at Laguna Verde. Included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and overnight in tents.

Day 9: Drive to Atacama Hut (5200m)

A 2-hour drive to Atacama Hut, our higher hut at 5200m. The roads can be rough, so put on your seatbelt and enjoy the incredible views. Included: Transportation, breakfast, snack, dinner, and overnight in a mountain hut.

Day 10: Atacama Hut – Tejos Hut (5800m)

After an early lunch, we’ll walk for 3 to 5 hours to a metal hut named Tejos, located at 5800 meters. Included: Breakfast, snack, dinner, and overnight in a mountain hut.

Day 11: First summit attempt (6898m)

We start very early at 3am, aiming for a 7 to 9-hour push to reach the summit. The climb involves straightforward switchbacks, a huge traverse at 6500 meters, reaching the main crater, and then the final ascent to the summit over a steep gully and a technical rock section. Included: Breakfast, snack, and overnight in a mountain hut.

Day 12: Second summit attempt

This day is reserved in case of bad weather on Day 11 that prevents us from summiting. Included: Breakfast, snack, and overnight in a mountain hut.

Day 13: Drive back to Copiapo

We’ll drive back to Copiapo after dismantling our base. In only 40% of our expeditions do we execute the itinerary exactly as planned. Included: Breakfast, transportation (hotels in Copiapo not included if we stay in the city).

Day 14: Thank you for joining us!

You will leave the airport full of wonderful memories. Included: Breakfast at the hotel and transportation to the airport.

 

Details

More info

How to get to Copiapó? Flying from Santiago de Chile is the best option. Check out LATAM and Sky Airlines web sites.

Required equipment:

  • Hat and cap (for sun protection and cold days), Bandana, Balaclava
  • Ski goggles, Sunglasses (cat 3 or 4)
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Headtorch+Batteries
  • Light down jacket, Summit Down Jacket,Snowproof jacket, T-shirts, Fleece jacket
  • Trekking pants, Gaiters Base layer pants, Snowproof pants, Fleece Pants
  • Mittens, Gloves, Hands warmers.
  • Sandals or crocs, Trekking boots, Trekking socks, Thick expedition socks, Double boots
  • Helmet, Crampons
  • Carbo gels, Snacks, Freeze dried food
  • Stuff sacks or bin bags, Sleeping Bag, Sleeping mattress Rucksack, 1 litre thermos, Water bottle, Duffel Bag
  • Padlock, Trekking poles

Other requierments:

  • International Travel Insurance

As we mentioned in the itinerary, on our first day we will check all your personal equipment to make sure you dont need anything else. If you need to rent some of these items, we can do it for you in Mendoza, but please let us know in advanced.

Meeting point

Copiapó Airport.

FAQs

What experience and how fit do I need to be to climb this mountain? Is this program suitable for children or older people?

For the Ojos del Salado expedition, you need to have cardiovascular training up to date and prior experience with high-altitude mountains is recommended. This ensures participants are prepared for the physical demands and altitude of the climb​. That being said, please know physical demand is only responsible for 20% of success in this kind of climbs.

About age. Given the demanding nature of the Ojos del Salado expedition, which involves high altitudes and physical exertion, it is generally not suitable for children or older individuals without the required fitness levels and prior experience. Although there aren't legal requirements, we'd say anyone between 16 and 70 should do fine at Ojos.

What is the best time of the year to climb this mountain?

The best time to climb Ojos del Salado is typically during the Southern Hemisphere summer, particularly between January and March. This seems to be the least worst time for Ojos. These months offer more stable weather conditions, making the climb safer and more manageable​.

What is the guide-to-client ratio to climb this mountain?

The guide-to-client ratio for the Ojos del Salado expedition is approximately 1 guide for every 2.5 clients on summit day and 3 clients per guide on other situations. This ensures personalized attention and support during the climb​.

How far in advance should I start training and what kind of training do you suggest?

Participants should start training several months in advance, focusing on cardiovascular fitness, strength training, and acclimatization hikes. Specific recommendations include regular aerobic exercises like running, cycling, and stair climbing, combined with strength workouts targeting legs, core, and upper body. Altitude training or hikes at high elevations can also be very beneficial.

Will there be porters to help to carry group and personal equipment?

There is no need to have porters at Ojos. We do have 4WD vehicles carrying anything heavy up to 5900m at Ojos

Are there any other special requirements such as permits/insurance/vaccines that we need to consider before the tour?

Permits: Permits for climbing are included in the expedition package.

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is recommended.

Rescue insurance: Although it would be good to have one, they don't really work at Ojos.

Vaccines: It is advisable to check for any health advisories related to travel to Chile beforehand

Can I join a group?

Yes, you can join a group for the Ojos del Salado expedition. Check out our set dates so you can join.

Will I need to bring any technical equipment of my own? Is it possible to rent equipment, and if so, what would be the approximate cost of that?

Participants need to bring certain technical equipment. However, it is possible to rent equipment in Copiapó. The approximate costs are as follows: Thermal mat: $35

Down jacket: $115

Double boots La Sportiva: $130

Down mittens: $50

Crampons: $50

Climbing helmet: $40

Ice axe: $50

Sleeping bag (-5°C to -10°C): $90​.

How will accommodation and meals be handled on the mountain?

Accommodation will be provided in mountain refuges (Maricunga) and tents at various campsites along the route. Meals will be included throughout the expedition, with breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided at the camps​. Basically all meals outside Copiapo are included. Tents and hotel rooms (also included) are shared between 2 expedition members.

What happens in the event of bad weather?

A reserve day is included in the itinerary to accommodate potential delays due to bad weather. In cases of severe weather conditions, the itinerary might be adjusted to ensure the safety of all participants​.

About the guide

Guide profile image

Eduardo

5.00

(3)

Mountain Guide

I'm originally from São Paulo and lived in Brazil until 2010 when I decided to drop everything and live off the mountain.

I used to work in advertising, until I studied and graduated in 2013 from the EPGAMT school in Mendoza. Today I'm one of the few professional mountain guides from Brazil.

I've been a climber for 12 years and have great experience in climbing rock, ice and high mountain. I'm specialized in the Central Andes and climbed dozens of mountains in the region.

I've done crossings in the Central Andes from Argentina to Chile, and ice climbing as well, participating for 5 years in Vallecitos Ice Climbing Festival. In addition I climbed great mountains like: Aconcagua (6962m), Ojos del Salado (6898m), Tres Cruces Sur (6738m), Tres Cruces Central (6640m), Mercedario (6770m), Tupungato Volcano (6556m), Aconcagua and Cerro Plata (5943m), Vicuñas (6087m), among others.

I've been working in Aconcagua for the last 4 years in a row and started as a porter in 2012. I worked my way up and now lead several expeditions at Central and dry Andes.

Languages

Portuguese | English

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What people are saying about this trip

Jerry

5.00

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!


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