(6063 m / 19,892 ft.)
Guallatiri volcano is in the northernmost region of Chile, west
of the Quimsachata hills on the Altiplano ("high plateau").
About 30 m below its summit, you will find a fumarole, several
meters across, spewing steam. The crater is covered by a glacier
and the summit area is mostly snow-covered. It is a technically
simple climb; however, crampons and ice-axe may be necessary.
The ascent takes about 4-5 hours, if you have had a good acclimatization.
to get there
Putre drive 63 kms along the asphalted road to the international
pass by Chungará Lake. Shortly after the customs office,
take a dirt road which turns to the right. After crossing the
Chirigualla hot springs, take the next path to the left which
leads to a small settlement with a chapel. This settlement with
its little brook at 4450 m altitude, is suitable as a starting
and acclimatization point for climbing Guallatiri, and also many
other excursions on the Altiplano.
is to take the road to Guallatiri village. However, it's a longer
road trip. If you prefer a higher acclimatization camp, there
are several options close to the road up to the real starting
point of the ascent, but with no water supply.
We can still drive towards Guallatiri volcano for about half an
hour (14 kms). Soon, after a few hundred meters, take the left
track. At approximately 5200 m, the track becomes impassable,
because of the rocks strewn all over it. Leave the car and continue
path divides up into different directions. Take the bottom one
to the east up to where it ends. From there walk up the slope
without taking any particular route. In the high season, stone
marks and footprints make it easy to find the way. We cross two
other paths, the last one at approximately 5380 m. The best choice
is to follow the wide groove which leads up to a saddle at approximately
5850 m. Then zigzag up the slope until you get to the flat dome
at approximately 6050 m where you will find yourself facing an
active steam fumarole. Along the edge on the left of the fumarole
you reach the bumpy summit at 6063 m.
Steam fumarole near the summit