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VILLARRICA VOLCANO • 9,400' | 2,865M
The Volcán Villarrica is the most iconic, quintessential peak in Chile. It's the type of mountain kids draw when you ask them to draw a volcano – including the puff of smoke coming from the summit. It's true that Villarrica is the most climbed peak in South America. It's not a place to go to be alone. But it is still extremely worthwhile. Most people are climbing the peak with no intention of skiing. As skiers, we can climb slightly away from the crowds and we certainly don't descend the standard route.
The ascent to the top is a little more than 5000 vertical feet. The first 3/5ths are usually done with skins on a consistent pitch. From a prominent rock known as the White Rock some sort of technical tool like ski crampons or boot crampons is usually needed. It's not particularly steep, but the wind rips through here and the snow tends to be firm, especially in the morning.
The summit of Villarrica is an active crater. There is commonly smoke billowing from the crater. The last years , lava was present, often bubbling up and splashing against the walls where you can feel the great power and share these unique moments in an incredibly beautiful environment surrounded by mountains and snowy volcanoes with small lakes at the foot surrounded by the dense forest that exists in this corner of the world.
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