Ascent of Volcán Licancábur on 2018-03-11

Climber: Rafee Memon

Others in Party:Brian Cameron (Guide)
Ronaldo (Guide)
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, March 11, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Volcán Licancábur
    Elevation:19409 ft / 5915 m

Ascent Trip Report

I was picked up from my hotel in San Pedro de Atacama by a transfer bus at 7:45am. We drove up the road towards Paso Jama and we made a left towards Paso Hito Cajon towards Bolivia. Immediately we got in line with several other transfer buses, and we passed through Chilean customs at 10:45am. One passenger on the bus who was headed to the Uyuni salt flats got severe altitude sickness, and the guide I was traveling with monitored her and gave her oxygen (the crossing is at around 15,000ft). We drove down the road to Bolivian customs, where I paid $80 for a one-time entry visa as an American.

We continued on and were dropped off at the refuge at Laguna Blanca in Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve. It is hostel-style with a large shared dining room and 5-6 rooms with 5 beds each. Water and snacks can be purchased, and breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served. Apparently reservations can be made, but you may be stuck sleeping outside if it becomes full. I wandered down to the lagoon and found a few flamingos, and I walked back to the lagoon to watch the sunset, which was spectacular.

We got up at 3:45am, had breakfast, and hit the (dirt) road to Licancabur with our Bolivian guide at 4:45. We started our ascent at 5:28am and summited at 11:23am. We needed crampons for the final ~300ft of the ascent. We wandered around the summit for a half an hour. We descended down a large snow field, screed down into the gully we ascended, and then walked out, arriving back at the Land Cruiser at 2:10pm. We arrived back at the refuge around 2:45pm and had a quick lunch before heading back to the border. I was back at my hotel at 5:40pm.

Stats: 5h55m up, 30m at summit, 2h18m down, 6.85 miles, ~4,200ft gained.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Licancabur and Juriques from Route 27 (2018-03-08). Photo by Rafee Memon.
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Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4209 ft / 1282 m
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Crampons, Ski Poles, Guide
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4209 ft / 1282 m
    Distance:6.9 mi / 11.1 km
    Start Trailhead:15200 ft / 4632 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rafee Memon
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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