Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Villarrica Traverse

Shortly after arriving at my hostel in Pucon, I met up with two other solo travelers planning to start the villarrica travers the same day as me. we agreed to set out together.
My new companions, Mark and Julia, hired a guide to climb Volcan Villarrica for the fist day of the trek. Trying to save some money, I opted out of the guided climb, and attempted an alternative route, solo. I had a great time scrambling up the south western face, but eventually found myself on an exposed glacier, in my sneakers and one trekking pole. Once my knees had begune shaking uncontrolably, I decided it wiseto turn around. Mark and Julia summeted.
We all met up at a stream below my climb, shared stories, and set out to cover some ground before night fall.

Looking for a route to climb

Mark had considered climbing Volcan Lanin, pictured on the horizon, but opted out due to the high prices of hiring a guide. But his desire was never quite squelched.

Our fourth night out, we made camp fast against some rocks on the shore of Lago Blanco, before the skies opened up in a torrent of lightning, thunder, and rain.

The next morning we took our time getting going, in order to dry out, and relax a bit.

Chilean Aspen

Pucon,Chile is busy little city. O Higgins, the main avenue, is overrun with tourist offices. Hire a guide to climb the Volcan Villarrica, to go rafting, kyaking, horseback riding, mountain biking, every extreme sport you've ever heard of, and a few you have never heard of. And there's a lovely volcanic black beach to roast on.
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