Nice walk and warm up for Licancabur.
On December 29, 2006, my life partner, Karen Wilkie, and I ascended the standard southern route up Cerro Toco. Great hike to a high elevation summit that provides excellent views. We had been hiking at high elevations (up to 5000m) for the previous week, so starting the hike around 5000 metres wasn't a problem for us. Chile is an incredibly beautiful country with very friendly inhabitants; it rocks!
2.0 miles and 2 hours round trip from mining camp at 17092 feet to summit at 18471 feet (5630 meters by Garmin eTrex Vista HCx GPS) and return. Good acclimatization hike and confidence builder for Sairecabur.
Actualy is just a walk up, but really incredible view for Licancabur and Juriques volcanoes.
I loved that day!
Many tour agencies in San Pedro offered this climb but using the excellent directions on summitpost we hired a car and climbed it alone. We had 4 days of hiking in San Pedro plus one hour at Laguna Miscanti so I don't think we were fully acclimatized but we still made it. Took 2 hours 20 minutes from the old mining shed, 45 minutes to descend.
After being told we couldn't climb any mountains in Chile without a permit, and they wouldn't issue permits because of the weather, we went to San Pedro and found out permits weren't needed. We drove up as far as possible until we were stopped by the fresh snow (about an hour's hike to the mining camp) and then hiked up from there, about 3 1/2 hours up and 1 1/2 down. Heavy clouds blowing in and out made for limited but beautiful views.
Likely first mountain bike descent and also a ski descent on the same day (from mining camp), plus two solo climbs to the summit in 2002 and 2003 (from the road to Paso Jama).
In 2 hours from the old mining camp, 30 minutes back. Below the summit it was easier to go around the right side. The path that goes to the left was all icy.