Started at 3300m. Camped at 4610m. Cloudy, rainy (snowy above 5200m). Didn't see the volcano at all. Temp. about -5 C, wind up to 30 km/h near the crater. Started at 02:30 summited only at 09:00... Water was an issue: not enough snow to make water. No more ice field or snow field left : no nead for crampons.
Climbed this over two days with hardly any snow on the mountain. We got up at 2am and summited at 7am on day 2. No clouds, views were spectacular all the way down to Arequipa, 4 km below us. The descend was fun, because we "heeled" down all the way.
Took just over 4 hours from Camp. It is a very cold yet easy climb. The sand and scree are annoying after a while. Descent is very fast. This was our first time up over 18,000 feet. This is a good acclimatization hike. Base camp is littered with graffiti, broken bottles, papers, and shit. When are Peruvians and others (euro-tourists) going to learn?
The memories of this climb are a bit vague after some 47 years. I recall that Karl Nelson befriended a diminutive journalist with the last name of Zarate who arranged a ride uphill from Arequipa on the Puno road to an elevation of around ten thousand feet. We then hiked upwards through some small villages and onto the high puna on the flanks of El Misti. I walked on ahead crossing a broad stretch of sand (arenal) and then rested atop a bluff to wait for my two companions to come into sight on the arenal. As I waited and waited, I fell asleep. Meanwhile Karl and Senor Zarate must have hiked past me on another side of a ridge. They carryied most of the food and all of the water. Toward evening when my companions failed to appear, I set fire to some bunch grass, hoping to attract their attention. No response. I then bedded down for the night in my sleeping bag and awoke the next morning to bright sunlight and a vision of barren El Misti still looming tauntingly above me. Without food and water I was in no mood to climb any higher on the desolate cone. Reluctantly I retraced my steps back down to the road and caught a truck to Arequipa. The next day Karl appeared at our hotel and triumphantly announced that he and Zarate had reached the rim of El Misti's crater. I felt angry that they had left me alone on the puna without attempting to find me.
I got my revenge three weeks later in the Cordillera Real of Bolivia when I reached the higher and more spectacular six-thousand-meter summit of Huayna Potosi. Karl succumbed to altitude sickness and remained behind inside his sleeping bag as two members of the Club Andino de Bolivia and I succeeded to the summit.
Amazing but strenuous hike! Climbed with a couple fom the Netherlands. We set our high camp at 4.800m. After sunset there were amazing views on the sparkling lights of Arequipa two thousand meters below us. The night was freezing cold, and because of severe headache I couldn't sleep a minute.
But the next morning the headache was nearly gone and we reached the summit at about 13:00 under perfect weather conditions.
For additional information, many pics and a 360°- panorama from the summit check out my website under www.karsten-rau.de
Bastante frio y poca agua
Climbed Misti together with my wife Astrid and my friends Patrick and Monique. Carlos Zarate, the son of Carlos Misti Zarate (owner of Zarate Aventuras) was our guide.
Pat stayed in the camp (at 4800 m) because he was not feeling well. The rest of us made it to the summit. Technically an easy walk, but the scree costs a lot of energy (two steps up, sliding one step down). Running down is fun (but you need a shower afterwards). There was no snow, so we didn't need any climbing equipment.
After a week of acclimatisation this was a good first climb to prepare for my ascents in the next two weeks (Chachani, Cotopaxi and Chimborazo).
Nice and easy climb and a perfect way for beginners to feel what it's like above 5000. If you with a guide I can recommend Zarate, who is one of the well-know guides.
No crampons needed but I would bring an Icepick wich we didn't