For my several trips to this peak and others, please check my website: bobvillarreal.com. My book, "Clawing for the Stars: A Solo Climber in the Highest Andes" will be out on Amazon in July, 2014. My video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Go6UypcKNck
We approached the mountain by bicycle from San Pedro de Atacama, Chile via the Paso Socompa. We climbed from the NE to a base camp with penitentes at 5,000m.
We then joined the normal Argentinean route at a high camp at 5,900m where there were more penitentes. From the high camp it took 3 1/2 hours to reach the summit over slightly unstable rocks. Bits of wood from the Inca ruins marked the route.
This is an account of our cycle and climb: http://pikesonbikes.com/puna-9-part-1-llullaillaco-antofalla/
We have visited this peak on New Year’s Eve of 2010, from the Chilean side, as part of our South-American honeymoon trip. The two of us went there alone, with no guide, with only a little Toyota Yaris and some sense of adventure. We made it to the summit saddle, 200m short of the peak.
See in the Trip report for more!
An amazing climb on Number 7th of the andes, via the inca / archeological road (North east) from argentina, climbing to summit in 8hr (reaching it at 16.00) from a camp located at 5550m. A long steep climb direct from thge gully leading to an inca ruin at 6500 m or so. It's possible when acclimatized to make it with just one camp, leaving 4WD at 4850/4900m approx. Water is obtained from peintentes at 5500, sometimes even lower.
weather in february was perfect, some people (2 from austria) made it 7 days before, temperature was fine during the climb.
8 out of our 10 members expedition made it to the top.
be asbolutely sure about 4WD when going there, it's absolutely out of the way altough there seems to be some mining exploration in the area.
It's good to combine this climb with nearby unknown Antofalla (6440m) as a good warm up.
All the approach to Llulailaco , including the awesome site of Casualidad Mine is worth the trip. Summit is of course very special due to what is to be seen there!
My highest so far. Thanks to Gnome's invitation.
View from the summit over Argentina is just AMAZING !
For the last part, I suggest you follow the "Quebrada" instead of trying a direct way to the summit (big unstable blocs).
I went on Llullaillaco with Fabrice but did not summit. I must say that this volcano is though one of my best experience in the Andes : the beauty of the landscapes and the feeling of loneliness are intense ! I will add some photographs as soon as possible on this new mountain page.
It is often said that Llullaillaco can not be climbed before mid March because of the bolivian winter (invierno boliviano) but we noticed in the conaf book (in the refugio) that some expeditions (3 or 4) went there right in the middle of this period and some of them made it to the summit.
Ascent from camp 1 to camp 2 is really easy as the trail is obvious : from beginning to the "end" we walked in the small quebrada and most of the time footprints of previous climbers could be seen.
After camp 2 (5700m), we had to climb a tough slope of instable rocks (approx. 1 hour) before arriving at a steep couloir of hard snow and little penitents(approx 40°). This couloir leads to a very big névé that we walked through within 2 hours. Then, we arrived at the "combe" between the two summits (approx. 6400m) where I had to abandon (cold feet and exhaustion) . Fabrice followed this combe on the left side (1 hour) to arrive at the pass between the two summits. The highest one is on the left and Fabrice reached it in 2 hours from the pass, after many false summits.
The weather during our stay (5 days in total) was perfect, even if every day big clouds were stuck on the mountain from (approx.) 4 oclock in the afternoon to sunset. The cold was not terrible, even if on the summit day the few hours around sunrise were really freezing. We had almost no wind.
An amazing mountain... I'll be back !