Me at the highest summit.
Aucanquilcha volcano is a 4 summited volcano at the Chilean/ Bolivian border, close to the Salar de Uyuni. In fact, from its summit it's possible to see some of it. The highest summit has 6.176 m (20.262 feet)
It is an active volcano, and used to be the highest mine for sulfer at the entire world, at the altitude of 5.800 m. Also it sheltered the highest miners camp and working place, at 5.270 m. Now, it doesn't work anymore.
If you manage to get your car all the way up to the miners camp, maybe you can go farther following the road easily visible from there. At these days it is almost impossible do it, but if you do, it becomes one of the easiest 6000 peaks of South America.
View from the highest summit to the other 3 summits
You can get there from a lot of places (but there's only one choice for vehicule: 4x4)
, specially San Pedro de Atacama (long 6 hours drive) or Calama, or Chuquicamata (the greatest mine hole at open sky in the planet).
There's also a small village nearby Chuquicamata called Chiu-Chiu, you can get some transport there and a great meal too.
Keep going on the international road wich pass thru the Ollague village, right in front of the volcano Ollague.
There, stop at the police station to ask for information. Don't tell them you're planning to climb the volcano, they won't let you. Just tell them you're gonna camp nearby to take a few photos. Very nice people.
Enjoy the moment to do some great pictures of Ollague volcano (5.870m), really close!
Ask about the road to go up there, but anyway you can't miss it, left turn and just look up, you'll see the road you have to take. Keep on the road and don't care much for the different routes, all of them take you at the same place, the miners camp.
At dawn, walk up to the miners camp and just follow the road up, it will take you all the way up to 5.850m. From there, left turn to a snow field (about 30°), it changes at some points to 40° or 45°, no big deal.
At 6000 m high, left turn again in front of a rock wall, very nice by the way. Keep going straight until you see a ridge at your right.
That's it, the final ridge to the highest summit, and the steal box from Banco do Chile to sign the visitors book!
Theres several places to camp, including the antique miners camp, but be careful, the walls are colapsing.
When I was there, about 5.150 m high we couldn't go any farther because there was a huge rock at the road! So we camped there about 30 meters before the rock, there's a campsite down the road to the right, with a great view to some miners camp some 100 kms away!
To hike/ climb is a dangerous activity and requires proper equipment and clothing, the owner of this page cannot be blamed by injuries caused to anyone who read this page for its info about the mountain, and eventually got hurt by doing so with reckless behaviour or bad weather conditions.
Paulo Roberto Felipe Schmidt – AKA: PAROFES
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