Saw a smoke ring blown by the volcano just before the summit and then lava churning around in the caldera. Bum sliding was also good fun!
Annoying that you had to take a guide to the top and sad the lava lake was dry, but nice views and fun sliding down
turned around about 200m from the top due to iffy weather and icy conditions. In hindsight, our judgment was sound. Wikipedia says, "Villarrica is one of the world's most climbed stratovolcanoes." Even on a questionable climbing day like ours the dog route reminded me of Avalance Gulch/Shasta on Memorial Day weekend and the waiting lines on Hood/Rainier. Yikes, wonder what a "good day" must be like...hah! Still, a nice peak and worth a climb...
Obtained permission from enforcement agency to climb unguided day prior in Pucon. Took rental car to ski area parking lot, parked, and started out around 7am. Slope grade between 20-45 degrees from parking lot to summit. No ropes or crampons needed on this one, but took axe for long runout and reduced friction on hardpack. Ahhh, smell that sulfur, and you know you are near the summit. Didn't stay too long, due to aforementioned smell, and returned via the same route. Total climbing time was around 4 hours. Went straight to the hot springs outside Pucon and indulged in some wine and chocolate afterwards. A very good day!
Climbing in the morning and going swimming in the lake in the afternoon.
Had a great fun doing this with a guide and a small group back in 2004. Looked around the rim, and slid down on our a$$
1/2 hour down
Proves that size really doesn't matter for mountains. From all the summits, mountains i've tried in the andes, Villarica was the smallest and the only one i had to turn down and quit. The only one i didn't summited.
Had to gave up at just 2.000m. Terrible whiteout, couldn't see 10 ft ahead of me. Strong winds, about 60km/h.
Have to go back!
Hiked up with some colleagues 14+ times during 2010 and 2011, typically clear albeit windy weather and beautiful views. Lava lake not visible from the rim but was with the camera that we installed over the centre. Gas mask a must if you´re going to be hanging around up there, as well as some kind of eye protection. Glissading all the way down is awesome when there's enough snow, such an epic backdrop. Interesting visits to NE, E, S and W sides of the volcano too.
Had to show my UIAA membercard to the parkranger, nice stroll round the crater!
Tedious ski descent in high winds in poor snow conditions...
climbed normal route without a guide (in Dec. 2008) - transport to the ski resort with an organized group.
(quite a lot of snow - skis would have been nice, but I left mine in Europe)
rented randonee skis in town and paid for transport to the volcano through my hostel.
the don´t check if you are with a guide until the end of october and so i was able to go by myself.
the ski down was the best line i have ever skied. the snow was absolutely amazing, smooth, fast.
sat in the hot springs afterward...
I got permission from CONAF (took some waiting, they're not open on weekends!) by showing American Alpine Club membership card and talking about past experience. They were a little reluctant given my age, but helpful. I then found an agency on O'Higgins which rented gear (ice ax, crampons, mountaineering boots, helmet) for 12k and gave me a ride for another 5k. This was harder than permission from CONAF; a lot of guiding companies won't do this or are very reluctant. I found two agencies on O'Higgins, though: this one and one half a block away from it, kitty corner to the municipal building and tourist info office.
The climb was easy and enjoyable. Great weather, too. Going solo is definitely the way to go: I got up and down much faster and was able to spend loads of time on the summit while the guided groups were rushed. The helmet is probably not a necessary gear item and I regret shelling out the extra 2k for it.
Climbed with one of the tour agencies in Pucon on a beautiful summer day. We were in a group of 12 and could only go as fast as the slowest person so it took almost 3 hours up to the summit. Guides rushed us a bit on the summit. Great fun sliding down. I think it would be preferable to avoid the tours and hike solo if you can organise it.
I climbed solo (without a guide). Despite the tour agencies insistence, there is no requirement to climb guided provided that you have equipment and can convince CONAF that you know what you are doing. I was one of two climbers to reach the summit that day. The tour guides stopped their clients 100m from the summit because of the smoke/wind. I climbed via a minor variation (one draw to the right) to get some fresh air blowing in from the south and had the crater all to myself for an hour. Muy hermosa.
Not quite sure about the date, summited when working on the PlanetRace TV series, the contestants had to find the summit where I was waiting :) Nice hike up with some wonderful views when the clouds parted.
Sliding downhill is a blast!
Fun easy climb to top of beautiful volcano. May want to carry a face mask of some kind as the gases emitted from the crater can make your throat and lungs feel like they've been raked with sandpaper. It also sucked that CONAF basically forces you to fork over cash to be guided up a very straigthforward climb. Awesome glissade on the way down though!
I hired "transport-only" from a tour company (5000 CLP) and they were nice enough to get me into the park without having to demonstrate anything to CONAF. Very easy ascent in perfect conditions (good grip on the snow, no wind, no clouds).
Perfect conditions for this cute climb.
Great sun, soft snow, little sulfer fumes on top.
What a great view on surrondings volcanoes and lakes !
We could almost touch Volcano Lanin !!
As part of the FFME (French Mountaineering Federation) we did not have to go through an outrageously exepensive agency (40,000 pesos at the moment / 80 USD).
Just had to rent the equipment (6000 pesos at Aguaventura) and arrange the bus (5000 pesos with Trancura).
My best advice : go to check with Conaf in Pucon, before climbing. Great help.