I climbed the Volcán del Viento to explore the area and as acclimatisation for my later climb of Ojos del Salado during a 200 km 18 days solo trip in the Atacama desert. I traversed the complete volcano, from the Laguna Negra over the Gendarme (5821m) to the Volcán del Viento summit, and down to El Arenal, and back to my camp near the Laguna Negra. From the summit you get a great view on all the surrounding volcanoes, and get a good feeling of the enormous distances between the mountains.
A good warm up for Ojos. Not a particularly interesting climb though.
Climbed this in a few hours from a camp near Port. Laguna Negra as an acclimatization for Ojos. Not the best place to climb from as there are plenty of valleys to cross on the way to the top. Nice little crater, and suitably windy on the final climb up to the summit (which my GPS said was 6,028m). Good views of Nacimiento, Walter Penck and others.
More information on our blog: http://pikesonhikes.blogspot.com/2011/01/volcan-del-viento-6028m-provincia-de.html
¡¡¡Excellent Detective Work, JonathanSKT!!! There appears to be much confusion locally as to the official name / elevation of this peak. The IGM map shows it as sub-6000m. My Arriero called it Gendarme Argentino. However, Biggars now seems quite confident about his nomenclature. And my GPS agrees that it comfortably reaches the 6000m mark. Irregardless, a nice short easy climb from El Arenal, with excellent views of Ojos del Salado, Walter Penck, Incahuasi, etc.
Google Maps shows a tiny 6000m contour. We had a chance to climb it with an Andes.org expedition after being snowed out of our Ojos attempt by a freak foot of overnight snow. Slogged up Volcan del Viento instead with up to thigh-deep snow. Had perfect weather, calm and sunny at the summit. John Biggar says this mountain may only have been summited a handful of recorded times in history. Will post some pics.