Took almost 15 hours round trip to climb. Started at 12:30 and returned around 3:00 the following afternoon. Climbing int he rainy season made the descending the rock waterfall area slick and dangerous in the dark. Reached the crater rim around 8:00 am was constantly spewing out gases and it was hard to breathe. Amazing climb!!
I have hiked on and around Santiaguito on various occasions. It is an amazing volcano whose summit can't truly be reached (at least as far as I know). The objective dangers are far too risky. I heard (Baarb may be able to verify this??) that it is one of the 5 deadliest volcanoes in the world.
Made 3 trips to Santiaguito to install and retrieve monitoring equipment on El Caliente and El Monje domes between 2007 and 2009. Pretty exciting to climb around on the domes and see the eruptions up close. Reckon 'Successful' would be if and when I reach the high point on the spines of La Mitad! ^_^
I climbed this volcano many times, all of them I was witness of amazing explosion, rains of dirt, ashes and blanck sand. Sounds are extremely strong. Awesome! Awesome!