Ojos del Saldo (6896m) Act I
To be continued…
“What! You wanna leave tomorrow?! And you are alone? People organize this kind of expedition at least 6 months in advance!!!’
Ojos del Salado is not only Chile’s highest peak, the highest volcano in the world, the second highest mountain in all the Americas and a serious 8-12 day climb to almost 7000 Meters, it is, apparently, also bureaucratic madness to get the permit for the Chilean side!
For the last three days I have been missioning around CopiapÃ³ (which is starting point for most expeditions from the Chilean side), trying to find information regarding access, the climb & permit and maybe/hopefully to be able to buddy up to climb with other climbers in order to share expenses and effort.Â
Right on Plaza Real in CopiapÃ³ is the SERNATUR (Servicio Nacional de Turismo) office. Opening hours: Mo-Fr 8:30 am â€“ 7:30 pm.
There one can find all information and “Lelia” (firstname.lastname@example.org). What a wonderful woman – The most knowledgeable and helpful person you will find in whole South America!
SERNATUR has lists of accommodation and the tour operators/agencies in town, maps, phone numbers, pictures, drawings and a lot of connections. “Lelia” made a good 15 phone calls for me in full motivation of getting me up the mountain:-)
Two different permits are needed:
DIFROL (DirecciÃ³n Nacional de Fronteras y LÃmites del Estado):
The other (climbing) permit:
|DIFROL application sheet
(To enlarge click on picture)
Important: There is not a single outfitter or agency in town which rents out equipment/climbing gear. Nor can you buy tents, crampons, axes or down jackets, etcâ€¦!!!
Bring all your gear or shop in Santiago, Mendoza or CÃ³rdoba.
In the end not even an appearance/interview with a cry for climbing partners on a local Atacama radio station brought success.
Ojos del Salado sees a lot of traffic, but climbers show up in already established (big style) expeditions without space for gipsys.
Transport only to the 265 km distant Laguna Verde would have cost U$ 300.
I am now on my way to Argentina via Santiago, trying my luck from the other sideâ€¦
If you interested in joining or have further information please drop an email!! My Chilean mobile number is: +56 (9)82705567.