Marcos y Sofía toboggan down a volcano

Trip Start Sep 06, 2010
Trip End Sep 27, 2011

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Flag of Chile  , Lake District,
Friday, November 5, 2010

The next step is climbing the Volcán Villarrica. The tour leaves at 5:50am (another stupidly early alarm for another bloody volcano...), but the excursion guy who sells us the tour says “if it rains, keep sleeping”.

First attempt
: with great motivation, Sofía wakes me up at 5. Looking out of the window, the only thing we can see is that it's not raining and that we can't see the stars. We get ready in the dark and we have breakfast. Then we start making the sandwiches for lunch. Everything is on track for a 5:50 pick up. This is when it starts raining. Bloody hell, couldn't it start half an hour ago??? Tour postponed to tomorrow.

Second attempt
: for some reason the pick up time gets moved to 6:50am and this time we are a lot better rested and better prepared. The weather doesn't seem too bad either. With our British companions (3 IT people of our age and a 65 year old man, professional climber, who has already climbed Everest and Kilimanjaro). We get driven as far as possible until there is too much snow, and then we get ready and start walking. The gear is ok, so we stay dry most of the time. Even the sun comes out! We keep walking until it becomes too icy, when we put crampons on (George, the professional climber, says these crampons are extremely old fashion). Unfortunately, the wind and the dense volcanic fumes coming out of the crater make it impossible to get to the top. Not too bad, we are nearly there and we would have not been able to see the lava anyway because of the fumes.

So, we call it a day, and since we are too lazy to walk back down, it's time to SLIDE down! We take the crampons off and we wear some sort of bum protector and a plastic “pan”. SO MUCH FUN!!! I even manage to shoot a movie on the slow slide (I tried on the faster one, but it was impossible!). On the way down, a Mexican guy with previous knee injury goes too fast and tears his ligament again. Although he can walk, the guides opt to pull him on the temporary stretcher (which is more of a mat and he keeps losing it on the way).

Great fun, and finally I break the volcanic curse that had me climbing volcanoes in terrible weather where you can't see anything! Although I still haven't seen red lava...

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Jim Meynink on

the slide down reminds me of you kids outside Waratah. I think this volcano is a little bigger than the slope between Maritz and the lodge !

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