Volcano Villarrica Adventure

Trip Start Sep 03, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

A 7am start to our Villarrica Volcano Hike. It had been raining through the night and in the morning it was very misty so we all anticipated that the walk would be cancelled, we couldnīt even see the volcano from the town. The guides said that the weather might still be ok at the base of the volcano so we would give it a go. Fully kitted out with mountain gear including ice axe and helmet, we set off. By the time we reached the ski center at the bottom of the volcano the weather had cleared and we could see the top of the īmonsterīwe were about to climb.
After a short chair lift we started our ascent, snow and ice all the way, only the angle of the slope up changed as we got higher. The guides told us that the climb would take 4 to 5 hrs which was very daunting, especially after 2 hrs when I felt that I wasnīt going to make it! I hadnīt paced myself properly and was going too fast so I dropped back into the slower group which helped. It was like climbing an ice stair case, hour after hour! The views were stunning down the slope, we looked down onto fluffy white clouds, and were able so see other snow capped volcanos in the distance. Finally made it to the top with the others, It had only taken 3.5 hrs so the pace had been pretty quick. The height at the top was 2,840 meters.
The view into the crater was amazing, you could see the lava bubbling away and then molten rocks would explode from its belly! It was only when I was at the top did I find out that it is a very unpredictable volcano (maybe I should have done my research a little better, but what the hell I was there now!)
After enjoying the spectacle we set off down which was great fun, consisting of a number of chutes in the snow, you just sat down and lifted your legs up and you were off, speeding down the volcano with just your ice axe as a break (never realised that you could get a frost bitten bum!!) The route down took an hour and a half and was definitely much easier than the route up. At the bottom I really felt I had achieved something, it was probably the hardest day of exercise I can remember! Just what I needed after all that great South American food and beer!
Back at the agency office the guides gave us a well deserved beer and a certificate to prove we had conquered the volcano! That night they invited us to a BBQ at their hostel, but we all crashed out after the food, no-one had the energy to party.
The next morning two of the girls in the group couldnīt see as they had taken their sunglasses off on the way down and had got sun blindness, this lasted for a few days. Another girl on the walk had to go to hospital with sunburn to her face which had to be bandaged, so I guess my stiff legs were a minor casualty of the day.
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terrym on

It's getting more difficult to match your stories
And those postcards you are buying and scanning in are really good quality. Actually what about the comment about selling your pics to finance your trip. I'll bet many travel and climbing mags would love them not to mention National Geographic printing your story step by step - they must have email addresses.
You could also send it as a weekly cloumn in some of the papers but also the more daring of women's mags - be a change from reading about stars from big brother and the x factor. I could just see it being serialised - 'one women conquering nature': From the danger of Manchester streets to South American Volcanoes' (comments please): or to paraphrase your trip's title 'this pig can fly' (I even feel guilty saying that and feel I'll be arrested instantly and dragged through the courts resulting in my losing my job which actually wouldn't be too bad a thing
Anyway honey enough nonense. love hearing your stories and hope to be reading the serialisation in Hello Magazine any day now
give it a try

Aoart from that is has been quite cold here as well you know and very wet and windy so you are not the only intrepid babe in the world!!!!! If I could work this computer properly you realise there would be lots of smiley faces but can't do. Perhaps some of your readers could let me know!!!

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