If you love a challenge and you have an average level of fitness or above, keep reading! 🙂
When I tell people about the idea of climbing an active volcano, they immediately freak out. But I am excited to share with everybody that it is not as crazy nor scary as you might think.
In May 2016, I decided to fly over to Pucon in Chile and summit an active volcano, Volcano Villarrica. Initially, I wanted to sky dive out of a helicopter into the crater but for some reason, the operating company never returned my emails. In hindsight, skydiving into the crater was probably a bit too crazy… but I would have done it had the company returned my emails 🙂
The next best thing I could do was to summit Villarrica. And that was exactly what I set out to achieve.
I was curious to learn of the eruption history of Volcano Villarrica. Apparently in March 2015, the volcano erupted. Forcing over 3,000 people to evacuate. The eruption continued until July 2015 and it wasn’t until December (I believe,) that it was re-opened for summit attempts.
As mentioned, it was in May of 2016 that I arrived into the tiny town of Pucon to attempt a summit of Volcano Villarrica. It was freezing cold! There were evacuation signs, sirens, and evacuation lights all over the town (you’ll see all of this in the Vlog I created.) It was AWESOME!
The climb was with a group of people from all around the world. We had packed ice picks, crampons (which we never used,) and gas masks. You’ll see in the video that everybody in the group was friendly and we all had an absolute blast.
On the first day, we tried to summit the volcano but failed due to low level cloud. Apparently summit attempts are not allowed when there is a cloud layer over the Volcano. Also, if the wind direction is wrong, the poisonous volcanic gases will be pushed down the volcano and into all of the trekkers.
We learned self-arrest methods during the climb, in case any of us slipped off the mountain. There were parts of the volcano that were very steep and any of us could have slipped off! That just makes the whole trek so much more exciting 🙂
So if you want to watch this video on YouTube, check it out.
The Best Part!
Once we arrived at the summit, you could see and hear the explosiveness and power of the volcano! It was insane… But then it gets better. A whole lot better.
We didn’t just “walk” down the volcano. We glissaded down the volcano at speeds that were so fast that I almost lost control. All of this was captured on my GoPro and you will see this in the video.
After we all arrived at the bottom, we all celebrated with a drink with everyone that we shared the experience with.
I highly recommend that you give this a try if you are ever in Pucon in Chile 🙂
You can watch this video as part of your Prime membership here, see below.