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21 September 2011: Cerro La Campana, 1880m Walk Chile, September 2011
19 September 2011: Llaima, 3125m Skiing Chile, September 2011

Fed up of volcanoes yet?  No?  Good, neither am I.  This was round 2 in terms of trying Llaima, and following our failed attempt to even get the the car park last time, we tried a different approach by taking the road directly from the Panamericana to the resort.  We managed to get a basic room to ourselves above one of the bars, but given it was a holiday weekend, this proved to be a noisy experience overnight.  However, the following morning was stunning, as we've come to expect, so it was worth it.



Llaima was high up the 'list' because it's a stunning shape, but also because it's still active.  It had erupted at least twice during 2008 (this video on the BBC is worth a watch) and in April 2009, but is somewhat quieter for the time being.  We got up through the ski area, and then across the long plateau reasonably quickly but the heat was building.  There wasn't a breath of wind.  The higher we got, the hotter it got.  We maybe should have tried the shady southern face, rather than the sunny north face, but never mind.   A short steep icy section forced the skis onto the rucksacks, and once on a level section at about 2750m, it became apparent that the upper cone wasn't going to be skiable on this side.   Numerous fumaroles had melted holes in the ice, and the surface was far from uniform, so we ditched the skis and continued on foot.

The upper cone seemed to take ages, and drained our energy.  It would have been extremely easy just to turn around, but I really didn't want to have that regret hanging over me so pushed on.  When we finally got to the crater, it was full of fumeroles.  We were on the high side, and couldn't see right into the crater directly below the summit (I wasn't keen on getting too close to the edge - there is a degree of instability up there!), so I don't know how big the actual vent was.  It was late in the day, so didn't want to wander round the crater rim.  A quick break, and it was about turn.  I reckon the whole snow/ice slope on that side of the hill is barely attached to the hillside, as there were so many holes due to the steam from the ground underneath.  There were a few postholing episodes, and one where the surface cracked all around and then sunk, which was interesting.  It's just rubble underneath, so no problem, but still can be a bit unnerving.

Back at the skis, things got much easier.  The steep icy slope on the way up was now good spring snow ("corn", for the Americans out there), and the almost level plateau now had the equivalent of one of those long horizontal escalators you find in airports - a scooter track.  As soon as I got on it, I accelerated considerably, and got to the far end of the plateau no bother.  It was fine as long as you kept your skis exactly parallel, and within the width of the track!  I just wish I had the camera on for it.    It was a tired, reasonably dehydrated, but happy pair that turned up back at the "bar" for a quieter night and well earned rest. 

Llaima from the north on the Ruta Interlagos from Curacautin.  This was taken on the day we got the car stuck.  The debris in the foreground is from an eruption from Llaima.
A close up of the summit cone from the North side.  We ascended past the 2 bare patches you see near the summit in the sunshine, having diagonally ascended from the right..  These were the largest bare sections of many!
Setting off from the ski area.
Llaima from the edge of the plateau above the ski area.   We went directly up to the left edge of the summit cone shadow, then up the left hand skyline.
It goes on a bit.
On and on and on...
...and on and on and on...
...until you get to a steep icy bit and have to carry the skis.
Having ditched the skis, this was the long hot tiring slog to the top of the hill, with the added excitement of not knowing when you were going to punch through the snow ice.
Close up of some of the summit crater fumaroles.
Lanin and Villaricca separated by Quetrupillan.
Soaking up the view.  That, and I couldn't be bothered to turn round.
Helen at the top, and happy to be going down.
Volcan Lanin.
Slightly heavy sun softened snow of the way down.
Looking back up, on the way down.  The top is about a 1000m above us here - just doesn't look it.
Preparing for a slog across the plateau...
... only to find it was really fast, thanks to a fresh scooter track.
Nice snow again in the ski area.
17 September 2011: Villarrica, 2847m Skiing Chile, September 2011
14 September 2011: Volcan Osorno, 2662m Skiing Chile, September 2011
12 September 2011: Lonquimay, 2865m Skiing Chile, September 2011
10 September 2011: Volcan Antuco, 2985m Skiing Chile, September 2011
07 September 2011: Nevados de Chillan, 3212m Skiing Chile, September 2011
06 September 2011: Volcan Chillan Nuevo, 3186m Skiing Chile, September 2011
05 September 2011: Termas de Chillan, Chile Skiing Chile, September 2011
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