Lanin Summit Climb

Good training and appropriate logistics support from experienced guides are essential for this unforgettable experience.
Lanín’s steep slopes added to the height from the foot of the volcano to its summit pose a welcome challenge to mountain lovers. San Martín de los Andes is proud of its climbing tradition and of the dramatic rise in the number of adventurers.

As soon as we arrived in this Patagonian city we contacted the people who had provided the details of the excursion on the Internet. We had brought our own gear for the ascent so, on the appointed day we went to the agency bright and early. We got into the truck with a logical feeling of apprehension and headed towards our destination. Upon arrival, already at a height of 1,200 meters MSL, we complied with the required paperwork at the office of National Parks.

We set off without further delay as we knew we had several hours of strenuous exercise ahead of us. At first, we kept a slow pace until little by little we felt more confident. After trekking through the forest we crossed the sandy area left by the glacier and continued to the famous stretch known as espina de pescado and finally reached los caracoles. It was a narrow path, so we walked Indian file carefully avoiding the really unstable terrain on both sides. The physical effort was beginning to take its toll.
  • One of the most impressive sights in Patagonia

    One of the most impressive sights in Patagonia

  • We were filled with enthusiasm and excitement

    We were filled with enthusiasm and excitement

  • Lanín’s steep slopes

    Lanín’s steep slopes

  • We passed by a frozen snow formation

    We passed by a frozen snow formation

  • A short way to go but such an intense experience!

    A short way to go but such an intense experience!

  • The lovely domes

    The lovely domes

Juan Pablo Navarro, aka ‘ el Gallego was our leader, assisted by two other guides. A cool attitude, great energy saving tips and a few stops to freshen up, adjust our backpacks and get to know each other was our modus operandi throughout the ascent.

From the different faces of the volcano we had outstanding views of Laguna Verde and lake Tromen in Argentina and mounts Peineta and Colmilloin Chile. Nevé is the name given to the patches of hard snow we encountered on the way. The guides carved out steps in them to keep us from slipping and falling.

Our pace quickened at the sight of the domes as it meant freeing ourselves of our heavy backpacks and taking a well deserved break. We placed our personal belongings in our allotted sleeping space in the lovely domes and enjoyed a good chat during lunch. Before sunset we practiced using crampons and axes for the ice covered areas we would cross the following day. We filled our canteens with snow and went to get a good night’s sleep in preparation for our second day.

We woke up before dawn and left our tents wearing our warmest clothes and carrying our flashlights, ready to face the last stage of the ascent after breakfast. A short way to go but such an intense experience!

At an altitude of 3,000 meters MSL, the sun shone in all its glory making this adventure even more extraordinary. We passed by a frozen snow formation known as ‘the Penitents’ shaking off the drowsiness brought about by such an early start.

When we finally reached the summit we were exhausted and extremely cold. We had covered different terrain, the chute, the shoulder at 3,500 meters MSL and had achieved our goal. The top of Lanín Volcano was ours, a 360° impressive viewpoint from which surrounding hills seemed really tiny. Our perseverance had been rewarded and we excitedly hugged each other and took photos.

Technically Lanín is not a very difficult mountain to climb although it is known to have changeable weather conditions, especially regarding wind and visibility. It is therefore highly advisable to hire a certified guide who can ensure good weather conditions. The rest is up to our hands, legs and spirit.

Mónica Pons / Gentileza Andes x 3

Useful Data

Bear in mind: You must contact the operator before arriving in San Martín de los Andes so as to confirm the details of the activity and whether it is convenient or not. The operator will provide transfers, guides, food, camping service and technical gear. Clients must supply their own clothing and bare necessities for the ascent.

Contact

Ax3 - Deportes de Montaña
Tte. Cnel. Pérez 830 - Local 4, (8370) , San Martín de los Andes, Neuquén
Tel: +54 2972-412782
E-mail


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