Friday, August 16, 2013

Villarrica Volcano CHILE

Even though it's been 16 years since I left Chile, I've been thinking about that gorgeous country often lately, especially with all of the posts from people who are traveling down there now to ride. Going through a box of old photos a few weeks ago I found this one of me at the crater of the Villarrica Volcano during high school. It's an active volcano (one of Chile's most active) and we couldn't even see the lava during that trek because, earlier that week, part of the crater had collapsed into the cone. It was windy, too. And we had to carry gas masks in our packs in case the volcanic gases were too strong.

At the top of Villarrica

Apparently (according to the Google maps comments) it's a tough climb to the top. All I remember is having an amazing ascent, tons of fun sliding down the snow on the way down, and then being hit with the biggest wave of altitude sickness ever (more water would have been a good idea). The report from the Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program mentioned something about recent degassing during July 2013. Also, it looks like it was pretty active during 1995, when the family visited Pucón and I climbed the volcano.

Villarrica is a stratovolcano along the Andean chain. For reference on similarities between this and other volcanoes previously discussed on this site, Mt. Hood is also a stratovolcano, but hasn't shown any recent volcanic activity. 

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