I last posted February 4 that I was climbing Volcano Ojos del Salado. It has been quite a ride since then. Ojos is a huge mountain at 6893m (22615 feet) and very tough – weather, altitude and climbing. Together with teammate Michael Halbig from Germany and our formidable Chilean guide Ismael Sepulveda we first climbed 3 mountains to acclimatize for Ojos – Siete Hermanos 4890m, Mulas Muertas 5300m and San Francisco 6018m.
We pushed our Summit Bid forward 2 days to February 14 because a big snow storm was predicted later the same day. However the mountain had already been blasted with 65 centimeters of new snow since the last few days and the climbing was slow and extremely tiring. There were 17 climbers on the mountain from different countries and only 3 of us made it to the summit crater plateau but not the true summit itself. We were about 75m below the last rock technical section. The final climb is to climb a chute and then scale a rock wall.
Reaching the crater at 1pm with very little energy left and past our turnaround time with a snowstorm coming in we had no option but to descend. It was extremely hard but the right decision. Safety first.
I have decided to attempt Ojos again. However there is bad weather predicted for the next week at least. If I stay at higher altitude and train daily I hope to return for my second attempt in a week or so.
Thanks to Rosanna for understanding my predicament and my crazy passion to reach my goals. I have already been away since January 6 climbing Mt Sidley in Antarctica and now Ojos in Chile.
Ojos would be my #7 of 7 climbing all the Volcanic Seven Summits.
Always stay positive. I’ll give it my best shot.