the last days in Bariloche were super nice! Argentina pleased us with one more deep powder day. We were so stoked about the snow that we actually didn’t take a lot of pictures that day. So, sorry for that ;) The bad thing was, that spring came pretty early this season, so we had some slush snow sessions as well.
A few days later we started our journey to Santiago. We decided to drive through Pucon and hike the Villarica volcano. As you know we already tried it some weeks before, but we got a lot of bad weather and winds. This time it was bluebird and hardly any wind. We drove up to the Villarica ski area and started our hike from there. 3,5 hours later we reached the top and were able to look into the huge crater and enjoyed the great outlook. Unfortunately the upper part of the mountain was pretty icy and not really fun to ski. Therefore we had great firn the rest of our descent.
As I told you in my last blog entry, Leo and me were searching for a nice mountain to climb, before we had to leave Chile. We decided to hike the Marmolejo, which is also known as the southernmost 6000m-plus peak in the world. Marmolejo is actually 6108m high. We almost drove all the way to Santiago, into the Maipo valley. We parked the car at km80 and started packing all the stuff we needed for the next 5 days.
The next day we started our expedition towards the first camp. Jonas took some last shots of us leaving the car park. He couldn’t join because he had to go back to Santiago to catch his flight. Unfortunately Leo and me were quite insufficient equipped. We neither had a map nor a altimeter. So we already went the wrong way on the first day. We were supposed to overleap the base camp and go further to camp 1 on 3800m. We ended up hiking from 2300m to 4000m and put up our tent there.
After a pretty bearable night we hiked up even further and figured out that we went uphill too early on the day before. We decided to ski into the end of the valley where we spent our 2 night on 3800m.
We stood up at 7 in the morning and started our third hike at 8am. We had to go through a very steep snowfield up to the rich. As we could see the rest of the mountain from the rich, we were shocked to see that less snow. Although we knew that the descent won’t be any good we kept our skis and hiked to the 3rd camp. We put up our tent on 4500m and started to melt snow because we had no water left. After a short acclimatization hike and a super delicious meal consisting of soup and strange noodles we went to bed.
The alarm woke us up at half past 3 in the morning. We dressed quickly and stepped out of the tent. It was cloudless and the moon shined so bright that we didn’t even had to use our headlamps. It was really cold and windy. We reached the peak much later than we expected. It was really hard to breathe in this high altitude, so we hiked really slow and had to stop several times. We also used every bigger rock to hide from the strong winds. I guess we needed like 1 hour for every 200 height meters. :D As we finally reached the peak we were really happy. The panoramic view was just awesome and we could finally eat the chocolate we saved for the peak.
We left our skis about 200 meters underneath the peak. Skiing down from 5900m to 4500 was my most exhausting run in my whole life. We had to spend one more night on 4500m and skied down to the car on the next day.
Back in the civilization I noticed that I unfortunately had frozen my nose, cheek and all the toes on my right foot. I actually still can’t feel two toes on my right foot, but this will be good in a few weeks.
We spent our last days in a nice Motel in the Maipo valley to recover. We also had a great day at the beach in Vina Del mar. I needed 45 hours to get from Santiago back to Innsbruck. I arrived there on Monday morning and had to go to school directly. Leo continued his journey in Peru and will return end of October.
Last weekend I already spent some time in the mountains at home. Check it out ;)
There will be a helmet cam edit of South America soon, I’ll keep you guys posted!