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Ascent of Volcán Lonquimay on 2013-12-28

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Adrian Rayner

Adam Helman
Duane Gilliland
Date:Saturday, December 28, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Volcán Lonquimay
    Location:Chile
    Elevation:2865 m / 9400 ft

Ascent Trip Report

We climbed this peak two days after our Cerro Cantillana ascent. A nice half day hike and a fine volcano.

Arrival in Temuco The previous day we had flown from Santiago to Temuco. Having picked up our rental vehicle (a van seemed the best option for 4 people plus gear) we visited La Portal - a mall with a big supermarket. We failed to find white gas for our stoves but were advised at one of the two outdoor gear shops in the mall that we should try a Ferreteria (hardware store). We tried a few on the way out of town and the third one had the fuel.

We drove through the town of Curacautin then chose one of the many camp sites available east of there. It was a fine night so we bivvied without tents.

Next morning we make the short drive to the Corralco ski centre on the SE slope of our mountain, a good dirt road leading from the main highway at (I think) S38.47874 W71.53588 up through monkey puzzle forest. We pass a Conaf post, closed at 7 am. Reaching the Corralco turnoff we are surprised to find the gate (S38.41896 W71.54557, 1444m) chained and padlocked.

Ascent After briefly investigating the nice looking Hotel Andino at the same junction, we continue up the main (smooth dirt) road to a pass at S38.38147 W71.54847 (1815m), due east of the peak. We later meet a Chilean walker who has used the same starting point, so it seems this is now the de facto summer trailhead, although the signboard here indicates only a trail to a new crater (Crater Navidad) which arose in 1988.

The sign at the pass says to stay on trail to avoid erosion. The best way of doing that would be to keep the ski access roads open in the summer. Nevertheless there is a sort of a trail leading across a pumice slope heading for Lonquimay so we use that. It was chilly in the shade while we breakfasted at the van, but in the sun we are soon warm as we climb. Crossing a small snow slope we reach a dirt road. Turning L for a short distance there is a path R up through steep loose pumice to join a ridge. Once on the ridge we follow a dirt road to S38.38304 W71.57591, 2404m (almost the road end) then pick up a path through loose pumice which follows the ridge directly to the summit. There is a band of red rock which looks like it will be a scramble but is just a walk.

The summit is the northmost of a close pair of rock outcrops S38.37975 W71.58589, 2863m on the rim of a half kilometre wide crater with several lower summits. Views are very fine and include our targets Llaima and Villarrica standing white and sharp to the south.

We are at the summit three hours after starting, and after enjoying the sunshine for nearly an hour then head down, descending in 1h45. The loose ground is good for scree-skiing and it's a fun descent.

We stop briefly at the Hotel Andino for a wash then drive to the Llaima trailhead, stopping briefly at Curacautin en route. Note that much of the direct route after Curacautin is dirt road: good surface, a little steep in places but nothing which our Hyundai van couldn't handle. There is a longer paved alternative.

After getting weathered off on our first attempt, we finally summit Volcan Llaima three days later.

Lonquimay photo album
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1050 m / 3445 ft
    Elevation Loss:1050 m / 3445 ft
    Distance:8.2 km / 5.1 mi
    Grade/Class:YDS 2
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:1050 m / 3445 ft
    Distance:4.4 km / 2.7 mi
    Route:SE ridge
    Trailhead:Road pass east of summit  1815 m / 5955 ft
    Time Up:3 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:1050 m / 3445 ft
    Distance:3.8 km / 2.4 mi
    Route:SE ridge
    Trailhead:Road pass east of summit  1815 m / 5955 ft
    Time Down:1 Hours 45 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO resposibility or liability from use of this data.

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